Back to School UAE: New books from KG-Grade 5

Customers picks school items on sale as they prepare for the coming 2013 schoolyear in Dubai. (Ahmad Ardity)

With the roll out of the New School Model (NSM) to Grade 6 (Cycle 2) in the new academic year, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has introduced major transformational initiatives across Kindergarten (KG) to Grade 6 this academic year.

New textbooks will be introduced for Science and English language across KG to Grade 5, as per highest international standards, and with more focus on the UAE culture, heritage and national identity.

English language textbooks, with the participation of an international foundation known for writing English language books as a second language, will also be introduced.

Each of these books will be accompanied by textbooks, a teacher's and parent's guide as well as a digital component.

Arabic language teachers will be given guidebooks and digital paper resources to help support their teaching methods in classrooms.

Speaking about the initiative, Dr Karima Al Mazroui, Adec’s Curriculum Division Manager, explained that teachers will be equipped with the best pedagogical practices and strategies to help deliver effective teaching methods to students.

"In efforts to help encourage teachers to read and research as much as possible, Adec has provided KG to Grade 5 teacher's with more than 50,000 digital components (stories, resources) in addition to textbooks that they can access electronically from their school or their homes.

Grade 6 teachers also have access of this electronic service (digital, paper resources and manipulatives.)"

In addition, major changes will be included across 102 Grade 6 schools across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Arabic, English, Mathematics and Science

Arabic, English, Mathematics and Science will be taught six periods a week, each period will be taught for 45 minutes.

New text books in English will help reflect the importance of cultural heritage; teachers and parents will have access of digital components in order to help guide them; and chapter books will be introduced in both English and Arabic to help motivate students to read more.

Integrated Social Studies

A new subject called Integrated Social Studies will be taught for the first time as part of the curriculum changes to include History, Geography, Social Studies, National Education, Economics, Psychology, Sociology and Career Guidance.

"Integrated Social Studies will be taught three periods a week and has been especially designed to help strengthen a student's cultural and national identity while guiding them towards a bright future career path. Through a combination of these courses students will gain a better understanding of what the future of the UAE looks like, and the steps to take in order to contribute positively to the environment and society."

She added: "Social studies alone will include six units (books) on global connections, accompanied by a teachers and parents guide and a student activity book.

This subject includes a lot of inquires and projects as per modern pedagogy teaching skills. The National Geographic helped us develop each of these books."

Information and Communications Technology

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will no longer be a standalone subject.

"According to research it is better to integrate ICT and not isolate it from other subjects. ICT teachers will become e-learning facilitators who will accompany and support all subject teachers in classrooms. In the past technology was looked at as a product, but now we refer to technology as a tool for learning."

Islamic Studies (four periods a week), Physical Education and Arts will remain the same, however with more focus on cultural heritage, environment, and arts and music related to the UAE.

Health and Physical Education

Health will be integrated with physical education to be called Health and Physical Education, where students will learn how to better understand their body and become more aware of the different healthy lifestyle habits that should be accommodated with frequent sports.

This will be delivered in two periods a week, 45 minutes each.

Other ongoing successful projects will continue to be delivered across KG to Grade 6 schools, some of which include ECART (English Continuous Assessment through Rich Tasks) and ACART (Arabic Continuous Assessment through Rich Tasks); the introduction of Scrabble to improve Arabic writing skills which will be offered across more schools; the Houbara bird program will also be offered in more schools as part of its interactive and applied knowledge capabilities which have been proven successful among students; the falcon project as part of the UAE's culture, will be expanded and included in many subjects such as Social Studies, Islamic Studies, Arabic and English; Art projects in both English and Arabic subjects will be highlighted and taught, some of which include the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Manarat Al Saadiyat; and finally the Abu Dhabi Reads campaign will continue to expand an support the reading and writing culture across schools in Abu Dhabi.

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