Park House School

Does anyone out there have a child in this school? We are moving out next month and have a place at Park House for our 7yrs son. What is it like.
Feedback please!!!!

Comments

novita77

i have some girlfriends who have kids in park house, about same age with your son. She is not in this website, but you can e-mail me in novita77@hotmail.com then i will pass her e-mail to you and you can ask her.

in generaL .... people i know with kids in Park House are happy with it.

Winnie

Winnie
Park House has currently closed its waiting list for all years.
I have two children at PHES and so far have been pleased. One is in year 10 and hates the uniform, the school the teachers..... I think he is settling in nicely. We had to wait until last week (end of Sept) to get a place for my daughter in reception year. But the facilities in the primary section are good. The class rooms are bright airey clean and inviting. They have canopyed areas for the children to play outside. The school is small (about 600 including secondary), but they are currently building further extensions for sixth form. They moved into these premises over a year ago. All the teachers I have met are enthusiastic and bubbly. The head teacher Mrs Brennan is very approachable and ameniable. They have a very pragmatic approach to education and have adopted the British healthy schools policy. There is no canteen so its invent as many ways as possible to make a sandwiche look interesting for the next 10 years I guess. They have now put in place the official primary school curriculum similar to England (it has a title but Im damned if I can remember it at the moment - one wine too many).
So far like I said I am pleased with PHESS. its too early to pronounce definitive judgement but having been a secondary school teacher in Britian and having put one child through primary school in outer London - the signs are good. You may have no doubt heard of Doha College - they have a very lenghty waiting list of siblings in both primary and secondary. This is a very large school and I have heard good and bad things there depending on whom you speak to. For PHES primary the fact that it is a small school is good - it has more of a community feel.
You are very very lucky to have secured a place before you have even left the country. We got our older child in 2 days before the beginning of term. that was not an experience I ever want to repeat. There really is a serious shortage of places in all schools in Q at the moment. Hang on to it. I know from the other side of the world it is very worrying as to what you are setting up for your child but you have done well. Any further qs please feel free to ask.

Tigasin321

I was just this morning talking to a colleague who has two kids at Park House as I am considering sending my own daughter there. The feedback is very positive. Good facilities (they have now got their new place and are no longer using the Russian Embassy building).

Apparently the teachers are very kind but also exert a strong sense of discipline and manners (cell phones are not allowed). They have recently started offering the International Baccalaureate. Everything I have heard about Park House has been very positive.

Chrissy

Thanks very much you have really put my mind at ease. I currently work for Education here in the UK - it appears your approach to Qatar is much the same as mine - giving up the housework etc... and as for getting trim again I am also going to enrol in some slow toning classes! Did you find it easy to make friends in Doha. My husband has been there a week and could not even get to the beach on Friday as it was members only. Any suggestions for a place he can relax on his day off? He is waiting for us to get there to join clubs etc...
Appreciate your help.

Winnie

My husband came over by himself and he found the first week awful. He nearly came home several times. If your husband likes a drink he could try Garveys or the Rugby club. Alot of british use these. I believe you have to join as a member or come with someone as a guest. Tell him to buy a copy of the Marhaba in Carrefours supermarket in City Centre. that lists all events happening in Q and where to go. It is updated every season. It is also available at Jarirs bookstore. What co. does your husband work for?

Chrissy

I have emailed you directly as I am sure there is more knowledge you can share with me. Do you live in a villa or apartment. Our company has provided us with a new 3 bed apartment and I do not know what it will be like with a 7yr old, he is used to playing out on his bike etc... I suppose as I will not be working I will have to keep him occupied - any good places for children to play/met etc.. We already have a copy of Marhaba which has been useful. I think Ramadan is the biggest problem at the moment. My husband has a company vehicle but I think I will have to get a car to do the school runs etc.. do you think I could hire one initially? or lease? Who does your husband work for. My husband is working very long hours at the moment as they are so busy - keeps him out of mischief I suppose!

Haggis

Our boys have also been regsitered at Park House and we are moving out from NZ shortly. Glad to hear all the positive feedback, as similar concerns for our kids.

Chrissy

When are you moving out? I will arrive early November. It would be good if we could meet up and let the children have a bit of fun together. I am concerned for my little boy making friends quickly enough. Samuel is starting in Y3 which year group will your boys be in?

