Blyth Academy Qatar: The Safe Sandbox for the Leaders of Tomorrow
Blyth Academy, Qatar
Blyth Academy, Qatar

Qatar is a small Arabic country located on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf and is home to one institute of higher education, the Qatar University, established in 1973. However, many universities of the west have branches in the country as part of the ‘Education City’ established by the Qatar Foundation.

The education city includes both educational and research facilities and has the goal of being the educational centre of excellence in the Persian Gulf region. One academy, in particular, is leading the charge setting the trends of modern education in the country – the Blyth Academy Qatar.

Blyth Academy was established in 2006 as ‘Qatar Canadian School’ (QCS). In July of 2016, QCS was acquired by Toronto businessman Sam Blyth and H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani. The school opened its doors as Blyth Academy under this new ownership in September of 2016.

The school applied for accreditation with Alberta Education in December 2010 after several years of exploring and expanding on the Alberta program of studies. After three years of pre-accreditation, the school became a fully accredited Alberta international school in 2012/2013 and then with a return to accreditation for 2014/2015 through 2020-2021. In February 2019, it also received a 3-year full accreditation from the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Blyth Academy acquired and began the 2020/2021 academic year in a new facility, in a location right next door to the previous school building. This new campus is 3 times bigger in size than the old facility and well equipped with multiple sports fields; an indoor gym; an outdoor multi-sensory play area; cafeteria; science labs; dedicated music and art rooms; computer labs and classrooms with smartboard technology.

The students at Blyth are mostly expats and come from all over the world to create a wonderfully diverse group who, along with the local Qatari students, attend classes from junior kindergarten to grade 12.


To be a global leader in providing accessible, experiential, progressive learning experiences that prepare students for academic success at the primary, intermediate, secondary, and post-secondary education levels.


To have outstanding school leaders and educators facilitate the development of knowledge and character in students through a caring, supportive, and culturally sensitive learning community that brings together international and local students in a harmonious, creative, supportive environment.

Blyth Academy Believes in:

  • Authentic learning is founded upon curiosity, creativity, engagement, and critical thinking.
  • A broad, balanced, and manageable curriculum is the foundation of life-long learning.
  • Both a global perspective and international collaboration are central to becoming valuable world citizens.
  • Environmental awareness and sustainability are our social responsibility.
  • Staff and student interactions must be based on respect, integrity, and striving for excellence.
  • Healthy learning communities are founded on safety, humility, empathy, caring, sensitivity, and inclusion.
  • A balanced lifestyle is important for both students and staff with regards to family, academic, and social responsibilities.

Training the Best and Brightest

Blyth Academy offers the world-class Alberta education system to students from kindergarten to grade 12, which is recognized as one of the best globally. The rigorous curriculum, offered through the mandated programs of study, allows students to pursue their areas of interest or passion. It is modified and augmented by the programs mandated by the Qatari MoE (ministry of education).

The complementary timetable addresses local programming requirements and options, including: Arabic language studies, Islamic studies and Qatar history courses coupled with specialized options for CTF project modules (e.g. marketing, computers, sport literacy, theatre arts, business studies, leadership, design studies, film, current affairs, and digital literacy) in the junior high and a series of bundled CTS modules for the options in the senior high (e.g. design process, digital publishing, web design, and visual composition).

The high standards of the Alberta curriculum help students achieve the necessary knowledge and skills for the 21st century. The highly qualified and trained teachers are adept at providing learning opportunities that support students in reaching their potential. Teachers differentiate their instructional strategies to accommodate the individual learning styles of their students. A collaborative approach is implemented to ensure each student is welcomed, safe, challenged and guided through their educational journey at Blyth Academy.

Blyth Academy prides itself on providing opportunities for students to learn from experience and through working with organizations outside the school. These learning experiences often reflect the local culture and customs. In the past, they have offered various trips for students such as local desert overnight camping; local day trips to museums, ecological sites, etc.; and international service trips to locations such as Tanzania.

