School News

Chef Yasser joins Ajman Academy as new cafeteria supplier!
Over the last 2 days our teachers from both primary and secondary have attended development training sessions which are focused upon pedagogy and personal reflection. Completion of this training will result in all necessary secondary teachers being MYP qualified.

School policies

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Anti-Bullying Policy

Rationale

At Ajman Academy we commit ourselves to providing an environment where all students feel safe and protected from harm. This framework endeavours to provide a set of guiding principles to promote a safe, caring and happy learning environment for all members of our school community; to ensure that all students become confident, self-motivated and independent lifelong learners.

Today, unfortunately, schools both large and small contain some students with the potential for bullying. As an Academy, we recognise that bullying does occur and have therefore put into place a clear set of guidelines that recognises bullying as being anti-social and unacceptable. This document will also explain how the Academy will deal with bullying and cyberbullying, bullying complaints, and the provision of intervention.

Through the Academy’s PSHE programme, we will use teachable time to raise student awareness of our zero tolerance for all bullying behaviour, how to deal with a bully, and what avenues of support are provided within the school if one is a victim. In the case of cyber-bullying, the school will provide cyber-bullying safety strategies and Internet support materials during PSHE time and embed it in Information Technology classes and throughout the curriculum.

This policy applies to all members of our school community, which includes students, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents/caregivers, and visitors to the school. As members of the AJACs community we have a responsibility to support and promote this document for the benefit of all.

Definition of bullying

Acts of bullying can happen anywhere. It can be in the classroom, in the playground, on the sports field, transiting from home to school, on school transport and through the use of electronic technology, in particular; text messages or emails, posting unkind messages, inappropriate image tagging, rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites or the posting of embarrassing pictures, videos or the use of fake profiles to hurt, threaten, blackmail, or lower self-esteem in a student.

Victims of bullying may hesitate to report the behaviour out of fear of retribution, or because they feel that they should deal with the problem on their own. The impact of bullying may be manifested by poor grades, solitude or moodiness at home, or nervous reactions such as loss of appetite or insomnia.

Bullying involves a person being hurt, distressed, pressured or victimised by repeated intentional attacks by another individual or group. Bullies abuse less powerful individuals by intimidation and/or harassment. Bullying may involve physical, verbal, textual, psychological or social behaviour. For example:

Physical - hitting, punching, grabbing, pushing, scratching, biting, spitting, tripping, pulling hair

Emotional– being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting

Racial– racial taunts, name calling, gestures, graffiti

Religious– religious taunts, name calling

Verbal - name calling, teasing, putdowns, sarcasm, ethnic or religious insults; physical, social or academic disability insults

Textual - passing notes, writing on desks or in Student Planners/Diaries. Electronic forms: SMS, email; social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, ‘What’s app’ etc.

Social - ignoring, excluding, mimicking, spreading rumours; defaming, dirty looks, intimidation, extortion, stealing, hiding or breaking possessions; inappropriate photos on social networking sites.

Why it is important to respond to bullying

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Students who bully need to learn different ways of behaving. We have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

Aims of our policy

  • To ensure that all students, parents and staff are aware of the above definition of bullying and the distressing effect it has on its victims
  • To ensure that all students, parents and staff are fully aware of the referral procedures for reporting bullying incidents and the strategies adopted for supporting those involved in these incidents
  • To establish a climate in which students who are bullied, or think another student is being bullied, can speak freely to an appropriate staff member with the full knowledge that they will be listened to and receive a prompt, appropriate and sensitive response
  • To create an Academy community where bullying is recognised as unacceptable and where all students feel valued, secure and happy

School responsibilities

  • provide access to the anti-bullying policy to all members of the school community, via the school website
  • involve staff, parents and UAE approved agencies, in supporting the procedures instigated across the school
  • ensure the staff work within the guidelines of the policy
  • provide support and guidance to targets of bullying
  • provide intervention with individuals who bully others
  • use the PSHE curriculum to discuss all aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to behave towards and respect each other

Teacher responsibilities

  • model anti-bullying attitudes and behaviour
  • take responsibility for either teaching the PSHE/PSHE programme or supporting it
  • support the School Aims 2 & 3 of tolerance, respect and valuing diversity
  • listen and respond to reports of bullying, provide support and refer as needed
  • implement the school code of conduct and anti-bullying policy

Parent responsibilities

  • support the values of tolerance and respect in the home
  • encourage your child to exercise these values in all contexts including at school
  • report bullying and encourage your child to do so
  • provide support and encourage your child to seek help
  • work with the school to resolve bullying issues

Student responsibilities

  • show respect for all members of the school community
  • speak out against bullying and report it when you see it support students who are bullied
  • respect and support School Prefect initiatives
  • support the Student Representative of House and Council to assist with anti-bullying suggestions

Policy application

Action to be taken when bullying is suspected

Teachers will respond to all episodes of bullying in order to send a clear message that it is unacceptable. Different responses may be appropriate depending on the nature and degree of the bullying. The questions identified below, will be used initially to determine if the incident is primarily bullying or if falls into another sanctions category.


The teacher will ask the student the following types of questions:

  • Was there teasing or aggressive words or actions said?
  • Was the bullying unprovoked?
  • Did the bullying intend to hurt, harm or frighten?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of the above, then it is bullying will be followed. See ‘Our Response to Bullying’ in the flowchart.

If it’s not a bullying incident it could be:

  • Conflict – this may require conflict resolution
  • Discipline – this may require HoY/TL/ SMT Sanctions
  • Learning – this may require learning support.

Students

To prevent bullying students need to:

  • work to create a happy school environment for all
  • respect themselves and others
  • learn to tolerate and accept individual differences
  • stand up against bullying behaviour
  • support the school policy on bullying

If you are bullied YOU need to:

  • tell the bully to stop
  • seek help and talk about it to someone you trust
  • report it to a teacher
  • try not to show you are upset- this is hard but a bully thrives on someone’s fear
  • stay with a group of friends/people- there is safety in numbers
  • don’t fight back as it may make matters worse, however, if you decide to fight back, talk to a teacher or parent first

In cyber bullying YOU need to:

  • tell a trusted adult about the bullying
  • don’t open or read messages from cyber bullies
  • tell a teacher/HoY or administrator at your school if school related
  • don’t erase the messages- they may be be used to take action
  • protect yourself- never agree to meet face to face with anyone you meet online
  • block bullies on ‘chat or instant’ messaging websites
  • always make sure your privacy settings are tight

If you know someone who is being bullied YOU need to:

  • care enough to do something about it, whether it affects you personally or not
  • step in early and try to defuse the situation before it gets out of hand
  • report it to a teacher or parent - take a friend with you if you want
  • don’t be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully
  • don’t be tempted to forward cyber messages on
  • don’t join a cyber-group just to find out ‘what is going on’

Parents

If your child is bullied you need to:

  • work with the school to support your child
  • call the school not the other child’s parents
  • report the incidents even if your child does not want this
  • tell your child the following:
    • that bullying is wrong
    • all students have the right to attend school without fear
    • the problem is unlikely to stop without adult intervention
    • if cyberbullying and school related, make a screen print of the bullying comments/photos and take to the Deputy Principals in charge of pastoral care
    • check your child’s device and computer privacy settings
    • report the bullying person’s cyber name to the website provider
    • if extremely explicit take the screenshots to the police or local safeguarding authority when set in place by the UAE
    • help your child learn to stand up against bullying behaviour
    • support the School’s stance on bullying and their various policies

If you find out your child has bullied another student you need to be firm and:

  • tell them it is wrong and to stop
  • know that the profile of bullies includes:
    • both boys and girls
    • often popular outgoing and successful students
  • students who may have also been victims of bullying

If your child is cyberbullying you need to tell them:

  • realise that there will always be a footprint in the cyberspace of your child’s behaviour and it can be traced
  • realise that cyberbullying has no geographical boundaries and your child can be involved in it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • take away IT hardware from your child’s bedroom, particularly at night
  • work with the school and support the school policy on anti-bullying

If your child sees another child being bullied you need to tell them:

  • it is wrong and not to support the bully
  • to support the student who is bullied
  • to report it to a teacher
  • help them by making an anonymous report by leaving an envelope in the school office for an appropriate trusted teacher

What indicators do we use to measure our success?

  1. Record number of students who have come forward to report bullying.
  2. Record number of incidents and note decline of frequency over time.
  3. Review sample cases, for reflection and future planning.
  4. Record number of cases where bullying has stopped.
  5. Through a PSHE student survey and a staff survey, note any comments or strategies students/teachers are using on ‘Feeling Safe and Secure’ at school.

Assessment Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 At Ajman Academy we believe that assessment provides the basis of informed teaching, helping students to overcome difficulties and ensuring that teaching builds upon what has been learned. It is also the means by which students understand what they have achieved and what they need to work on. It is important that we interpret the principles of assessment as detailed in this policy to suit the particular circumstances; there must be written School Policy and Procedures documents in place that should be appended to this group-wide policy.

2. The Purpose of Assessment

2.1 Assessment should support teaching and learning by identifying what students already know and can do and how they might move to the next level/grade. Assessment, therefore, should be evident in all lessons.

  • For students, the purpose of assessment is to empower them to become better learners by understanding their own attainment and how to progress and achieve beyond it.
  • For teachers, assessment should develop an understanding of the individual needs of students so that target setting is meaningful and informs planning, teaching and learning for progress.
  • For other staff and school leaders, assessment information will inform an understanding of the current and potential student outcomes.
  • For parents, assessment information will both inform them of their child’s attainment and allow them to understand how their child may maximise achievement.

3. The Principles of Assessment

3.1 Assessment should:

  • Recognise and celebrate individual successes in order to encourage and motivate all students.
  • Be based on specific learning outcomes/objectives and these should be clearly identified by the teacher and understood by the students.
  • Allow students to understand how summative assessment is arrived at by the teacher and so encourage them to become reflective learners who take more responsibility for their own learning.
  • Help shape targets for improvement.
  • Allow teachers to plan for teaching and learning that meets the individual needs of all the students in the classroom.
  • Underpin teaching and learning in order to ensure progress for every child.
  • Be accessible for parents and enable them to take an active and informed part in their child’s education.

4. Aims and Objectives

4.1 The aims and objectives of this policy are:

  • To raise the standards of achievement and expectations throughout the school.
  • To promote high quality learning and teaching.
  • To maintain accurate records of the progress and attainment of individual children and cohorts.
  • To ensure consistency in assessing achievement and identifying achievable and challenging targets for each child.
  • To enable the active involvement of students in their own learning.
  • To enable teachers and other professionals to use assessment judgements to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of individual students.
  • To provide regular information for parents that enable them to support their child’s learning.
  • To provide the information that allows school leaders to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school and to evaluate the school’s performance against its own previous attainment over time and against national and international standards.
  • To promote continuous improvement by using benchmarking information and monitoring standards.

5. Types of Assessment

5.1 At Ajman Academy school we use a combination of formative and summative assessment as outlined below:

5.2 Formative Assessment (Assessment for Learning – AfL)

5.2.1 Formative assessment is a powerful way of raising students’ achievement. It is based on the principle that students will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim.

5.2.2 Formative assessments are used to:

  • Identify children’s strengths and gaps in their skills/knowledge
  • Identify next steps for learning
  • Inform future planning
  • Enable appropriate strategies to be employed
  • Facilitate the setting of appropriate targets for the class, group, and individual
  • Track the child’s rate of progress
  • Facilitate an evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning
  • Inform future teaching and learning strategies
  • Identify individuals and groups for specific intervention support.

5.3 Key characteristics of Formative Assessment:

Using effective questioning techniques:

  • Range of techniques in class (no hands up, pair discussion before answering, all student response systems, etc.)
  • Engagement of all students in questioning.
  • Quality and range of written questions
  • Understanding of higher order skills to improve quality of questioning.

Using marking and feedback strategies:

  • Regular formative comments on written work.
  • Creative ways to give feedback.

Sharing learning goals:

  • Sharing long term objectives and sharing lesson objectives with students
  • Agreeing short term and long-term targets with students, including target grades/levels.

Peer and self-assessment:

  • Creating opportunities for peer and self-assessment.
  • Developing students’ confidence and ability to assess accurately.

5.4 Summative Assessment - Assessment of Learning

5.4.1 Summative assessment (Assessment of Learning) is important for informing both parents and teachers of a child’s attainment and progress. This will also inform whole school target setting and prediction of a cohort’s future attainment

5.4.2 Summative assessments:

  • Identify attainment through one-off standardised tests at any given point in time
  • Record performance in a specific area on a specific date
  • Provide age standardised information
  • Provide phase-level data against which the school will be judged
  • Provide information about cohort areas of strength and weakness to build from in the future

6. Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 All stakeholders play an active role in student assessment to support learners in maximising their achievement.

6.2 The Role of Senior Leaders in Assessment

6.2.1 Senior Leaders aim to use assessment procedures and processes to drive whole school improvement by:

  • Ensuring that all teachers know what is expected of them in assessing students.
  • Helping teachers make well-founded judgements about students’ attainment and progress.
  • Monitoring that formative assessment is a key factor in planning for teaching and learning.
  • Monitoring the accuracy of the information provided to parents about their child’s attainment and progress.
  • Tracking the attainment and progress of individual students and groups of students over time.
  • Monitoring practice in assessment and take appropriate actions.
  • Using assessment information when planning training and CPD.
  • Comparing the progress made by different groups of students to ensure that no group is disadvantaged.
  • Ensuring that there is enough flexibility in assessment expectations so that individual teams can adopt processes that are most conducive to progress in their particular subject/area.
  • Ensuring students are supported in making informed curriculum choices.
  • Using assessment and monitoring to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of students.
  • Monitoring the role Middle Leaders in ensuring good practice in assessment is consistent across all lessons.
  • Ensuring that any pedagogical developments in assessment practice are implemented where appropriate.

6.3 The Role of Middle Leaders in Assessment

6.3.1 with the support of Senior School Leaders, the Middle Leaders will:

  • Ensure that their team understand the assessment requirements for their subject/area as well as the different ways in which teachers can assess students’ progress.
  • Periodically monitor the assessment of students’ work in their subject/area through work scrutiny, lesson observation or otherwise.
  • Ensure assessment informs knowledge of student progress and raise any concerns with Senior Leaders as appropriate.
  • Ensure that all schemes of work allow for formative assessment to become an integral part of teaching and learning.
  • Ensure that the curriculum plan allows for formal assessment of progress to be timed appropriately so that data collections accurately and reliably reflect current attainment.
  • Ensure all teachers are involved in the moderation of work of other students so that consistent practice in assessment is maximised.
  • Use assessment information, in liaison with Senior Leaders where appropriate, to plan for or arrange intervention strategies.