Haggis

I will be moving out in mid-November, and rest of family in December, ready for start in January term. Making friends at their age shouldn't be too difficult, but agree it is a good idea to meet up and get them all together.

kiwimum

Hi guys I couldt help myself but this topic has caught my attention, reason being is that we have an appointment with PHES school this week to enrol my two sons, im guessing one will be year 6 and the other year 8, from what ive heard about the school it has a really good reputaion and just been new to doha now 3 weeks werve been told that there are now spaces available, we did try doha but no luck there not until next year, so it will be interesting to see what happens, didnt realise getting your kids into a school in qatar would be more difficult than getting a job anywhwere in the country.

Donia

Hi Guys my husband will be moving to doha next month and hopfully i will be moving there in couple of monthes i have a son 1 year and i found that your are talking about baby goups and gathering. i will be very happy if I joined on of them so please any one could give my the address and the phone number and help to it thanx.

hapy

Park house, Gulf English and DESS are among the better schools in Doha, however, better to know the worst as well, which is The Doha Cambridge School. Small building, large class sizes and inexperienced teachers. Never go there.

karen

Park House has had a steady flow of teachers leaving ever since it moved to its new site,only two years ago.They leave mid week and mid term,parents are sick and tired of the garbled news letters which arrive home,claiming the latest member of staff has left for 'personal reasons.'I have been told that 95% of its once very stable staff have left,appalled at how the school has become a 'bums on seats' business.The school also has a high number of teachers, whose mother tongue is not English,the largest group being South African,many of whom speak with thick Afrikans accents...they are there because they are cheap to employ.My friend's child is in a class of 27, the playgrouund is minute and there is rarely soap or toilet tissue in the toilets.Thankfully, she has managed to get her child into a more reputable school.The school has a very showy entrance but beyond that there is a serious shortage of resources.But the most worrying of all is the serious breach of health and safety standards.Children have swimming lessons in large groups of 25 children or more, with only one qualified swimmming instructor present,many class teachers present at the pool cannot even swim let alone save a drowning child.In the UK and other Western countries, such conditions would never be tolerated.Parents should question why there is such a high turover of staff and why classes are so large but most of all they must be more aware of the disturbing lack of safety standards in place for their precious children.

the_hippo

I was under the impression that Park House was one of the better schools in Doha, but maybe this is just rumour or misinformed gossip.

In all fairness to my colleagues at Park House, I think that it would be true to say that most (if not all) of the schools in Qatar have a problem when it comes to recruiting and retaining teaching staff. Many young and single teachers come to Qatar, without realising how difficult it is going to be without the support of their friends, family, the boyfriend etc. For some young teachers, Qatar is their first job in an international school, so it is not surprising that some of them leave before the end of the academic year. What is the alternative? Should Park House stop giving out exit visas and refuse to allow their teachers to leave? I don't think that would be sensible.

With regard to South African teachers and their accents, I would say that I count myself lucky to have the professional support of my South African colleagues, most of whom are dedicated and experienced teachers. Yes, I do have a posh Oxford accent, but some of my hard working colleagues from the U.K. are from Scotland or Brum or wherever. It's not just South Africans who have strong accents. I have also noticed that many of the parents of my pupils have accents (Spanish, Dutch, Iraqi and Qatari), so I cannot agree with Karen. People in glass houses should not throw stones and parents should not moan about accents when they themselves often do not speak English correctly.

Karen, if you want your child's teacher to talk like Professor Henry Higgins, why are you sending your child to an international school in Qatar? Why not put your little darling onto an aeroplane and fly him or her off to a boarding school in the U.K., where (with any luck) he or she will not be exposed to any awful foreign accents? Has it occurred to you that many Qataris would say that you have a dreadful accent when you try to speak Arabic - or do you simply assume that everyone ought to be able to speak English?

butterfly

Are you a teacher? I found the last part of your comment not only unprofessional, but also very arrogant.

"People in glass houses should not throw stones and parents should not moan about accents when they themselves often do not speak English correctly".

Why are you assuming that the parents are speaking english to their children?

As a matter of fact, it is crucial for children whose mother tongue is not english, to be exposed to a soft and "easy to understand" english accent from their teachers, even more so than native english speaking children, who are less likely to pick up different accents from school and can understand more easily, say, an scottish accent or afrikan.

