Terry McGuire

Principal, Doha British School (DBS)

DBS started as a Montessori nursery; the owner was keen to develop nursery education here because there was not a lot of provision when we started. The school grew exponentially and moved to our current site 10 years ago, which accommodates 1,880 students. When it moved into secondary education, it started following the British national curriculum, with an IB diploma as a pre-university qualification. Five years ago, we opened another school in Al Wakra that grew to 370 students. We have two schools in Doha, and there is another in the pipeline. Our school will peak at about 2,000, and the Al Wakra school will peak at about 750-800. The new school will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 students. Our main school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Qatar National School Association, British Schools in the Middle East (BSME), and British Schools Overseas (BSO). Our examination results are extremely strong. We far surpass the average of UK schools and average of international schools and British curriculum schools. DBS is among the top performing schools in the Gulf in terms of academic results. We have many British expats in Qatar who will go back to the UK for whom we enable a smooth transition from one system to another.

Philip Bradley

Head of School, Swiss International School in Qatar (SISQ)

Our story revolves around SISQ being different from other schools in Qatar. SISQ positions itself as being part of two families: the International Baccalaureate (IB) family, made up of over 4,000 schools, and the Bellevue Education Group, a well-established group from England with 15 schools in the UK and one in Switzerland. We place great emphasis on meeting the emotional needs of our students, which is all about establishing the right learning culture. Establishing a friendly school culture with family values is an important focus for us. As a result of our quality, we marked 75% growth when we opened our second year in August 2018, with over 550 students. In 2019, we aim to grow to 700 students, expand the number of grades, and start a diploma program. We seek to be an IB-authorized school in 2019 as all our teaching staff and methods are already in line with the program. The diploma program is the hard currency in educational terms because it is recognized and valued by universities across the globe. It has proven to be a much better indicator of student success than some other traditional systems. Moreover, IB also has an element of being idealistic with a global sense of wanting to make the world a better place.

Mehdi Benchaabane

Director, Education Development Institute (EDI)

EDI does three things: provides professional learning and development for teachers and educators; supports curriculum improvement in schools; and builds leadership capacity within K-12 education. In order to do that, we needed a platform where we can bring together all the pre-university educators under one umbrella to engage with them. We started five years ago, and the idea was to inspire and get people excited about the best practices in education. Usually, we bring a keynote speaker who is a powerful voice in the world of education and then follow it with a whole system of selected sessions presented by educators from all over Qatar. We have five big events every year, including the Teaching and Learning Forum, iSTEMed, and a forum for Qatari heritage and identity. The latter takes the National Day spirit to another level and enforces the awareness of identity in our students, so that people can realize what it means to be in Qatar. Moreover, we have organized the Annual Heads of School Summit, where we bring in the heads of school together and get them to network and learn about opportunities for productive collaboration. The fifth event is called Sharing Teachers Effective Practices (STEP), a collaborative half-day event that allows the community to come together and share best practices.