EVOLV3 - ENRICHING PEOPLE, ENHANCING POTENTIAL, BECOME EXCEPTIONAL

Horizon International School is extremely proud to have launched the EVOLV3 programme in September 2019.

What is the EVOLV3 programme and who is it targeting?

The main aim of the Evolv3 programme is to target our most able, gifted and talented students (MAGT) to develop their promise in the subjects they enjoy and excel in. It’s a monthly rolling programme which takes place on the weekends throughout the academic year and will offer a broad range of subject specialisms designed to engage different cohorts of students from the MAGT0 register. A selection of these students from Years 4 to 13 will be invited to attend these sessions based on the parameters of each subject being delivered.

Why have we introduced the EVOLV3 programme?

Studies have shown that people who participate in programmes such as EVOLV3 maintain their interests after they have completed their education and continue to contribute to their specialised fields leading to greater success in later life. Horizon International School believes these students need a platform where they can be challenged to share their powerful messages and talents.

How do we aim to achieve this?

We will provide opportunities for these students to explore a deeper knowledge and understanding, and develop an advanced skill set within the subjects they demonstrate particular strength in and are passionate about.

Through utilizing our specialist teaching staff, professionals within our community, and linking with inspirational external speakers, we will deliver innovative experiences not accessible within the constraints of the schools weekly curriculum.

We have an exciting calendar of events planned throughout the year that will be pitched to stretch and challenge each student to maximise their potential. They will learn to master the skills to become exceptional within the subjects they excel.

  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
  • Session 5
  • Session 6
  • Session 7
  • Session 8
  • Session 9
  • Session 10

Session 1

Session 1 - Serious about Sport - 2nd November 2019

The 2nd of November was the start of our EVOLV3 journey, with HIS teaming up with the well-respected fitness professionals at Fit Republik who invited us to use their facility and learn from the best. Twenty of our most able, gifted and talented sports students from Year 6 to 12 attended the day. The feedback from the students, staff and parents was excellent with everyone taking away lots of useful fitness ideas including nutritional advice, new training techniques as well as guidance on how to prepare mentally for sporting competitions.

This session aimed to motivate and engage these students through working alongside like-minded peers in a professional sporting environment while helping them to master the skills and knowledge to develop their sporting talents further. The goal was achieved with everyone involved experiencing a great afternoon of fun fitness while showcasing our school motto 'Serious about Sport' in full. We would like to publicly thank the Fit Republik team for hosting such an amazing elite sports training and sports nutrition session.

Parent Quote:

"Dear Horizon Team, I wanted to give you some feedback for the Evolv3 Serious about Sport sessions yesterday at Fit Republik.

Our son had a tremendous time. His level of enthusiasm and interest when I met him afterwards was a delight to see. He took a lot away from the day and I truly believe he has been inspired by the day’s events.

I wanted to thank the team for including him in the group and providing this opportunity which has clearly had a positive impact and provides great fuel for moving forward."

Student Quote:

Benefit: I had lots of fun
Knowledge Gained: Great healthy eating advice and new exercises to keep me fit
Problems: No Problems
Comments: I loved it and want to do it again

"Many of these students have now signed up for a 10-week training programme led by the personal trainers from the newly opened Studio Republik. These sessions started on Wednesday 15th January 2020 and will update you on the students’ progress throughout the term."

Session 2

Session 2 – War of Words 7th December 2019

Our second EVOLV3 session was held on Saturday 7th December, 'War of Words' was focused on enhancing the debating skills of a selected group of English students, identified for their performance in lessons, oracy skills and presenting ability.

The session provided the students with the opportunity to explore their knowledge and understanding of debating further, while acquiring an advanced skill set, to assist them with the procedures, preparation and presentation and of a healthy debate.