6.4 The Role of Teachers in Assessment

6.4.1 all teachers should:

  • Adopt a range of methods to ensure that they can assess the progress of all students accurately.
  • Encourage students to actively engage in formative assessment.
  • Ensure that assessment builds students’ motivation, confidence and self-esteem.
  • Ensure that lessons begin with clear expectations and students are aware of how progress will be measured.
  • Ensure that all students know and understand the learning objectives of the lesson.
  • Identify through assessment, and intervene with as necessary, those students at risk of underachievement.
  • Ensure that the results of assessment are used to inform planning for differentiation and challenge in lessons.
  • Reward good progress as appropriate.
  • Use the expertise of the Teaching Assistant and information from Individual Education Plans to inform the assessment process.
  • Ensure that opportunities to use assessment to promote the development of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills in the students are embraced.
  • Ensure that adequate and appropriate assessment is made of student attainment prior to completing data collections so that the information recorded is accurate and reliable.
  • Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning through self/peer assessment, setting appropriate targets (with guidance) and asking for help and advice when necessary.
  • Adopt creative approaches to formative assessment in order to maximise student engagement in the assessment process.
  • Share concerns or praise arising from assessment information with the relevant homeroom teacher /form tutor as appropriate.
  • Ensure books are monitored and returned to students at least every three weeks.
  • Ensure that students receive regular feedback on their work. This should be provided with at least one comment identifying the strengths of the work. There should be at least one other comment written as a question that identifies the area a student should develop further (e.g. ‘2 stars and a wish’).
  • Ensure all students receive feedback at least every 6 weeks.

6.5 The Role of Students in Assessment

6.5.1 all students should:

  • Participate actively in assessment opportunities in lessons.
  • Take responsibility for understanding and acting on both written and oral feedback given by their teachers or peers.
  • Ensure that their entitlement to advice and guidance on how to improve their academic achievements are fulfilled.
  • Support other students constructively when asked to be involved in peer assessment

6.6 The Role of Parents in Assessment

6.6.1 all parents/carers should:

  • Discuss with their child the assessment report sent to them that includes a summary of levels/ grades for each subject.
  • Liaise with the subject teacher or homeroom / form tutor about any concerns regarding their child’s progress as identified through assessment.

7. Marking

1. At Ajman Academy we believe that marking and feedback should form an integral part of the teaching and learning process by enabling teachers to inform children individually of their achievements, address misconceptions and celebrate good work. The responses to children’s work should focus on successes and areas of development against learning objectives and outcomes, enabling children to become reflective learners. The information gained should then feed directly into assessment and planning to create a cohesive and efficient system.

7.2 Reasons for Marking

  • To recognise, encourage and reward children’s efforts and celebrate successes with them.
  • To provide a dialogue between teacher and child, which provides clear, appropriate feedback, referring to the learning objectives and/or learning outcomes.
  • To further develop children’s confidence in reviewing their own work and setting their own targets by identifying the next steps in their learning.
  • To indicate how a piece of work can be corrected or improved.
  • To help students to develop an understanding of the standards they need to reach in order to achieve the next step in their learning.
  • To identify students who are below or exceeding expectations and therefore require extra intervention or further challenge.
  • To provide evidence of assessments made and to help moderate the interpretation of learning objectives and standards across the school.
  • To involve parents in reviewing their child’s progress and to help in reporting to parents.
  • To aid curriculum planning.

7.3 Marking is pointless if it does not have any impact. Marking should praise, but also give guidance, consolidation and challenge. Marking does not have to be at the end of the lesson or at the end of a task, but it should clearly guide the student onto the next steps in their learning and inform the teacher when it is necessary for them to intervene (often referred to as “Next Step Marking” or “Intervention Marking”). Teachers use focussed marking to assess children’s progress in relation to planned learning objectives and to identify children’s strengths and gaps in their skills/knowledge. Next steps should be shared with the child, in an age-appropriate way, in order to provide feedback to the child about where they are in relation to this aim and the steps necessary to achieve the aim. Next steps information is used to inform planning for subsequent lessons and to facilitate the setting of appropriate targets for the class, group or individual. Grouping should be flexible in order for teachers to effectively address the needs of children with similar gaps in learning.

7.4 Marking and feedback should:

  • Be manageable for teachers.
  • Be both oral and written comments, with verbal comments being recorded.
  • Respond to individual learning needs.
  • Indicate to what extent the learning objective has been met.
  • Be related specifically to the agreed learning objective or outcomes.
  • Give children regular opportunities to respond to their marked work.
  • Have a clear distinction between comments relating to the child’s achievement and their effort.
  • Encourage and motivate students through realistic comments.
  • Highlight what the next area for learning should be.
  • Show students that their work is valued.
  • Be used to inform the teacher’s short and medium term planning of the next step.
  • Show evidence of student’s self and peer marking whenever appropriate.
  • Recognise the importance of verbal discussions as well as written comments.
  • Be consistent across the school and understood by all those involved including the children.

7.5 Expectations

Not all pieces of work can be ‘quality marked’. Teachers need to decide whether work will be acknowledged or given detailed attention. Marking should focus first and foremost on the learning objective and/or learning outcomes. It is expected that schools will set their own marking procedures to suit their individual circumstances and context, yet ensuring that teachers provide “Next Step” feedback to students in each subject area at least once every two weeks. We recognise that often the best way to communicate next steps is through verbal feedback given directly to the child by the teacher; however a record of this should be made in the student’s book, along with the next step.

8. Recording of Assessment

8.1 Subject teachers need to record the day-to-day assessment of students’ work and Middle Leaders need to ensure that assessments are recorded in sufficient detail and in a format that can be interpreted by others. The exact form of the recording of these assessments is left to school policy and procedures. However, it is expected that each teacher maintain a mark-book that should contain information on each individual pupil in their classes, including targets for the year/phase and SEN information. It should also include standardised test results, summative unit assessment marks, and interim / end of year steps/grades.

9. Tracking Student Progress

9.1 Information on student progress gathered through planned assessments should be recorded within a systematic tracking system. This will allow practitioners and managers to have a clear picture of whether individual students are progressing through experiences and outcomes at an appropriate pace. Systematic tracking of progress will then allow practitioners to identify next steps in learning and inform reporting on progress and achievement. Within the tracking system, progress should be recorded with reference to student background characteristics (e.g. gender, SEN status, EAL status, ability level etc.) in order to identify trends in performance within student groups that might require further intervention. Tracking procedures should also ensure that data can be easily analysed by Senior Leaders for school self-evaluation, and presented effectively to fulfil any requirements for external agencies (e.g. for inspection/accreditation purposes).

10. Reporting to Parents

10.1 Reporting the progress of students has two main purposes:

  • Firstly, it provides clear positive and constructive feedback about children’s learning and progress.
  • It also creates opportunities for discussion about the next steps in learning, between students and those teaching and supporting them.

It is important that this process is manageable and proportionate while providing the necessary information.

10.2 Parents are entitled to information on their children’s strengths, progress and achievements. They should also be informed of any gaps in their children’s progress and have the opportunity to discuss how they can help.We have a duty to ensure that parents receive written feedback of a high quality that meets their needs while fulfilling any requirements from accreditation bodies. To ensure these aims are met, the procedure and format of written reports should be formally reviewed on a regular basis and at least once every three years..

11. Target Setting

11.1 Schools are required to set student targets, in line with their curriculum framework and outcomes. Students are set targets in each subject at the beginning of the academic year. These targets are set by their subject teachers using professional judgement and taking into account:

  • The prior attainment of each student
  • The CAT IB/GCSE Indicator for each student
  • The CAT ability level for each student (High, Above, Average, Below, Low)
  • The individual CAT scores for each student
  • Data from standardised tests (PTM, PTE, NGRT, IB, .)
  • A suitable level of ‘challenge’ to reflect high academic expectations

11.2 Targets are not designed to be rigid - rather they can be modified in light of progress above expectations. Targets should not, however, be down varied due to lack of progress. As targets are reported to parents, in line with the procedures outlined above, they should be realistic and in line with the CAT Indicators (where available). This will help to avoid generating targets that students will not be able to achieve and, consequently, generating unrealistic parental expectations.

11.3 Curricular targets should also be set regularly by staff and students. These targets are not levels or grades; they are specific to knowledge and skills and are derived from assessment criteria and Learning Ladders for individual subjects. They must be clearly understood by the students and provide guidance on how to take the next steps in their learning. They should also be measurable, attainable, relevant and time-constrained.

Behavior Management Policy - Primary School

Mission Statement

For all students to learn in an environment where they are valued as unique, are safe emotionally and socially and able to contribute responsibly to the school community, developing attributes of global citizens.

Policy Statement

At Ajman Academy we nurture children in a happy and safe environment sharing beliefs about expectations of behaviour centered around encouraging children to grow and learn responsibly.

We believe the IB Learner Profile provides a solid foundation for students as they develop as responsible, respectful and mature members of both the school and the wider communities.

The goal of all behaviour management is to have children back on task and learning as quickly and as gently as possible.

Principles of Behaviour Management

  • all students have a right to learn
  • all members of the school community should feel valued and safe
  • all staff share the responsibility to care for all students, mindful of their uniqueness
  • behaviour management strategies should be positive, clear, age appropriate, assertive and focussed on students being engaged and challenged in their own learning

Acceptable behaviour is respectful and considerate of others and our surroundings.
The management of inappropriate behaviour should be accomplished through:

  • preventative strategies
  • distraction
  • humour
  • careful lesson planning
  • in class reflection (children must not be sent to wait outside any classroom)
  • avoidance of nagging or lecturing
  • assertive, respectful tone

Sometimes students will display behaviour beyond that which is reasonable for a class teacher to deal with during a lesson. In these cases, students should be refereed to either the Pastoral Leaders or the Assistant Primary Principal as outlined in the Procedures section .

Bullying

Bullying is defined, but not limited to, behaviour where one child targets another child or children repeatedly with the intent on hurting them physically, emotionally or socially through physical contact, exclusion, threats or aggressive language.

The purpose of these procedures are to clarify for the school community steps to be taken in the instance that a child displays behaviour considered inappropriate.

These behaviours, and similar, should always be managed by the class teacher (or specialist) according to the approaches outlined in the Primary Behaviour Management Policy:

  • talking out of turn
  • unnecessary moving around the class
  • off task
  • silliness
  • homework
  • not following class or school routines

Should children display the following behaviours, they should be referred to the Pastoral Leaders as soon as possible but not necessarily immediately:

  • defiance, talking back, confrontation
  • low level roughness - pushing, fighting hitting * bullying
  • minor conflict resolution between staff
  • damage to property

The role of the Pastoral Leaders also includes:

  • pastoral care of teachers
  • classroom management advice

Pastoral Leaders will meet with referred children on the same day. They will follow this procedure:

  • First instance: assertive talk with the child to support teacher and promote behaviour most conducive to child being responsible for their learning
  • Second instance: discussions with child and separately with class teacher/s (if required) to identify the triggers for the inappropriate behaviour; child warned and teacher advised
  • Third instance: written target setting and accountability structure put in place; parents informed by phone or email

Should children display the following behaviours, they should be referred to the Principal or Assistant Principal as soon as possible:

  • violence
  • inappropriate behaviour while travelling on buses
  • racism or sexism
  • escalation of incidents dealt with by Pastoral Leaders, especially bullying * inappropriate use of technology and social media
  • referrals from parents
  • serious conflict between staff and staff or staff and students

If there is any doubt for any member of the school community as to what the next step in resolving any matter is, they can deal with any class teacher or member of leadership and they will be advised according to the policy and procedure documents.

Behavior Management Policy - Secondary School

Introduction

Ajman Academy sets high standards and expectations through highlighting and praising good behaviour. We encourage students to respect themselves, each other, adults and property. We endeavour to apply rules fairly, clearly and consistently. We aim to provide a happy, caring environment with challenging activities. Under no circumstances do we use any form of corporal punishment, nor is it our intention that a student is belittled or shamed before their peers. In the case of a serious incident or persistent unacceptable behaviour we will always endeavour to involve parents in resolving the situation. The home/Academy partnership is seen as vital in establishing and maintaining high standards of behaviour and appropriate conduct. It is important not to see behaviour as a separate issue. It is taken within the wider context of the school, as an integral part of the teaching and learning taking place and t he overall organisation of lessons and other activities. The Academy's behaviour and rewards process is presented alongside the Behaviour and Sanctions Policy and one is intended to support and complement the other.

Our rules are based on the following principles:

Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour likely to hurt or upset another member of the Academy. Poor standards of behaviour show a lack of respect for others, disrupting their activities and learning. Through the implementation of this policy, students will learn the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and they will learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They will be helped to develop self-control, respect for the needs of others and respect for other’s property. Appropriate behaviour is modeled by the teaching and non-teaching staff of Ajman Academy, who will readily and regularly give explanations to pupils with regard to their behaviour. We trust that the parents of Ajman Academy share this aim to model appropriate behaviour so that students are given clear and consistent guidance. Ajman Academy is a community where bullying in any form will not be tolerated. Further guidance is given in the Academy’s anti-bullying and cyber-bullying policies.

Scope:

The Behaviour and Sanctions Policy will be applied to all students on Academy premises, but will also form the foundation for acceptable behaviour outside the Academy where students are in uniform and/or taking part in organised trips and events or where their behaviour is violent, illegal, may bring the reputation of the Academy into disrepute or may place other students at risk.

Students'
Rights
Students'
Responsibilities
To be valued by others To value others in the community
To be treated with respect To respect the views and property of others
To be supported to achieve To allow and support others to achieve
To be supported to learn To support and encourage an environment for learning
To be treated equally to others To be tolerant and accept different perspectives and ideas
To have an opportunity to be heard To listen to other people's opinions
To be dealth with fairly and consistently To accept and support the Academy's rules and expectations.

Examples and classification of levels of misbehaviour (Appendix 1)

Examples of misbehaviour are given below and the list is by no means exhaustive. Repetition of the same type of misbehaviour, lying about misbehaviour, showing no remorse and failing to comply with instructions when challenged over misbehaviour will raise the level of sanction. Any mitigating circumstances will be taken into account and may reduce the level of sanction. Whilst misbehaviour outside the classroom may not directly impact on teaching and learning it does damage the ethos and social structure of the Academy community and is taken just as seriously. Where new examples of misbehaviour are identified they will be periodically added to this grid.

Appendix 1

Lower Level Misbehaviour

Examples may include: talking over classmates or whilst the teacher is speaking; not paying attention during lessons; failure to complete classwork or homework to an appropriate standard; not completing sufficient work in class; failure to bring the correct books and/or equipment to lessons; running on the corridor; using the outside “fire doors” for entry/exit; pushing into Canteen queue; arriving late to class without excuse; talking persistently in class or in an assembly; rough and tumble or play fighting; arriving late to Academy without a genuine reason.

