HI everyone and happy new year to all.
i wanted to start a new forum topic on comparing the good english schools in qatar.i think it will help out many concerned parents like me. i'm putting up a list of schools ( that i think are good ) and i need u ppl to arrange the list in order of ur preference ( but it shud be based on ur personal experience).n in the end kindly let us know why ur listing is different.Thanks.
3.Qatar International School/Doha Academy
4.Newton schools/International school of Choueifat
Thats my listing based on my survey n experienc
your list does not include some very good schools like
a. Doha college
c. ISL Doha
d. Qatar Academy
My personal opinion is that Doha Academy and Cambrige are crap and should be removed from the list. However you may not necessarily agree with this opinion.
Newton School ...pffffft! The teacher there used my daughter as a teachers aid to help other students.
smile lots laugh more
Not the rest. Nothing can beat DESS for british curriculum.
I will avoid Newton school at all cost if possible, have alot of friends who are not happy with the school.
DESS and DMBS are totally different school btw.
i think dps and birlaps mes ideal schools are english as well..
dr.xray, happy new year to you.
1. DESS up to 6th grade.
2. Qatar International school.
100% agree with Novit77, nothing can beat British curriculum.
Dess & Doha College are british embassy sponsored non profit school,follow the british curriculum.this two school are best english school in Doha.
No, Julialee. You should use plurals throughout, as you are writing about TWO schools. "These two schools are the best English schools in Doha."
You somehow forgot to mention that they also have absurdly long waiting lists. In fact, I have even heard of parents being told that there is no place for their child on the WAITING LIST, never mind there being no place for the child at the actual school.
In reality, whether or not a school is absolutely marvellous is a secondary (and often irrelevant) question. The real questions are these, namely: "Does this school have a place for my child?" and "Can I afford the ridiculously high school fees? (And all of the outrageous extras?)"
I am thinking of homeschooling my children. Can I do that here? Are there resources for me? Does anyone know anything about it or where I could buy books/etc?
i agree with the list in the beginning only, DESS, Doha College,parkhouse, QIA are very good schools, but DMBS is not at all, they are competing with others when it comes for the fees but i believe parents are not getting what they are paying for!!!,,
I think nr. 1 is Sherborne Qatar school, have u guys heard about it, also ISL those are 2 outstanding schools, people are so friendly there, very helpful in answering queries, unlike people in DMBS,,grrrr
Aseel, I totally disagree with you. I vistited the following schools last year: DMBS, Qatar Academy, Newton British School, Park House, Al Jazeera, Cambridge, Newton International D-Ring, and Doha Academy. I found that the most pompous of the group was Park House. At DMBS the reception I received was very welcoming. They accepted my application, put my child on the waiting list and offered me a tour of the facilities, which included visits to classrooms in session (they will do this for anyone as they offered weekly tours on Thursdays at 11:00 a.m., but I am not certain if they do that now). When I went back on an almost weekly basis, they were not annoyed by me, but were honest with me regarding the wait list. At Park House, I was given a number on the waiting list and was refused a tour until THEY called me with a place for my child. Needless to say, I didn't go back.
The fees at DMBS are reasonable compared to many other English language schools in Doha, in which many/most of the students are native English speakers. Fees are similar to most of the schools above (and are acutally significantly lower than Newton British School). I feel the quality of education is very good.
I agree that DESS, Doha College, ASD, and Compass rank very highly and that DMBS usually ranks in the middle of the pack, but I could either not afford these schools or would have been refused admittance based on the passport I hold. Other schools like ISLQ and the new Sherborne (as well as Compass and DESS)are too far from my home and I refuse to add up to an hour of travel to the already early start time of most of the schools.
In the end, we are pleased with our choice within our lack of educational choices in Doha.
Novita, did your friends have their children in the Newton International school or Newton British School? When I called the school for info, they said the Newton "British" school had a greater number of English Native speakers and was not taught from any sort of ESL perspective.
I am just curious if all of the Newton schools are of the same standard or if the British one is a better choice for native English speaking children.
Thanks in advance.
vhop, It seems they in DMBS were very welcoming with you last year, I also visited last April and I was not offered any tour around the school, the principal was tough for a couple of minutes delay for my appointment. I agree with you the fees are reasonable compared to other schools here which is unbelievably high. I put my child in DMBS as I had no other choice DESS and Parkhouse did not accept her because we are not british although we have NZ passport but I don't know, as for DMBS maybe if you are British then that explains the good treatment as I found the principal a bit racist and heard many teachers left teaching at that school because of her. One more thing I found in DMBS that I am not happy about, they are very materialistic when it comes to fees, have to pay way in advance and if decided to withdraw before the term started, they will not refun the future paid fees.
