Schedule & Sessions

Timetable of Event


8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast/Registration/Exhibitors
9:00 – 9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15 – 10:00 Keynote Address
10:00 – 10:15 Coffee Break
10:15 – 11:30 Session 1
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch / Prayer
12:30 – 1:45 Session 2
1:45 – 2:00 Coffee Break
2:00 – 3:15 Session 3
3:20 – 4:00 Closing / Certificates

Conference Tracks

The administrator track is a learning event dedicated to the professional needs of heads of school, principals, curriculum coordinators, heads of departments, and others in leadership roles. The teacher track is a learning event dedicated to promoting evidence-backed best practices to improve teaching and learning. The Arabic teacher track is a learning event dedicated to promoting evidence-backed best practices that address the needs of additional language learners.
  • Educational leadership: Managing Effective Change Through Action and Communication
  • Understanding the Unified School Inspection Framework
  • Teaching Arabic to Diverse Students For Effective Learning
  • School Self-Evaluation: The Starting Point for Inspection
    • Part 1. Writing an Effective Self-Evaluation
    • Part 2. Addressing the Performance Standards
    • and Driving Improvement
  • Using Formative and Summative Assessment to Improve Student Outcomes
  • Weaving Islamic studies, Arabic social Studies, and History into Arabic Language Lessons
  • Collecting and Organizing data to create a Dynamic Action
  • Differentiation – Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • Driving Curriculum and Attainment Through Assessment and Data Collection
  • The Seven Core Components of Impactful Professional Development
  • Looking at the Big Picture: Planning Curriculum and Lessons with Learning Objective
  • Teacher’s Knowledge of Student’s Arabic learning
  • Case Study: School Improvement Projects
  • Teacher Action Research – Assess Your Instructional Practice
  • Using Critical Thinking in the Arabic Classroom

Administrator Track

David Muir

Part 1. Writing an Effective Self-Evaluation

If the starting point for inspection is self-evaluation, how do you ensure that this presents a true and accurate picture of your school at its best? In his career as a school leader and inspector in several countries David has seen what works in self-evaluation and what doesn’t. He will use his experience as a team and lead inspector to share his thoughts and give valuable ideas for effectively and realistically presenting your school to inspectors to ensure that inspectors trust your judgments. He will emphasise that the self-evaluation form presented to inspectors is only the culmination and a summary of the school’s own complete self-evaluation process.

Part 2. Addressing the Performance Standards and Driving Improvement

David will talk about how the Performance Standards of the current framework link together and support each other. How can schools ensure that their self-evaluation is consistent and logical across the standards?  And, how does each judgement impact on other judgements? What are the critical judgments and how can the school best ensure that these are presented in an optimum way during the inspection?

Dr. Rida Blaik-Hourani & Dr. David Litz

 Aligning professional development, school self-evaluation and principals’ performance

School Self-evaluation (SSE) as a process and a tool was initiated by The Abu Dhabi Education Knowledge Department (ADEK).  SSE is expected to promote educational change, school transformation and improvement.  Moreover, The Abu Dhabi Education Knowledge Department (ADEK)   has introduced professional development (PD) plans and professional performance standards for school administrators.  This was initiated to galvanise the ongoing school reforms.

SSE-Irtiqaa Framework, a school self-evaluation program that contributes to the broad agenda of school changes and innovations, is currently implemented in schools throughout the entire Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

This research probes the principals’ perceptions about the implications, implementation of school self-evaluation- Irtiqaa and challenges faced.  The study intends to improve school quality and help benchmark Abu Dhabi public schools with international academic standards, through tracing challenges faced throughout the school self- valuation-Irtiqaa process.

 The study explores school administrators’ experiences of the PD offered in their schools, querying how aligned they are with the school self-evaluation and principal’s performance standards. 

The research study employed a qualitative case-study approach and semi-structured interviews were used as tools for data collection and they were conceptualized within the framework of the administrators’ performance standards and school-self-evaluation-Irtiqaa documents provided by ADEK. Findings and recommendations presented highlight the areas of improvement needed for more effective professional development that is not only in synchrony with school demands in times of change, but also in alignment with professional requirements that enhance effective school self-evaluation and  innovation.

Stephen Cox 

Building Capacity to Sustain School Improvement – Capacity building is an important aspect of school improvement.  Systems must be established to support instructional practice, student achievement and continuous teacher development. This session will focus on establishing a coaching program to support teaching and learning to ensure school improvement.

Dr. Beatrix Henkel

Aspire & Inspire: Start mentoring

It is common knowledge that organizational, as well as, individual support can significantly enhance school performance. Reflection, open-mindedness, effective and continuous questioning are key components of mentoring. Mentoring is known as a kind of support that evokes sustainable, and transformational change. Having a mentoring culture in place in an organization, in turn, can identify and build on strengths, discover innovative solutions, and create actionable goals related to mission, vision, and values. Therefore, the purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with tools that they can apply in their schools/organizations to improve self-evaluation practices (cf. Section 6.2 of the UAE Inspection Framework), to instill delegated leadership and therefore improve its impact (cf. 6.1.2-6.1.5) as well as to equip teachers with effective classroom-based tools (cf. 3.1.3-3.1.5).