It is expected that the Member of Staff that encounters them will deal with lower level behaviour issues, such as these. The student’s Form Tutor and Parents may be informed via the student’s planner.

Mid-level Misbehaviour

Regular repetition of lower level misbehaviours or: throwing items across the class; shouting/calling out and interrupting teaching and learning; not completing/handing in homework on time; teasing and taunting classmates; use of mobile phones during lessons and without the permission of a teacher; arguing with members of staff; truancy within Academy, ie., not going to a timetabled lesson; truancy from Academy, ie., not coming to Academy without a valid reason; deliberate damage to textbooks or other students' work; uniform infringements, (wrong shoes, too many ear-rings, too-short skirts, etc.) or extreme/inappropriate hair style, (colour and/or cut); littering, not clearing tables or throwing food in the canteen.

It is expected that persistent lower level misbehaviour or single acts of mid-level misbehaviour will be referred upwards to the appropriate Head of Department and/or Year Leader . The student’s Form Tutor and Parents should be informed.

Higher level Misbehaviour

Regular repetition of mid-level misbehaviours or: vandalism/deliberate damage (including graffiti), verbal or physical intimidation of other students amounting to bullying; deliberately behaving in a way that is likely to cause injury to others; serious, repeated or extended verbal abuse of another student or member of staff; taking items that do not belong to you; possession of tobacco or related items such as pipes and cigarette lighters; sexist behaviour/discrimination or use of sexist language; racist behaviour/discrimination or use of racist language; relatively “minor” assault/fighting (where contact is made);

Any persistent mid-level misbehaviour and/or single acts of serious misbehaviour involving damage or risk to person or property must be referred through the Year Leader/Head of Department or Head of Department to the Assistant Principal.

Very Serious Misbehaviour

Regular repetition of higher level misbehaviours or: behaviours classed as “criminal” outside Academy including possession, use and/or distribution of alcohol, weapons, pornography, drugs, serious physical assault. Wherever a student’s behaviour puts other students at serious risk.

The final decision on very serious misbehaviour that may result in a permanent exclusion from the Academy will be made by the Principal and approved by the Board of Directors.

Responding to different levels of misbehaviour

(Appendix 2)

Level 1-
First Response
Lower level misbehaviour
There is an escalating series of ways in which a teacher can respond to poor behaviour. It may simply be an extended pause, a “look” or a verbal warning. The teacher may explicitly remind the student of the agreed rules and protocols. The teacher may move the student to another seat within the room. The student may be asked to leave the room for a short time and the teacher will explain their expectations before the student is re-admitted to the classroom. If appropriate the student may be sent to a partner classroom for the remainder of the lesson. The tone of the teacher’s voice may indicate disapproval but shouting at a child is ineffective and should not happen.
Level 2-
Detention
As a stronger response to lower level misbehaviour the teacher may give a break-time or lunch-time detention and will keep a record of behaviour concerns by writing a note to parents in the student's planner. Unresolved incidents or persistent misbehaviour will be reported to the Head of Department, who may also give a break-time or lunch-time detention and may in turn refer the matter to the student's Form Tutor and Year Leader.
Level 3-
Detention
Mid level misbehaviour
Persistent lower level misbehaviour or mid-level misbehaviour will result in the involvement of the Year Leader. The Year Leader will speak to the student and their Form Tutor and may organise a break-time detention or lunch-time detention. The Year Leader will work with the Head of Department, Class Teacher and Form Tutor to determine lesson targets for student.
Level 3-
Senior Leadership Team Detention
Higher level misbehaviour
Serious or persistent misbehaviour, or poor behaviour in a number of subject areas will result in the involvement of the Year Leader/Section, Assistant Head or Deputy Principal. (Further clarification/guidance is given in Appendix 3 below)

If a Principal’s Detention (Thursday after school), is given telephone, letter or e-mail will inform parents and a meeting in the Academy may be arranged. The student may also be placed on an academic/behaviour report which will be monitored daily and parents will be contacted on completion of the report period to discuss progress.
Level 4-
Internal Exclusion
Internal exclusions for part or whole day will be used if the Head of Department, Assistant Principal or Deputy Principal is not satisfied that the student is showing sufficient improvement. It may also be used if a student needs to be isolated from their classmates. Internally excluded students will be supervised as they complete their work away from their normal lessons and classmates. This sanction may also be used for serious incidents of misconduct or as a “cooling down” mechanism.
Level 4-
External
(fixed-term) Exclusion
External exclusions (or “suspensions”) will be used in more serious cases of misbehaviour - advised by the Behaviour and Sanctions Policy but ultimately determined by the Heads of Section, Assistant Principal or Deputy Principal. Parental involvement is key where the level of behaviour is such that a fixed-term exclusion is given. This sanction is seen as an opportunity for a student to modify their behaviour before a permanent exclusion from the Academy is applied.
Permanent Exclusion A permanent exclusion will result if a student persistently exhibits serious unacceptable behaviour and shows no attempt to modify their behaviour despite being given opportunities to do so. It will result if a student commits a felony, whether the act takes place inside the Academy, or if the nature of the crime is such that the student’s return to Academy would put other students at risk.

The Principal, when approved by the Director and the MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, applies a permanent exclusion. Parents retain the right to appeal to the Governing Body and the MINISTRY OF EDUCATION against a decision of a permanent exclusion.

Whole School Detention and
Principal’s Detention Guidance

Appendix 3

This is drawn from the older Whole School Detention Policy and is included with the Behavior and Sanctions Policy as additional guidance and reference.

The “Whole School Detention” is designed to respond to Level 3 (mid-level) discipline issues.

The “Whole School Detention” takes place on Thursdays from 1:15PM to 2:15PM.

The Year Leader is the gatekeeper of this detention. The subject teacher, Head of Department and/or form tutor would have dealt with the issue previously at Level 1 and 2. The Year Leader would therefore already be aware of the context via PASS or verbal communication. Alternatively, the issue may have come directly to the Year Leader due to the severity of the problem.

After investigation, the Year Leader will use their professional judgement to determine whether a Thursday “Whole School Detention” is the best solution or whether an alternative intervention would be more appropriate. (Learning Support, “On Report”, etc)

The Year Leader would send the standard detention letter home, (giving at least 24 hours notice), note their action in PASS and oversee the follow up tracking post detention.

In the same vein a Saturday morning “Principal's Detention” could be available as a staged option. This detention is intended to be set at a higher level than the “Whole School Detention” on a Thursday after school.

A list of the students the Year Leader is placing in detention, with the proposed Thursday or Saturday clearly indicated, should be sent to the Deputy Principal at least a week before the event.

The Deputy Principal will cover the Thursday afternoon detentions but in his absence it is expected that a Head of Department will be included in the Thursday afternoon supervision rota. In the absence of the Principal, the Deputy Principal will cover the Saturday morning detention.

Child Protection Policy

Rationale

Ajman Academy (the School) is fully committed to fulfilling its responsibilities in safeguarding its students. This policy is designed in keeping with the school’s Mission, Vision and Values and in particular to “create a student-centred educational environment that addresses the physical, social and emotional needs of each and every child with varying ability levels and learning styles”

Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in the school.

The purpose of this policy is

  • to create an atmosphere within the school which helps students feel safe and able to talk freely, believing that they will be listened to and valued;
  • to raise awareness of all staff about their responsibility identifying and responding to possible concerns of abuse;
  • provide support and guidance to staff;
  • to provide a systematic method of monitoring students thought to be at risk of significant harm.

There are 3 main elements to our policy :

1. Prevention through the teaching and pastoral support offered to students. The promotion of a positive, supportive and secure environment, which encourages self–esteem and values all individuals.

2. Procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse. To promote observance and a sense of responsibility, to report all concerns regarding a person’s safety or welfare to the designated person for child protection, or in the absence of this person to one of the designated persons detailed later in this document.

3. Support for students and staff.

Part 1 - Prevention

The school provides a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment, which promotes the social, physical, psychological and moral development of the individual child.

The school will:

  • seek to maintain an ethos where students feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to;
  • ensure that students know that there are trusted adults within the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
  • include in the curriculum and home room times : opportunities and activities that equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to give them the confidence to seek help.
  • Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from outside agencies.

A - The Children Act (1989 UK) and Every Child Matters

The Children Act 1989 brought together in a single coherent framework the law relating to students in the UK and in many areas it provides excellent guidance for international schools. It aims to strike a balance between the rights of students to express their views on decisions made about their lives, the rights of parents to exercise their responsibilities towards the child and the duty of the interested agencies to intervene where the child's welfare requires it.

Every member of staff teaching at Ajman Academy has a duty to make sure that he/she is aware of any parts of the Act that are relevant as advised by the Leadership Team whose duty it is to ensure that the highest standards for the welfare of our students are maintained.

Under the guidance of The Children Act, Ajman Academy accepts its responsibility in the following areas:

  • Records. School will maintain full records relating to student welfare, health, punishments, accidents, absence, fire, complaints, etc.
  • Recruitment. All staff with close unsupervised access to students will be checked through Criminal Records Bureau disclosures (or equivalent) and/or Police Records.
  • Behaviour. Clear standards of behaviour between staff and students and between student and student will be clear. Staff will be aware of illegal, unwise and unsafe behavior through training and staff handbook. All members of staff must be aware of the possibility of students suffering abuse of any sort and be aware of indicators of abuse. Child Protection awareness will be established as a standing component of the school’s in-service training programme.
  • Documentation. All students and parents are issued with the school’s rules and the school’s code of behaviour, the complaints procedure, serious breaches of discipline and the school’s anti-bullying policy statement.
  • Making Contact. If any student is in doubt about any matter regarding child welfare, he/she should consult the school’s designated staff for child protection matters, immediately for advice or the School Director.
  • Primary and Secondary school teachers and support staff will be vigilant over any signs of adverse well-being, abuse or neglect and log and report any concerns immediately. They will also provide a supportive environment, giving students the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings in a variety of ways – drawing, writing, painting, role-play drama and circle time. Protective behaviours will be taught during PSHE to help students stay safe. Teachers will be mindful that young children need to be able to express themselves in a variety of forms.
  • Providing opportunities for students to express their thoughts, worries , anxieties e.g. safe mail box or email contact – school help .( accessed only by CPO’S). There is also a Complaints Procedure, both informal and formal, which it is the right of all students to activate if they have cause.

Part 2 - Ajman Academy Child Protection Policy & Procedures

Every member of academic and administrative staff of Ajman Academy must know that they have a duty to be aware of the possibilities of child abuse. There are however, key people who have specific responsibilities under child protection procedures. It is the role of the Child Protection officers within the school to ensure all child protection procedures are followed within the school. In addition, to ensure all staff employed including temporary staff and volunteers within the school are aware of the school’s internal procedures, to advise staff and offer support to those requiring this.

Procedures : If any member of staff has the slightest suspicion that a member of the school has been abused by anyone, they should follow the steps below:

  1. Listen carefully to what the person is saying; your response must be to assure them that they have done the right thing by speaking about it ; do not promise solutions or outcomes at this stage.
  2. A verbal concern: Immediately write down exactly what was said, using the person’s own words as far as possible or what you have witnessed. Do NOT tell ANYONE and do not write any personal feelings or suggestions down .The report must be objective keeping to the facts only.
  3. Deliver/ send the written concern directly to the designated Child Protection officers. If possible use the designated form, which can be found on our server in the Child Protection folder. All notes should be signed and dated.
  4. A physical concern: if you have observed physical markings on a person do NOT take a photograph, please draw what you have seen and specify colourings and size on a blank outline of a body. This form will be on the Server in the Child Protection folder.
  5. If you have a complaint that concerns the Principals then report this to a Child Protection officer who will inform the Director immediately.
  6. If the complaint concerns the Director then the CPO will inform the School Board Chair.
  7. The Manager of Finance and Administration should ensure that all ancillary staff are aware of the correct channels of reporting.
  8. All files of concern will be kept in a confidential file, which is stored in a secure place by the child protection officers.
  9. A child that has been identified to the CPO will be monitored and an action plan put in place.

Information Sharing and Confidentiality

We recognise that all matters relating to Child Protection are confidential.

The Director or designated officers will disclose any information on a need to know basis only.

All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with designated officers in order to safeguard children.

All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets.

We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fails to do so. All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the attitude or actions of colleagues.

Excellent and current advice on all matters relating to child protection in schools is available at: http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/childprotection.nsf

Part 3 - Support for students and staff

1. Supporting children

Our school recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth or view the world as a positive place. Our school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Nevertheless, whilst at school their behaviour may still be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn.

Our school will endeavour to support students through:

  • The curriculum to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation.
  • The school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all students and adults a sense of being respected and valued.
  • The implementation of the school’s behaviour management policies.
  • A consistent approach agreed by all staff which will endeavour to ensure the student knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but s/he is valued.
  • A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents, whenever it is in the child’s best interest to do so.

2. Supporting staff

We will support staff who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm as they may find this stressful or upsetting. Our school counselor will be consulted or outside agencies if it deemed necessary.

Complaints Against Staff

1. Procedure if a student makes a complaint of child abuse against a member of staff

The following guidelines are taken from those endorsed by a full range of professional bodies working in this field. All staff are advised to take sensible precautions especially in tutoring, pastoral and one-to-one or small group situations. If a complaint is made against a member of staff then the need for utmost discretion is paramount. An allegation mistakenly made can jeopardise the career of a member of staff and the damage can sometimes be irreversible. Equally, a genuine complaint may be ignored on the pretext that it is frivolous or malicious and this can be damaging to the child. Students who report abuse must be listened to.

On no account should suggestions be made to students as to alternative explanations for their worries.