If a parent is paying (a very expensive!) fee for an English school, then a native, clearly spoken level of english is a basic expectation.

Sorry but I found your comment very wrong.

the_hippo

I think that it is very wrong when my hard working, dedicated and professional South African colleagues are criticised because they do not have English accents. I also think that it is wrong when parents are working in an international environment, but then they expect that their children only to be taught by teachers who have B.B.C. English accents. I also think that it is very wrong for teachers to be judged simply on their accents, rather than on the other skills and talents that they can offer to their school and to their pupils. I also think that it is very wrong when the management of Park House School is slandered, when in fact it is probable that they have tried to hire the best teachers that were available.

I am not assuming that the parents of my pupils are always talking in English to their children. I know that, for many of the parents of my pupils, English is not their first language. I do not have a problem with that, but perhaps Karen does. You, howewever, seem to assume that it is very easy for Park House (or any other school in Doha) to hire properly qualified teachers from England. The fact that Park House has hired some South African teachers suggests that this is not really so easy.

In your post you mentioned that parents are paying a "very expensive fee for an English school". I do not know where you get this idea from, as there are no English schools in Qatar. All of the schools that I know of employ teachers from all over the world and, on the whole, the pupils certainly are not "English". At my school, Newton International, there are teachers from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and probably from other countries as well. The school is supposed to follow the English National Curriculum, but in fact the English National Curriculum does not include Islamic Studies and Arabic. If Karen wants to send her child to a truly Englih school, then it follows that the logical thing to do is for her to send her child to a school in England. If you think that this it is very wong or unprofessional of me to say this, well, you are entitled to your opinion.

karen

I know that many parents want and expect their child's teacher to speak standard English,not neccesarily received pronounciation.I have yet to meet a South African who can cope with singulars and plurals.However,I am not here to quibble this.People can decide for themselves.I raised several points of concern in my previous letter..safety being the greatest concern.

PS.Hippo,I am wondering why you have such an allegiance to this school?...Hmmmm!

the_hippo

I do not teach at Park House and I have never even visited the school. However, I have read quite a few posts on QL from parents who do send their children to the school and they all seem to be happy about the way that the school is educating their children. Many parents have written in to QL about the difficulties of finding a school place for their child.

I think that perhaps some of my comments in my original posting were not very polite and for ths I apologise. I have some very professional and dedicated South African taching colleagues and it's not their fault that they don't have a posh English accent. I have also met many fine teachers from Australia and New Zealand. I do not think that it would be an exaggeration to say that many children in London would not be having an education at all, if it were not for the input from Aussie and Kiwi teachers.

Yes, of course the safety standards at many international schools are nowhere near the same as those one would normally expect at a school in the U.K. Health and Safety is a huge problem in Qatar (as anyone who works in the construction industry will tell you). In the absence of effective inspectors, it really is up to the parents to make a fuss (and to keep on making a fuss) about this important issue. I am sure that most tachers (but perhaps not the school's owners) would fully support your efforts. Alas, most schools in Qatar do not have grassy areas where children can run around and let off steam. Having said that, it is usually the case that the school can be a bit more imaginative and try to make sure that the facilities are as safe as they can reasonably be expected to be. For example, at my present school, Newton International School, we do not let all of the children have their morning break at the same time. Safety surfacing is relatively cheap and our new trampoline is a good way of letting the children jump about relatively safely.

the_hippo

I do not teach at Park House and I have never even visited the school. However, I have read quite a few posts on QL from parents who do send their children to the school and they all seem to be happy about the way that the school is educating their children. Many parents have written in to QL about the difficulties of finding a school place for their child.

I think that perhaps some of my comments in my original posting were not very polite and for ths I apologise. I have some very professional and dedicated South African taching colleagues and it's not their fault that they don't have a posh English accent. I have also met many fine teachers from Australia and New Zealand. I do not think that it would be an exaggeration to say that many children in London would not be having an education at all, if it were not for the input from Aussie and Kiwi teachers.

