Dr Asif Padela interacts with his students at a session at Al Yasat Private School

How does Al Yasat Private School prepare students to succeed in this dynamic and ever-changing world?

Children’s interactions and experiences are vastly different from their parents. To be successful, students need support in developing the skills and knowledge to be lifelong learners. Students must be able to adapt and grow as society develops new ways of thinking, communicating, and living.

Al Yasat prepares students by adopting student-centric teaching methods focused on developing the core skills needed to be successful individuals. Teachers focus on customising students’ learning experiences to support personalised learning in mathematics, English, science, and other subjects. Teachers take time to understand each student’s areas of growth, and target instruction to meet their needs inside and outside the classroom. This has led to students demonstrating substantial progress, and increased performance on standardised American curriculum exams such as the SAT and Advanced Placement exams.

Teachers bring learning to life through providing opportunities to take learning outside the traditional classroom. Students’ educational experiences are enhanced by specialty classrooms to facilitate applied learning. Makerspaces across the school allow students to explore learning based on their interests and strengths. A new Coding Lab furnished with the latest iMac computers supports exploration of Artificial Intelligence, advanced coding, graphics design, and much more. Our speciality drama room, yoga/dance studio, recording labs, and other spaces make learning fun and applicable.

What is Makerspace and why is it important?

The concept of Makerspace came out of a desire to see alternative ways for students to explore learning. For Al Yasat this meant creating designed work areas that allowed for exploration, creativity and innovation. Our team wanted students to be able to engage in building model engines, creating solar powered artifacts, and experimenting with new ideas.

What types of learning experiences are visible in the school?

Al Yasat focuses on enhancing student knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM). You can see all this come to life in the students’ classrooms. In our Coding Lab students worked on developing technology to meet modern needs. They wrote algorithms and coded robots to identify cars by color and park them in designated areas. Student conversations came to life as they discussed issues and navigated solutions. Student success and engagement led to launching a K-12 coding program that enables students to interact with coding, robotics, and artificial intelligence in meaningful ways.

Our electives programme has adapted curriculum and instruction to support learning and exploration of Artificial Intelligence for our students, thereby providing students with opportunities to explore the impact on the future of our society.

How do Al Yasat teachers support students’ creativity and innovation?

Stimulating student creativity and innovation requires teachers who take time to develop engaging curriculum revolving around critical thinking and application. Last year, our fifth grade students were in the gymnasium racing Formula 1 model cars. Their teachers and peers cheered as they raced cars down the model racing track. Students spent countless hours in the classroom creating car logos, branding schemes, and building cars. Winners were selected based on the race car’s performance, students’ presentation skills and other factors. Experiences like these are central in getting students to think out of the box and apply knowledge in practical ways.

Student experiences extend beyond the classroom and give them opportunities to interact on a broader platform. At Expo 2020 Al Yasat’s team of student scientists competed in the Emirate Young Scientist Competition. Their research hypothesised the possibility of extracting biodiesel from decaying biomaterials available in the UAE.

At the competition, students met with other teams to enhance their own knowledge, presented their findings to judges, and demonstrated their ability to innovate.

It does not end there. Student voices extend further in the Recording Studio. Social media and new marketing strategies play an integral role in modern society. Skills learned through practical application lead to increased student confidence.

As students move into college and prepare for future careers these experiences will help them thrive as 21st Century citizens. Experiences like these help to stimulate students’ interest in learning and innovating. At Al Yasat our teachers strive to create engaging student-centered learning in the classrooms that are supplemented with external opportunities to create a holistic experience.

How does Al Yasat prepare students for success in college?

Having a college degree is essential in this knowledge based economy. Student success in college is based on two factors: having the academic tools to access higher education and having the character traits needed to overcome obstacles. Al Yasat’s educational programme aims to meet both requirements through supporting opportunities to continually grow as a holistic individual.

Al Yasat offers Advanced Placement classes for eligible students. Our teachers receive training through the College Board to ensure a solid understanding of what college level work students should be engaged with. These opportunities ensure that students are constantly challenged with work that will push them to grow. Throughout this process our students receive constant support in person, and through hybrid learning opportunities. Consistent support gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves in a safe and supportive environment. In essence, it is the main feature of a solid education.

At Al Yasat we aim to meet the needs of all our students. Our team of dedicated teachers, support staff and leaders ensure that all students are given the opportunity, support and guidance needed for their success.