<![CDATA[Raha Voice - Home]]>Wed, 16 Dec 2015 01:20:53 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Building on Raha’s Successes]]>Wed, 16 Dec 2015 06:32:37 GMThttp://rahavoice.weebly.com/home/building-on-rahas-successes1Article by Athena Thomas (Grade 12)

2015 has been a year of change and transition, but this will be a small price to pay for the eagerly anticipated additions to our campus.

The two major extensions to the campus are the Performing Arts Centre, located next to the D Block, and the Early Years Building, situated next to the C Block. Both upgrades have cost a total of 50 million AED.

Construction for the buildings began in June 2015, and both are now at various stages of completion. The Early Years Building was unveiled two weeks ago, when the corrugated orange boards blocking the construction site were taken down. A tentative date for parents to tour the building is in January 2016.

Specifically aimed at accommodating students in Early Years 2 (EY2), the Early Years Building offers many new facilities, including six play structures for students. The importance of these playgrounds was highlighted by the Head of Early Years, Ms. Jasmine Taylor: “so much of the learning that we do in the early years is through physical, gross motor activity on the playground.”

Although not as close to completion as its Early Years counterpart, the Performing Arts Centre is well on its way. According to Head of Secondary School, Ms. Kathryn Simms, the building itself was so big that the original crane meant for the job was exchanged “for something that’s twice its size.” Its projected completion date is set for the beginning of May 2016.

Focused on the Arts subjects in Secondary School, the aim of the Performing Arts Centre is to establish Raha as the best Arts school in Abu Dhabi. One of its ambitions is to initiate Arts competitions amongst Taaleem schools, and slowly expand to National and International levels if possible. In the words of Mr. Javier Stalder-Hernandez, Arts Director of the Performing Arts Centre, “I want to link up schools across the world…and teach staff and students to be the best.”

The Performing Arts Centre boasts, amongst other things, soundproofed music classrooms, a kiln room, and a 600-seat auditorium with an orchestra pit. The latter was based on the auditorium in Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, save for a few improvements, like a greater seating capacity.

To deal with these aspirations, the amount of staff in the Arts department has been doubled this year. More Diploma Arts and Technology courses will be offered. The new home for the Arts subjects will free up space in the E Block, where the Technology department will move to from its current location in the B Block. The library and a small Secondary school only cafeteria will also be located on the ground floor of the E Block. 

Although these buildings may be new to the Raha community, plans for them had been in the works since the early days of the school. As stated by the Principal, Mr. Wayne MacInnis, “we have wanted a Performing Arts Center for as long as I can remember.” The constructions are coming up now as Raha has “reached a level of maturity, and has a sizeable population”.

When asked about the future of Raha’s campus beyond these two buildings, Mr. MacInnis also mentioned the upgrade for the parking lot, and extensions for the dining hall and teacher staffroom in the future.

Although it has taken Raha ten years since its founding in 2006 to reach the completion of its campus, by the looks of what’s being unveiled, the wait may be well worth our time.
For more information on the new facilities in the Early Years Building and Performing Arts Centre, you can visit Raha International School’s website here.

<![CDATA[Raha's Goals for 2015!]]>Thu, 10 Dec 2015 07:15:05 GMThttp://rahavoice.weebly.com/home/rahas-goals-for-2015Earlier this year we went around school, asking the Raha community about their goals for this year. Check out your responses below!

Filmed and Edited by: Lisa Zimmermann (Grade 12)
Interviewed by: Carlos Paez (Grade 12) and Athena Thomas (Grade 12)
<![CDATA[Gender Gap in Physics at Raha]]>Thu, 10 Dec 2015 07:14:51 GMThttp://rahavoice.weebly.com/home/gender-gap-in-physics-at-rahaArticle by Rasha Hamza (Grade 12)

Over the years, there’s been a steady and slow rise of females taking Physics in the IB Diploma here at Raha. However, this year it has dropped back down again. Compared to the other sciences - Biology, Chemistry and ESS- there’s nearly an equal ratio of girls to boys, if not more. This drop has brought the gender gap in Physics into scrutiny.

The priorities students have when entering the DP are their career directions. Currently, 3/6 of the female seniors taking Physics are planning to work in the field. One of the female senior students outside of Physics says “I do think that Physics is interesting, definitely. But, if I’m not going into Physics, what’s the point?”

She also said “Biology was a much easier choice. You just have to memorize. From what I see, Physics is difficult and also a lot more Math. I just can’t afford to focus on it.”

According to this, it is not the lack of interest that is driving female students away, but rather the misconception that Physics is more difficult than the other Sciences.

In reaction to this, Müge Okur, head of the science department and the only Physics teacher at Raha, says “I disagree that it is harder than the other sciences, being the one and only Physics teacher at this school and I’m female.”

“But, the fact that this view is not having boys step back, its getting girls to step back is what I think is related to the accepted gender roles in society.”

When asked about the misconception that boys are better in Physics, she says “I’ve heard this all my life. “Physics is a boys thing”. I’ve even heard it here, with students taking Physics. Over the years, I’ve taught many boys and girls. From what I’ve seen, there is no correlation. There is an approach difference. Boys approach it more actively, usually. Girls approach it cautiously.”

“My problem is that if this is an issue with ability, I’m definitely against that. The performance in Physics depends on how much you work. Yes, you need brains, but you need brains for everything.”
<![CDATA[A Perfusion of Pink!]]>Thu, 10 Dec 2015 07:14:30 GMThttp://rahavoice.weebly.com/home/a-perfusion-of-pinkArticle By Sushilkumar Jadhav (Grade 12)

October was a month of awareness, marking the global event of Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast Cancer is a potentially deadly disease, occurring in women, which quickly forms secondary tumors elsewhere in the body if not treated in time. It is approximated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer as this disease ranks second in terms of cancer death in women. More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the U.S. and this number can be drastically reduced if early intervention and care is taken in detection. 

Raha also demonstrated support for this important event through numerous activities planned by Student Council for the mid of October. These activities were the Teacher and Student Volleyball game on the 20th, the Pink Bake Sale on 21st as well as the Pink dress down day as the finale on the 22nd. As for the Pink dress down day, large masses of students were seen exuberantly acknowledging the need to eradicate this health hazard through the vivid portrayal of pink. The pink shirts and trousers gave a pleasant color scheme as well as pride in awareness. A parent named Mr. Rodriguez exclaimed “These color dress days are really good to have as a change as well as for good education.” The other events such as the Pink Bake Sale and the volleyball game validated the active school participation and effort, as the bake sale emblazoned with pink color oriented pastries. Along with this Student Council also coordinated the sale of red ribbons to whoever wished to demonstrate additional support. Overall the multicultural cohort of PYP, MYP and DP kids altogether as well as teachers really reflected the theme of unity and suggested that building social awareness on health and other problems is as important as medical advancements to tackle those problems. This was expressed by a parent, Mr. Derek, who said “It’s really nice to see the active participation in a school environment and more of these should continue.” On the whole, a good school effort was evinced. 

Let’s eradicate this malignant malady!

Photos by: Karolina Roszkowska (Grade 11), Rohit Menon (Grade 12), Sushilkumar Jadhav (Grade 12)