Utilizing our specialist teaching staff and professionals within our community we planned and offered engaging, active, learner-centred activities to develop their higher-order and critical thinking skills. Through the analysis of different debates, the students enhanced their analytical, research and note-taking skills. Finally, providing the students with a platform to carry out group debates, focusing on important global topics such as climate change they enhanced their ability to form balanced, informed arguments and to use reasoning and evidence. Through this process, they learned how to master effective speech composition and delivery while increasing their confidence, poise, and self-esteem. It was a pleasure to watch the students working as a team collaboratively to form their arguments and counter-arguments so effectively and eloquently.


Student Quote 1:

"It was great, I gained many skills and tricks of the trade suitable for debating and public speaking. "


Student Quote 2:

" I really enjoyed learning how to open and close a debate and how to talk in a public setting. "

A selection of these students will now be receiving coaching on a Thursday afternoon throughout Term 2 and 3 working towards a presentation at the Inaugural TEDx Conference on Saturday 6th June. We look forward to showcasing our fantastic students on the day by conducting live debates, listening to a selection of TEDx style student talks about subjects they are passionate about as well as inviting guest speakers from the HIS community links and from around Dubai.

Other information to share

To see all the videos from the EVOLV3 sessions please view them on the EVOLV3 main page.

Please see our EVOLV3 poster for the up and coming EVOLV3 sessions.

Please follow our HIS_enrichment_enhancement Instagram page for further updates, stories and videos of the sessions throughout the year.

Special thanks to Sammy Krishnakumar in Year 9, one of our academic scholars for designing the Evolv3 logo.

Session 3

This weekend on Saturday 1st February 2020 the HIS EVOLV3 programme introduced it's third session 'Unsolved Problems' to 29 of our most mathematically minded students from Years 6 to 12. They had the chance to delve into parts of Maths that they didn’t know existed; looking at some of the problems that have troubled mathematicians for decades, and in some cases, centuries. The students also explored the big picture of maths and had the chance to discuss mathematical futures and connect with Dr Sunny Modhara, who uses mathematics from his PhD every day to solve problems to help the UK’s railway system run smoothly.

This EVOLV3 session was correctly titled “Unsolved Problems: The hardest way to make a million dollars” and as the name suggests’ it gave students the opportunity to encounter Maths that was far more difficult and obscure than they had ever come across before as well as engaging them with completely new concept. The students responded very positively to this and worked collaboratively to overcome the challenges they faced.

In the year 2000 the Clay Mathematics Institute announced the seven most difficult and important unsolved problems in the field of Mathematics. Each problem offers a prize of $1 million US dollars for a solution, a proof, or in some cases just “furthering our understanding of the problem”. These problems would form the basis of the session; they include:

  • The Riemann Hypothesis, formulated in the 1850s and renowned as one of the toughest problems going uses Complex Analysis to search for a pattern in the prime numbers, which if cracked would have extraordinary implications for the entire world of internet banking, cyber-security and the safety of the global financial system
  • The Hodge Conjecture, concerning the mathematical discipline of topology, put simply involves the relationship between algebra and geometry, except in higher dimensions (such as 4, 5, 6 dimensional ‘shapes’ and beyond)
  • The Navier-Stokes Equations from the field of fluid mechanics describe how fluids behave – very useful for keeping planes in the air, predicting changes in the Earth’s climate system and understanding how blood moves around the body. Mathematicians want to further our understanding of the solutions of some of the more complex cases of these equations

The other problems are wide ranging, concerning computer science and the solvability of complex problems, quantum mechanics and the behaviour of particles at low energy levels and the relationships between elliptical curves and rational numbers. To say that these problems are difficult is an understatement. So far, two decades on, only one of the problems (the Poincaré Conjecture) has been solved.

The purpose of the session was not for students to learn maths, but to learn about some of the maths that goes on at the cutting edge of the discipline. When Andrew Wiles was 10 years old he discovered Fermat’s Last Theorem, a problem that had puzzled mathematicians for over 300 years. Nearly 30 years later, Wiles proved the theorem he had discovered as a 10-year-old, making an invaluable contribution to the field of Mathematics along the way. Plenty of the maths on offer in our Evolv3 session may be too obscure for young students now, but they may be able to look back to the start of their journey when they prove the Riemann Hypothesis in the year 2050!