Teacher Track

Dr. Kay Gallagher

Action Research for Teacher Self-improvement

Professional development for educators is critical within education reform. This workshop explores the possibilities of Action Research as a form of professional development for teachers. Action research is a powerful tool for self-reflection and self-development for classroom practitioners. It provides a framework for teachers to engage in the self-study of their own teaching situation, with a view to improving their practice. It acknowledges that teachers are best placed to make decisions about and develop solutions for issues that need addressing in the classroom. This session aims to empower teachers with the introductory knowledge they need to engage in research into their own professional practice, and to implement the results in their teaching.

As teachers, we tend to see professional development as something that others do to us. We attend conferences such as this one, we go to workshops, we read books and articles, we take courses, and so on. Action Research puts the power into our own hands, and allows us to take charge of some of our own professional development. Participants are provided with an overview of the Action Research cycle, and discuss the typical tools used for data collection and analysis. Examples of successful classroom-based Action Research projects in the UAE are provided to motivate and inspire participants. 

Dr. Fatima Bailey

Understanding by Design (UbD): An Authentic and Innovative Approach For Implementing Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Understanding by Design is an international approach and curricular design that is proven in supporting student learning and understanding. UbD aligns with contemporary 21st century teaching and learning standards.

Teaching with the end in mind, UbD helps teachers prioritize what to teach and what is essential for students to learn. UbD promotes teachers to consider students as life-long learners, that must build knowledge, skills and understanding that will endure over time. UbD prompts teachers to stay focused, on track in the curriculum, to pace and plan lessons that ultimately scaffolds the students’ learning and understanding. This interactive workshop is designed to explore UbD as an authentic and innovative approach that supports and enhances student learning, achievement and attainment. Participants will also design a unit blueprint and develop a toolkit comprising of strategies and approaches that can be implemented in K-12 classrooms.

Stephen Cox

Tips for Teachers for Integrating Technology

Technology is being integrated into classrooms across the UAE at a rapid rate.  This session focuses on the skills, practices, and pedagogy that supports education technology use to enhance student achievement.  This session also addresses the pedagogical approaches that support the teaching of 21st Century skills through technology use in the classroom.

Jamie Kirkaldy

Strategies for Differentiation

Differentiation is one of the greatest challenges of modern education: how do you ensure a classroom full of students with a range of abilities can all access the work, feel confident and make progress? How can you sure the least able are not left behind, while simultaneously providing stretch and challenge for the most able?

Jamie will demonstrate a number of genuine classroom strategies for differentiation that he employed in his 11-year teaching career – strategies that you can take back to your classroom to create a teaching environment that works for everyone. This session is designed to be interactive so come prepared to give things a go!

Monica Hong

The Significance of Using Formative Assessment in the Classroom

Using a variety of formative assessment in the classroom has been shown to be one of the most powerful ways to ensure that students do well on summative assessments. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the concepts of formative assessment, summative assessment, and how outcome-based assessment can be used for teaching and learning.

Skenny Darbouze

Online Simulations for Math and Science

When students use online simulations to explore topics in Algebra, Biology, Physics and more, their conceptual understanding soars and Math and Science come to life. Join us for a free workshop designed to introduce participants on proven teaching strategies and to help drive instructional change in Math and Science using online simulations. Teachers will explore inquiry-based instruction to engage students by using Gizmos in classrooms. Gizmos are used in top schools in over 60 countries and align to various curricula and over 300 textbooks. Gizmos’ interactive online simulations help students develop a deep understanding of challenging science and math concepts through inquiry and exploration.

Arabic Teacher Track

Marwa Al Samsam

Teaching Arabic for Effective Learning – Pedagogy and differentiation for Arabic teachers.

Using a variety of creative, hands-on resources, Marwa will present practical ways to make learning interactive in the Arabic classroom. Marwa will guide groups through a discovery of how to differentiate these interactive learning techniques to suit the needs of each student. 

Driving Curriculum and Attainment Through Assessment and Data Collection: How to use data to create curriculum and enhance student achievement

In addition to learning practical ways of implementing formative assessment methods for Arabic, groups will work together to analyse their own data too. This practical session will provide teachers with a range of interactive learning and assessment methods. Marwa’s session is designed to help Arabic teachers improve their student attainment levels, and positively inform their future teaching practice. 

Khawla Al Shehhi

Inclusion Nowadays and Rights of Students with Disabilities in Education

In this session the audience will be able to explain how an inclusive learning environment can positively impact student learning, the process of inclusion is and how to understand their students, and how to propose and attempt to implement at least one inclusive teaching technique in their own classrooms.

In recent years, many efforts have been developed to apply the latest methods in the special education field. Ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the UAE issued the Federal Law No. 14/2009, amending Law No. 29/2006, to ensure that all individuals with special needs have access to education in mainstream or special classrooms (Ministry of Social Affairs 2006). As mentioned in section two of the United Arab Emirates, school inspection framework about inclusion: The UAE is determined to become an inclusive, barrier-free, rights-based society that promotes, protects, and ensures the success of all groups of students. Moreover, Inclusion does not mean treating people the same without regard for individual differences. The inclusive school will be proactive in identifying barriers, which restrict students’ achievement, participation and learning, and will take action to remove obstacles, which lead to educational exclusion.

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