Yes, of course the safety standards at many international schools are nowhere near the same as those one would normally expect at a school in the U.K. Health and Safety is a huge problem in Qatar (as anyone who works in the construction industry will tell you). In the absence of effective inspectors, it really is up to the parents to make a fuss (and to keep on making a fuss) about this important issue. I am sure that most teachers (but perhaps not the school's owners) would fully support your efforts. Alas, most schools in Qatar do not have grassy areas where children can run around and let off steam. Having said that, it is usually the case that the school can be a bit more imaginative and try to make sure that the facilities are as safe as they can reasonably be expected to be. For example, at my present school, Newton International School, we do not let all of the children have their morning break at the same time. Safety surfacing is relatively cheap and our new trampoline is a good way of letting the children jump about relatively safely.

karen

Yes, hippo I applaud your comment that parents must make a fuss about health and safety issues.At this particular school, we have observed so many concerns.Parents should be aware that there is a grave lack of qualified staff at swimming lessons and that there are too many children in the pool at any one time, there is no shallow pool for non swimmers.Too many children are crammed into a tiny play area, surrounded by buildings...heaven forbid that they should ever have to evacuate if there were a fire...the only escape routes are one locked gate and a car park, overfilled with staff cars.There is no sick bay in the school or any facilities for chidren who are unwell and waiting to be collected.
Happy New Year hippo and let us hope that is a safe one for the children at this school.

novita77

Have you complain to Mrs.Brennan then? This should be done in writing so you have a record on it.

karen

A group of us have raised our concerns many times with the owner of the school but to no avail.Our children have been moved on to other schools.

Casey

I just read this thru.My daughters teacher suddenly went and now there is a South african teacher.What is hapening at this school.I thought it was ok.I am woried reading this.

Casey

I just read this thru.My daughters teacher suddenly went and now there is a South african teacher.What is hapening at this school.I thought it was ok.I am woried reading this.

knoxcollege

Birds migrate in search of better bird food. Sometimes unknowingly they are doing good to the farmer by eating locusts and caterpillars but their sole purpose is their survival and betterment. If a bird is left behind it will join the next flock

Casey

Do you think knoxcollege that to much bad stuff is going on here. Is this a sinking ship ?

Casey

Do you think knoxcollege that to much bad stuff is going on here. Is this a sinking ship ?

the_hippo

I do not know whether or not Park House is a sinking ship. However, this comparison implies that there is a "free market" for education in Doha. There is no such thing. Parents are frequently told that there are no places available for their children and maybe the waiting list is closed. Furthermore , many parents simply cannot afford to send their children to the more expensive schools or else the family lives on the wrong side of Doha and the "school run" is an impossible battle with Doha traffic (not to mention finding somewhere to park). Similarly, the system of sponsorship can be used to prevent teachers from leaving and going to another school in Qatar.

In the U.K., regular inspection is mandatory, both for Health and Safety issues and in order to check on the quality of teaching provided. In Qatar, inspection is rather like the rain: it never seems to happen and, on those rare occasions when it does, it does not make any real difference.

mikeduke

Hi,

I live in UAE and Plan to move soon to Doha. I have applied online last year to Park House and I am really not impressed by their service.

It has been a week since I have been trying to reach Mrs. Gorman the Registrar to get her to acknowledge reception of my emails which I have re-sent several times. She is either in a meeting or busy on the phone.

She does not return calls nor replies to emails. This is so unprofessional. The only reason I keep on trying is to secure a place in Doha. I have tried DESS, Doha College and American School they all professionally acknowledged my applications and called back.

novita77

mikeduke ... the school here dont deal on the e-mail. They only entertain people who walk in and show interest in person. I suggest you should come to Qatar and have a look see visit and drop by to the school in person.

Good luck.

karen

It sounds very much as if this school is way behind IT wise.Most schools now have an administrative software package in place to deal with all aspects of running a school..which includes applications for school places.Obviously another cost cutting exercise! Need we be surprised? Mike Duke,consider carefully!

wellyboot

Both my children are at Parkhouse (one in YR 8 and the other in YR6) and we are extremely pleased with the school.

 

Doha College was never an option for us becuase when we came on a look see before moving we were advised by one of the Estate Agents that Doha College's standard had seriously dropped.    We applied to Parkhouse and never looked back.  I have had friends that have applied to both DC and PHES and while PHES were delighted to show them round, DC wouldn't entertain anyone unless their child had passed their entry exmans and had been offered a place.

 

Teachers come and go in any school at any time of the year so it isn't just in PHES.  At least PHES teachers know how to behave themselves unlike a certain teacher at DC last year.!!!!