Session 4

The focus of EVOLV3 this year is to link each session to our school values. Linking with the Business and Enterprise department and the organisers from PUSH Worldwide we offered a Dragons Den themed day to a group of identified students focusing on the value of Ambition. It was a 5-hour session held on Saturday 14th November with 18 students from Years 7 to 10 in attendance. PUSH is a group of volunteers who are driven to see young people succeed and have a proven track record with working with supporting junior startup companies.

This was our first EVOLV3 session of the year and the setting for the day was perfect, igniting the students’ creativity and ideas. The session was held at the colourful Caribbean Restaurant, Ting Irie in the heart of Dubai’s Business Sector.

The day began with some fun ice breaker games which put everyone at ease from the start. This was followed by a key note speech from Ismat Abu Shihab an IT and Management professional from the Dubai University of Bradford. Ismat provided some solid advice and encouraged the students to follow their passion, be focused on their goals and to remain driven in the pursuit of what they want to achieve in life.

The brief for the day was to discuss some of the current problems that have arisen in school since returning post lockdown. This was an interesting process and after an initial brainstorm and discussions with the PUSH mentors they began to develop their solutions and Business concept. The students worked collaboratively taking on different roles within the group while looking at all the aspects needed to bring their idea to life. Once they had agreed on their product or concept, they began to prepare for their pitch to the Industry specialists (Dragons).

Push were supported by three experienced industry specialists - Amo Latchman (Startup Advisor, Social Entrepreneur and Investment Strategist), Natalie Lindo (TV and Radio Journalist from the Arabian Radio Network) and Tebby Burrows (singer, song writer, recent winner of NBC Songland with John Legend singing her song). The judges arrived towards the end of the day and listened to each of the four group’s presentations. Towards the end of each presentation, they questioned the groups about their products.

The students demonstrated great confidence and articulated clearly their Business idea to the Dragons. Each group showed they had clearly given their concept great thought, with a solution-based approach, trial periods, branding ideas, budgeting costs, projected earnings, market research and looked at the competition within the market.

It was a difficult decision for the panel of judges but after some deliberation they finally selected team Tech Pod for their revolutionary tech table pack concept. Their product was developed to help solve some of the technical challenges and accessibility schools are facing with the increased use of technology. The pack included cloud storage space, charging points, device accessories and connectable touch screens. This idea alongside those developed from the other groups, demonstrated that this group of 18 students has much to offer the future world of business.

However, the real success of the day was the opportunities provided for the students to be able to work together with likeminded students, discussing important issues and thinking practically how to plan solutions to the problem. The students utilised and developed a variety of different learning skills throughout the day in a real-life setting. Each student has received a certificate for their participation in the session and will be invited to access some further PUSH projects, which they have planned over the coming months.

The next PUSH project they will be running is an Inter-school investment competition commencing Monday January 18th 2021. Information on the competition details is attached. Students in Year 8 and above are eligible to register. The registration for this event can be completed via www.pushdubai.com .

If you think your child would enjoy and benefit from a project like this, we would highly recommend it and we look forward to future collaborations with PUSH.

Session 5

The EVOLV3 programme continues to provide a broad curriculum of innovative, enriching opportunities for a variety of students across the school. On Saturday 28th November, 18 our most creative students from KS3 were identified and invited to take part in our EVOLV3 Stop Motion session, focussing on our school value of Happiness.

This was our second EVOLV3 event of the year, where students were provided with opportunities to learn from our highly skilled and trained professionals. The session was prepared and delivered by Mrs Shakespeare who is a very talented and experienced media specialist. Mrs Shakespeare had an extensive career working within the media industry for several years before turning her skills to teaching. She began working in television for Sky TV, Channel 4, GMTV Breakfast and was the Picture Editor for National Geographic Channel, working on the Creative Team both in the UK and Washington DC. She also worked in Post Production for companies that make commercials and films, for example Framestore who produced the animation for a number of films such as including Paddington. Mrs Elzouka from the art department also added her creativity and eye for detail, by supporting the staff and students who attended the session.