Leader of the Pack

Blyth Academy’s Head of School, Mrs Darlene Sullivan, has been an educator for over 30 years and has held numerous leadership positions during her career. Darlene holds a Bachelor of child studies degree, a Bachelor of Education degree, and a Master of Education from Mount St. Vincent University.

She is a seasoned and learned administrator who is innovative, compassionate and a strategic visionary. Darlene is a community builder who has been successful in leading school communities to reach their academic goals, vision, and mission.

A Safe Sandbox for the Leaders of Tomorrow

Blyth Academy offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, hosted by teachers based on the areas of skill and/or passion, to all grade levels on a rotating schedule throughout each academic school year. Some examples of past activities are: table tennis, knitting, public speaking, music lessons, sustainability club, basketball, choir, carrom board club, math club, model UN, dance/cheer club, origami, computer programming, kickboxing, board games, basketball, badminton, football/soccer, ball hockey, math help, FSL, stress management, green team, student council, robotics, arts and crafts, mad science, fitness, photography, art, volleyball, sign language, chess, interior design, set/costume design, Zumba, animal club, musical theatre, handball, yoga, story-time, ‘dance 4 kids’ and learn to draw animals.

Student council is the main source of student engagement in leadership. Students will not only plan activities for the school, but they will also be consulted on many decisions made by the school administration. A great deal is expected from these students who represent their peers!

Blyth Academy also provides social and emotional counselling for students at all grade levels. They also provide junior high and high school students counselling in their academic goals throughout grades 10, 11, 12, and their graduation requirements, university choices and requirements.

Standing Tall

Blyth Academy has been awarded 2 accreditations from 2 separate governing bodies. One from the Ministry of Education with Alberta Education in Canada, as an accredited Alberta international school. Another from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar.

The students at Blyth Academy consistently score in the top percentage results on the Alberta education provincial achievement tests, written each year by the grades 6 and 9 students.

Blyth Academy is home to many very talented students whose hard work have been rewarded with activities such as annual musicals and sporting events. The school’s arts program has been showcased within the local art community numerous times and students have earned awards at various levels. The school has a reputation of having a warm, inviting, family-like atmosphere where students can learn within a safe and welcoming facility. Many of the graduates are successful in pursuing post-secondary studies at renowned colleges and universities globally.

The head of school, Mrs Darlene Sullivan, has been a successful educator for over 30 years with the majority of her career in leadership positions. She has been the leader of a large Canadian school in Canada whose provincial standard in student achievement results, was the best in the province. She developed a progressive literacy professional development program for teachers which was effectively implemented and recognized as one of the most effective methods for change and growth.

The Future Beckons

Last year, due to Covid-19, the school had arranged for virtual fairs for students to attend universities and colleges throughout Qatar and the rest of the world. Blyth Academy developed a comprehensive and detailed Covid-19 health, safety, and education plan for the 2020-2021 school year. It includes a strong education platform (MS Teams) for a hybrid model of curriculum delivery.

Teachers and students have been trained in how to effectively adapt to the blended model of teaching and learning. Various health precautions have also been implemented which include social distancing of 1.5 meters apart in classrooms, with no more than 15 students per class, mandatory temperature checks, health app, mask-wearing and hand sanitizing upon entry to the school.

Students are also kept in their “learning bubbles” as much as possible and have separate entrance/exit procedures to follow. The school’s full-time nurse plays an integral role in ensuring that all health and hygiene precautions are followed, monitored, and reinforced.

The growth prospect for the school is excellent, with an outstanding academic reputation, a history of waitlists and the new campus. The school facility also has space to expand, with two-third floors that are yet to be developed and will allow the school to add more students in the coming years.

The school’s future opportunities are further bolstered with more than 7,000 Canadians currently living in Doha, with surging global interest in Canada universities, and with the potential to add a second curriculum.

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