“We provide a safe and happy environment as a basis for all of our school community to engage in learning”
Located in Doha, Qatar, Doha English Speaking School (DESS) is an outstanding British Embassy sponsored primary school with over forty years of history where children aged 3-11 reach their full potential academically and beyond. DESS is proud to be one of the longest established schools in Qatar.
The school started in 1971 when an English speaking primary school catering for British children was first built. The junior school was opened in February 1979 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani. The school is in the process of expanding their facilities to provide a ‘state of the art’ new building where children will be educated to Year 7 from 2019 and then Year 8 from 2020.
The Torchbearer of the School
Sean Sibley is currently the Headteacher at DESS (Doha English Speaking School) which was graded as Outstanding in May 2017 by the OFSTED accredited inspectorate, PENTA. Sean guides the staff to provide a happy and secure atmosphere so that the children are able to enjoy learning.
From the Leader’s Desk
At DESS we deliver an education to our children through the British curriculum, a world renowned education system which will allow your child to continue their education internationally or into the British education system whether that be secondary education or through a seamless transition back to the UK. With virtually all of our teachers being British trained and facilities and grounds of the highest quality, we have a basis for learning which reminds our students and parents of a traditional British school, whilst still having a strong, multi-cultural and international feel.
The children at DESS achieve academic results which are significantly above those demonstrated in the UK national average statistics and their sporting achievements are outstanding. Our wide range of extra-curricular provision also helps our children to become well rounded individuals but most importantly our children are happy and confident individuals who are a joy to work with. Students at the end of Year 6 leave DESS well prepared for UK independent schools, grammar schools and local schools they then go on to attend.
We are very proud of our history in Qatar and many of our students keep in touch with us as Alumni which are remarkable for a primary school and a reflection of the fondness they feel for Doha English Speaking School. – says Sean.
Providing Blooming Opportunities
DESS delivers the English National Curriculum through UK qualified teachers. The Curriculum is split into three different stages, according to a child’s age, Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. It is broad and balanced, and provides every child with the best opportunity to develop academically, socially, morally, physically and creatively.
Foundation Stage – Each child is taken through the six areas of learning which forms the English National Curriculum Framework by being encouraged to learn through fun activities such as play and exploration. It ensures physical development, personal, social and emotional development along with literacy, and maths to help students understand the world and expressive arts and design that are all needed at this stage for the child’s development.
Key Stage 1 and 2 – Children develop an all-round education based on the English National Curriculum and are taught core subjects (Maths, English and Reading) as well as specialist subjects in Computing, Science, PE, and Languages. The curriculum has been adapted to deliver Arabic to every child at this level.
School trips and extra-curricular activities as well as roles in the School Council, the DESS Environmental Group and class Technical Genius roles all add to a child’s development at this stage of their lives.
The subjects taught at this level include: Art, Design and Technology, Maths, English, Reading, Arabic, French, Computing, Science, Music, PE, History, Geography, Drama, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).
Quality with a Difference
The school work to create an environment where children have respect and care for each other. There are opportunities for children to make friends across the school in their class and Year Groups, sports teams, extra-curricular activities and other opportunities that offer children leadership roles such as the DESS School Council.
Health and well-being is a priority at DESS. The school has a dedicated nurse and a full-time Health and Safety Officer. Online safety is also very important; they raise awareness of online safety at school with both parents and children. DESS also provides lessons in PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) as a part of the core curriculum, in which children learn important social life skills such as what it means to be a good friend and how to take care of their health and their bodies.
The school also offers something very unique at DESS, a dedicated mentor for parents and children to speak with. Their ‘Learning Mentor’ provides a link between the school and home, offering guidance on aspects which expats in particular may find challenging such as transitioning between countries or schools.
Sport – DESS is well equipped to deliver a diverse physical education program to its students. Children of all ages are encouraged to take part in lessons as well as national competitions.
DESS has a sporting prowess to be proud of having come second in the 2018 British International Schools Qatar Games, as well as winning many other national competitions.
Technology – Technology is part of everyday learning at DESS and is used to enhance the curriculum program. iPads are used by its pupils from Years one to six. The interactive classrooms encourage children to become familiar with technology from an early age and are used to present to the pupils. Computing is a core subject taught at DESS, a syllabus complemented by a well-equipped, dedicated computing suite.
Music – DESS offers music lessons across all Year Groups and opportunities in music outside of school hours. During school hours, music is a core subject taught to every child where pupils learn music theory, sing and play instruments as part of their lessons. Pupils have the opportunity to take part in instrumental lessons inside and outside of school hours.
The school choir won the 2018 Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year Competition and is well known throughout the country, performing at high profile events, even at the British Embassy, other local events and national competitions. In 2017 their choir was the first international choir to perform at ‘Choirfest Middle East’.
Drama – DESS think it’s important for children to have the opportunity to express themselves outside of the classroom in a fun environment. DESS is fortunate to have a fully equipped stage with lighting and sound equipment. Year 6 and Foundation Stage children perform imaginative and creative fully choreographed musical productions. Children who are keen on amateur dramatics can also attend an extra-curricular activity at DESS and work towards LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) qualifications.
Friends of DESS – Friends of DESS is the fundraising forum for DESS parents and teachers. Every year, the Friends organise fantastic events such as the Community Garden planting morning, Winter Fair, ice lolly days and bake sales for the children to enjoy.