How an Extra Curricular Class leads to Community Service?

Miss Maggie Vallely had an idea and that was to combine an Extra-Curricular Activity with our school’s charity program. Her passion for knitting has inspired her to pass on that skill to the next generation. We started knitting mid-October and by the end of November, not only students, but also staff members and parents were participating. Over 20 scarves were knitted to perfection before Christmas and that skill has become a new hobby for a lot of us. It has also enhanced our ability to focus and has increased our patience.


Finally, on the 28th of Jan we made a visit to the local orphanage that our school supports,. Upon arrival, 9 boys and 7 girls greeted us with warm welcomes and huge smiles. We spent time playing with them, talking to them and gaining insight on their lifestyle. We got to know their dreams and aspirations; some wanted to be doctors, football players and lawyers, whilst others dreamt of marriage and wearing a beautiful white gown on their wedding day. At the end of our visit we gave out the scarves we knitted, each child had their pick, quickly rushing to select their favourite colour. They were all so gracious and full of joy, which triggered a feeling of compassion and satisfaction upon seeing hopeful smiles light up their faces.


Now, we’re thinking of the next step. We aspire to provider them with a better home that satisfies each of their needs. We want them to be able to run around and have their own individual private space.

Fatma Halawa and Menna Banani, Year 12D 


Accelerated Reader Information for KS2 Parents

Dear Parents

EL Alsson School is pleased to announce the launch of our new online reading system from Renaissance Learning called Accelerated Reader.

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that teachers and staff will use to manage and monitor your child’s reading.  This system is extensively used throughout the UK and around the world.

At El Alsson we view reading as central to learning, at every opportunity we take pride in the fact that we constantly promote reading, through guided reading and independent reading in class, weekly library lessons checking children’s reading logs and book fairs.

In line with education practice, teachers are using formative and summative assessments to test your child’s reading skills. From this we have discovered that comprehension of text; the ability to understand what they have read does not always match with the child’s reading ability.  Hence, many children are reading but lack the ability to truly understand what they have read.

This system uses a method which puts this at the heart of the scheme. The program allows your child to read at his or her own pace, choosing their own books. The program is broken down into two parts.

Star Reading Tests

The first step an online baseline test, all the children undertake.  This test determines a level of independent reading related to their understanding which is called ZPD.  The ZPD links to the book levels that your child should select to read. In addition the book level also includes the ATOS book level which represents the difficulty of the text. This diagnostic tool allows the teacher and children to read books which will provide optimal reading challenges without frustration. Success will reinforce your child’s self-esteem and promote enjoyment and greater participation in reading. We will continue to use this tool throughout the year with our existing assessment procedure.

Accelerated Reader

Once the baseline test is completed your child can select books which interest them within their level.  After they have read a book they will take a short quiz on the computer. The quiz can only be taken in school.  As your child reads more, takes more quizzes they build their reading average which enables them to progresses through their levels. Research has shown that students need to engage in daily and regular reading practice to achieve success. In light of this we have linked the reading practice times to our reading logs which have been reviewed and you will see the changes we have made to the booklet. 

Class routines 

At El Alsson we will:

  • Keep reading logs to record their reading practice.
  • Check the AR quiz results immediately to monitor their performance.
  • Review the AR diagnostic reports regularly.
  • Intervene to ensure successful reading.
  • Set student reading targets.
  • Use AR learning tools to motivate and reward student’s success.
  • Encourage children to use AR book finder.
  • Provide a reward system to encourage consistent reading practice.


Choosing books

During the last term we have worked extensively on our class room books and those in the Library to identify the books which are part of the Accelerated Reader program.  The books have to be colour coded and labelled with a code (ZPD) this is an ongoing process as new books to the program are added. Furthermore parents can find books online by using AR book finder once the program is running.

AR Book Finder

AR Book Finder is an exciting new web-based book-searching tool from Renaissance Learning. With this free tool you will be able to search and select appropriate and interesting books for your child.  See links below.

Find Books and Create Book Lists in Seconds!

Quick Search

To use Quick Search in AR BookFinder:

1. Go to

2. Click the Quick Search tab (on the top of the page).

3. Type a book title, author, topic, or quiz number into the blank field.

4. Click Go.

5. To narrow the results, select any of the options on the left of the screen under Refine Your Search. You can continue to refine your search until you get your desired results.

6. To create a book list from the titles you have found, click Add to AR BookBag below the description of any book you want to add to your list.

Finally, we would like to thank you in advance for your support in taking part in the AR reading program.

Please do take a look at the Accelerated Reading Introduction presentation given to the students.

New Bus Numbers

Dear Parents,

As promised here are the phone numbers of the buses; these will be used from next week (January 27th) irrespective of whether the matron or driver changes as the phone belongs to the bus number. Please use these numbers from now on.

You will be informed of which activity bus your child is on.

