Horizon English School sets the standard with a remarkable 90% teacher retention rate, attributed to its cutting-edge wellbeing programme and culture of care

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In a region known for its transient nature, Horizon English School is rewriting the narrative as it proudly announces an outstanding 90% teacher retention rate. Adding to this milestone, the school celebrates over a decade of unwavering commitment from twelve members of staff, including Zayde Distor who has been a loyal member of the Horizon English School staff community for an impressive 29 years, diligently supporting teachers and students in the classroom as an Early Years Teaching Assistant.

The remarkable retention rate is a testament to the school’s innovative Wellbeing Programme, strategically implemented across all areas of the school. The programme, rooted in the school’s own psychology model and the ‘Learn it, Live it, Teach it, Embed it’ strategy, draws inspiration from the PERMA model’s five ways to wellbeing: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement.

Drawing on these five elements, the modules in the school’s wellbeing programme include: Keep Learning: embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself, Connect: Talk & listen, Be there, Feel connected, Give: Your time, Your words, Your presence, Take Notice: Remember the simple things that give you joy, Be Active: Do what you can, Enjoy what you do, Move your mood.

Notably, the programme extends beyond theoretical frameworks, incorporating practical elements. At Horizon English School, a nurturing culture of kindness and respect flourishes, where the needs of its staff are met with warmth and thoughtful consideration. Throughout the year, teachers and staff are invited to partake in a diverse array of well-being initiatives designed to bolster their overall wellness such as personalized wellbeing coaching sessions that encourage goal setting and self-reflection, Ramadan beach run mornings, and active participation in the Dubai 30×30 Fitness Challenge, all aimed at enriching the staff’s health and happiness.

Ms. Aislinn McCabe, a teacher who specialises in inclusion has been with Horizon English School since 2014, shares her experience saying, “Celebrating a decade of teaching in Horizon English School fills me with great pride and appreciation. Throughout my time at Horizon, I have embraced numerous opportunities for professional growth and challenge with the unwavering support of talented, dedicated colleagues. Horizon is a wonderful community to be part of – a community of parents, children, colleagues, and friends who really care about each other and encourage each other to succeed. The friendly and supportive ethos of the school community and staff is really important to me. Horizon is a school I love, and I can’t wait for my little boy to be wearing the Horizon uniform in a few years’ time.”

Nick Hart, Principal, Horizon English School expressed his enthusiasm about the school’s success, stating, “Our commitment to the holistic wellbeing of our staff is reflected in these impressive retention rates. By fostering a positive, supportive community, we not only retain our exceptional educators but also create an environment conducive to the overall growth and development of our pupils. The Horizon English School community is experiencing a palpable shift, with expats choosing to extend their stay in Dubai, mirroring the school’s dedication to providing an exceptional and enduring educational experience.”

Horizon English School is not only defying industry norms for private schools in the UAE, but also solidifying its commitment to fostering a positive and supportive environment for both educators and pupils.

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