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Deane Baker

School Principal, Qatar International School (QIS)

QIS is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Back in 1977, the school started as a joint venture between the Griffin family and its current owner, Sheikh Khalid bin Ali bin Ahmed Al-Thani’s family. The running of the school has been British ever since it began as a nursery. It grew from a small villa to a purpose-built school campus for 1,900 students. Our biggest strength is the quality of teaching, thanks to our rigorous selection of staff. It is also a family-friendly school; we are now dealing with second-generation students, which brings an added dimension to the relationships within the school community. Our mantra is that “learning comes first,“ and our dedicated staff’s passion for learning and the enjoyment of our students make QIS a happy school. Our accreditation reflects our philosophy that learning never ends. The worst thing that can happen to anyone in their profession is to become stale and think that they do not need to continue developing. In this sense, our OLEVI accreditation offers a variety of training opportunities that we can use with all staff to further develop and enhance their skills as facilitators of learning. We work constantly with our teachers on training and development and always strive to better ourselves and practices.

Alistair Downs

Royal Grammar School, Guildford in Qatar (RGS)

Over the last few years, the RGS was approached by a number of potential partners around the world. However, what was being presented did not align with our international strategy. Al Qamra Holding had a different proposition to what a lot of UK independent schools experience when they go overseas. The chairman wanted to contribute to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and suggested the formation of a partnership in order to bring our expertise and quality of education to Qatar. This is really what the RGS was looking for: a genuine partnership that was not simply based on bringing our name to the GCC. Qatar’s overall education sector is still in its infancy, which was another attraction for us to provide a higher standard of education. With over 500 years’ history of education in the UK, we will be able to realize the vision of the chairman, which is to be the best school in Qatar and, eventually, the region. With the academic and curriculum support from the RGS in the UK and the facilities and resources we have in Qatar, we will be able to realize this.

John Allcott

Principal, John Allcott

Bellevue Education is a UK-based education group with 15 schools in the UK and one in Switzerland that formed a joint venture with Qatar to create the Swiss International School of Qatar (SISQ). Qatar was looking to open a Swiss school, and Bellevue Education has a reputable school in Switzerland called Surval Montreux, which was the basis of this partnership. Several years ago, an agreement was reached to build the school, after which Qatar would hand it over to Bellevue Education to run it using the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. We aim to be a truly international school with a broad education across the spectrum that includes plenty of local Qatari families, as well as other Arab families and foreign communities. There will be around a 40% Arab, 60% non-Arab students split in order to protect English as the language of the playground, which is crucial to the success of the school. When we opened in January 2017 we had a total of 29 children of 12 different nationalities. We currently have 250 children registered to join us in September 2017 of 43 nationalities. Likewise, our 35 staff members, the majority of which have IB teaching experience, are from all over the world, as SISQ is going through the accreditation process.

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