Back to School 2020: In Pictures

Schools across the UAE began reopening on Sunday, much to the joy of students, parents and teachers alike!
Back to School 2020: In Pictures
By Jenny Mollon
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Schools across the UAE began reopening on Sunday 30th August, and we have been delighted to share the excitement here on our live school reopening blog.  Given the staggered starts of schools, we're going to keep adding to this story as long as the pics keep coming in. Happiness needs to be shared!

If you would like to share your back to school photos with us, please send them to [email protected]

Although many schools opened on Sunday, a significant number have delayed their start as they await the results of their teacher Covid tests - a safety measure announced for Dubai schools last week.  So far, we are aware that Horizon English School, Kent College Dubai, Arcadia School have done so. 

For other schools, there will be a delay of two weeks if positive cases are found among their staff.  So whilst school starts today, many students are back to distance learning for a while longer.  Social media reports indicate that Dubai American Academy is to be closed for in person learning for two weeks, although no official announcement has been made as to the reason.  

One student who was delighted to be heading back to school was Daisy Conlon, a Grade 5 student at Uptown International School in Mirdiff.  Daisy's Mum is a teacher at the school so the big first day back was a family affair...

Daisy Conlon, ready and happy to return to school.

Daisy's sister, Amber, also can't wait to get to school! Amber is in Grade 4, Uptown International School.

At Horizon International School (below) parents, staff and students made a calm and happy return to their classes. Teachers protected themselves and their students by wearing protective face covers that still allowed students to see their smiles!

A teacher wearing protective face covering and sharing a back to school story at Horizon International School

Above, student arrive at GEMS International School Al Khail and are given a cheery greeting by a waiting security guard.  At the same school, (below) parents and children arrive wearing masks and yet looking delighted to be back!

Sir Christopher Stone, Global Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education, said: “The first day back to school after the summer is always an exciting, auspicious one for students and teachers alike – yet even more so this year. 

"While schools and classrooms might not look and operate quite the same as earlier in the year, given the numerous health and safety measures in place, students and teachers were still visibly pleased to be reunited and learning together once more. Even those students who have opted to continue distance learning will have the opportunity to interact with friends and classmates as lessons are streamed live into their homes".

Students and parents at GEMS International School, Al Khail arrive for the new term

More families arrive at GEMS International School, Al Khail

Simon Herbert, Head of School/CEO, GEMS International School, Al Khail, said:

“We are so excited about our students’ return to school. This year has seen so many challenges and our students have been away from school for such a long time. Therefore, our staff are ready to welcome, comfort, support and re-engage. This year, more than any year before, our focus is on the well-being of our whole community. We are delighted that so many children have chosen to return to our campus, but we do not forget those who have opted for remote learning. We are ready for both and remain flexible, agile and resilient.”

Students at GEMS Wellington Academy return to school

Across the emirates, bus services will continue to operate and bring students to school, albeit with a more limited capacity than before.  The red carpet was ready for bus users at GEMS New Millennium School, Al Khail this morning!

Bus users arrive at GEMS New Millennium School this morning

At Dubai British Foundation, Principal Carrie Hoza told that the school very lucky that every child was able to be welcomed back to school today for 100% in school learning.

Before starting school all children were asked to send a family photo and a drawing that they found on their first day in class, "a lovely reminder that their class is theirs right from Day One".

DBF says it has made its joint focus safety and wellbeing. "In any year this is so important, but especially this year after families have been away from school for so long, Ms Hoza told us. 

Some families have opted for another term of online learning.  One such family is that of WSA Junior Journalist, Mishal Faraz.  Mishal and her brother, Mir are students at The Winchester School and were both delighted to start their lessons again this morning.

Mishal Faraz, back to school, still learning online

Mir Faraz, proudly wearing his school uniform as he continues to study online!

Students at Kings' Al Barsha were able to meet their new teachers today, ahead of a return to school later this week

Safety first at Kings' Al Barsha!

Sisters Rasha and Hayat were delighted to return to Al Alfiah Filipino Private School in Sharjah

Yousef returns to Grade 2 at Uptown International School

Saeed, who will join Grade 5 at Uptown International School

Sisters Aaliya and Aisha, Uptown International School

Dana, Grade 1, Uptown International School

Safety measures ready at Fairgreen International School

Students at Fairgreen International School returned to campus on Tuesday 1st September

Socially distant classrooms at Fairgreen International School

Young students get ready for a big day of learning at Fairgreen International School

Happy children return to Kings' School Nad Al Sheba

Social distancing in action at Kings' School Nad Al Sheba

These students were ready to get stuck in to some sporting activities at Kings' School Nad Al Sheba

Dad and daughter return to Kings' School Nad Al Sheba

Students are welcomed back to Nord Anglia International School Dubai - also our featured image!

Lessons are underway at Nord Anglia International School Dubai

These sisters are back to school at Nord Anglia International School Dubai - and ready to get started!

Kent College Dubai reopened to pupils on Wednesday this week...pupils and staff were delighted to be back!

A lesson in action at Kent College Dubai

One of Kent College Dubai's youngest pupils is delighted to be back in school

The big Back to School day was a celebration at Regent International School

Students, ready to learn at Regent International School

Students arrive at Regent International School

We love the co-operation between at home, online student and students in class here at GEMS Founders School

Students at Repton Abu Dhabi are ready for a day of learning

Mask on - still smiling! A Repton Dubai Senior School Student


We will continue to update this article as more photos and stories about the first day back are shared.  Good luck to everyone back at school today!

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