Other ISLQ & Sherborne are outstanding, I had a tour and loved them but agree with your about the length of travel and that is a plus to us in choosing DMBS. You did not mention eventually what school did your child go to?
I am not British, so I don't think you can pull the race/ethnicity card. I know the principal is "old school" and often gets a bad rap, but my interactions with her as a parent have been very pleasant. In our interview she was welcoming and talked casually with my child . . . I did not find her intimidating at all. A group of concerned parents approached her about the traffic situation with concerns about safety (after the tragic incident at the Lebanese school) and as you can see, speed humps and a crosswalk have been installed over the term break. As for monetary issues, I don't think you can call DMBS "money hungry." Do they request payment for the next term in advance? Yes, but I am pretty sure ALL schools do this. I have heard that Compass (correct me if I am wrong) requests the ENTIRE tuition before school starts . . . that is something like 60 - 70,000 QR upfront!!! I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of cash sitting around. At QR25,500, with three installments for tuition payments, DMBS is hardly materialistic in comparison.
I guess I must have been vague, but my children go to DMBS and we are happy. Sorry to hear that you are not having the same experience.
Holding a NZ passport does not make you a UK citizen. So how does racism enter the argument?
Signature line > "You can't fix stupid"
marycatherine...I like your signature
The issue of school fees is a vexed one and it is not made any easier by the fact that parents really have very little choice in Doha. As I have noted before, parents often cannot send their children to their first choice school: they have to send them where there is a space available.
All schools in Doha are "money hungry", in the sense that they are businesses, not charities or institutions funded by the government. Of course the teachers and the students can be affected when parents do not pay the fees on time or in full, so it is only natural that most schools are going to demand a big pile of cash in advance. If you feel that your child will get a good education, then that will be money well spent.
I think Qatar Academy since it has an open budget , and they invest so much in there students and infrastructure...
ppl ..kindly list the schools in ur preference...u can add up any school u want but try to come up with a list in the end.....
qatar leadership academy for life!!
Marycatherine,,, no need to be harsh,, i meant since she i brtis, so being aNZ i know it doesnt make me brit so she favours anyone of her nationality and that was my opinion of being racist, got it now,,
no need for nasty signature.
vhop,, i guess u have a point, it is at least better than other school if u say some ask for the full tuition in advance,, ofcourse i don't have that money with me to pay the whole amount.... anyway im not saying its bad, i just as u say find the principal from the old school and that was my point,,,
good luck to all
I have to make a decision within a week between DMBS and Sherborne and am desperate to here from someone who actually has children there. If this is you, could you possibly answer the following questions;
Are the majority of children happy there?
Are the teachers kind and competant?
What nationality are the majority of teachers?
Are you happy with there education?
Do you know how often they are read with each week?
I would be most grateful for your answers.
What fees is expected on a monthly basis? Any ideas what I should be looking at? English schools...
It is surprising that only 45% of the kids in Doha College are British yet they are sponsored by the British Embassy. There is no question about Doha English Speaking School DESS.
Has Doha College lost it credibilty of using the slogan of being sponsored by the British Embassy?
"HE WHO DARES WINS"
Derek Edward Trotter
To answer your question, a friend of mine has a daughter in Sherborne,,she in fact left DMBS and joined sherborne
Kids over there are very happy, anxious to go there and sometimes dont want to leave, after school activity are so good including horse riding, ballet, taikwando, karate, gymnastic, beavers, cubs, brownies,,,etc of other british activities that are not implied in other schools even though they are british.
Teachers are all british hundred percent except for arabic staff that teach arabic as a second language. Teachers are very professional and definitely competent and friendly. kids one third are british, the rest are international and qatari. Headmaster, contrary to the HM in DMBS, is so friendly so is the admin staff who receive with a warm welcome and a smile and always there to answer your queries.
i HOPE I WAS ABLE TO HELP U, afterall we want the best for our kids don't we.
I have no knowledge of Sherborne other than it is new and it has a good reputation in its initial year in Doha. My children do go to DMBS and I can only give you my experiences, which are different from others (like aseel1409).
Are the majority of children happy there? My children are, but I really can't speak for the majority . . . they seem happy.
Are the teachers kind and competent? The three classroom teachers that I have had personal interaction with are very kind and competent individuals. I have not heard other parents complaining about their childrens' teachers.
