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DESS celebrates turning 50 with tree planting ceremony

The tree planting ceremony was inspired by a DESS student’s poem

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
David Hammond, Head Teacher, planting a tree during the celebration at the Dubai English Speaking School in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) organised a tree planting ceremony yesterday as part of its week-long celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the school.

The tree planting ceremony —which was inspired by Sophie Marmount, a Year 1 student at DESS, through a poem she recited about commemorating the school’s 50th anniversary by planting a tree — was the highlight of yesterday’s jubilee celebrations.

“Today’s the fiftieth anniversary of DESS and the permanence of this tree sort of represents the permanence that DESS has taken in the fabric of Dubai society and the fruit that the tree bears represents the school’s fruits which are the children that will hopefully be the leaders of the future.” said Graham Martins, Vice Chairman of DESS.

DESS was established in 1963 and is considered one of the first British schools in Dubai. Since its establishment the school has undergone many developments and changes as Head Teacher David Hammond, who has been working at the DESS since 1990, told Gulf News. “I have been working in DESS for the past 23 years and since the time that I have been here I have witnessed a lot of infrastructure changes. We had grass fields planted and the school was rebuilt between 1988 and 2001. There were also massive changes in the curriculum and the way of teaching and learning. One of the main developments that we have undergone was of course in 2006 when we opened our very own secondary school in Academic City.”

Hammond also highlighted that DESS is one of the few non-profit schools in Dubai. “The school is not owned by anyone, it is run by an elected board of governors which means that nobody takes profit out of the school and any excess money is reinvested in improving the school.”

DESS’s jubilee celebrations started on Sunday and featured events such as a 1960s music and dress-up day. The jubilee events will continue throughout this week and will end on Thursday with a Jubilee ball.

Noor Nazzal is a trainee at Gulf News