We are relocating from South Africa in July and I have literally applied to all the British and American schools for my 4 years son and been refused by each of them.
We have however been lucky to get a spot at ACS Doha. I know its a new school, but has anyone heard anything about it and is there confirmation of whether they follow American or British curriculum?
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As you say, it's a new school, so it's difficult to confirm anything! I believe the buildings are not yet 100% complete ... but it's nothing for you to worry about, since the school year will only start in September.
Good luck with the move ... and with the heat when you get here!!
They are well-established in the UK - you can see their website here http://www.acs-schools.com/acs-doha.aspx
I have toured the campus and have to say it's quite impressive. My son is at Compass, which I am quite happy with, but you won't go wrong with ACS-Doha either.
Here's some info from their website:
Initially we will be offering our prestigious Early Years, Lower School, and Middle School curriculums, based on globally recognised American and international standards, with an aim to deliver the same range of academic programmes successfully offered at our three UK campuses [learn more]. As the campus develops a High School we will also seek authorisation to offer prestigious US College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses. ACS Doha will also offer an American High School Honours Diploma. The school will shortly be a member of the Council of International Schools.
The Doha campus offers a rigorous academic curriculum of English, mathematics, science, humanities, world languages, and fine arts. Our programme challenges students to become independent, reflective, inquiring, and knowledgeable; confident communicators who are principled, open-minded and caring; socially and emotionally intelligent and able to embrace the importance of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Be careful, it is one where spoiled rich children with bad habits and manners conglomerate. Because it is so overpriced and because of its location it would attract mostly these types. Remember; your child will learn more from his peers than from his teachers.
There are still many good schools where your child will much happier. Take Sherborne which is a very good school in the UK I hear but here in Qatar it is suffering from the same problem I mentined above!
well my children are not spoilt, dont have bad manners, havent any bad habits you would worry about and we are not rich - neither are their friends of which they have many. For you information children learn first and foremost from their parents and taking into consideration your highly critical letter I am trying to picture your children, if you have any of course. If parents bring up their children well enough, they will not be affected so much by negative peer pressure whatever school they are in.
Where are your kids? How can you be not rich and have your kids attend one of these schools? And if the company is paying the fees then your salary must be quite high.
ACS Doha has not started yet anyway, so do your kids go to Sherborne?
Hope to hear from you because I disagree that kids don't learn much from their peers; peer pressure is a strong force!
sorry i prefer not enter into such arguments. you are entitled to your opinion and I likewise. I am just saying my peace. i hope you are happy with where your kids are at school. i am and thats all that matters to me.
We are only trying to help someone decide on a matter that will affect the future of her children. If you say things along those lines then I think you should substantiate it. You responded to my first comment as though I didn't know what I was talking about and when I responded back, you said you didn't want to discuss the matter! I think this is unfair! Why did you challenge my opinion in the first place?!
Help someone? Really? Bye Dintovitch!
I am sorry but I thought you were trying to help this mum make a decision! Bye to you too!
I am sorry d-esertmum but I thought you were trying to help this mum make the right decision! Bye to you too!
I doubt Sherborne in Qatar has quite the same prestige as it does in the UK.....never will do I'm afraid.....I sort of agree about the spoilt little rich children....but then they take on the persona of their parents.....say no more....
Not only that it will never be the same as Sherborne in the UK because of the spoilt rich kids but also because here in Qatar Sherborne is for profit unlike its sister in the UK because a)they have a Qatari partner to whom they should pay dividends and b)part of the extra money they make goes to support the true Sherborne in the UK which is facing some financial difficulties; why do you think they are here in the first place!?
You are right AngelinaBallerina, Sherbornr-Qatar can never be as Sherborne-UK.
All in all I think Sherborne-Qatar will mar the name and the old academic tradition of Sherborne-UK.
Dintovich, I have children in school here. I have not seen many "spoilt, rich kids" that mar the reputation of our school.....what kind of people are you actually talking about???
Whatever next 'Oxford University Qatar'?? Shrewsbury School Qatar?? Marlborough College Qatar......Nahhhh....
Look, all I am saying is that the raison d'etre for Sherborne-Qatar is not the same as that for Sherborne-UK for which you have taken your child in the first place. Sherborne-Qatar was originally founded in order to provide dividends for its founders and shareholders; the Qatari plus Shareborne-UK. Really there are better and cheaper schools with less pompous names such as DESS that was founded just for the benefit of the students who study in it and no one else. But unfortunately many prefer to brag about their kid who is studying at Sherborne-Qatar.
Hey nomerci, where were your children before you took them to Sherborne-Qatar?
Dinovitch, ok, I have no idea about that school, so I take your word for it.
Although, I know of a few parents and students who seem to like the school.
