“Those who have achieved their dreams didn’t do it sitting in a comfort zone. They challenged the status quo.” – Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry, Omani scholar
With modernization taking the center stage at the global platform, education plays a key role in the overall development of the Sultanate of Oman. The significant growth reflects a progressive outlook of the society wherein quality education has evolved as a necessity rather than an option. As one of the most renowned and known private education provider, ABQ Group is determined to define new pathways to educate the young kids of Oman along with the kids of the international community thriving in Oman. This story unveils the three prestigious international schools – Sohar International School, the Azzan Bin Qais International School and the As Seeb International School. These schools are operated by the ABQ group and each school offers a dual UK & Omani curriculum that caters to the local as well as international families. The schools are bilingual, all-through, co-educational international school as the group aims to seek an international style of education for the children and expatriates.
Sohar International School
The picturesque city of Sohar is a perfect mix of culture and urbanization. With malls, gigantic skyscrapers and exquisite beaches, the city homes one of the best premier educational institution – Sohar International School (SIS). The school offers a cohesive learning environment that provides a multicultural environment that is conducive to the development of the students that ultimately evolve as the future responsible citizens of the country. Under the supervision of the Ministry of Education it is the only accredited Cambridge school offering CIPP, IGCSE, AS and A level in Sohar.
The first campus was opened at Al Tareef in the academic year 2006-2007 with KG1 to Gr6 classes. The administration of the school was largely based at the Sohar University. As time progressed, the school added a class every session and today it has over 965 students. Starting right from kindergarten to class 12, SIS has successfully managed to transform and flourish with time. The huge response from the parents and the tremendous growth has motivated the management to scale the existing international standards of the school.
The SIS management is all set to add new feathers in its cap as it would be inaugurating a sprawling new campus at Muwaylah, Sohar during the 2019-20 academic sessions. Taking a futuristic approach, the school will accommodate around 1800 students from KG1 to class 12. The prime location of this school makes it more viable for the students and the parents as it boasts seamless connectivity with outlying areas.
The new campus will provide world-class facilities that include modern well-equipped classrooms, six Science laboratories, 4 ICT laboratories, and two libraries. Students will have access to an indoor cafeteria where breakfast and lunch will be available. The campus will also have an extensive indoor sports complex that will include a gymnasium, two indoor alongside an outdoor football and basketball area.
“Sohar International School educates students from all over the world regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality, or ethnic background and helps them to reach their fullest potential intellectually, socially, and physically. The school provides an atmosphere respectful of diverse cultures and promotes responsible global citizenship in the spirit of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is committed to promoting international and intercultural experiences for its students and maintaining its good reputation as an association, within Oman and around the world.”
Aimed to Perfection
The SIS management firmly believes that ‘education goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge’. In the process of ensuring an all-around development, it encourages the student’s curiosity and creativity while stressing their inquiry, self-discovery and the development and strengthening of individual talents. It also fosters open-mindedness, respect, and sensitivity toward the feelings of others, and the development of a sense of fairness and integrity.
In addition, the school encourages students, teachers, parents, and administrators to become partners in the learning and growing process. It further promotes a positive and reciprocal relationship with educational bodies in Oman at all levels, embracing the advantages of the educational opportunities of living in Oman and the GCC. It emphasizes and continuously seeks to improvise on the teaching and learning standards by recruiting qualified, motivated, caring teachers who believe and support the philosophies and objectives of the SIS. By understanding the facets of the ever-changing world, the management is committed to impart skills that respect humanity in every possible manner. As the ultimate objective, the school lays the foundation for the students to graduate with good marks that enable them to apply and study in the reputed local and international colleges in the future.
The uniqueness of SIS is the innovative curriculum that has been evenly crafted based on the international educational standards that align as per the regional culture and heritage. Some of the mentionable courses are highlighted below:
The Cambridge International Primary Programme offers a flexible curriculum with integrated assessment for the kids aged between 5-11 years. It is formally assessed via checkpoint examinations. The Cambridge Secondary 1 offers a flexible curriculum with an integrated assessment. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Primary and is for 11-14 year-olds. Attainment is externally assessed via checkpoint examinations. The Cambridge Secondary 2 is typically for learners aged 14-16 years. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Secondary 1 and supports schools using learner-centered and inquiry-based approaches to learning. Attainment is externally assessed via IGCSE examinations.
The Cambridge Advanced, typically for 16-19 year-olds, helps learners to develop deep understanding and independent learning and critical thinking skills which universities value highly. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Secondary 2 and leads to entry to universities worldwide. Cambridge Advanced includes Cambridge International AS and A Level and Cambridge Pre-U qualifications; both focus on equipping learners with skills they need to succeed at university.
The flexibility of the Cambridge International learning programmes allows the school to maintain high academic standards and at the same time incorporate their own educational values. It also allows us to integrate a curriculum in Arabic, Islamic Studies and Social Studies that meet the requirements of Education Ministries in the region, for citizens of Middle Eastern Nations.
