Doha, Qatar Report of what it's like to live there - 07/11/19
Personal Experiences from Doha, Qatar
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
My children were in grades from 1-3 and 3-5 from the 2015-2018.
3. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
There are other schools in Doha, but this was the “main” school Embassy children attended.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Seems to be good if you arrive mid-year. At the start of the year there are so many people that it is done fairly efficiently, but not particularly welcoming or personalized.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Adequate, primarily done online in a variety of ways including weekly newsletter.
2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?
PE uniforms in elementary school. Yearly class party/gift payment of 100 QAR.
Academics & Resources:
1. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
After school activities are available.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Yes. The school has a nice library for elementary students and another for secondary. Students and parents can check out materials.
3. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
Need access to computer at home. In school it is provided. Technology in elementary school often seems to be used for the sake of using technology rather than because it is a better or more efficient way. Classroom teachers vary considerably in their skill level integrating technology and much time is wasted getting ready to use the iPads/computers.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
There are two gyms and an outdoor pool. There is also a large field for soccer etc., a track, and baseball field. Lots of room for outside sports.
5. Are students generally challenged appropriately by the curriculum? Please describe any particular strengths or weaknesses in this area. Do you have any thoughts how the curriculum is applied and implemented at this school?
No. Elementary is a great school for above average kids who are not too far above average. Nothing good for gifted or even high achievers. Those who are behind receive some support, but nothing specialized or geared towards students with genuine learning differences or disabilities.
6. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
My 5th grader did his on his 30-minute bus ride. My 3rd grade spent about 40 minutes a week. They also had daily reading. It seemed to vary though. Some people said their kids had more. I think mine did a lot in school when they were bored.
7. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
8. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Nothing specialized or research based. Just try to keep them from falling further behind. Students with anything but very minor special needs would not even be admitted.
9. What services are available for students with physical disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
I believe the school is accessible, no specialized services to my knowledge.
10. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
English for speakers of other languages. My kids didn’t need this.
11. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?
It is very hard to get into a lot of the activities. There is a nice range (varies based on what teachers are there and what they want to do), but demand exceeds availability for many of the activities.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. What is the climate for LGBT+ kids at this school? Are there resources they can draw upon? Does there appear to be any exclusionary behavior?
Because it is in Qatar I would imagine it would not be welcoming.
2. What is the climate for children with special needs? Is there a general attitude of inclusion for children with special needs?
Those with special needs are included fully as there are no other options. If there is more than a minor need the child will not be admitted.
1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?
A if your child fits the mold, D if s/he doesn’t. There are not supports in place for those who need things outside the norm and the school is just too big to make accommodations. The teachers, staff, and administrators are all very kind, but without resources it isn’t enough for the child who is different for whatever reason. I don’t know if I would choose the school again. As the “main” school I feel like those who did not attend ASD were left out socially a lot.
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
Challenges: Having to repeat 3rd grade math (in 3rd grade) even though he had previously completed 3rd grade common core math in 2nd grade. Having to go to Dubai for adequate educational testing.
Highlights: Truly being with local children in their classes. Being in a very international environment.
3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
Wonderful school if your child is typically developing and bright, but not too bright. Nice campus, great teachers, small class sizes. A poor fit for special needs.