What nationality are the majority of teachers? British, although there are other nationalities as well (a few South African, one American, and I do not know if they have any teachers from Austalia or New Zealand).
Are you happy with their education? Yes, I have no complaints thus far.
Do you know how often they are read with each week? This depends on the grade level of the child and the classroom. Last year, my child was read with at school about three times a week (and the same book was sent home). This year my child is sent home with a book each day (actually two today) and we read at home. My child is read with at school once or twice a week. My older child receives three books a week to read at home and reads with the teacher once a week.
I am assuming you have visited each school. It is really a very personal decision and you can get a better feel of the school by having a look around and observing the children in their learning environment.
Other topics to consider: The amount of travel time to and from each school (I personally would not stick my child on a bus for an hour commute each way), school fees, extracurricular activities, facilities, etc.
Best of luck to you!
i AGREE with vhop,,kids read 3 times each week they are sent with 3, they read, parents comment, kids are happy there too and it is more convenient to the residential areas around as it takes me 5 minutes to drop her. I guess at the end it is a personal matter and you need to visit to make up your mind kiddieexpat. Each school I guess has it's pros and cons.
since we arrive i`ve being trying to get a school for my 3 years old boy. I call to Dess they told me No beacuse i`m not british and they were full. I put an aplication in Doha college, i call them yesterday and they said: sorry, is not in the short list (whatever that it means). Finally today we had an interview in Park House School and they accept him, but it`s very far away from my house (45 minutes minimun) and i already put aplications in Qatar International school, DMBS, etcc... Can someone please tell me If park house is a good School or if is better DMBS or QIS??
My son doesn`t speak english very well as we are an spanish family and in more than one ocassion i had the feeling to be discrimanted because of that, i`m really sorry i know this is something very hard to being said but is honestly the feeling i had after all this rat race. I`m very thankfull, by the moment, with the Park House School because at least they meet my child, they give me the oportunity to have at least a chance to put him in a good school, not like Doha they took the money but they didn`t bother in meeting my child at all.
Thanks for this forum is good to see the opinion of other parents in similar situations...
Catalana,, Parkhouse school is very good i heard together with DESS are i think on a higher rank than DMBS and their fees are the same i think, so be happy that ur kids got accepted in it as it is one of the best but the only problem that it is a worry to any mother is what u mentioned 45 mins. is too long for little kids or even older ones, i suggest see how it goes this year and for the next academic year think about relocating your residence to a closer area t othat school if your kids are happy there as it is easier to move houses i think than jumping our kids from one school to another, we already brought them here from our countries but u dont want to keep changing their school especially if they have adopted well, so moving house is an option u should look into for next year of sep.2010,, otherwise, wait and u will support what im saying, Park House is really good school. Good luck
No matter which so-called high ranking school your child goes to, you will definitely have to work with him/her at home. Schools here spend more time impressing the parents and less time educating children...
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.
I have decided to home school. I don't trust others with my child's education. Especially with such mixed reviews of the schools with openings.
How does it works the home school education?? Sorry, my son is 3 years old and i don`t have any experience in this matter, can you please explain me a little bit about it?? Thanks
Sorry, are you saying is not fear that only 45% of the kids are british???
Our 3 year old boy was also accepted to Park House and we decided to take the place. Personally I think it will be a good school for him. Unfortunatelly, we had the same anwer from Doha College that he was not shortlisted.
There are so many compounds around, so by September 2010 you can easily relocate closer. Goodluck!
There are lots of resources for homeschooling online. You can find curriculum and lists so you know what they should learn at each grade level.
We're thinking of moving to Qatar but have three young children and having checked the fees, it could prove to be expensive.
What is the standard contribution towards school fees in Qatar for Brits relocating? Are firms paying everything or a proportion, or all for one, some for two etc etc?? Thanks for your wise words....
We are in the process of moving to Qatar (probably by Aug-Sept) and are looking into good schools for our 2 boys ages 6 and 3.5.
Please can someone tell me about ASD, Qatar Academy, DESS, as I have heard that the waiting list for many schools in Doha are very long. Also, any other good schools besides these?
Whats the best time to apply for admission to ensure a spot? I will really appreciate your responses.
How old are your kids kiddie? I have sons 6 and 3.5 and am looking for a place at Sherborne - what are your thoughts about the school?