The students were be challenged, to create a 2-minutestop motion animation video based around the value of Happiness. The session began with the students guided through the origin and history of the artistic genre, while also expanding their knowledge of Stop Motion principles. They were shown how to make simple yet effective reels and practiced in their teams. They were in teams of 3 working collaboratively through each stage of the production while developing a range of transferable skills related to multimedia productions. They gained valuable knowledge and experience in a real-life context, writing the story board, planning and preparing for their use of props, making clay objects and figures, adding sound effects, music and lighting. In addition to these useful skills and techniques they were also shown how to conduct the recording and use of the Stop Motion Pro application.

This important and artistic genre provided a great opportunity for our tech savvy, creative students to bring their great ideas to life. Mr Shakespeare stated, “It was wonderful to see how the students responded to Stop Motion and how they produced their clay puppets stories with real flair and imagination. It was fabulous!”

We look forward to being able to share these with the HIS community over the coming weeks.

Session 6

The Year 6 team have launched a new and exciting opportunity which will benefit all the students. The idea, suggested by the students, is to create a team of Year 6 students who will work together to develop a student led and written yearbook.

TOn Saturday 28th November, 12 year 6 students were invited to take part in an EVOLV3 session. It was designed to challenge the students to use the skills needed to be effective member of a Media Team.

The day was split into three parts and the student's performances were assessed throughout. Focusing on the value of happiness, Stage 1 was a birthday party themed escape room. The students were split into two groups and were challenged them to problem solve, work collaboratively and to find clues to answer seven riddles. It was a race against the clock and both rooms were videoed via Zoom. Miss Day and Mr Gilhooley watch on from afar and offering some advice along the way while observing how each student within the group contributed and worked together as a team.

The Second part of the day was to plan how and what they would write up about the experience. This was an individual task with each student testing their ability to structure a well-rounded written article.

Once they were happy with what they wanted to write, Mr Petkar led them through the digital concept and introduced them to an application called Flip Snap which can be used to develop professional publications.

The students then demonstrated their technical skills and adaptability by learning to master a new software programme within a set time frame of 30 minutes. This was designed to challenge and put them under pressure to produce a strong written piece ready for publication, similar to how a media team would have to work in a real-life context.

It was great to see how engaged the students were throughout the day and hearing their enthusiasm about what they had learned. All the students performed extremely well making the decision over who will be selected for the Yearbook Media Team very difficult for Miss Day and Mr Gillhooley.

We look forward to seeing the Yearbook develop further throughout the year.

Session 7

The EVOLV3 programme continues to provide a broad curriculum of innovative, enriching opportunities for a variety of students across the school. On Saturday 16th January 2021, 9 of our most talented bakers from KS3 were identified and invited to take part in our 2021 EVOLV3 Blind Bake-Off Competition, focussing on our school value of Positivity.

This was our third EVOLV3 event of the year and it was a cracker from start to finish. Our highly skilled and trained professionals Mr Lilley and Miss Zanjani prepared an excellent event from start to finish. The competition was in the format of a ready, steady, bake off and the staff thought long and hard about the cakes to be baked for each year group on the day. This was evident with the detail included in the recipes’, the preparation and sourcing of the ingredients, the equipment needed to bake, the EVOLV3 Aprons and finally the fantastic prizes for the winners. EVOLV3 would like to recognise this effort as it really helped enhance the whole occasion.

The students were split into different groups and each group had to bake a different type of cake. The chosen cakes were scones, jam and cream, carrot cake, lemon drizzle and a Victoria sponge. The students were paired off and went into a head-to-head bake-off battle. Once all the competitors had collected their ingredients and baking utensils, they were ready to go and were provided with just enough time to prepare, bake and decorate the cakes.