My children are NOT at Sherborne.
Thank you nomerci for being honest!
Good luck to your children wherever they are but don't take them there!
Where do your children go to school Dintovitch
and 'Dintovitch' why do you have a chip on your shoulder about Sherborne? ACS Doha's fee's are actually higher than Sherborne, and it is also profit-making school. Which by your reckoning, will make that school even more full of 'spoilt rich kids' that have even richer parents than those at Sherborne? And surely the same goes for Compass, which has even higher fees than ACS Doha?
In my opinion, the level of a school tuition fees in a place like Doha does not reflect the parents level of wealth (or the way their children behave) but generally reflects whatever salary and allowance package they have from their employer.
Why don't YOU be honest and tell us on what you are basing your opinion?
Dintovich...what do you mean about "being honest"? I have nothing to hide whatsoever.
And we are very happy with the school my children go to, I have no reason to consider change.
But, if I were, then "rich kids" would certainly not be a deterrent for me.
Although, except for some Qatari children, i have not seen any rich kids here.
you are right kiwinyc. it seems like Dintovitch does have a very large chip indeed which makes me suspicious about how genuine the comments are. perhaps the fees are too high for them, or their kids did not get in when they applied or they are they elsewhere and are worried about some of these new up and coming schools taking away students. might go and have a look at sherborne myself so there is your answer Dintovitch, my children are not at sherborne but i have heard many good things about it. now answer expatlady.
In a court of law the judge does not examine the motives of why a witness says this or that but looks at what has been said; is it or could it be true or false?
If we start on the road of why somebody says something or another we will end up nowhere. I could for example retort by asking why, you out there, are you trying to protect Sherborne-Qatar and I could go into theorizing about you perhaps being British and want to protect your national school or your kids are in that school and you want to justify your decision for taking them there or many large number of possible motives. If we go along this road there will be no end to the discussion.
Let us instead try to be rational and confine ourselves to facts and not to what is in the hearts and cannot be seen. It doesn't really matter whether I have a chip on my shoulder or not (you will never find out), what matters is; what I have said about Sherborne-Qatar, is it or could it be true or false? This is what we should look at. Also, when I say "spoilt rich kids" I don't mean they are spoilt because they are rich per se, no, those unfortunate kids are the kind that have been brought up mostly not by their parents but by the maids (not even trained nannies) who are in the palaces. And regarding this point the same will apply to ACS Doha.
Another point needs clearing; I did not say that Sherborne-Qatar is bad as teaching goes (but it could be bad for your kid because of the demographics.) I said that it will never be like Sherborne-UK because the raison d'etre for Sherborne-Qatar is different from that for Sherborne-UK. Sherborne-Qatar has shareholders who will siphon money away from it unlike Sherborne-UK.
Please also remember that Sherborne-UK is only a secondary boarding school which means Sherborne is new in the primary school field. Why did they start with primary school in Qatar? Is it because it is a bigger market?
Sherborne Prep in Dorset was established in 1858 for students from aged 3 - 13 years - therefore I think they have some primary school experience. It runs alongside Sherborne Boys and Sherborne Girls Senior Schools. They also have an international school in the UK which prepares overseas students for entry into their main schools. The schools are both day and boarding. There is a clear understanding and acceptance that Sherborne Qatar wishes to establish its own identity whilst keeping some of the values from the 'mother school.
If you google "Sherborne Prep in Dorset" you will find that it has nothing to do with the 560 years old Sherbone-UK. It just has the name Sherborne by virtue of being in Sherborne town. If you visit Sherborne-UK website you will find that the only link they have is Sherborne-Qatar. Also the schools' logos are different.
As for the International School that prepares overseas students for entry into the main Sherborne, I know nothing about and I don't know whether it even exists. If it does I am sure it is totally separate from the main Sherborne that we know. It could be a private school that has thought of exploiting the niche of preparing students to the main Sherborne.
So, I stand by what I said earlier that they have not managed a primary or a prep school before! I am not saying this makes then inadiquate, no, I don't know about that, but just that they were willing to undergo such an experience for the sake of financially supporting Sherborne-UK.
You will get just as good an education, if not better for your kids somewhere else, cheaper and without being hit by the demographics I mentioned earlier.
Wow. I didn't realize. Thanks for the post Dintovitch.
Dintovitch you still havent told us where your kids go to school, whats the problem, tell us because you know so much
Thanks for the tip Dintovitch. We're just starting to think about schools for autumn 2012. Fortunately I have British passport, so DESS is our first choice. But I am told places are hard to get so we've been thinking about back-ups. Sherborne was one of those.
