gulf| Qatar Academy Doha (QAD), part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education, officially kicked off the 2019-2020 academic year yesterday by welcoming students back to school. Alongside the provision of a holistic learning environment – catering to children aged six months to 18 years old – QAD also offers experiential learning experiences that go beyond the classroom.
“It is all about strengthening and developing our academic programmes, not just in English but also in Arabic. We are growing in numbers every year – we have 1,770 students at the moment, and will be at 1,850 next academic year, and approximately 1,900 the year after,” QAD director Stephen Meek said.
Since its establishment in 1996, QAD continues to attract an increasing number of students from different backgrounds due to its excellent academic curriculum, which utilises the International Baccalaureate (IB) system, combined with a variety of community service programmes and extra-curricular activities. “Experiential learning enables students to explore and learn about many things. Firstly, it broadens their minds, and gives them exposure to different worlds,” Meek said. “Secondly, it allows for reflection, and, subsequently, improvement.”
Outside the classroom, QAD students had the opportunity to visit Spain, Switzerland, Nepal, and Greece last year, as well as a selection of countries from around the region such as Kuwait and Oman.
Students also travelled individually to the US where they successfully participated in a number of international competitions.
The school has been actively engaging in global competitions – such as the Science Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olympiad – allowing students to explore their talents by competing with the best in the country, the region, and the world.
“We have organised a number of trips this year and we have more planned for next year – whether in Spain to see Islamic architecture and heritage, or to Nepal and Ethiopia to take part in community service,” Meek said.
Additionally, QAD operates three Early Education Centres for children aged six months to three years, providing a safe learning environment through a play-based curriculum. “These are wonderful centres, the children are educated in an integrated model of language acquisition, learning Arabic and English simultaneously – it works very well. Learning is hands on, engaging, and – ultimately – fun,” Meek stressed.
QAD strives for the highest standards, supplementing its comprehensive academic programme with innovative learning experiences outside the classroom to ensure that its graduates are equipped with the skills and tools to succeed in a complex, rapidly changing world.