From the start of the competition there was a lovely atmosphere as the as the students worked purposefully around the kitchen. It was great to see the level of focus and composure demonstrated by each of students. While they were baking, they were being observed and monitored by our panel of judges including Mr and Mrs Gale, Mr Lilley and Miss Zanjani. The criteria they were using to judge was broken down into different categories including health and safety, presentation and overall appearance, level of independence, skill and quality of techniques used and overall flavour and texture of the cake.

If the clock counting down and the judges watching each stage wasn’t enough pressure to cope with they were also being filmed and interviewed by Mr Kuznecovas our videographer for the day. The students were not fazed and took this in their stride. Once the cakes were baked the students turned their attention toward the fillings and decoration. This intricate and vital process can make all the difference with the judgements and once again they proved themselves, showing their creativity and control.

Throughout the day the smells were incredible and doubled the excitement towards the taste test at the end of the day. Each student was provided with a cake stand to display their cake and once they had completed the challenge placed it next to their name card on the display table ready for judging. Everyone finished, all within the set time frame and the cakes looked amazing. After an individual photo shoot showcasing their masterpiece the students were given a well-earned short break which allowed time for the judges to get together for the taste test.

All the judges were extremely impressed with high standards and skills demonstrated as well as the quality, taste, texture and decoration of each cake. It was a very difficult decision trying to narrow it down to the top three as all the students scored highly. However, there were some small but important factors that just tipped the balance in the end.

The final phase of the day was to bring everyone back in to congratulate them all for their fantastic achievements and to announce the 3 winners. Each student received a certificate to recognise their achievement and got to take their delicious cakes home to share with their families. There were three special prizes awarded to the top 3. In third place, winning a junior baker book was Ethyn White from Y8 for his lovely Lemon Drizzle Cake. In second place, winning a professional cooking lesson at Mamula Kitchen at Nakheel Mall and a Junior Baker Book, was Ona Bertran Molinas from Year 9, for her amazing Victoria Sponge. Finally, in first place with an absolutely stunning carrot cake, winning a VIP evening brunch for herself and 2 guests at Leonardo’s Restaurant, including a tour, kitchen demonstration and meet and greet with the Head Chef went to, Kaira Purohit from Year 8. HIS would like to personally thank Leonardo’s Restaurant for kindly donating and providing this great prize.

I would like to finish off by congratulating everyone who took part in the fabulous occasion. It was a great day and experience which we hope will inspire these students to continue to follow their passion and talent for baking. Maybe we will be dining at one of their Michelin Star restaurants in the future.

We look ahead now to our next EVOLV3 Short Stories session on Saturday 27th February 2021.

Session 8

18 of HIS Secondary's most impressive writers took part in a dynamic creative writing EVOLV3 workshop on Saturday 27th February. With the end goal of being entered for the BSME creative writing competition, each student made a start on completing a short story inspired by the versatile theme of 'RISK'.

We started off with an opportunity to experience risk-taking, and the consequences that follow, with an energetic, and highly competitive, version of 'The Million Pound Drop' which led into a wide range of potential story ideas being collaboratively explored.

Students were then introduced to some challenging and sophisticated writing techniques such as zoomorphism and semantic field and encouraged to try and incorporate them within their stories before we stopped for a well-earned break and lovely creative writing afternoon tea. The next phase was to make a start and begin the writing process for their short stories. They were encouraged to get comfy, get creative and start writing within the ambient, calm yet purposeful environment that had been created for them.

At the end of the session some students shared their opening paragraphs with the group. The initial stages of these stories sound incredible, and the creativity, imagination and skill demonstrated throughout the day was truly inspirational; we have some budding writers in the making at HIS!