On the other hand there is also the emergency bus number which is active starting now – this is to be used if you need to contact the bus .controller on duty that day, whether normal or after school bus should you need to. For example, if the bus is changed at the last minute, you can get the new number, etc.

Our thanks for your cooperation and thanks to the PSA who worked with us on these requests.



Options Evening for Year 9 & Year 11 students

Dear Parents,

Options Evening for Year 9 & Year 11 students

Wednesday 28th January 2015 3.15pm – 4.45pm

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you and your son/daughter to the Year 9 and 11 Options Evening. The evening is designed to inform you and your son/daughter about the subjects and courses on offer at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 and to provide guidance to help you support them when choosing their options.

The Options Evening will begin with a short introduction which will be delivered by Mme Saida, Head of Sixth form, and Sade, Head of Careers. The talk will take place in the Theatre from 3:15pm to 3:30pm. Department staff will then be available throughout the evening to discuss the courses they teach. Sixth Formers will give a student’s perspective. Members of the Senior Leadership Team will also be available to provide more information about the process of making choices.

The choices that your son/daughter takes will shape the rest of their academic lives and will have a major bearing on their future careers. We realise this can be an anxious and confusing time for some students. With this in mind, we want to ensure that your son/daughter and you receive the very best advice and guidance we can provide, so we trust you will take full advantage of the help that is offered.

We look forward to seeing you and if you have any further questions about the evening then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Ms. Sade Singh

Head of Careers and Guidance

A Fourth Grader’s Concert, Mamina’s Secret

The fourth grader’s concert, Mamina’s Secret, was a great success! A theme about pursuing dreams and hopes and never giving up, about trying to bring peace to the world. For the children, it was a wonderful learning experience that brought awareness that they can make a difference. As Mamina’s secret was revealed, it turned out to be their own hard work and perseverance that would make their dreams come true. The concert was also an amazing display of talents in dancing, singing and acting. 

So well done to the fourth graders!



Grade 9 Italy Trip Letter

Dear Parents,

We are excited to announce that, as part of El Alsson’s second trimester curriculum, Grade 9 students will have the wonderful opportunity to go on a school trip to Italy. Students will visit Verona, the setting of Romeo and Juliet, and explore various locations throughout the town that are featured in the play. We will then head to Venice to enjoy the festival and do a mask making workshop, then spend some time sightseeing in Rome. Students will also get to experience important Italian culture through visits to the Vatican and the Colosseum.

For reference, this is the second year that El Alsson will be running the Italy Trip and last year’s trip was an enormous success!

Three teachers from El Alsson will accompany and chaperone the students on their trip. Students are expected to complete an assessment piece integrating their experiences in Italy and their knowledge of the subject matter. While this trip is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that all Grade 9 students attend as the trip provides a valuable learning and cultural experience.

Trip Details:

Depart (Cairo Airport)

4:30 A.M.

February 13, 2015

Return (Cairo Airport)

2.30 A.M.

February 20, 2015

  • Students must be at the airport by 1am to meet their teachers and for flight check-in. Parents must arrange transport TO and FROM the airport.



4900 Egyptian Pounds


860 British Pounds

  • The trip MUST be paid in the currencies listed above. We cannot accept trip costs in Egyptian Pounds.

The trip cost is 860 GBP. This includes hotel (and breakfast), tours, guides, entry fees, travel insurance and transfers. This cost must be paid in British Pounds. The trip cost does NOT include lunches, dinners, tipping and personal spending money. Students must bring sufficient funds (in Euros) to cover daily costs (a minimum of 500 Euros is recommended). Students must also pay the visa fees to receive their Schengen visa for entry into Italy – this takes 6 weeks, so students must begin their visa process immediately!

This year we are able to offer a visa service through Tutankhamen Travel. Attached is detailed information on the visa process and the services Tutankhamen Travel offers. Parents may choose to get the visa independently or use the tour operator’s services.

Payment Schedule:


4900 Egyptian Pounds

October  23, 2014

Final Payment

860 British Pounds

November 7, 2014

  • Deposit money, once paid, is non-refundable because the school is required to pay deposits for booking flights and trip costs.

The school’s refund policy is that full amount paid can be reimbursed only in case the school cancelled the trip and that all monies paid are non-refundable. We will use the student’s deposits to pay for flights and hotels. Therefore deposits are not able to be refunded.

If you wish for your child to participate, please fill out the form below and pay the deposit (4900 L.E.) directly to the El Alsson’s American Office. Once deposits are paid and student numbers are finalized, we will organize a trip meeting where parents can learn about trip details and expectations.

Please read the attached itinerary to see what students will be doing on the trip. If you have any questions, you can contact the Trip Leader or El Alsson’s American Office. We look forward to an enjoyable, educational trip.


Jamie Gurr                                                                                          David Smeaton                                                                 
Senior School Head Teacher                                                        G9 Coodinatory and Trip Leader


If you cannot view the permission slip below, please click here