  • The allegation should be written down by the member of staff to whom the student reports in the first instance and sent in the strictest confidence to either Child Protection officer within 24 hours They will then inform the Principals. No further questioning should take place. Confidentiality should be paramount. If the allegation is made directly to an outside agency, a written report will be made to the Principal. The child should tell the full story of what has happened only once.
  • Any written allegation will then be considered by the Director and referred confidentially to the school solicitor. At all times a written log of meetings and decisions taken must be kept.
  • The Principal must then decide whether there is need for an investigation and the member of staff concerned will be informed of his decision. If the Director believes that the allegation is without foundation, he should inform the member of staff of the allegation and the fact that no further action under the Child Abuse complaints procedure is to be taken (although the Internal Complaints Procedure may still apply in some cases). The member of staff may be accompanied by a teacher organisation representative or friend. The parents should also be informed. Counselling for both the member of staff and the child may be considered appropriate. If The Director decides that an investigation is necessary then a report will be written. However once such an investigation is initiated and the member of staff informed a warning should again be given that everything will be recorded in writing. The member of staff allegedly involved should be acquainted with this procedure and the Internal Complaints Procedure before investigations begin. The member of staff should be informed of all measures decided upon throughout the investigation by an appointed information contact, including during possible suspension periods. Delays in any investigation should be kept to the minimum.
  • If the investigation is initiated then The Director must contact The School Board Chairman to decide whether the police, child protection agencies and, if necessary, medical authorities should be involved. Any investigation by the police or child protection agencies will take priority over an internal investigation by the school. The police may act independently of the school. At this stage the member of staff allegedly involved will be informed of the allegation by the Principal in the presence of a witness. The time and date will be recorded. Advice on legal assistance and counselling for the member of staff will be discussed. The Chairman of The School Board is to be informed. The Director is responsible for informing the parents of the child involved. On receiving the written allegation or at any subsequent stage of the enquiry the Director may suspend a member of staff from duty. Suspension may be regarded as a necessary procedure rather than a judgement on the school’s part. A member of staff suspended during the course of the enquiry will receive full pay. The member of staff should be advised to seek advice from an appropriate teacher organisation. It is also recognised that a suspended member of staff should receive support. Social contact with colleagues need not be precluded except if it is likely to be prejudicial to the investigation.
  • During the course of the investigation it is the duty of the school to inform parents of other students (where appropriate), to report the situation to the authorities and to deal with press enquiries. It is also the school's duty to take appropriate care over the welfare of any students who are involved.
  • Counselling of any staff allegedly implicated will be considered at this stage.

The result of the investigation will be made known in writing by the Director to the member(s) of staff allegedly involved. In the event of guilt either through law or by the decision, based on evidence, of the sectional Principals, the Director and The School Board Chairman Governors will decide on further action. The member(s) of staff allegedly involved are encouraged to use the professional bodies who could assist in providing legal advice, insurance and professional assistance.

In the event of a decision in favour of the member(s) of staff allegedly involved, the Director and School Board will decide on the future of those making the allegations. The Director will inform the member(s) of staff allegedly involved of the decision, reiterate his full support and encourage them to seek advice from their professional bodies and/or legal advisers.

Finally the need for confidentiality at all stages should be re-emphasised.

2. Procedure if a more general complaint is made against a member of staff

Complaints other than those relating to Child Protection issues, if made at all, are likely to be made by a child either to his/her parents, class teacher, form tutor or Principal. Complaints could also arise from other sources: a colleague, non-academic staff or a visitor.

A child making a complaint is encouraged to follow the internal procedures detailed in the “Codebook”.

If a complaint reaches the Director, he/she will decide with or without the assistance of senior members of staff, the School Board, the School Solicitor, outside agents - all depending on the severity of the allegation - whether to proceed further. He/she may at this stage interview the member(s) of staff in the allegation(s).

If the Director decides that there is no case for further investigation, he will inform the member(s) of staff concerned that there has been a complaint, that he believes it to be unfounded and state that no further action is to be taken. The member(s) of staff may be accompanied by a friend. Counselling may be considered appropriate.

The Director is responsible for informing the parents of the child and deciding on any further action. A report must be written, copied to the member(s) of staff in the allegation, and kept on the boy(s) file(s).

  • If the Principal decides that further investigation is required, and in the most serious cases this may not be his decision (i.e. it may be the decision of an outside agency), then the procedure relating to Complaints of Child Abuse will come into effect.

The Complaints Procedure

In order to safeguard the interests of students, The Children Act (UK 1989) requires UK schools to provide a procedure by which a child has a right to be heard if he/she is concerned about any matter that affects his/her welfare. Ajman Academy views this to be good practice and has implemented such a procedure.

It is likely that such matters already surface in conversations with friends and adults whom the child already trusts. However, if he/she feels the need to express himself more fully, or is concerned, worried, or upset about any matter that affects his/her welfare, then there are three possible courses of action:

1. The Internal Informal Procedure

In the first instance, it is recommended that the child contacts one or more of the following: his/her parents, any appropriate member of staff, the appropriate Child Protection Officer or by the safe mail box / student help email.

1. The Internal Formal Procedure

If he/she is dissatisfied with the results of the Informal Procedure, or feels that informal discussion is inappropriate to his/her situation, then he/she may hand a formal written complaint to a sectional Principal.

Such a complaint will receive a written reply within 48 hours, and if necessary may be referred to the Internal Review Panel, which may ask to hear the case. The Panel will consist of the Director, the Principals, the Manager of Finance and Administration and a designated School Board member

Monitoring

Every second year, the Academic Leadership Team with the members of the School Board will inform staff and parents of any material changes and/or amendments will review this policy. All School Board members, staff and parents will be made aware of the school’s child protection policy and the implication of the school’s duty to report concerns.

Communication & Complaints Policy

Ajman Academy welcomes suggestions and comments from parents and takes very seriously any complaints and concerns that they may raise. We encourage parents to bring these to our attention as early as possible in order that we have the opportunity to rectify a problem or explain the school's position before a concern becomes more serious.

A complaint will be treated as an expression of genuine dissatisfaction, to which we will respond.

We want to ensure that:

  • Parents who wish to make a complaint know how to do so.
  • We respond to complaints within a reasonable time and in a courteous and efficient way.
  • Parents realise that we will listen and take all complaints seriously.
  • We take appropriate action where necessary.

How should I register a complaint?

Parents who have any concerns or complaints should use the following procedure:

  1. Raise the matter in the first instance with their child's Class Teacher or Form Tutor by letter, email, telephone or by verbally requesting a meeting.
  2. If the parent is not satisfied with the response of the Class Teacher or Form Tutor or feel that the matter is of a sensitive or serious nature, they should contact the Year/Grade Leader. The Year/Grade Leader will then be able to liaise with relevant staff, put the parent in contact with the appropriate member of the Senior Leadership Team or refer the parent directly to the school Director.
  3. If the parents feel that they should contact the school Director directly, especially on a matter of great importance or sensitivity, however, matters usually have to be referred back to the Principal/Year/Grade Leader. Therefore, it is best to seek his/her advice in the first instance. Parents can also write directly to the Principal if the matter is of serious concern, although, the issue would still have to be referred back to and discussed with appropriate members of the School Leadership Team.

What will happen next?

If a parent raises an issue face to face or by telephone or email, it is the aim will be to resolve the matter immediately and to their satisfaction.

If the parent has made a complaint or suggestion in writing, they will receive a response within two working days, acknowledging their letter and explaining how they/the school propose to proceed.

In many circumstances, the person contacted may need to discuss the issue with one or more colleagues and investigate before a response can be made. The parent will be given a date by which they will receive a further response. If a detailed explanation of the issues is needed, a letter or report will be sent to the parent as quickly as possible informing them of the outcome of their complaint and will explain any action taken or proposed. Alternatively, the parent may be invited to a meeting at the school.

The Principal’s / Director’s PA will keep a written record of all significant parental complaints and their outcome.

Confidentiality

Parental complaints or concerns will be treated in a confidential manner and with respect. Knowledge of the complaint or concern will be limited to the Principal and those directly involved. It is the school's policy that complaints made by parents will not rebound adversely on their children in any way.

We cannot, however, entirely rule out the need to make relevant third parties outside the school aware of the complaint and the identity of those involved. This would only be likely to happen where, for example, a child's safety was at risk or it became necessary to refer matters to the Police. Before this happens, the parent making the complaint would be fully informed.

Anonymous complaints

Anonymous complaints will not be pursued.

Staff disciplinary procedures

Any action taken under staff disciplinary procedures, following parental complaints, would normally be handled confidentially within the school. Parents would be informed that appropriate action had been taken.

What happens if a parent is dissatisfied with the outcome?

We will endeavour to ensure that all parents feel satisfied with the outcome and feel that their concerns have been fully addressed

If a parent is dissatisfied with the outcome then they should take the following action:

  • At Year/Grade Leader level, contact the relevant Assistant Principal
  • At Assistant Principal level, contact the relevant Principal
  • At Principal level, write directly to the Director of Ajman Academy. Please contact the Executive Assistant of the Director

Excursion Policy

Ajman Academy encourages a wide variety of field trips; these include partial and full day trips as well as residential trips. At AJAC, all field trips are recognised as an essential part of the extended curriculum, providing students with opportunities to make connections to their learning by participating in activities outside of the classroom. Field trips also provide opportunities for students to take part in programmes and activities that support and extend learning that may otherwise not be available within the confines of the school campus. All field trips should be relevant and support learning within the IB Programmes of study. Residential field trips also provide opportunities to further develop independence and self-confidence by participating in activities and events where students develop a sense of teamwork and team spirit with their peers and teachers outside the home and school environment.

Policy Regulations

A field trip is defined for this purpose as an excursion that involves AJAC students, their teachers, and their supervisors leaving the campus at any time whilst AJAC is legally responsible. All field trips are required to follow the AJAC and Ministry of Education field trip procedures outlined in this document.

Students in Kindergarten and above should be provided with regular opportunities to participate in local one-day field trips, this should include at least one per academic year. Field trips in Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 should be arranged at the teacher’s discretion to suit the learning and developmental needs of the students. It is not advised that KG1 students participate in field trips; however, the Primary School Principal would review appropriate proposals.

Students in Year 3 and above are also encouraged to participate in residential trips. These trips are developed to provide students with an added sense of responsibility, to develop self-confidence and to encourage team building within peer groups. AJAC recommends that residential field trips should be for a period of time that will increase as the students become older. The recommended periods of time are:

  • Grade 3: 2 nights, 3 days
  • Grade 4: 2-3 nights, 3-4 days
  • Grade 5: up to 4 nights
  • Grade 6 and above

The period of time will depend on the purpose and timing of the trip, students should not be out of school for longer than one week during term time.

The period of time need not be planned in one residential trip; these can be divided into two depending on the curriculum needs, curriculum and destinations chosen. The Section Principal and Director approves all field trips before formal planning can commence.

All field trips, both day and residential trips, must be approved by the Ministry of Education and require four weeks prior notice before permission can be granted. AJAC will appoint we have a Residentials Coordinator who is to liaise with class teachers to ensure that trips run smoothly.

Procedures for Planning a Field Trip

It is advised that teachers plan their proposed field trips at the beginning of the academic year and include them in their yearly curriculum plans. Whenever possible, tentative dates and plans should be given to the coordinator and discussed at staff meetings. The Section Principal and Director must approve all field trips before formal planning commences. Field trips may take place either at the beginning of a unit of learning to stimulate ideas and questions to promote more in-depth inquiry and introduce curriculum concepts, or at the end of a unit of study to reinforce and support learning that has taken place.

There are three Categories of field trip identified at AJAC:

  • Day trip
  • An overnight trip (Residential Trip)
  • A trip outside of the UAE (Exchange/Cultural visit)

Please refer to the relevant section.

PROCEDURES FOR DAY TRIPS

All field trips and school excursions regardless of length must be approved by the Ministry of Education and require four weeks prior notice before permission can be granted. Please read and familiarise yourself with all the procedures regarding field trips.

When planning a day trip the following procedure should be followed:

  • Once the trip has been researched fill in the Field Trip Proposal Form, and submit this form to the Section Principal. The Section Principal must approve the proposed field trip prior to submitting it to the Business Manager. The Business Manager must receive the approved proposal a minimum of five weeks prior to trip, she will ensure all relevant paperwork is completed. All the information needed to coordinate the trip must be available on the form. (Determine if your students should bring spending money and the amount, let the parents know exactly how much and state this information on the proposal form, do not let them exceed this amount. If the deadline is not met, the administration will ask for the trip to be postponed until a later date or cancelled entirely.)
  • It is the teacher’s responsibility to have this information available for the Business Manager before she/he can book transportation and make other arrangements.
  • The Business Manager will schedule the transportation and compile the standard letter to parents for you. If you wish the letter to say more than the standard one, you should inform the Business Manager in advance and forward your letter via email, the letters will then be photocopied and prepared for you to send out to the parents.
  • The Business Manager will calculate the cost of the trip including transportation and state the cost to parents in the permission form.
  • Field Trips will be recorded on the main calendar on the AJAC website, and the relevant teacher(s) will ensure that the parents have been notified in writing.
  • All monies will be collected by the Business Manager. The classroom teacher will be notified of any students who has not paid. The teacher should assist in the follow up with parents relating to payments. If money comes to the teacher it should be sent directly to the Finance & Administration Office.
  • The Business Manager will confirm the trip 2 weeks prior to the set date and inform the teachers that the trip will take place.
  • All students should experience field trips as a part of the AJAC programme. If a parent does not wish their child to participate in the field trip they must keep their child at home.
  • Students who have not returned a permission form, and a form can not be obtained from the parent, will not be permitted to go on the field trip. If possible the student will be sent home.
  • The Business Manager will coordinate with the catering services and provide the food and refreshments required.
  • Children are only permitted to eat on the bus if it has been prearranged by the Business Manager (catered food only). Bus company regulations do not generally allow for food to be eaten on the bus. Parent helpers may not buy food or drinks for their group. The only refreshments that the children should bring with them personally is water, unless otherwise stated.

Ajman Academy Field Trip Procedures in conjunction with Ministry of Education requirements.

  1. The Business Manager will determine the transport requirements and recommendations relating to modes of transportation, routing, and police escorts for long distance travel, following the MOE policy and procedures regarding safety and security for students.
  2. Each bus must be equipped with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit and will be clearly identified as a private hire bus for the duration of the trip.
  3. The following ratio of adult to student should be observed:
    • Kindergarten, 1:5
    • Grade 1 to Grade 5, 1:8
    • Grade 6 and above, 1:12
  4. Parent chaperones may be solicited for day trips with the children so the adult to student ratio can be met. The school recommends that chaperones be responsible and able to communicate in English in order to support the educational programme and purpose of the field trip.
  5. A female chaperone must accompany any trip involving female students as outlined by the M.O.E.
  6. Students must wear school uniform for day trips, unless otherwise approved by the administration.
  7. Teachers must count the children before they get on the bus as they leave the school, when they get on the bus to return, and as many times in between as felt necessary during the field trip. A copy of the class register should be taken and used when doing the attendance counts.
  8. The school Nurse will provide a First Aid Kit and relevant medical paperwork; these must be taken on all trips. Staff should be familiar with safety procedures while travelling. If an accident should occur inform the school immediately.
  9. A mobile telephone will be provided for all field trips, make sure you have emergency and important school phone numbers with you at all times and that you leave your phone number with the Student Affairs Manager.

