Co-Curricular life at JESS refers to the activities and learning experiences that take place in school alongside the academic curriculum. Sport, music, drama, Duke of Edinburgh and extra-curricular activities form the basis of our vibrant programme. This is essential to providing a rounded education for our students and their enjoyment of school life will be enhanced alongside the development of their personal skills.
JESS Secondary students have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award. This is an exciting self-development programme available to all young people aged 14-25, equipping them with life skills which make a difference to themselves, their communities and the world. The Award concept is one of individual challenge, designed to develop young people into responsible, active citizens who will positively contribute towards society. It presents a balanced, non-competitive and enjoyable programme of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery, growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility and service to the community.
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is split into three levels.
“I’ve really enjoyed the Award, as it has made me take up hobbies I would not normally do and have found myself really enjoying the new activities”.
Erikah Silver Award Skill
The Making A Difference (MaD) Award has been designed to allow JESS Primary students to develop life skills and cultivate their passions outside of the classroom. The MaD Award encourages students to ‘Make A Difference’ to themselves, their local community and the wider world.
The MaD Award is broken down into strands that students undertake during their journey through JESS, namely Culture, Service, Independence and Performance. Students are set various tasks within these strands to develop key skills which become more challenging as they progress from Foundation through to Key Stage 3. Students, teachers and parents can track progress using “digital scrapbooks” on SeeSaw.
Students are periodically rewarded as strands are completed as part of the Award to encourage commitment, perseverance and excellence. Additionally, each term, MaD Award Ambassador cups are awarded to students whose MAD Award contribution has been outstanding.
We also have exciting educational trips and experiences for our students and continually look for enriching opportunities for students to take part in, such as, the Dubai Fitness Challenge or Service experiences such as the Philanthropic Schools Award organised by the KHDA.
JESS offers a varied and exciting range of extracurricular activities for students from Year 3 and above.
By its very nature, the extracurricular programme of activities is dynamic and tailored to the student’s interests as much as possible. It will change with each term around the music and sporting calendar as well as adaptations to the weather conditions. We aim to provide students with opportunities to experience new areas of activity and to develop as an individual with a range of interests that may go beyond their school years.
Through our sports ECA programme at JESS, we aim to inspire and nurture lifelong participation in sport. We provide a learning environment which encourages each child to achieve excellence by providing expert coaching in a range of sports. Our sports ECAs train several teams in each sport whilst maintaining a 'sport-for-all' ethos with open clubs for all who would like to play.
Sports change on a termly basis and fixtures are organised by Dubai Affiliated School Sports Association (DASSA). Typically over 90% of our children represent the school in competitive sports each year. As the children progress through the Primary schools, they further develop their skills and abilities by competing in national and international fixtures.
Children at JESS have the opportunity to pursue many different pathways when it comes to performing arts. Our Heads of Study provide expert instruction across a range of musical instruments and groups which combine together to form our Primary Orchestras. In addition, children have the opportunity to develop their singing skills in our Choir, Chamber Choir. Musical Theatre and Glee Club ECAs. We also offer Drama clubs and an annual Musical Show which see our Year 6 children acting, singing, designing sets and learning how to operate the stage equipment and lights. All of these groups and children have the opportunity to perform in a range of concerts throughout the year, as well as individually in events such as JESStravaganza, our annual talent show event.
We are proud to offer a range of creative ECAs which allow children to be budding artists and designers and develop their skills in a range of settings. From Origami club to Salt Dough classes, these hands-on ECAs are incredibly popular with children from across the school. Our creative ECAs also include those focused on the use of technology such as movie making, Minecraft club and coding and robotics.
We are proud to offer a series of ECAs that allow children to enjoy games and activities alongside like-minded peers. Examples of these ECAs include Board Games club, Card Sharks and Chess club. These ECA options develop social skills in a fun, friendly environment.
As well as a range of sports, performing arts and creative ECAs, our broad and varied ECA programme also allows children to continue their academic development in a range of areas. Our academic ECAs offer our children the chance to learn new languages, develop their public speaking skills and debate current affairs among many other options.
Our steadfast focus on well-being throughout the community does not stop when it comes to our ECA programme. Whilst our sports, performing arts and creative ECA options allow children to thrive in many areas of interest, we also offer wellbeing-focused ECAs which are aimed at allowing children to practice activities that can promote peace, positivity and calmness. These ECAs include mindful colouring, Flourish club and Yoga classes and the skills taught within these ECAsare used by the children outside of the classes as well.
Taking the learning outside of the classroom to broaden our student’s education is a huge part of our Trips and Visits ethos at JESS. All students will have the opportunity to take school trips, which can be visiting local mosques and educational activity centres in Early Years through to service trips to Africa and Asia to help impoverished communities.
We expect every student to enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We also want them to reflect on what they have learned and each trip will have a clear objective and learning outcome linked to one or more of our Core Values. The true value of a trip lies in the student’s ability to make real world connections, and to link their experiences outside the classroom back to their everyday lives.
Our residential programmes are designed to develop in scope and sequence and as students’ progress through JESS, those experiences and learning are built on. Our Year 3 Primary students will camp-out on our sports fields overnight, our Year 7 Secondary students are offered the chance to camp outdoors and to learn new skills in the desert environment and on the water. By Year 9, students have a choice of trips where skill levels required are higher, including a service trip to Kenya. Our trips culminating in the Year 12 CAS and Gold Duke of Edinburgh International Award trip to Vietnam.
Always guided by our Values