'Dintovich' - you claim to be stating facts but you refuse to supply any information as to how you have arrived at them. This is because they are not facts, but actually judgemental opinions. So don't be surprised if your use of such perjorative language e.g. 'spoilt rich kids' is not questioned. Now that you're asked to clarify, you backpeddle and change it to 'kids that have been brought up by maid in palaces' - which is hardly the same thing is it?
If this was a court of law, which it isn't, and nobody appointed you the judge, we would also want to know why you haven't answered a direct question to you - where do your children attend school? - If you indeed have any.
The main reason I think we all want to know is because the general opinion from parents who send their children to Sherborne is positive. But yours is negative and disparaging. This is fair enough, you're entitled to your opinion - but it is the exception.
Thus, we naturally want to know on what do you base your opinion - do you actually have experience of working there or sending your own children there? The other background stuff you're trying to introduce into the argument is irrelevant to assessing the quality of the school, and so are your opinions if you don't have any actual, recent direct experience with the school(s) in question.
So, how about being 'honest' with us?
Thank you everyone for your comments. I was really not looking to start the debate that has ensued. As I said at the start of my post, given that the job offer has come through so late in the year, we were unable to get my son into any other school as they were presumably all full. The decision to accept the place at ACS Doha was borne out of the need to get him into any school, and that is why I was asking the question above.
I know it is a new school - and therefore some teething problems are to be expected- but from what I've seen on their website and from the interaction I've had with the school, I must admit that I'm quite impressed.
Lets wait until the new term starts to judge further.
Best thing to do is give the school a try and get your son on other school's lists as soon as possible. If it turns out you like ACS, then no harm done.
My my, I know this discussion is a bit old but stumbbled on it today... ag shame the lady only wanted to know if anyone has some constructive, true advise to give her. You have obviously nothing better to do than to carry on and on and on with this.. you need to get a life and a break from Qatar mate/s!!!!
Ek is so jammer dat jy al die gemors van die mense hier in Doha moet hoer... jy sal in die einde jou eie besluit moet maak.. sorry my Afrikaans is not so fantastic anymore so I will carry on in English... (apology for presuming that you DO speak it and you don't...).. just something to make them wonder!!! heheh
to answer your question... it follows the american system and the IB - programme. make sure that if your company are paying the fees that they will cover it... yes there are some schools better than others.. but hey it all depends on where you will be living as the traffic here is quite incredible.. so you will have to maybe plan around that.. have a look on this site to see a list of all the international schools -http://www.onlineqatar.com/education/international-schools.aspx
I am asuming you already have done that... and yes others are more difficult to get into than others.. but if you put your name down at all the schools that you are interested in, you have to pay a registration fee and you don't get that back if you decide not to go to that school.. so it is a hard one this.. I will hope that all goes well with you!!! You are more that welcome to contact me again. Good luck !!!!
It's that time of the year when new comers to Qatar begin exploring schools for their children. Good luck with it all. It is not an easy process. But I think it would be more helpful if people spoke from personal experience and based on evidence. Impressions and second hand information can be misleading.
BTW, my kids go to Sherborne, and I am pleased with it. I don't think it will be comparable to the Dorset school. It can't be, and I don't judge it on that basis. I judge it on the curriculum, staff, activities, interaction with parents, etc. As for fees, while it is not cheap, it is less expensive than Compass, ASD, and ACS Doha. I think DESS is subsidized, right?
Good luck with ACS and when you've gone through the experience, please write about it. I am sure many people will want to know.
DohaExplorer--do you know much about Sherborne's association with the boarding school in England? Is the campus in Doha essentially a branch or is it just licensing the name?
Will never be the same as the one in England as it is in Qatar and the franchise is owned by a local. Do they still hire the best staff? Yes. Is the curriculum still as good? Yes it is as long as it follows the SEC guidelines. Is it a good school? Yes it is - but it may not be the best for your child. Only because a parent decides to ‘go for the best’ because it sounds good or others send their kids there - does not make it the best for your child. The so called best schools are not necessarily the right or best school for your child. Let your child choose the school – after all they are the ones that spend 6-7 hours there.
Never normally comment on forums but felt compelled to after reading the assumptions from someone who clearly does not know what they are talking about with regards Sherborne Qatar. Firstly HH The Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim attended Sherborne UK and believed that Qatar would benefit in having a similar school model in Doha, hence they came. They are the only Sherborne School owned by Sherborne UK. I am a teacher in Qatar (not Sherborne) myself and am not rich! However my company allows me to send my children wherever I want to school, and pays. As most companies do to differing degrees. I send my children to Sherborne and am very happy with the school. As the last post said, choose whatever school you feel suits your child. ACS is a young school that has a good history in other parts of the world. Beware of posters who slate one school over another. Visit the schools and get a feel. Good luck in making the right choice.