 

I know where my kids are better off.

fleurdemer1978

my daughter is in waiting list for the next year i wish that she will have chance i have one question :does park house have bus transport for the student??

wellyboot

Yes they do have a bus service available - it was pretty pricey when we enquired about it. 

 

They wanted QR 1100.00 to pick my two daughters up and take them to school and back again - and we only live 10-15 mins away.

 

Told them no chance as they were too expensive - it may have changed now though.

Decent-Mind

I have a boy at year 7 and a girl at year 1 at PHES. They had been at PHES since 3 years now. They are happy with the school and we never faced a problem with their performance.

We were allways happy with their teachers whether they were native English or non native English speakers.

 

As a whole, the school quality is excellent and we never thought to move our kids out of it.

I do agree that PHES is one of the best English schools in Qatar.

wellyboot

FYI - The Head of PHES is retiring at the end of this school year and a new Head has already been appointed (not sure if common knowledge yet though).

 

The person that has been appointed IMHO will be a great asset to the school and he has great communication skills and is definately a 'people person'.

 

I think the school will go from strength to strength.  

spicemom

 my son in yr 11 is in PHES.it has been a yr now that he is there. we have been in doha for 4 yrs now and prior to  being in PHES he was at another school  ,which  we and he were not too pleased with due to  a few probs at ttthe school. since attending PHES our son has improved in his studies as he finds it  easier to cope with unlike at the previous school. yes they do have transportation and our son is taking the school transport to and fr school and we are paying  QR700 per/mth.it is sad that the Head will be retiring but we hope that her successor will be just as good or better  .

 

life's too short so make the most of it, you only live but once.......

Shelliebee2000

Hi there,

My family is moving to Doha for the new school year of sept 08.  We, like most parents are having problems getting our children into school.  I would information, both postive and negative about International School of Chouefait in West Bay area.

 

Any comments would be highly appreicated.  I would like to know what nationalities the school serves, do students have a lot of homework, exams etc are the teachers good and native speakers, is school transport available etc.  Anything would be useful.

 

Many thanks in advance

stepone

Step One International school Education ProcessCurriculum: British National CurriculumTeachers: Qualified Native StaffLanguages: English, Arabic, and French.School Campus: Computer Lab, Science Lab, Innovation Lab, Library, Playing Room, P.E hall, pet Farm, Sand Area, and a play Ground. School InformationAddress: Alhilal – Ashbelya Street – villa No. 8 ContactsTele: 4666313-4666717-6919728

the_hippo

There are quite a lot of postings on QL about Chewyfat (or however you are supposed to pronounce it). I have heard awful things about the SABIS system from several teachers who work there. Most of the children who go there seem to be Qataris.  

 

DJihad

I'm in year 10 in Park House and I simply love it here!

 

I've been in this school since year 1!

 

yeah.....long time, and I've seen many changes going on in the past 10 years and it's simply amazing!

 I'm one of the students who has stayed for such a long time, and have seen the school improved day by day. I saw this school grow and I'm very proud of it. This is the only reason why I don't wish to change schools, since I've been here all my life and I love it here.

 

If you are thinking....

 

"should I let my child join this school?????"

"will my child learn something from this school????"

"is this a good decision???"

 

well the answer to the questions is YES... ABSOLUTELEY!

 

Pop down to their site at http://www.parkhouseschool.com

 

Hope this helps Cool

 

 

 

Mrs123

We are moving to Qatar in August and our son has a place at Park House. Is there a compound/ villas etc near to the school so we don't have to spend all day in the traffic??

Another very helpful member has told me of where we could live if we get our son in to DESS (another good alternative) although wont know about DESS until March.

Please help!!!

anonymous

Try Rising Star near Old Airport area of Doha (Matar Qadeem). My daughter did 2 years of KG there, and I have to say it is good.
http://rskinder.com/

...Avada Kedavra..

anonymous

I HAVE GOOD EXPERIENCE IN PARK HOUSE MORE POWER!!!

Victory_278692

There are a series of huge compounds at Abu hamour vicinity...you need to visit and choose.