My kids are 6 and 3.5! Are you here already? We have actually managed to secure a place at DESS - we had been on the waiting list since Sep and just heard. So despite the long drive have decided to send them there. We know a lady on our compound though that has kids at Sherborne and who also works there as a support assistant. She is really pleased with the school. Her kids are year 1 and year 3. If you are new here and fancy a meet up, my kids are not in school yet and hanging around so let me know and I can tell you what I know. Good luck!!
I am not there yet - we are planning to be there around August as I would like my son to finish school year and then take a month or so to wrap up here. Sure, when I get there we will meet up. DESS replied to me saying that they don't have any places for the year. They also prefer British citizens as the school is funded by the embassy. We are from Canada, how about you? I've read good things about Sherborne and ASD, those may be the next choices. Any other schools you would suggest?
Where abouts do you live? If the kids go to Sherborne, we would prefer something close to there - any thoughts on what are the good areas?
Is there like a major difference in education between DMBS and DESS?.... And does getting an admission test date in DESS means that even my child clears the test he still might remain on the waiting list??? Please shed some light on this . Thanks
Really appreciate this post. It’s hard to sort the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it!
How's the education in QIS?We are worry that our children can't adapt in that school.Need advise urgently.
Is there anyone here whose children go to Sherborne School? My daughter has just been offered a place there for September 2010 and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Sherborne.
Compass International School is terrific. Small and gives great attention to the children. Especially secondary which now is expanding. The teachers are great and despite the construction that they still have after 4 years in operation and the steep fees it is truly an INTERNATIONAL school. Kids from everywhere and that is enriching for me. English, Indian, Spanish, South African, Egyptian, American, Canadian, Dutch, Jordanian, Chinese, Qatari, Danish, and the list goes on. It follows the British curriculum, IPC & IGCSE. No complaints. Great parent community as well.
See the following link which compare schools together:
not sure why good schools like DESS and Doha college
are not there??
I don't think the above link works, this should work:
Doha College is not listed?
I am moving to Doha in January 2011, in the middle of the school year. I am looking for a school for my 4th-grader that has an American or IB curriculum with a strong Arabic and Islamic studies component. I would really appreciate any help you might offer. I would also like to know how difficult it is to get a seat in the middle of a school year. Are there schools that accept students in the middle of the year?
There are a few questions about Sherborne School. My children have been there for a year - they love it and we are extremely happy with the school and what it offers. I dont know about other schools but this one is certainly worth considering. Pay them a visit - you never know.
What do u guys think / heard about 'Gulf English School' ?
yeah its cr@p......
Can someone sort out an argument between my friend and I. A mutual friend contacted Doha College to check whether they gave priority to British Citizens - whom advised that they didn't - and that selection was purely on merit. Does anyone have any inside knowledge ??
It is on merit but the burgundy passport helps!!
Well, Doha College may say that they do not give priority to those parents who have British passports, but what is the reality? Of course the curriculum at Doha College is taught by British teachers, so naturally they would prefer to have students who have an excellent grasp of the English language. If students do not understand what their teachers are saying, how can they make good progress in their studies?
aseel1409, what you hav said regarding a lot of teachers leaving seems to be true. I have a child in primary and so do many of my friends my son and my friends children ar coming home with stories of the class room helpers teaching the classes. I have no idea why we are paying the fees…. If this is the case. So DMBS is a big NO in my opinion. Me and my friends are taking our kids out in the end of this year. We will be going to DESS.
"My friends and I" is what you should have written, o.ali85. If you were to send your child to DESS, then perhaps he or she would be able to correct all of your grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.
You have written "We will be going to DESS", but you have not mentioned whether DESS actually has any places available. I know one lady who waited TWO years for a place at DESS for her son and, in case you were wondering, both she and her husband are British citizens.
We've just turned down a place for our 8yo in yr 4 in Sept 2011 at DESS. They didn't have any places in Yr 1 for our 5 yo, (both are Brit citizens) instead they both got offered spots at Sherborne, after both were assessed in Feb. We will move from London at the end of August in time to start their new school.
Its good to hear from other people with children at Sherborne that they are pleased with it. Its location is not as convenient as DESS but we liked the spacious, airy facilities and got a good impression of all the staff there and how much they have achieved in setting up a school from nothing in such a short amount of time.
There is no standard employer contribution for paying school fees - some pay full whack for the most expensive schools in Doha (i.e. American School and Compass), others set their benchmark lower and you have to top up yourself if you want a more expensive school than what your employer pays for.