I would like to personally thank our highly skilled staff Mrs Gilhooley and Miss Reilly for planning this rewarding session and creating such a lovely environment and atmosphere for the students throughout the day. The session was very well thought through from start to finish and the monthly value of kindness was clearly represented with the goody bags and extra little finishing touches, which helped create a memorable and special day for the students involved.

The judges are now eagerly awaiting the final entries due later in March where we will announce the prize winners and those students who will be put forward to represent the school in the BSME Competition.

Once all the stories are completed, we will be producing our first EVOLV3 Short Stories book including all the students work which we look forward to being able to share with you all later in the year.

EVOLV3 Diversity – Space Exploration

On Saturday 20th March 34 HIS students from the Primary and Secondary school were invited to take part in our most ambitious EVOLV3 session to date, where these students were encouraged to reach for the stars.

The theme of the day was inspired by the recent fantastic achievements by the UAE with their space exploration and to celebrate the HOPE probe mission to Mars. The exciting space-age activities and missions were planned and delivered by our science, technology, English and social studies subject specialists Mr Hafiz, Mr Petkar, Mr Catchpole and Mrs Robinson. Each activity was designed to develop the students’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of what it takes to explore Space and new frontiers.

The secondary students gained the opportunity to compete against each other in teams of three completing a series of space missions and learning about the UAE’s Hope Probe mission to Mars. The session began with a fact-finding exercise where each team had 20 minutes to review four articles relating to the UAE’s Space Exploration programme. When the time was up the articles were collected and they competed in a Kahoot Quiz. This was highly competitive with the lead changing several times but Team X Æ A-12 (Andreas, Maria and Omar Y8) finally finished in the first place. However, this was just the first part of the day and there was plenty more activities to follow and test their brainpower.

Next, the students were asked to build and launch a rocket with the UAE as a central theme running through it. They were given rocket kits and had to make choices based around fin designs, aerodynamics and rocket design. These students were then introduced to some challenging and sophisticated space-themed robotics and coding techniques. The groups were set 5 separate missions to complete with increasing difficulty which had similar problems to solve to what they may encounter in space. Through working collaboratively, trial and error, using their critical thinking skills and analysis they were able to successfully complete each mission with precision.

The Primary groups were split into two separate focus groups with one focusing on planning, designing, preparing and building a model space station for Mars and the other group consisting of junior reporters. The primary scientists were sub-divided into groups of 3 and had to consider a multitude of scientific problems and find the solutions for humans to be able to inhabit another planet.

After lunch and the jam-packed activities, there was still time towards the end of the day for one last finale. The parents and primary students were invited to join us on the school field to watch the secondary students’ launch their rockets.

Each group were scored on parachute deployment, safe return of their rocket and the build quality. This was certainly one of the great highlights of the day. The panel of judges had a tough job and deliberated over each of the groups for a while but finally agreed on the Primary and Secondary winners.

We are pleased to announce the winning Primary Team for their imaginative space station design were Andrei, Eden and Luka and the Secondary winners by 1 point were the group called Space AIL, including the three Year 9 students Iva, Artem and Lukas. All these students will receive their certificates after the spring break.

This was our fifth weekend EVOLV3 session of the year and certainly one of our most exciting and adventurous sessions and we would like to personally thank our highly skilled staff Mr Hafiz, Mr Petkar, Mr Catchpole and Mrs Robinson for planning this fantastic session. The session was very well thought through from start to finish and the monthly value of diversity was clearly represented throughout. We now look forward to the next EVOLV3 Talks which will be held in June.

EVOLV3 teamed up with Amanda Jones (Vocal and Performance Coach) and previous cast member of the hit West End Musical Mamma Mia. Twenty of our most talented CPA students were invited to act, sing and dance to a selection of Mamma Mia classics. They were encouraged to dress up for the occasion and to get into the theme of the workshop. It’s was a fun-filled morning with lots of energy, laughter and happy vibes. Everyone appreciated the opportunity and left wanting more. EVOLV3 would like to thank Amanda for planning such an enjoyable session. We look forward to more great events like this throughout the year.

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