One of the average british curriculum schools in Doha...generally all are satisfied with PHES.

littleartist

 after reading this long thread, and many others here, i regret having to keep my kids in SABIS, CISD. all what you mentionned above about safety, teachers qualifications, level of education, discipline and system is fine in there. but the only down point is thatparent is not permitted to directly discuss the child with the class teacher. and the have like 3 exams a term, and two tests a week. students have to revise at home all what they studied at school on a daily basis, or failure is ahead. no homework to be done at home though.
if student is wise and mature enough to suck it all at school, he comes home knowing more than his parents, and having all the time for activities.
my kids study day and night and they cannot cover it all. they are bored in class, so i have to repeat everything at home. exhausting for me and them.
waiting lists in every school in doha have my kids names somewhere!!!!
Little Artist 

Alumnar

My daughter is 5 and goes to Park House School. She loves it there and so do we. Her teacher/assistant care about everything around the children and they are very happy. I can only say good things about it and congratulate everybody who helps running it so well and cares about everything that has to do with our children.

Feel free to PM me if you need any more info.

littleartist

 my kids are on the waiting list in park house since last september for grade3 and reception... seems no one is leaving doha!!!
Little Artist 

Alumnar

... contact Park House because there are people starting now to put their notices in for leaving at the end of this schoolyear. My daughter brought a paper home that says for parents to let them know if their child(ren) are leaving or staying for next year. Don't get upset, it is all a slow process. Call the school tomorrow and see what they tell you. If you want you can PM me and we keep in touch and I keep you updated about as much as I can find out.

anonymous

This was posted in 2006.

I will hoist that up the flag pole and see who salutes it!!

AngelaMcIntyreH...

My three year old son had an "interview" for reception class where the organisation seemed very hap hazard. The nature of the interview was not fully expained to us and once in there the member of the office staff conducting the interview said it is an interview for the parents not the child. I think we are nice, educated humble people so no worried about our "interview" and our son was a little of the shy side on the day (although he is as articulate as any older child usally I cannot shut him up!) There was no teacher in the room just a memeber of the admin staff and it was all conducted in an office with no stimulus for a child at all - very odd! I am a teacher myself and would not have expected any 3 year old to perform well in such an environment. No questions were directed to my son and he was just expected seemingly to involve himself in the general flow of the conversation about the school..... There were about 12 children interviewed on the day for 2 places and our son was not successful. The feedback given (from the head of the school who was not present at the interview) is that he acted in a "silly" fashion during the interview and did not dispay enough independence. I think he may mistook silliness and lack of independence for embarrassment and this feedback struck me as very unprofessional- a grown man calling a 3 year old "silly".... He is 3 years old, very bright and charming and funny and surely if a 3 year old is expected to never act in a "silly" fashion and be very serious then I am afraid that we live in a very sad world. Just my experience of course I can see that many people are very pleased with this school from this thread. For anyone called to an "interview! with your young children I think you need drill them before into sitting still, behaving very seriously and involve themselves in adult conversation during the interview or you may get some personal feedback that upsets you - as I did!

Victory_278692

next year or somewhere else...this could be just an excuse due to limited seats (2 places) available this time.

hapy

Angela if someone has teh nerve to call a three year old silly, you are better off away from such place, by the way u shud have replied them to shove it

fara

on the waiting list at both schools what are the chances of getting in?
HELP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Alumnar

Park House School - your chances are as good as none. The waiting lists are HUGE.

azzpaz

what are the best options for getting my daughter into yr 3 for this september??? my husband will be arriving in doha mid aug/early sept and i have been told that cambridge international school for girls would be able to give her a spot. any thoughts on that school??? for some reason i jusst dont have a good feeling about it .... maybe it because we'll end up living closer to the landmark area and the drive to school is beginning to worry me. i get no where with email enquiries as they all just want an application fee, i feel 'for nothing' worried she's not going to have a school and dont want to leave it all to my husband for when he arrives as he's got a lot to do himself!! HHEEEEEELLLLPPPPP!!!!!

Leigh2027

My children both attended Parkhouse in 2009 and loved every single minute of it. The staff are professional knowledgeable, caring and consistent ; a true credit to the school and to our profession. Other colleagues who had their children in different schools in Doha could only catalogue the disasters in terms of progression of the children's learning and classroom management indeed one colleague's experience was so bad she chose to withdraw her child and home school her instead.

My advice to anyone considering schools anywhere in the world would be to speak to parents of children who have/are attending otherwise you're likely to get embroiled in the rumour mill.

Ines_pt

azzpaz, Cambridge international school for girls in my opinion is a big no!