I can understand why DESS is so popular as it good quality plus has a central location and low fees. Btw DESS didn't test prior to offering us a place, they went solely by a y2 school report. Why Doha College is so popular is a bit of mystery to us, we weren't overly impressed by either their tiny facilities (at primary level) or their assessment, but maybe its because they go up to senior school which have nice grounds. Sherborne is also adding to the years they cover as they become established in Doha.
kiwinyc, the attraction of Doha College is quite simple really. If you can somehow get a place for your child in the primary school, then you are more or less guaranteed a place in the secondary as well. If you send your child to DESS, then everything is fine and hunkydory until the end of Year 6, but then what happens? Although a lot of DESS children go on to Doha College, I have the feeling that it is by no means automatic.
Sherborne does seem to have its positive aspects. The more good schools there are in Doha, then the better the choice for parents. It would also be interesting to hear from parents who have children at the International School of London.
It would be good if Qatar's Supreme Education Council could do something positive, once in a while, but really they are just too stupid and too lazy to do anything. That is why all of the best schools in Doha have non-Qatari teachers and non-Qatari principals. Instead, the SEC does its best to wreck the education of children who are attending international schools. For example, the SEC wants to increase the number of lessons of Arabic and Islamic Studies that all children must have. Neither Islamic Studies nor Arabic are part of the English National Curriculum, so children attending British-style schools should do not be compelled to follow the SEC's orders.
I'm surprised as to why the American School of Doha didn't show up...
Actually it isn't.....so what??
Interestingly, I know a couple where one teaches at Doha College and the other Sherborne and Sherborne got better exam results at both KS1 and KS2 last year !
We are not so concerned about continuation onto secondary levels, and Sherborne may have expanded upwards by then for us, but i can see the attraction for those who have older children and need a good secondary school with good facilities.
American School is not so often mentioned because its a) American curriculum, (Most people seem to be looking for Brit curriculum) and the most expensive school in Doha. No one can afford it until your company is paying most or all of the fees. And i don't know how easy it is to get into, but the application process is incredibly detailed and quite onerous. But its facilities are outstanding I hear.
forget it! there was only a kid is not important.
the packaging is nice the brochure also, but is full of shouting, frustrated and underpaid teachers and neglected children.
i took my 11 years daughter happy again now and again likes to go to school. thank God !
Dear Blanka, this forum is read by hundreds (maybe thousands) of people all over the world. Don't you think that you, an adult and a parent, should try to use the English language properly? There are also online courses to help you with your poor grammar. Perhaps you could borrow some of your daughter's English textbooks and then you could learn about synatx and punctuation.
Honestly, One of the worst schools i have ever seen not just in Doha, but world wide. Not a learner place, but rather a place for kids to kill time. It looks organized, but kids learn nothing usefull at that school.
The international school of london is one of most expensive schools in Doha and yet the worst by far. Everyone i know attending the international school of London in Doha is about to leave the school.
Poor education and a total waste our kids time to send them to this school. Stay away of this school and try other ones. Such as Global, Doha College, DESS.
We and our friends had a terrible experience in regards to learning. Some of us managed to send the kids to other school and some are looking for places for their kids.
Read more: http://www.qatarliving.com/node/2317901#ixzz1oncaEpuY
Obviously you do not understand the curriculum if this is your stance on the school. ISL-Qatar runs on the IB programme which if you knew anything you would understand is learner centred. Which contradicts your comment about the school not being focussed on the learner.
As for learning something useful, that depends on your take on what is useful. Did you want your children to memorise facts? Yes, then no ISL is not the school for you. Did you want your child to understand the deeper concepts behind, to be able to think critically and reflect on their learning? Yes, then ISL is the school for your child.
As for your statement about students leaving that may be the case but you should also be looking at staff movements. Are teachers changing every two years or are they remaining consistent? If the teachers are leaving it is cause for concern because they know something you may not. Having said that the only people I know leaving the school are leaving for Sherbourne because they wanted British Curriculum not International but were very happy with the school for the time they were there.
Before making grand sweeping statements perhaps acknowledge that the school was not for you but that the extensive waiting list says otherwise. The school has an international student body, and challenging curriculum. It may not be your ideal school but let people make their own judgements rather than being bitter in a public forum.
Read more: http://www.qatarliving.com/node/2317901#ixzz1ydrO2UaJ
Nothing can be as bad as Park House - mediocre academic standards, with ( British) parents queuing up to leave for Doha College or DESS as soon as a place comes up.
Can anyone give me a solid feedback on newton British school in Waab, and what are the differences between this school and other Newton branches?