PROCEDURES FOR RESIDENTIAL TRIPS

When planning a residential trip the following procedure must be followed:

  1. Residential trips must be planned well in advance and should support the curriculum, and the extended classroom programme. Ideally residential trips should be planned at the beginning of the academic year to ensure that the dates can be accommodated at the appropriate destinations.
  2. The Section Principal must approve the proposed field trip prior to submitting it to the Students Affairs Manager.
  3. The following items need to be completed and submitted to the Residentials Coordinator eight weeks prior to the residential trip:
  • Approved AJAC Residential Field Trip proposal form
  • Returned Intent forms with parents signatures (or signed letters as a minimum)
  • A list of names of students who have confirmed they are going.
  • A detailed outline including a rationale summarizing reasons for the residential trip. Use the Residential Field Trip Proposal Form.

The Residentials Coordinator will ensure the relevant paperwork is completed. All the information needed to coordinate the trip will be available on the form. Determine if your students can bring spending money and the amount, let the parents know exactly how much and state this information on the proposal form, do not let them exceed this amount. If the deadline is not met, the administration will ask for the trip to be postponed until a later date or cancelled entirely.

  1. It is the Residential Coordinator’s responsibility to have this information available for the Student Affairs Manager before transportation can be booked.
  2. Discuss with the Student Affairs Manager the details of the trip, including sleeping arrangements, catering arrangements, relevant insurance, medical and programme details so that all required items can be incorporated into the costing.
  3. The Residentials Coordinator will liaise with the Student Affairs Manager to schedule the transportation and compile a standard letter to parents using the information provided. If you wish the letter to say more you should inform the Student Affairs Manager in advance and forward a replacement letter via email, the letters will then be photocopied and prepared for you to send out to the parents.
  4. The Residentials Coordinator will calculate the cost of the trip using the information provided and state the cost to parents in the permission form.
  5. Field Trips will be recorded on the AJAC website, and the teacher(s) responsible for the trip will ensure that the parents have been notified in writing.
  6. All monies will be collected by the Student Affairs Manager, they will notify the classroom teacher of any students who have not paid. The classroom teacher should assist in the follow up with parents relating to payments. If money comes to the classroom teacher it should be sent directly to the Student Affairs Manager
  7. Parents are not allowed to accompany their children on residential field trips. One of the key reasons for introducing residential trips is to promote independence and develop skills relating to self-help and peer support skills, these expectations are not conducive with parent attendance.
  8. Field trips are a compulsory part of the AJAC programme. If a parent does not wish their child to participate in the residential field trip they must keep their child at home, no alternative programme will be provided.
  9. Students who have not returned a permission form, and a form can not be obtained from the parent, will not be permitted to go on the field trip, under these circumstances students will be required to stay home for the duration of the trip.
  10. The Residentials Coordinator will coordinate with the catering services and provide the food and refreshments required that are not included in the residential agreement.
  11. Children are only permitted to eat on the bus if it has been prearranged by the Student Affairs Manager (catered food only). Bus company regulations do not generally allow for food to be eaten on the bus. The only refreshments that the children should bring with them personally is water, unless otherwise stated.
  12. Parents of students requiring medication should make arrangements with the AJAC School Nurse and escorting staff to ensure that it is administered correctly. Students should not be respon National Curriculum for England for their own medication.
  13. An Arabic-speaking adult may be required to escort the students on trips; if this is the case, a Arabic Speaking staff member will be provided.
  14. Students should not be allowed to make phone calls during the trip. On arrival at the destination or during the first day, the lead teacher will contact school who will then inform parents of safe arrival. Phone calls home should be at the teacher's’ discretion. Parents will be given the phone number of the school in case of emergency and regular updates will be posted on the AJAC website. Students are not allowed to take personal mobile phones, should one be required the teaching staff will be able to assist.

Ajman Academy Field Trip Procedures in conjunction with Ministry of Education requirements.

  1. The Student Affairs Manager will determine the transport requirements and recommendations relating to modes of transportation, routing, and police escorts for long distance travel, following the MOE policy and procedures regarding safety and security for students.
  2. Each bus must be equipped with a fire extinguisher and will be clearly identified as a private hire bus for the duration of the trip.
  3. The following ratio of adult to student should be observed:
  4. Year Three to Year 6 is 1:8
  5. In order to meet the adult to child ratio, it may be necessary to take staff from other departments within the school. Parents will not be invited to chaperone students on residential trips as this action would not support the residential trip rationale.
  6. A female chaperone must accompany any trip involving female students as outlined by the M.O.E.
  7. Students must wear school uniform when leaving the school at the beginning of a trip unless otherwise agreed upon with the Headmaster. Sometimes additional events will be attended where the students are representing the school, on these occasions uniform should be worn.
  8. Individualized school identification cards are available from the office and should be taken on all trips, to be used at the teacher’s discretion.
  9. Teachers must count the children before they get on the bus as they leave the school, when they get on the bus to return, and as many times in between as felt necessary during the field trip. A copy of the class register should be taken and used when doing the attendance counts.
  10. The school Nurse will provide a First Aid Kit and copies of any medical forms required; these must be taken on all trips. Staff should be familiar with safety procedures while travelling. Find out where the closest hospitals are before leaving. Find out if there is a nurse available on site and if the destination has access to a doctor. Leave this information with the school office. If an accident should occur, inform the school immediately. If an accident occurs while away, call the school and contact the parents. Accident forms should be taken on the field trip and completed at the time of an accident, discussed, and filed upon returning to school.
  11. A mobile telephone will be provided for all residential field trips, accompanying staff should have emergency and important school phone numbers available at all times and leave their phone number with the Administrative office.
  12. Alcohol and drugs are not permitted on any field trips. In the case of staff, inappropriate conduct of any type during a field trip will result in discipline procedures in accordance with the AJAC employment contracts and policy. In the case of inappropriate behaviour of students the AJAC student policies and regulations will be strictly adhered to.
  13. If students should suffer from severe homesickness the child's parents will be contacted and the student will be returned home at the parent's’ expense.
  14. Student behaviour on field trips is required to be in line with AJAC expectations and policy, should a student have behavioral issues that can not be resolved the school and the child’s parents will be contacted and arrangements made for the student to be returned home at the expense of the parents. Although field trips are compulsory and a part of the extended AJAC programme, teachers may refuse to let certain students attend if the student’s behavior at school is unacceptable.
  15. Students should not enter water, or participate in activities close to water unless they are directly supervised by one of the accompanying staff members. Life jackets should be worn on all occasions in open water. Adhere to strict safety rules and observances at all times.

International Education Policy

Definition of International Education

The School recognizes that students should be internationally aware and be able to contribute confidently to an inter-connected and inter-dependent world. The school strives to engage students with a range of experiences that will enhance learning and raise awareness of their national and international identity whilst preparing them for life in a diverse global society and competitive global economy.
The global dimension is reflected in the attitudes and values of students, staff and the wider school community.

International Education serves as a link between countries and cultures. International Education enables individuals to not only have good diplomatic relationships with one another but also to bring together people who are of different religious faiths and who speak different languages aimed at creating a cross cultural understanding where communication will no longer be a barrier. This cross cultural understanding becomes transparent when one sees students working together, conducting research or simply engaging themselves in a study period for a class they are taking together. The language, customs, traditions, political relationships and religious beliefs that these students bring are connected through their educational endeavours.

International Aims of the School

  • To provide an informed awareness of countries, cultures and languages in addition to our own
  • To develop global citizenship via curiosity, respect and understanding of, national, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
  • To enable all pupils to develop appropriate skills concepts, knowledge and understanding of, and responsibility for, the world they live and will inherit

The School strives to achieve these aims through the following objectives:

  • Staff should consciously consider how to appropriately embed international dimensions to all curriculum areas
  • Raise awareness, appreciation and understanding of major global issues
  • Develop a variety of global learning opportunities via links with schools in other countries whilst taking advantage of new and emerging communication technologies
  • Encourage interest and motivation through the provision of first hand experiences and expertise of life in another country, including active participation from teachers, students and the wider community
  • Use opportunities to visit areas of cultural interest in the home country and abroad
  • Recognise, celebrate and value the cultural and ethnic diversity within the school community
  • Consider the possibility of a global focus week/day
  • Professional development opportunities for staff to share good practice and compare different teaching and learning styles

Evaluation

The Council of International Schools inspection report xxxxxxx noted that staff should lead the school into a deeper understanding about internationalism and interculturalism. The aforementioned aims and strategies, though not extensive, aim to support the students, staff and wider community of the School to value and promote international understanding in daily interactions and for each stakeholder to be global citizens who effectively contribute to the national and international community.

Language Policy

I. School Background

The school wants to give us a good future. –H.K., Year 5 student

Ajman Academy is an international school that has as an established goal; the pursuit of excellence in all areas of education. We aim to provide learning for the 21st Century in an environment where children from various cultural backgrounds work collaboratively to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to achieve the school mission and promote the IB Learner Profile.

English and Arabic are two languages that the school particularly promotes as languages of learning. These languages provide the cornerstone of our inquiry-based approach and support the construction of student knowledge and understanding.

Technology and various media are employed extensively in the teaching and learning of languages and provide opportunities for broader world perspectives and creativity.

At Ajman Academy, we are committed to a holistic approach to education, where every aspect of the child’s being is developed. We create student-centred learning opportunities that address the physical, social and emotional needs of each child regardless of ability level and learning mode. We empower students to embrace diversity; uniqueness and individual talent in a safe, respectful and supportive environment, thus ensuring our school mission is brought to life.

II. Mission Statement

The past is where we come from. – A.K., Year 6 student

To effectively develop inquiring, reflective and active learners through a balanced programme of education that transcends the classroom and nourishes students to become empathetic, global citizens, who are proud of their past and capable of leading the future.

III. Philosophy

If you don’t know language then other people will not understand you. – M.A., Year 5 student

Language learning is, perhaps, the base to all learning. Communication is at the core of all human interaction and is an instrument for facilitating international-mindedness and purposeful expression in the sharing of common experiences and diversity. We encourage an approach to language teaching and learning that provides opportunities for students to better appreciate the multicultural world in which they live.

We recognise that language is essential to learning and the process of inquiry. All teachers, therefore, are in practice language teachers with responsibilities for facilitating effective communication. Through our academic programme, we strive to empower an appreciation of the aesthetic and functional uses of language.

For an internationally minded society, it is crucial for students to develop understanding of their heritage and culture so that they may learn to appreciate those of others. The relationship between mother-tongue development and acquisition of other languages is acknowledged. Therefore, a strong, effective and challenging language programme evolves contextually and is a means through which transdisciplinary learning takes place. As communication in our world continues to change, we are committed to adapting language instruction to reflect the evolution of language in our modern world. We also believe that language is powerful and can have profound effects on others, both positively and negatively. We aim to develop in our students an awareness of their own responsibility towards language.

IV. Language Learning at Ajman Academy

A policy helps us know what to do. It organises things.

— E.B., Year 5 student

Instruction at Ajman Academy is primarily English based. Arabic is taught throughout the Primary School at differentiated levels, which allows for more extensive language development in native and near native speakers of Arabic. A designated Arabic as an Additional Language (AAL) programme caters for the needs of expatriate students. All students are introduced to both languages from the age of three.

The Primary Years Programme of Inquiry provides authentic contexts for students to develop and use language. Wherever possible, language is taught through the relevant content of the Units of Inquiry. When language is taught outside the Programme of Inquiry, links are made to the transdiciplinary themes so that students are better able to understand the connection between language and the world. It is believed that purposeful inquiry is the way that students learn best, regardless of whether language is taught within the programme of inquiry or in a stand-alone manner.

In our community of internationally minded, multilingual learners and teachers, it is imperative that we consider language orally, visually and in written forms whilst providing ample opportunities for student expression.

The school’s approach to teaching and developing mastery of essential language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) incorporates the following practices:

Written Language

  • A. Reading
    • Classroom Reading
      • Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) phonics is integrated into the reading readiness instruction in KG2 through Year 2. Struggling readers in Years 3-6 are supported through differentiated instruction with RWI and Fresh Start resources.
      • An in-house developed Arabic phonics programme is integrated into reading instruction in KG2 through Year 2.
      • Reading takes place in all subject areas and genres (e.g. poetry, novels, plays, short stories, newspapers/magazines and information texts) as students learn to read with precision and a high level of accuracy and comprehension.
      • Diverse resources support reading in order to cater for the needs of all learners (e.g. Oxford Reading Tree and related schemes, PYP Unit of Inquiry Readers in Arabic/English, Arabic reading schemes, Comprehension Success student texts, and class sets fiction and non-fiction texts).
      • Guided Reading, levelled group reading, reciprocal reading, shared reading, individual child/teacher reading and mixed ability reading groups contribute to the learning of reading within the school.
    • Home Reading
      • Pupils are encouraged to progressively develop as readers by reading high-interest levelled readers (Oxford Reading Tree and related schemes) and Arabic levelled reading books by various publishers. E-books and Scholastic Books also develop a passion for reading at home.
    • Reading Strategies and Development
      • Teachers provide resources for reading and teach reading strategies including vocabulary building techniques, word walls, comprehension practice and skills (scanning, predicting, inferring, skimming) and text analysis.
      • Library classes provide interest-based reading and the library houses mother-tongue resources and world literature. The school library is also accessible during break times and after school.
      • Pupils engage with the local community through planned activities (e.g. author visits, participation in the Emirates LitFest and the Sharjah International Book Fair).
      • Parents from various cultural backgrounds are invited to participate in literary activities within the school (mother-tongue language support, story reading etc.).
      • Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) support the development of reading through literary/book clubs in English and Arabic.
  • B. Writing
    At Ajman Academy we expect, at some point during our students’ learning journey that they will develop the ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas, thoughts, emotions, and aspirations in written form across genres using correct grammar and spelling.
    • Genres
      • Teachers model a variety of forms of writing across the curriculum.
      • Students use written language daily through multi-modal forms of writing (e.g. conventional paper-based writing to E-language). The school’s provision of a personal iPad for every pupil enhances the development of our E-learners as digital natives, thus reflecting the school’s overall mission of preparing students as leaders in an ever-changing global society.
      • Students publish their writing regularly.
      • Creative writing and personal expression are encouraged across the curriculum as a response to stimuli (visual or otherwise).
      • VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectors, Openers and Punctuation), Big Write and SixTraits resources are used to develop effective writing across the curriculum.
    • Grammar
      The school recognises the on-going debates about the teaching of grammar.
      • At Ajman Academy grammar is taught holistically using a variety of resources. Grammar is also taught explicitly on a weekly basis.
    • Spelling
      • A school-wide approach to spelling using diversified spelling strategies and schemes is used to ensure that all students have knowledge of high frequency words.
    • Handwriting
      • Pupils develop the skills and mechanics of correct handwriting (pencil grip, letter formation, fluency, speed and style) in order to become effective communicators.
      • Arabic handwriting is taught using two styles: one more appropriate to younger learners and one for upper primary; however calligraphy as a skill is further developed within the (ECA) programme.
  • C. Oral Language
    • Listening and Speaking
      At Ajman Academy, we encourage students to express themselves confidently, listen respectfully, consider intelligently and respond appropriately. We value the significance of effective and diverse communication. Our aim is to confidently support oral language in English and Arabic/mother-tongues. We strive to provide our students with language tools, strategies and experiences to develop those skills that enable them to express information, feelings, thoughts and ideas in ways that show themselves to be principled and caring listeners.
    • Students participate and practise their oral and listening skills individually, in pairs, in groups and as a whole class.
    • Teachers ask challenging questions and model oral language characterised by clarity and fluency.
    • Students prepare presentations, deliver them and listen and interact with others as they present for a variety of purposes (entertainment, information, persuasion and direction).
    • Oral language is further developed through weekly Drama lessons and performance-based ECAs.
  • D. Visual Language
    • Viewing and Presenting
      Within an internationally-minded context it is essential that our students come to appreciate the influences and nuances of media. For this purpose, we aim to create opportunities for our students to view and critically analyse media appropriate to their age and experiences.
      • Students are presented with various media carrying a range of messages from persuasion, through aesthetic appreciation, to enticement of action etc. By viewing media from multiple perspectives, pupils are encouraged to re-evaluate their own value systems and those of others.
      • Students are consistently asked to critically appraise presented media and engage in a process of analysis of underlying messages.