Most of schools are already in a waiting list, but yet you can try the nurseries until next year!

simonsmithy

Be careful about their academic standards - they take the kids who fail the Doha College entrance exam

Victory_278692

In order of standards and affordability....
1. DESS...........Only for UK citizens

2. Doha College.....Fees are too high (only for those who get fees reimbursed from Employers "Oil and Gas companies")

3. Park House....Multi nationals and multi-culture, similar curriculum with affordable fees.

the_hippo

The 25 or so Choueifat schools around the world follow a curriculum called the SABIS system, and it is appalling. Students are forced to rote memorize reams of information in all subjects, information that will be slightly adjusted and increased from year to year, so that effectively they are relearning the same material in the same way again and again and again from year to year. No matter what grade they are in, students are never held accountable for having actually learned anything before, so they are constantly reinventing their boring wheel. The curriculum materials are so cheaply and badly produced, it is almost unbelievable. In English, for example, the main textbooks are SABIS written and produced military histories from grade four through grade twelve. No real literature is used because literature is, by its very nature, subversive and therefore threatening to the fundamentalist Islamic values that the SABIS system caters to. The math program is better, because the SABIS system of testing and retesting the same concepts over and over again lends itself more effectively to a largely linear area of study. Science education is also limited, churning out technicians rather than thinkers.
Thinking is discouraged generally, with all students and teachers across the system forced to follow exactly the same lifeless lesson plans from day to day, without regard to teacher or student interests or abilities. SABIS students will never, for example, create their own original videos as part of a graded class project. When some better informed parents complain about this kind of monotony and insensitivity to different learning styles, the SABIS system responds with an extracurricular program they call Student Life. All of the fun and creative work is supposed to happen in there, outside of the graded class work and along with sports. But in fact most kids end up spending most of student life playing soccer, which they would have done anyway. It is not a venue to stretch and grow, because it is not graded, and grades are all that students take seriously here.
I also question the academic integrity of the school, even judging it within the parameters the SABIS system sets for itself. Students take tests constantly, mostly multiple choice tests, and if they fail they are supposed to be retaught the missed material and then they are retested. They post improvement charts saying, "Look how much the students improved after retesting!" But in fact many times the students were allowed to retest three or even five times between the first score and the last, and it is a rare person who wouldn't pick up a few more points after taking essentially the same test five times running. British teachers seem to find the SABIS system less offensive than American teachers do.
Although Robert Kleynhans is the acting director, he is just a sweet-natured, displaced South African yes man. He is big on contact sports for boys (Quote: "Girls should not play soccer. They should cheer the boys on."); and soft on discipline for spoiled rich Egyptian kids. The real big cheese is Saleh Ayche, who also runs the other Chouiefat school in Cairo. Ayche is comfortable with luring teachers in on false pretenses and reneging on whatever parts of the contract he chooses. He is a business man, not an educator.
Non-Arab kids don't last here. The Arab kids bully them, and the rigid, slow-paced, illogical curriculum baffles them. Sometimes they stumble into 6th of October by mistake, possibly sucked in by the well-funded marketing campaign, and then their parents pull them out as soon as they can. Egyptian kids, especially those whose families have had little or no exposure to the West, seem content here.

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I have posted this here, just in case someone is thinking of sending their children to Choueifat or Chewyfat or whatever. The above article comes from "The International Schools' Review".

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Victory_278692

Instead Choueifat......go to American School of Doha, if one can afford the fees.

the_hippo

Gifted children need good schools, simonsmithy, and Park House is a good school. The staff are dedicated, experienced and well-qualified. Maybe the facilities are not perfect, but they are lot better than those of some Doha schools I could mention.

If you are not happy with Park House, simonsmithy, please take your child away as soon as possible, so that one of the children on the school's long waiting list can have a place.

simonsmithy

I did . I moved him to DC two years ago and never looked back

the_hippo

Thanks to your public-spirited action, another child has been able to benefit from the excellent standard of education that is offered to the students at Park House School. If more parents were to copy your example, then perhaps Park House would not have such a long waiting list.

the_hippo

Thank you, Victory_278692. It's good to be appreciated.

britlady

Be aware that Park House take the kids into Year 7 that FAIL the Doha College entrance exam. Similarly the parents of the top british kids generally aspire to move their kids up to DC as soon as they can - Not sure if this is the same for the other nationalities though

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