Middle School Curriculum at DAA
Our Middle School learning program is designed to meet the developmental needs of young adolescents by offering a holistic program which encourages independence, collaboration and responsibility. We want our students to be intrinsically motivated and actively engaged in their learning. We understand that in this age group students need to be exposed to a wide range of subjects but they also need a level of autonomy or choice in their program. This is why in addition to mandatory core subjects, our students have the opportunity to select from a range of elective offerings in Grade 7 & 8 after trialing exploratory courses in Grade 6.
Middle School Principal
Meet The Middle School Principal
The middle years are a period of transition – cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. At DAA we want our middle schoolers to take risks, to develop a strong sense of self and to increase their level of independence and responsibility. We want our students to feel actively engaged, connected to our community and fully prepared for the new experiences and challenges high school will bring.
Explore the Middle School
The Middle School academic program aims to promote a culture of kindness within a structure in which learning is personalized. Our Middle School Program ensures the following characteristics are at the heart of all learning experiences:
- Developmentally Responsive: Using the distinctive nature of young adolescents as the foundation upon which all decisions about school organization, policies, curriculum, instruction and assessment are made.
- Challenging: Ensuring that every student learns and every member of the learning community is held to high expectations.
- Empowering: Providing all students with the knowledge and skills they need to take responsibility for their lives, to address life’s challenges, to function successfully at all levels of society, and to be creators of knowledge.
- Equitable: Advocating for and ensuring every student’s right to learn and providing appropriately challenging and relevant learning opportunities for every student.
The Middle School learning program strives to provide meaningful learning experiences for students enriched with opportunities for students to be thinkers, inquirers, innovators and responsible digital citizens. The Essential Fluencies of innovative learning are integrated into the whole curriculum and structured in a way that develops the skills our students need to succeed, today and in the future.
A strong advisory program is integrated into our ‘Transformation and Discovery’ (T&D) program. This program offers opportunities for students to work on personal projects which foster their Future Fluent mindsets and advanced technology applications, as well as their project management and design thinking skills.
Subjects and Electives
The Middle School curriculum consists of both core subjects and electives. The core subject areas include English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education/Health, Arabic and Islamic Education (for Muslim students). Electives offered include Art, Coding & Robotics, Design & Technology, Drama, Music, French, Spanish and Sports Studies. Please note Grade 6 have the opportunity to try a range of electives before selecting three to study in Grade 7 and Grade 8.
Students learn best when they feel safe and secure. Young adolescents have an increasing need for autonomy but they also seek peer acceptance. Each grade level is supported by two Heads of Grade (HoG) with overarching responsibility for student wellbeing and management. This team reports to the Dean of Students.
Students are guided and supported through tiers of Wellbeing layers to make sure all members have staff to go to in times of need and are supported to make choices based on the values associated with Respect in the community. Students are reminded of our Behaviour Policy from the MS Student Handbook and are given opportunities to learn from their mistakes from a Restorative practice approach and not a Punitive approach. Student behaviours are managed in the classroom, then depending on the behaviours, are escalated to the Heads of Grades, the Dean of Students, and if necessary, to the Principal, to work with parents, counsellors and the student themselves to rectify the actions and their impact on themselves, their peers and the community.
Middle School Counselling
The Middle School Counselling team is made up of 2 full time counsellors. The purpose of the Middle School Counselling Team is to provide comprehensive, developmental guidance and support to all students in the Middle School. The Middle School counsellors promote personal, interpersonal, emotional and academic development for all students through:
- The review of student records to assist the scheduling and placement of students from the beginning of the school year.
- Regular collaborative meetings with teachers, administrators and parents to discuss student needs.
- The collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to identify and address students’ needs.
- The provision of information and support to students and families about adolescent development, educational goals, decision making, interpersonal relationships, personal responsibility and other skills essential for Middle Schoolers being successful and productive global citizens.
- The provision and prevention, intervention and crisis response services to students and families. When necessary, our counsellors refer students and families to outside resources.
After School Activities
The school offers a wide range of activities outside school hours. These range from athletics to academics. The programs offered vary seasonally, as well as from year to year depending on supply and demand. A few of the more specialized clubs require a fee, but many are provided within the school framework at no extra charge.
- Model United Nations
- Old Time Radio Show
- Anime & Manga Drawing
- Islamic Art
- Pilates/Body Balance
- Life Skills, Arts and Technology
- Arabic Homework Club
- Book Club
- Intramural Sports
- Knowledge Masters
- Harry Potter Crafts
- Creative Expression
- Create Arabic Videos
External After School Activities are also available with paid service providers.
Emirates Athletic Conference (EAC) (Grades 6 - 8)
Students can try out for U14 Athletic teams, which participate in the EAC (Emirates Athletic Conference, whose member schools include 7 other schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi).
Students who are not selected for the U14 teams are able to develop their skills in our Development League for the following sports: Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer and Badminton.
Week Without Walls
WWW is a series of academic, social and interpersonal learning experiences that occur outside the traditional classroom setting. Based on a solid curricular foundation, WWW extends students’ academic skills in authentic, “real life” situations and involves Creativity, Activity and/or Service. There are both local and foreign trip experiences. There is an additional cost for WWW which generally takes place for a week during February or March.
The Middle School Student Council is dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for students, providing services to the school and community, and making the lives of students more enjoyable. The organization serves as a link between students and teachers, organizes social activities, and assists the greater school community in various events and activities throughout the year. Students from Grades 6-8 are eligible to serve on the Student Council. Students are elected by their peers to serve as class representatives or members of the executive council. Together with the staff and administration, the Student Council has created eligibility requirements for students wishing to serve in student government. It is considered a privilege to be selected, and students involved with the student government are leaders who demonstrate the qualities of exceptional and successful students.
The Middle School Ambassadors are a team of students who help to welcome new students into the Middle School while developing their own leadership skills. The nomination process to become an ambassador begins when teachers nominate students who show potential leadership skills and have shown a concern for others. Selected students from the nominations are invited to apply by filling out a short written application. Based on teacher recommendations and the short answer application and when needed an interview, students are chosen to serve as a Student Ambassador. Throughout the year the Ambassadors lead other Middle School students in community building activities. They lead transition activities for the incoming Grade 6 classes as well as being buddied up with new students entering DAA throughout the year to help ensure they have a smooth transition into our school. The Ambassadors represent our student body at school events and address parents during some Middle School initiatives for parents. Also, in addition to representing the Middle School, the Ambassadors participate in activities which explore aspects of leadership to help them develop their own leadership styles.
Meet the Middle School Leadership Team 2020-2021
More to Explore
Future Fluent by DesignDAA has an American Curriculum that embeds creative design, cutting-edge robotics and digital fluencies at its core
Individualized ApproachFinding the right university for our diverse group of students is paramount
VigorWe develop our learners not to simply go through the motions but to go through the emotions
Outstanding HeritageFounded over 20 years ago, DAA is the only outstanding American Curriculum school in the United Arab Emirates since 2011.
Voices of InnovationDAA provides students with an unlimited range of opportunities to believe in and communicate the power of their ideas and actions
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