V. Additional Language Support

We need to believe in ourselves.

— H.A., Year 5 student

Embedded within our core values is a belief in inclusion. Students are admitted to the school if they are appropriately competent in either Arabic or English; with the exception of Upper Primary where the ability to access the curriculum in English is also considered. Whilst we understand that our curriculum is, for the most part, delivered in English, we also philosophically embrace the human capability to develop a language in such a way that it does become a language of life and learning. Therefore, language support, be that in the form of scaffolding or extension, is something that we aim to provide as much as possible.

Ajman Academy’s aim to develop bilingualism in students for whom Arabic is either a native language or a heritage language is viewed realistically when it comes to the timeframe for achievement. We realise that a language learning process is a long-term project and, therefore, accept that some students will achieve bilingualism at different stages in their language learning journeys and will attain it at varying levels of competency. As such, Arabic is taught as a three-stream programme as follows:

  1. Arabic as a Native Language (Arabic A)
  2. Arabic as a Heritage Language (Arabic B)
  3. Arabic as an Additional Language (Arabic C)

English is not currently streamed at Ajman Academy and instruction is differentiated within the classroom only. The school aims to create an English as a Second Language Programme to ensure that full curriculum access is a right for all; such a programme will be particularly relevant for Upper Primary students.

Native speakers of English are extended in their language development through additional lessons timetabled throughout the week.

Essential to our language support is also a belief in balance and discipline; our students are expected to apply themselves in the area of language acquisition and seek their own opportunities to take risks and use language creatively. In order to help them do this, we differentiate and tailor instruction wherever possible. Moreover, we view language learning as a fluid process and we, accordingly, allow for movement between groups/levels.

VI. Mother tongue development

It is important to know our own language because it is who we are.

—A.K., Grade 6 student

Ajman Academy has as a priority the development and maintenance of the mother- tongue for all learners, wherever possible. At Ajman Academy, we support the development of mother-tongue languages, as we believe that competence in one’s own language provides a platform upon which all learning can be constructed. All members of our school community (administrators, faculty, staff, parents, and students) are responsible for supporting such development of mother tongues in order to ensure that the learning process encompasses a variety of perspectives.

By encouraging the active use of mother tongues at home, school and in the community, children are better able to appreciate their own cultural origins and take action as internationally minded, global citizens.

We provide opportunities to highlight and support mother tongue languages through displays, assemblies, visitors from the community and parents in the classroom. We also continue to build our library resources to celebrate the multiplicity of languages, literature and cultures represented within the school.

VII. Value for Host Country

Global citizens are citizens of the whole world.

— M.R., Year 6 student

Ajman Academy values its host country, the United Arab Emirates; its language, its cultural identity and its legacy. The school is committed to promoting bilingualism in UAE nationals and Arab students, whilst developing the language skills of AAL learners in such a way that allows them to deepen their respect for the community in which they are living. By offering Arabic, be that in the form of native/near-native language programmes or as an AAL, we embrace the culture of inclusion and diversity that the UAE proudly upholds.

Central to our Programme of Inquiry is the seeking of opportunities to make links with the local community and its resources (e.g. classroom guests and visits, field trips, businesses and organisations, schools and universities and government agencies).

Ajman Academy values the local community through its efforts toward bilingualism in school brochures, daily communications, reporting, the promotion of local celebrations, school assemblies and parent workshops covering various aspects of language teaching and IB philosophy.

VIII. Language Assessment

If we don’t know language, then we won’t understand anything. We need to know how to read and write.

—N.A., Grade 5 student

Language development is an on going process and oral (listening and speaking), written (reading and writing) and visual (viewing and presenting) strands are evaluated using both formative and summative assessments and a range of assessment methods and tools (Ref. Assessment policy).

IX. Professional Development

Teachers need to learn from each other.

—M.A., Grade 5 student

In order to ensure the language policy becomes a working document, the school recognises that administrators, teachers, librarians and other school staff require professional development in language learning and teaching. Teachers and other members of our school community are encouraged to take a pro-active role in their own professional development and to develop their own professional learning networks. The school also employs a comprehensive policy for staff training and development that is facilitated through in-school training, residential courses, visits to IB schools, local and international workshops and peer-to-peer sharing of best practice.

X. Language Policy Reflection and Review

Language is the key to our future

— A.K., Grade 6 student

It is the responsibility of all teachers to be involved in the reflection and review of the school’s language policy and to ensure that this policy is put into practice. The school’s language policy will be reviewed on an annual basis taking into account new ideas and research gathered from our community of learners (teachers, students, parents and others). Upon review, the policy will be linked to the school’s Assessment, Admissions and SEN policies.

The Primary School Principal, PYP Coordinator, Arabic Coordinator and Literacy Coordinator will be responsible for implementing and monitoring this policy and for informing the school community of the review process and ways to contribute.

Lockdown Policy

INTRODUCTION:

Ajman Academy believes that all staff, students and visitors to our school have the right to learn, work and be present in a safe and secure environment. The possibility of a major incident of violence, however, is a reality which cannot be overlooked. Everyone who spends any amount of time in a UAE school on a regular basis needs to know how to protect themselves and how to protect our students in the event of a major incident or threat of violence.

One type of emergency that our school may face is a threat posed by an intruder inside the school grounds or a situation outside the school that prevents the evacuation of students from the building. In these situations, we should be prepared to take steps to isolate students and teachers from danger by initiating a school lockdown.

A school lockdown can serve several functions during an emergency, including the following:

• Removing students and teachers from the threat;

• Isolating the dangerous situation from the rest of the Academy;

• Allowing for an accurate accounting of students within each room;

• Depending on the situation, facilitating an organized evacuation away from the dangerous area.

PURPOSE:

Based on lockdown procedures that have already been established in many schools, the following guidelines are to help Ajman Academy ensure our lockdown plans meet basic requirements and to ensure a degree of consistency.

Implementation:

The lockdown policy applies when students and staff need to be locked within buildings for their own safety. This will usually occur if there is an intruder on school grounds, but may also occur in the event of a hazardous situation such as a chemical spill or fire in close proximity or natural Crisis, which makes it dangerous for students, staff and visitors to be outside. Copies of this policy will be disseminated via the Parent and Staff handbooks, the school website and other appropriate areas around the school.

roleS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations are critical in emergency situations.

Director / Head of School -The Director/Head of School is responsible for overall planning, the final content of the plan, scheduling of drills, inviting police, fire and Emergency Medical Services to participate in and be aware of planning and drills, training of students and for the overall safety of staff and students. In an actual incident (not a drill), the police are responsible for management of the threat and subsequent criminal investigation, however the Director/ Head of School shall provide full cooperation with police.

Staff – School staff and, in particular, the senior leadership team, have the overall responsibility for the training, safety and wellbeing of students. During a violent incident, the senior leadership team have additional responsibilities in terms of working closely with police.

Students – Students have a responsibility to be familiar with the plan and to respond quickly to the direction of staff during a crisis situation. Any student with information or prior knowledge of an individual or a potential situation which may result in a violent incident must come forward with that information as soon as possible. This is also the case during an incident.

Police – Police are responsible to respond to and investigate violent incidents. During a violent incident, police will assume command and control of the response and investigation but will liaise and work closely with the senior leadership team and where necessary school administration and other emergency services, throughout the process. The Director and Heads of School will be in command until the police arrive

Parents/Guardians – Parents and guardians must be informed of the existence of this plan and be given prior notice to any lockdown drill. They should reinforce it with their children and explain student responsibilities to follow directions during a crisis and disclose any information they may have prior to or during a crisis situation.

Security – Security Staff are responsible for ensuring that all gates are securely locked in the event of a lockdown with access only to the Police. They must ensure that no-one enters the site until the site has been cleared for safety. They must remain vigilant at all times for staff, students and visitors that may not have followed correct procedure.

FLOOR PLANS:

Accurate floor plans are a key component of lockdown plans and are important both from a planning and response standpoint. It is vitally important that police have current, accurate information about the school layout and this information be available in both electronic and hardcopy in the event of computer malfunctions.

Floor plans should be colour coded using three colours: red, green, and blue.

Red indicates danger areas of the school which cannot be locked down safely, with green identifying areas where staff and students are to proceed to safely lock down. Blue areas identify command post locations which will be utilized by police depending on the nature of the incident.

Normally, the main office will be a command post location, with another area within the school identified as an alternate command post location. A third off-site command post location should be identified and formulate part of the individual school plan, in the event neither on-site command post location is available.

Off-site evacuation locations should also be identified and included with copies of the floor plans.

Floor plans should be posted through-out the school, in every classroom and at every entry point to the school. However only the floor plans relevant to each floor should be posted.

Hard copies of floor plans, and electronic copies, if possible, should be provided to police.

INITIATING LOCKDOWN:

Plans should emphasize the importance of locking down as quickly as possible. At the first indication of a major incident of school violence, notification must go to the office and the Lockdown commenced immediately.

All staff (especially those working in the main office) should be trained that when information is received in the office of a situation requiring a lockdown, whoever receives that information, will immediately respond to the threat. They should immediately report the threat to the closest senior member of staff that is on hand. This will generally be the Director, Heads of School or member of the SLT. There should be no hesitation in announcing the lockdown, and the decision to call the lockdown should be made immediately and should not be delayed for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of the threat.

In all schools the actual wording announcing a lockdown, will be affixed near the PA microphone, so that it is clearly visible and can be read by the person announcing the lockdown. Each statement should be repeated 3 times.

Full Lockdown: This is a Code Red: Students, staff, and visitors, we are in a code red. Please lockdown immediately.

Hold and Secure or Shelter in Place: This is a Code Yellow: Students, staff, and visitors, we are in a code yellow, Hold and Secure or Shelter in Place lockdown.

To terminate a Lockdown: This is a Code Green: The lockdown is over, building is clear.

procedures DURING LOCKDOWN:

Classroom/ Other Secure Area

Upon hearing the Lockdown signal follow the procedure below, to make the school appear vacant.

  • Staff should quickly glance outside their classroom room to direct and gather anyone in the immediate area outside their room inside, but only if it is safe.
  • Lock the door (or barricade it).
  • Close the windows and put the blinds down.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Stay away from doors and windows and beware of sight lines.
  • Try to find a place where no one can see you, preferably behind something solid.
  • Teacher to take a register.
  • Don't talk or make any movements.
  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t use your mobile phone, unless necessary to communicate regarding the incident. Turn onto silent.
  • Operate the red or green card system in your classroom window
    • Red indicates a medical emergency or an unaccounted-for student
    • Green indicates no medical emergency and all children accounted for
  • Stay where you are until you hear the ‘all clear’ signal.

Portables

There are unique issues with thin walled portables. Desks should be tipped onto their sides with desk-tops facing out, and all desks placed in a circle, with students/staff locating within the circle, down on the floor below the top edge of the desk. The desk-top will act as an additional barrier to a round from a firearm which may penetrate a portable wall.

Toilets

As toilets cannot be locked and therefore should be identified during planning as a danger (red) area in the event of a lockdown, students need to evacuate toilets if at all possible and get to an area which can safely be locked down (green).

An adult who normally works in close proximity to student toilets will be assigned to check them prior to locking down themselves, if it is safe to do so. After gathering students in the immediate vicinity of their classroom door, into their classroom, they would quickly check both male and female washrooms to which they have been assigned in the planning phase, and take any students found in the toilets, into their classrooms to lockdown.

As a last resort, any staff or students trapped in a washroom should attempt to somehow secure the bathroom door, enter a cubicle, lock the door and climb on top of the toilet, to make the toilet appear vacant.

Open Areas

Open areas including canteens, libraries, gyms and other open areas are the most vulnerable areas of a school, making them the most likely location for an incident to occur, and the most difficult areas to quickly and effectively secure.

All possible options should be considered to best address these highly vulnerable areas, including the possibility of evacuating to the exterior of the school. This may be the best option if these areas are adjacent to exterior walls and have doors leading to the outside.

It is very important during staff and student training, that everyone understands what to do and where to go in the event a lock down is called and they are in an open area.

Outside of School Buildings when a Lockdown is called

In order to ensure those who are outside the school buildings are aware that the school is being locked down, the PA system must be capable of being activated outside the school. Consideration should also be given to including an exterior visual indicator (strobe lights), indicating that a lockdown has been called. Those who are outside the school when a lockdown is called, shall not re-enter the school, but shall proceed immediately to pre-determined off-site evacuation location(s). Once at the location, staff and students shall remain in that location until further advised by SLT or by police. Plans should include the taking of attendance at the off-site evacuation location(s).

Note: When a “Hold and Secure” or “Shelter in Place” situation occurs and staff and students are outside the building, they should re-enter the building prior to the exterior doors being locked.

Controlled Evacuation

In the event of a pro-longed situation, or a situation where the threat has been contained (barricaded individual), plans should include provisions for a controlled evacuation of the areas of Ajman Academy, not in the vicinity of the contained area.

Police will make the decision as to whether a controlled evacuation of a school under lockdown is a viable option and will direct the evacuation process accordingly. This will normally be done on a room by room basis, with evacuees being escorted by police to the evacuation location.

Fire Alarms

There is a desire not to create a situation where staff and students run into danger due to responding to a fire alarm. At the same time, staff and students do not want to ignore the fact that fire may occur intentionally or otherwise during a lockdown and there is a need to respond to the most immediate threat. Generally, you should not evacuate if the fire bell sounds during full lockdown.