If a student opts for the Cambridge stream in Grade 9 they will proceed to the First year of IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Examination). The student has a bouquet of subjects to choose from depending on his/her career requirement. Grade 10 is the Final year for the IGCSE’s exit exam. SIS conducts mock exams alongside working on the past question papers for the success of the students.
Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level) & Advanced Level (A Level):
After completing the IGCSE examination the students proceed to the Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level). Students can choose from a bouquet of subjects offered by SIS. Students are advised to choose a minimum of 3 subjects. After successful completion of AS Level, the students proceed to the A Levels.
The student can continue with the same subjects for the A Levels. They graduate after completing the A Levels and move to acquire admission to Universities worldwide.
Bilingual Pathway – GED Pathway Grades 9 -12:
In Grade 9 the students have the option of choosing the Bilingual – GED stream. The GED stream is the National Curriculum of Oman and is supervised by the Ministry of Education. After completing the Grade 12 examination the students are entitled to the bursaries and scholarships offered by the Government of Oman. These scholarships and bursaries have enabled our students, like their peers in the Government Schools, to also study in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Takatuf Programme & Academic Excellence
Out of the various programmes designed to ensure that the students achieve their fullest potential, SIS is extremely proud that numerous of our past and present students have been selected to be part of the Orpic programme Takatuf’. This programme is designed with a futuristic approach that aims to guarantee success for the students at all works of their life. Starting with an enrichment programme, 10 Omanis from all over the Sultanate are selected for the leadership roles that conclude with university studies abroad.
The last two years have seen some exponential growth by the students of the IGSCE and AS/A level streams. The students, under the careful guidance of their dedicated teachers, have earned some outstanding awards of excellence from the Cambridge. The students from SIS have earned awards in varied subjects like Physics, Mathematics, Information Technologies, Computer Studies, Biology, English Language and Chemistry. These Awards include Top in Oman as well as High Achiever Awards.
“Sohar International School is a lovely place for everyone because the teachers are nice and sweet and it’s a much-organized school. It’s fun to be in SIS because we have assemblies that teach us lots of nice stuff like what Charity, Enterprise is and how to be healthy.”
- Samantha Brown, Philippines, Grade 5
“I love Sohar International School because the teachers are amazing and good at their jobs. The students are kind and love sharing.”
- Ben Alister Burger, South Africa, Grade 5
“Being in Sohar International School is like being at home, surrounded by family. I enjoy being at SIS because of the fun activities that we have all year around.”
- Wisam Alfarsi, Oman, Grade 11 Bilingual
“Sohar International School has been a place where I have been able to bloom and grow both as a student and as a human being. From my first day at this school to today I have felt enthralled in the sense of community and excellence. My teachers have inspired me to take up the noble profession of teaching.”
- Marne Prinsloo, South Africa, Grade 12 A level
Azzan Bin Qais International School
Situated in the capital city Muscat, ABQIS was established in 1990 with an aim to Omani children with a quality education of international standard without neglecting traditional values. Regarded as one of the premier institutions in Oman, the school is a co-educational and follows bilingual pattern. The school is licensed by the MOE as an International school and it follows a hybrid curriculum covering Omani MOE requirements and the components of UK-style curricula. Although the majority of the students are native Arabic speakers, the school attracts a large population of international students.
The school moved to its current location in the developing Bousher region in 2003. The premise is in the midst of pleasant surroundings between the coast and the mountains and has ample facilities to accommodate an expected rapid growth over the next two years. Approximately it has around 1,300 students and is nearing the maximum capacity.
ABQIS primary school is a bilingual international school and caters for students who are competent English speakers that can understand and cope well with subject instruction in English. Teaching and learning are benchmarked and regulated under the registration at CIE (Cambridge International Exams) where the school follows the International Primary Program (IPP). Teaching and assessment are conducted under the supervision of these governing bodies and ABQIS is therefore committed to delivering a high standard of world-class education.
Azzan Bin Qais International School offers a bilingual curriculum which is a hybrid between the National Curriculum of England and the Ministry of Education of The Sultanate of Oman. At KS 3, the emphasis is given to three core subjects English, Mathematics, and Science based on the specifications of the English National Curriculum. The rest of the subjects which include Arabic, Islamic Studies, Art, PE and Music are based on a blend of English and Omani curriculum.
As Seeb International School – ‘Serve to lead’
“We aim to provide the academic rigor necessary for continued success and to emphasize character education and good citizenship for all students.”
Founded in 2012, As Seeb International School is situated in Muscat and offers a full-fledged curriculum from kindergarten to class 12. Seeb International teaches Cambridge International AS and A Levels and is unique in Oman for its teaching of the Future Leaders Leadership programme.
The school management ensures that children leave ASIS with a strong sense of their own mission and with an ambition for the future. ASIS also understands that the learners of today will become leaders in a globalized world, and teaches its ethos and aims accordingly. The ASIS Leadership program aims to develop the academic and personal character skills needed to be successful in life so that all students can make the most of their abilities and interests to fulfill their true potential. This is one of the primary reason that leadership programme is not only explicitly taught but is embedded throughout the curriculum.