Abu Dhabi school wins international award for ensuring learning never stopped during pandemic
British International School Abu Dhabi ensured pupils did not miss out on valuable learning when summer exams were cancelled
An Abu Dhabi school that rose to the challenge of preparing pupils for university life during a Covid-19 shutdown has won an international honour.
Teachers at the British International School Abu Dhabi got creative when summer exams were cancelled for their Year 13 learners due to the pandemic.
With results instead decided on predicted grades, it left teachers and pupils with no tests to work towards for the rest of the academic year.
The school quickly put together six courses, on European literature, culture studies, medicine, biochemistry, neuroscience, and psychology, to keep young minds sharp as learning switched online.
It was recognised for its ingenuity at the International School Awards 2021 with victory in the Pathways to Continued and University Education category at a virtual awards ceremony held on Monday.
“In March, the International Baccalaureate, along with other exam boards, cancelled summer exams," said Christopher Lowe, head of secondary at The British International School Abu Dhabi
"That left our year 13 pupils with no formal learning for seven months."
Through these courses, the school hoped to support pupils with university studies to come.
Imagine a classroom that has a robotics arena, a TV studio, a radio station, a mini stage for creation, that’s what we have
School superintendent Monique Flickinger
The school was nominated alongside English International College in Spain.
It was one of three successes for schools in the Emirates.
The American Community School Abu Dhabi won the Future-thinking Innovators award for its technology programme and learning space.
The school was nominated alongside The British School New Delhi, Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, International School of London, and The British International School Phuket.
Pupils return to classrooms after Covid-19 moved learning online:
"Imagine a classroom that has a robotics arena, a TV studio, a radio station, a mini stage for creation, that’s what we have," said Monique Flickinger, superintendent at the school.
The non-profit school's technology team revamped their technology offerings to ensure pupils are able to learn at their own pace.
Deira International School in Dubai scooped the Digital Technology in Learning award for their effective artificial intelligence and analytics programme to support teaching and learning.
It was nominated alongside British International School Ho Chi Minh City, and Rugby School Thailand.
The award recognised schools that used technology to improve pupil’s learning.
Paul Gardner, deputy head at Deira International School said the school had covered vast territory to improve their digital offerings.
"Where we were 18 months ago is very different from where we are now," said Mr Gardner.
"We had very little in terms of digital infrastructure and now we are at a developed stage.
"Pupils are able to receive live feed back and we have integrated apps into our learning system."
Now, pupils at the school lead digital training and host workshops.
The annual awards are organised by ISC Research, an educational data provider that has been collecting information on international schools for 27 years.
This year, 264 schools from 62 countries were nominated for the awards.
An independent judging panel of 11 teachers selected the winners.
Branksome Hall Asia in South Korea was named the International School of the Year 2021.
There are 12,080 international schools teaching more than 6.7 million children across the world.
“Many congratulations to Branksome Hall Asia and to all our winning schools. You are fantastic representatives of an innovative and resilient sector that keeps pushing the boundaries of international education," Leigh Webb, chief executive of ISC Research who announced all the winners said.
Pearson, a UK education publishing and assessment service, was the main sponsor of the 2021 awards.
The International Impact award was presented to The International School of Prague for a partnership with an educational charity at a refugee camp in Greece.
The Safeguarding award was given to The English School in Kuwait for a progressive child protection programme which engaged parents and the community.
Updated: January 20, 2021 03:28 PM