PROCEDURE AT THE END OF A LOCKDOWN:

Rationale

There is a need to include the same level of authenticity to ending a lockdown as to initiating one.

Plans to conclude a lockdown will vary by location. It may include a general announcement via the PA system by the person initiating the lockdown or member of SLT, or it may be a room to room visit from police/school administration with some sort of an identification process, so that the occupants of a locked room know that whoever is giving them the all-clear is in fact authentic.

Local plans should include procedures for ending lockdowns at off-site evacuation locations. In all cases where police have responded, plans should clearly indicate that the decision to end a lockdown shall only be made after approval of the on-scene police Incident Commander.

Training

Orientation for new teachers will include mandatory lockdown training and returning staff will get refreshers during the year. Classroom teachers will be responsible for training students.

Where possible, it is advantageous to have police present during training, and to assist with the training of staff and students. Information for parents will include newsletters, information on the websites and an information session on lockdown plans.

Drills

As with fire drills, practicing of lockdown drills, in preparation for a major incident of school violence is essential, at least once a year.

Work cooperatively with police partners on drills. The Director / Head of School is responsible to set the date of drills and over-see the drill, with police support/assistance and possibly including Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) during drills, so they become familiar with lockdown plans.

Staff, students and parents should be given some warning of an impending drill. Procedures should include a plan to alert neighbouring schools of lockdown drills, especially if Fire and EMS have been invited to participate. A short debriefing should be included after all drills, to identify areas of improvement and report written by Health and Safety Officers for each school.

Media

Coordinated and consistent messaging from all partners is essential in maintaining public confidence.

Police are responsible to address media with respect to the criminal incident involved and police response to an incident. The Director / Heads of School are responsible for dealing with media on issues of staff and student safety.

Communication with Parents/Guardians/Community

Communication with parents, guardians and the community in general, is important so as to ensure a good understanding of lockdown procedures, without instilling fear.

Parents need to see lockdown drills as essential elements to prevent injury and good communication is required to eliminate fears and concerns. Parents play a key role in ensuring students cooperation and participation in drills.

Information shall be sent to each home at the beginning of the school year, to inform parents of lockdown procedures and to encourage parents to reinforce with their children, the importance of understanding the procedures and following staff direction.

Parents need to be informed of where they should proceed in the event of an actual incident involving a lockdown. Communication with parents around the importance of lockdowns is vital. Parents should be informed of what is expected should they arrive at school during a drill, or if they are present within the school when a lockdown is called.

In all incidents of a lockdown which was not a drill, a letter to parents should be sent home with each student at the conclusion of the school day or as soon as possible.

Parents should be encouraged to ensure contact information is kept up to date so they can easily be reached by staff in the event of an emergency.

Visitors

All vendors, visitors and volunteers must sign-in and out at the reception and wear an identifying

‘Visitor’ or ‘Volunteer’ badge. This will limit the scope of an intruder. One entrance to a school building will exist between 8am and 2.30pm / 3pm.

School Recovery following a Lockdown

A debriefing should occur in all situations following a lockdown. The nature and severity of the incident will dictate who should be included in the debriefing.

Plan Review

Each school plan, as well as the Board plan, shall be thoroughly reviewed annually.

Resources used for AJAC policy:

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/memos/june2009/LockdownGuidelinesEn.pdf

http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/health/factsheets/lockdown.pdf

http://www.gvsafety.com/Documents/SAFETY%20HANDOUTS/School%20Safety/School%20Safety%20Programs%20&%20Forms/School%20Lockdown%20Procedures.pdf

https://www.guideone.com/safety_resource/lockdown-procedures/


Social Media Policy

Ajman Academy (AJAC) realises that part of 21st century learning is adapting to the changing methods of communication. The importance of teachers, students and parents engaging, collaborating, learning and sharing in these digital environments is a part of 21st century learning.

These guidelines have been created as a resource for you. It is important to create an atmosphere of trust and individual accountability. By accessing, creating or contributing to any blogs, wikis, podcasts or other social media for classroom or AJAC use, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Please read them carefully before participating in any social media application.

What is Social Media?

User-created content online designed in a collaborative environment where users share opinions, knowledge and information with each other.

Tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Blogger, WordPress etc.
  • Wikis (Wikispaces, Google Sites etc.)
  • Discussion groups
  • Social Networking sites (Facebook, Ning, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn etc.)
  • Photo and Video Sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram etc.)Social Bookmarking (Diigo, Delicious)
  • Podcasting and Vodcasting

Personal Responsibility

AJAC encourages employees with a personal online presence to be mindful of the information they post. Your online behaviour should reflect the same professional and personal standards of honesty, respect and consideration that you use face-to-face and in work-related settings.

Please note that even if you delete personal information, it still may be stored on the website’s server for a longer period of time. Information that is marked “private” rarely is private on the Internet. It is very easy for “friends” to copy and paste information about you and send it or forward it to others, for example. There is no realistic expectation of privacy on the World Wide Web.

The lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in the digital world. By virtue of identifying yourself as an AJAC employee online, you are now connected to colleagues, students, parents and the school community. Use these connections wisely and well. You should also ensure that content associated with you is consistent with your work at AJAC and your role as a school employee.

It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the appropriate security settings for any social media (personal or professional) that you may use. Be sure that the settings are such that any personal content may only be viewed by your intended audience. Be aware that, even if your privacy settings are set properly, it is still possible for anyone who you have allowed to see your profile, to copy and paste text and send it to someone else. It is also easy for others to “tag” or identify you in photos that they publish with or without your knowledge and permission. Similarly, if you enable settings such as Facebook’s ability to allow “friends of friends” to view your content, it is extremely likely that unintended viewers will have access to pictures and other personal content.

It is inappropriate to use e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging or social networking sites to discuss with a student a matter that does not pertain to school-related activities. Appropriate discussions would include the student’s homework, class activity, school sport or club or other school-sponsored activity. Electronic communications with students are to be sent simultaneously to multiple recipients, not to just one student, except where the communication is clearly school-related and inappropriate for persons other than the individual student to receive (for example, e-mailing a message about a student’s grades).

Engaging in personal social-networking friendships on MySpace, Facebook, WhatsApp or other social networking sites is prohibited with students, and strongly discouraged with parents or guardians of students. AJAC recognizes that because of the tight-knit community of AJAC, many staff members may have students or parents of students that are family members or close personal friends. However, AJAC cautions staff members against engaging in such social-networking friendships with these individuals. Use your official, school or work-related page(s) instead.

Recommendation - How to respond to a “friend” request

A recommendation for staff to respond to “friend” requests on their personal pages is to respond with the below:

“If you are a student or parent requesting to be my “friend,” please do not be surprised or offended if I ignore your request. As an employee of AJAC, procedures and practices discourage me from “friending” students or parents on my personal pages. I would encourage you to friend our school’s (and/or classroom’s, department’s) AJAC Facebook pages, etc.”

Material that employees post on social networks that is publicly available to those in the school community must reflect the professional image applicable to the employee’s position and not impair the employee’s capacity to maintain the respect of students and parents/guardians or impair the employee’s ability to serve as a role model for children.

Professional Responsibility

While social media can be a powerful communication tool and an educational tool for students and parents, AJAC employees are personally responsible for the content they publish online. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time — protect your privacy.

Remember that social media in the classroom is an extension of your physical classroom. What is inappropriate in your classroom should be deemed inappropriate online.

Teachers who use social networking to interact with students and/or parents in an educational manner or as a communication tool must find ways to interact without giving students and parents access to their personal information and posts. Many social network sites allow you to create “groups” or “pages” where you can interact with students without giving them access to your personal account. Please see detailed Facebook guidelines for more information.

When contributing online do not post confidential student information. Do not post pictures of any students on your personal sites. Use an AJAC provided e-mail as your e-mail contact for official or school-related pages. Do not use your AJAC provided e-mail as a username or e-mail contact for personal pages.

Please remember that all AJAC policies and procedures, as well as relevant local, state and federal laws apply to social media communications.

Overall Guidelines for Using Social Media

The following are general guidelines for using social media whether personally or professionally.

You Are Always a School Employee

Although the lines between public and private, personal and professional, can become blurred in the digital world, you will always be considered to be an AJAC employee. Whether it is clearly communicated or not, you will be identified as an employee of the AJAC community in what you do and say online. If you don’t want it on the 10:00 PM news or in the daily newspaper - don’t share it online.

Confidential Information

Online postings and conversations are not private. Do not share confidential information whether it is internal school discussions or specific information about students or other staff. What you post will be seen by others and will be online for a long time. It can be forwarded or shared in just a few clicks. Do not write about colleagues or students without their express permission.

Posting Photos or Movies without Permission

Do not post or tag photos or movies of others without their permission. Do not use photos or movies taken at school without permission. Do not post photos or movies that contain students without parent consent.

Responding to Negative Comments and Criticism

How you respond to negative comments or criticism will say more about you and your character than what you post. When in doubt, it’s best not to give it credibility by acknowledging it with a response publicly; perhaps a private response would be more appropriate. See the response guidelines for more information on responding to these types of comments.

Personal Information

Be careful about sharing too much personal information. People often share personal information such as their pet names, their parent’s and children’s names, where they grew up, and more. This information may help a hacker guess your passwords. If you share that you will be out of town, a criminal may use this to target your home for a burglary. Do not share with a student your personal problems that would normally be discussed with adults. Be smart and don’t share too much information.

Staff-Student Relations

Employees are prohibited from establishing personal relationships with students that are unprofessional and thereby inappropriate. Examples of unprofessional relationships include, but are not limited to:

  • employees fraternising or communicating with students as if employees and students were peers such as writing personal letters or e-mails;
  • personally texting or calling students, or allowing students to make personal calls to them unrelated to homework, class work, or other school-related business;
  • sending inappropriate pictures to students;
  • discussing or revealing to students personal matters about your private lives or inviting students to do the same (other than professional counselling by a school counsellor); and
  • engaging in sexualised dialogue, whether in person, by phone, via the Internet or in writing.

Employees who post information on Facebook, MySpace or similar websites that include inappropriate personal information such as, but not limited to:

  • provocative photographs,
  • sexually explicit messages,
  • racist comments;
  • abuse of alcohol; and
  • drugs or anything that encourages illegal activities or violence
  • must understand that if students, parents or other employees obtain access to such information and report this to AJAC, the report will be investigated by AJAC and passed onto the UAE police.

Teaching & Learning Policy

We expect every teacher to be a good teacher – no child deserves less.

Rationale

There is no single recipe for improving Teaching and Learning in our schools, however this policy outlines the key elements, which are key in teaching and learning. It also outlines the way in which Teaching and Learning supports the ethos within the group of schools and how this fosters the qualities we seek to develop and prepare students for life.

The core activities of Teaching and Learning are fundamental to our commitment to develop all students' abilities irrespective of their background or ability. When rendering this policy it is important to remember that adopting abroad template for structuring lessons does not preclude:

  • Spontaneity
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Individuality

Central to our philosophy is for learning to be challenging and enjoyable, and for students to thrive and become independent learners so that they are empowered with the opportunities and confidence required for them make appropriate decisions both at school and in real life situations.

Aims of the policy

  • To constantly improve the quality of teaching and learning across the group
  • To raise the level of student attainment and progress by ensuring that all students are supported and challenged in achieving their best through the effective pedagogy.
  • To provide staff with clear Learning and Teaching expectations of Ajman Academy
  • To establish and share a range of outstanding practices in respect of Teaching and Learning.
  • To monitor effectively the quality of Teaching and Learning Reflective Practice

All teachers are responsible for the following:

  • They undertake a coaching cycle each half-term (2 half hour coaching sessions / 1 observation) with a colleague in order to strengthen their practice.
  • They demonstrate a willingness to reflect on their practice and further improve student learning and progress.
  • They share good practice within teams and with fellow colleagues.

Outstanding Teaching

All teaching staff are responsible for ensuring the following happens consistently in lessons:

Lesson Structure & Climate

  • Identify the most appropriate and effective activities for the child friendly learning objectives to ensure all students make maximum progress.
  • Ensure that curriculum expectations are made clear to students and the focus on key learning is identified and reflected upon.
  • Use a range of teaching resources, styles and appropriate pedagogical strategies, including the incorporation of technology.
  • The effective use of adults in the classroom, in order to aid student learning and to maximise students’ progress.
  • Create a stimulating environment and convey a sense of enjoyment through their lessons.
  • Facilitate understanding and awareness of how the students are learning (metacognition), encouraging a ‘Growth Mindset’ (Embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see mistakes as part of the learning process, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, learn from the successes of others).
  • Value students’ contributions, feedback constructively to students and celebrate their achievements, encouraging talk and thinking time.
  • Children are reminded of the success criteria during the lesson and asked to use these criteria to self assess their own, or partner's work.
  • Manage the classroom in a manner that promotes positive behaviour and a safe and healthy environment.
  • Wherever possible, create opportunities to enhance spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness and links to daily life.

Assessment for Learning AfL in Lessons

  • Embed AfL into planning and use ongoing assessment to inform planning and target-setting to further challenge individual students, addressing the full range of abilities and maintaining a close focus on those that are at risk of underachieving.
  • Ensure clarity of expected learning in terms of precise and clear learning objectives -differentiated success criteria, and ensure students are aware and understand expected learning outcomes.
  • Ensure that students are engaged with the learning objectives through carefully prepared activities and that learning goals are recorded in their notes. Bloom’s is a powerful tool for forming challenging, differentiated criteria.
  • Implement a lesson structure which provides opportunities to focus on and revisit the learning objectives at regular points (mini plenaries) (not just at the end of the lesson)
  • Encourage students to develop and practice new learning in order to achieve the learning objective.
  • Use a range of effective assessment strategies (including teacher, self and peer feedback), written feedback.
  • If a student has achieved very highly, meeting the success criteria skillfully, then this should be seen as an opportunity to challenge that student by encouraging them to evaluate their own work, consider a challenging question or apply high level skills to another area.
  • When marked work is returned, students must be given the opportunity to make a focused improvement on their skills, in response to the Even Better if given.
  • There should be a range of other forms of formative feedback in books: self, peer and ‘light-touch’ teacher marking (e.g. highlighting areas that students have to work out for themselves). Self and peer assessment needs managing carefully – students need to become familiar with assessment criteria and trained in how to recognise strengths / areas for improvement.
  • Correct or facilitate self-correction of literacy errors at least once per half term in subjects with less writing and at least once a fortnight in English.

Differentiation

  • Know the students’ capabilities well and understand any barriers that may affect their learning.
  • Provide, where appropriate, differentiated resources that take into consideration the needs of individual students.
  • Provide activities that extend students and promote independence.
  • Recognise student diversity and create an atmosphere conducive to the promotion of student involvement and self-concept
  • Use appropriate communication strategies for different individuals or groups.
  • Use questioning to challenge students and deepen learning (Bloom’s is a useful tool for differentiating questioning).
  • Check students’ understanding and adapt strategies to maximise student learning.

