OICS places focus on a wholesome teaching approach
Ontario International Canadian School (OICS), the only Canadian curriculum school in Dubai, has established its goal to work towards the wholesome development of its students. By providing an all-rounded approach to education, the school endeavors to raise healthy and intelligent young leaders for the UAE.
Alongside the rich offerings of the unique curriculum in the UAE, OICS places immense focus on the physical development of its students. Principal, Mr. Ron Hodkinson says that students receive two hours of scheduled Physical Education throughout the week, including the chance to let loose playing basketball, badminton, soccer and volleyball in addition to being able to swim.
He explains, “It is important for children to be exposed to team work and the idea of fair play from a young age, which is best done through sports. We encourage such ideals as students showing sportsmanship and dedication are chosen to compete in matches against other schools. With the support of our parent community, OICS also hosts an annual Sports Day and a unique ‘students vs. staff’ sport match during lunch hours, to further develop these important traits.”
Artistic endeavors are also highly encouraged, through hour long weekly sessions. OICS connects these sessions to themes that students face in homeroom. “We first introduce pupils to appropriate techniques, leading to them innovating and creating their own art installations or musical pieces. At different times throughout the year students have the opportunity to showcase their diligent efforts and highlight their talent in the field of arts,” says Hodkinson.
In a world where standing out and placing oneself ahead of the crowd is fundamental, OICS notes the importance of leadership capabilities. As a result, this has been added into the repertoire of skills that are transferred to students. By embedding this into their daily school routines, staff members are able to acquaint children with the subject, and therefore make it seem less daunting. To further promote this approach, all assemblies are student-led, giving them the opportunity to build their confidence across both Arabic and English mediums. Furthermore, students have access to The World Scholar’s Cup, a debate club where students meet weekly to refine their skills, following a competition against 800 students across Dubai. These have proven extremely successful in the past, with three students winning gold medals and advancing to the Global Round on an international scale.
Mr. Hodkinson says, “We want to give our students the best chance of success in a dynamic post education environment. By attending to these specific skills and thought processes, we hope that they have a head start on whichever path they wish to embark on in the future. The main thing is that our students enjoy being given these opportunities as it provides them with another avenue, apart from academics and athletics, at which to excel.”
Bearing in mind the competitive learning environment students face in today’s world, OICS goes a step further to ensure they are best equipped to tackle this, through its on-site counselor. Intermediate students have regular appointments with the Guidance Counselor to discuss progress towards their goals and post-secondary intentions. Additionally, the Student Council has a program to support younger students in the school during lunch breaks by helping to solve simple social conflicts among peers.