Outstanding Learning:

In order to enable students to achieve their full potential, learning experiences should provide the opportunity for them to:

  • Become increasingly independent, self-motivated learners
  • Receive feedback on how they are doing and how they can improve
  • Make significant progress and build upon their own successes
  • Acquire essential skills for life and practice them in a variety of situations
  • Become engaged, apply themselves and concentrate
  • Communicate in a variety of ways.
  • Use technology as an aid to learning. The use of ICT is highly visible in all teaching and learning contexts and teachers continuously search for ways to use the technology as a learning tool.
  • Value themselves and others as learners, working well alongside others.
  • Students learn best when:
    • The pedagogy is tailored to their learning needs
    • They know what is expected of them
    • They are given regular, diagnostic feedback, identifying strengths and areas for improvement
    • They show interest in how well they are doing and how they can improve
    • Personal learning objectives and learning outcomes are clear
    • The curriculum is relevant, challenging and achievable
    • They are interested, happy, enthusiastic and motivated
    • They have appropriate resources, equipment and activities to meet their needs
    • They feel secure, are praised, rewarded, encouraged and their success is celebrated and have a good relationship with staff who treat them with respect
    • Students are actively involved during all parts of the lesson – teachers take into account children’s concentration span and ensure that they are not sitting passively.
    • Opportunities to Think/Pair/Share and discussions with a Think Partner are regular features in the lessons. Students are trained to use body language when engaged in discussion with a partner.
    • Use of cooperative learning where children work in small, mixed ability learning teams, not only responsible for their own learning but also for helping members of their team learn.

Transport Policy

Introduction

Ajman Academy sets high standards and expectations through highlighting and praising good behaviour. We encourage students to respect themselves, each other, adults and property. We endeavour to apply rules fairly, clearly and consistently. We aim to provide a happy, caring environment. Under no circumstances do we use any form of corporal punishment, nor is it our intention that a student is belittled or shamed before their peers. In the case of a serious incident or persistent unacceptable behaviour we will always endeavour to involve parents in resolving the situation. The home/Academy partnership is seen as vital in establishing and maintaining high standards of behaviour and appropriate conduct. It is important not to see behaviour as a separate issue. It is taken within the wider context and as an integral part of the school. The Academy's behaviour and rewards process is presented alongside the Behaviour and Sanctions Policy and one is intended to support and complement the other.

Our rules are based on the following principles:

Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour likely to hurt or upset another member of the Academy. Poor standards of behaviour show a lack of respect for others, disrupting journeys. Through the implementation of this policy, students will learn the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and they will learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They will be helped to develop self-control, respect for the needs of others and respect for other’s property. Appropriate behaviour is modeled by the staff of Ajman Academy, who will readily and regularly give explanations to students with regards to their behaviour. We trust that the parents of Ajman Academy share this aim to model appropriate behaviour so that students are given clear and consistent guidance. Ajman Academy is a community where bullying in any form will not be tolerated.

Scope:

The Transport Policy will be applied to all students on school buses and used by school students include when uniform is worn and/or taking part in organised trips and events or where their behaviour is violent, illegal, may bring the reputation of the Academy into disrepute or may place other students at risk.

Ajman Academy Students’ Rights

  • To be valued by others
  • To be treated with respect
  • To be treated equally to others
  • To have an opportunity to be heard
  • To be dealt with fairly and consistently

Ajman Academy Students’ Responsibilities

  • To value others in the community
  • To respect the views and property of others
  • To be tolerant and accept different perspectives and ideas
  • To listen to other people’s opinions
  • To accept and support the Academy’s rules and expectation

Examples and classification of levels of misbehaviour (Appendix 1)

Examples of misbehaviour are given below and the list is by no means exhaustive. Repetition of the same type of misbehaviour, lying about misbehaviour, showing no remorse and failing to comply with instructions when challenged over misbehaviour will raise the level of sanction. Any mitigating circumstances will be taken into account and may reduce the level of sanction. Whilst misbehaviour outside the classroom may not directly impact on teaching and learning it does damage the ethos and social structure of the Academy community and is taken just as seriously. Where new examples of misbehaviour are identified they will be periodically added to this grid.

Lower level Misbehaviour

Examples may include - Failing to comply with the instructions of the bus supervisors; rough and tumble or play fighting; arriving late to the bus without a genuine reason

It is expected that the bus supervisor that encounters them will deal with lower level behaviour issues, such as these.

Mid-level Misbehaviour

Regular repetition of lower level misbehaviours or - throwing items across the bus; shouting/calling out loudly; arguing with supervisory staff, not coming on the bus without a valid reason; deliberate damage to bus; littering, not clearing area where seated..

It is expected that persistent lower level misbehaviour or single acts of mid-level misbehaviour will be referred upwards Senior Leadership who will deal with these misdemeanours appropriately

Higher level Misbehaviour

Regular repetition of mid-level misbehaviours or – vandalism/deliberate damage (including graffiti), verbal or physical intimidation of other students amounting to bullying; deliberately behaving in a way that is likely to cause injury to others; serious, repeated or extended verbal abuse of another student or member of supervisory staff; taking items that do not belong to you; possession of dangerous items on the bus; discriminatory behaviour or use of discriminatory language; racist behaviour/discrimination or use of racist language; relatively “minor” assault/fighting (where contact is made);

Any persistent mid-level misbehaviour and/or single acts of serious misbehaviour involving damage or risk to person or property must be referred through to the Principal of the school

Very serious Misbehaviour

Regular repetition of higher level misbehaviours or - behaviours classed as “criminal” including possession, use and/or distribution of weapons, substances, serious physical assault. Wherever a student’s behaviour puts other students or bus supervisory staff at serious risk.

The final decision on very serious misbehaviour that may result in a permanent exclusion from the Academy will be made by the Director and approved by the Board of Directors.

RESPONDING TO DIFFERENT LEVELS OF MISBEHAVIOUR (APPENDIX 2)

Level 1-
First Response
Lower level misbehaviour

There is an escalating series of ways in which a supervisor can respond to poor behaviour. It may simply be an extended pause, a “look” or a verbal warning. The bus supervisor may explicitly remind the student of the agreed rules and protocols. The bus supervisor may move the student to another seat within the bus. The tone of the bus supervisor’s voice may indicate disapproval but shouting at a child is ineffective and should not happen.

Level 2-
Detention

As a stronger response to lower level misbehaviour the supervisor can inform the Assistant Principal and the consequence may give a breaktime or lunch-time detention and will keep a record of behaviour concerns by writing a note to parents.

Level 3-
Senior Leadership Team Detention
Mid level misbehaviour

Persistent lower level misbehaviour or mid-level misbehaviour will result in the involvement of the Assistant Principal/Deputy Head. They will speak to the student and and may organise a break-time detention or lunch-time detention.

Level 3-
Senior Leadership Team Detention
Higher level misbehaviour

Serious or persistent misbehaviour, or poor behaviour on a number of occasions will result in the involvement of the Assistant Head or Deputy Principal. (Further clarification/guidance is given in Appendix 3)

If a Principal’s Detention (Thursday after school), is given telephone, letter or e-mail will inform parents and a meeting in the Academy may be arranged. The student may also be placed on a behaviour report which will be monitored daily and parents will be contacted on completion of the report period to discuss progress.

Level 4-
Internal Exclusion

Internal exclusions for part or whole day will be used if the Principal is not satisfied that the student is showing sufficient improvement. Internally excluded students will be supervised as they complete their work away from their normal lessons and classmates. This sanction may also be used for serious incidents of misconduct or as a “cooling down” mechanism.

Level 4-
External
(fixed-term) Exclusion

External exclusions (or “suspensions”) will be used in more serious cases of misbehaviour - advised by the Behaviour and Sanctions Policy but ultimately determined by the Director.

Parental involvement is key where the level of behaviour is such that a fixed-term exclusion is given. This sanction is seen as an opportunity for a student to modify their behaviour before a permanent exclusion from the Academy is applied.

Permanent Exclusion

A permanent exclusion will result if a student persistently exhibits serious unacceptable behaviour and shows no attempt to modify their behaviour despite being given opportunities to do so. It will result if a student commits a felony, whether the act takes place inside the bus, or if the nature of the crime is such that the student’s return to school bus would put other students at risk.

The Principal, when approved by the Director and the MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, applies a permanent exclusion. Parents retain the right to appeal to the Governing Body and the MINISTRY OF EDUCATION against a decision of a permanent exclusion.

Whole School Detention and Principal’s Detention Guidance (Appendix 3)

This is drawn from the older Whole School Detention Policy and is included with the Behavior and Sanctions Policy as additional guidance and reference.

The “Whole School Detention” is designed to respond to Level 3 (mid-level) discipline issues.

The “Whole School Detention” takes place on Thursdays from 1:15PM to 2:15PM.

The Assistant Principal is the gatekeeper of this detention. The bus supervisor would have dealt with the issue previously at Level 1 and 2. The Assistant Principal would, therefore, already be aware of the context via Engage or verbal communication. Alternatively, the issue may have come directly to the Assistant Principal due to the severity of the problem.

After investigation, the Assistant Principal will use their professional judgement to determine whether a Thursday “Whole School Detention” is the best solution or whether an alternative intervention would be more appropriate. (Using the “On Report” system, etc)

The Assistant Principal would send the standard detention letter home, (giving at least 24 hours notice), note their action in Engage and oversee the follow up tracking post detention.

In the same vein a Saturday morning “Principal's Detention” could be available as a staged option. This detention is intended to be set at a higher level than the “Whole School Detention” on a Thursday after school.

A list of the students the Assistant Principal is placing in detention, with the proposed Thursday or Saturday clearly indicated, should be sent to the Principal at least a week before the event.

The Principal will cover the Thursday afternoon detentions. In the absence of the Principal, the Assistant Principal will cover the Saturday morning detention.

Fire Evacuation

Introduction

The safety of students, staff and visitors is of the utmost importance to Ajman Academy and the procedures for evacuation during a fire are a key element in keeping people safe.

Whilst there will be termly fire evacuation practices, each time the fire bell rings it should be treated as a real fire and the whole school evacuated promptly.

Signal: Continuous ringing of school bell

Procedure During Class Time - Students and Teachers

  1. Students exit classroom via both doors and WALK in orderly lines.
  2. Students evacuate the building by designated routes to the Assembly Area at the front of school outlined below:
    • PRE-KG - exit via main entrance of PRE-KG building to Gate “8” and line up where indicated.
    • KG1 - exit via bottom entrance of main building to Gate “7” and line up where indicated.
    • KG2 - exit via entrance between KG1 & KG2 of main school building to Gate “6” and line up where indicated outside the wall.
    • G1 - exit via main school entrance of main school building to gate “4” and line up where indicated outside the wall.
    • G2 - exit via Fire Staircase at the end of corridor & out via bottom entrance of main school building to Gate “7” and line up where indicated.
    • G3 - exit via main stairs & out via main school entrance of main school building to Gate “4” and line up where indicated outside the wall.
    • G4 - exit via middle stairs & out via entrance between KG2 classrooms of main school building to gate “5” and line up where indicated outside the wall.
    • G5 - exit via staircase near admins area & out via exit door at admins area to gate “4” and line up where indicated outside the wall.
    • Library, Art Room and IT Room – exit via stairs to reception main entrance to front of main school building.
    • Gymnasium/Swimming Pool – exit via the fire exits in this area, proceed to gate to car park, walk quickly to front of main school building.
    • Auditorium – exit via main school entrance of main school building.
    • Cafeteria - exit via main school entrance of main school building.

If it is unsafe to use the designated exit routes you should leave the building via the next nearest and safest exit.

  1. No talking is permitted.
  1. Teachers:
  1. If at hand, teachers are to collect their iPads and the classlist from near the door.
  2. Check that all students are out of the classroom.
  3. Check that all exits are clear.
  4. Close classroom door. DO NOT LOCK. (Later entry may be required.)
  5. DO NOT switch off any lights or electrical appliances

In the Assembly Area

  1. In the Assembly Area, teachers will take a register of their children using the classlist that is kept close to the classroom door. Teacher to take it with them on evacuation from the building. Attendance at collection point should be checked off using these registers as quickly as possible and immediate visual feedback be provided via the cards in the back of the register: Teacher will hold up green card (all present) or red card (not all present) in plain view immediately. Upon all attendance being confirmed, the all clear will be given and staff and children will be able to re-enter the school building.
  2. Students in specialist lessons are to exit the school via the above means. On arrival at the Assembly Area, the students are requested to rejoin their homeroom line with their designated homeroom teacher.
  3. Students will remain orderly and in silent lines until the Director gives a clear signal for dismissal.

Procedure before School, during first break, lunch and ECA’s

  1. Students in the lower school playground exit via the gate, wait for the supervising teacher beside the gate, where the supervising teacher will lead them to the front of the main school building.
  2. Students in the upper years play area, exit via the gate in the play area, wait beside the gate for the supervising teacher, who will lead them to the front of the main school building.

Administration and Other Employees

  1. Administration office staff should exit the building via the main school entrance to the front of the school building. They should meet in ONE area and have their names taken by Rana Malah, who will confirm that all are present.
  2. Cleaners should exit via the nearest fire exit, proceed to the front of the main school building, where they are to meet and collect into ONE area where their supervisor will confirm if all are present.

Responsibilities

  1. The Director has overall responsibility in the Assembly Area.
  2. The Primary School Principal will receive the completed class registers from the teachers and will alert the Facilities Manager should any student or teacher not be accounted for.
  3. Teachers will be responsible for taking their class list from the classroom and taking a register.
  4. The FACILITIES Manager will complete the checklist to ensure that all groups of personnel are accounted for.
  5. The Receptionists will take the visitors register to the assembly area and will then take a roll of the visitors in accordance with the visitors signing in book and report to the Facilities Manager.
  6. The Admissions Manager will take a roll of all administration staff and report directly to the Facilities Manager.
  1. The Facilities Manager will call the Fire Brigade, identify the point of alert on the fire panel, direct the Fire Brigade on arrival, liaise with the Fire Brigade and Security staff.
  1. The Cafeteria Manager/Supervisor will take a roll call of all cafeteria staff and report directly to the Facilities Manager.
  2. The Security Supervisor will take a roll call of security and report directly to the Facilities Manager.
  3. The Cleaning Supervisor will take a roll call of the cleaners and report directly to the Facilities Manager.
  4. Fire Marshals will sweep through building and ensure buildings are clear. They are to report immediately to the Facilities Manager once complete.
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