Along with other schools in the Orbital Education Group, our students follow a modified version of the English National Curriculum (the body of skills and knowledge approved by the British Government and taught throughout England and Wales, as well as international schools worldwide) that meets the needs of our international student body here in Doha.
The school has excellent facilities and educational resources. The curriculum is well balanced, providing time for academic work as well as music, drama and sports. Our teaching approach has the flexibility and adaptability to underpin a sound academic English language education, which prepares students to move from Primary into Secondary school and to follow on to prestigious universities worldwide for success in their professional and personal lives.
The Key Stage 1 (KS1) curriculum is designed to allow students to realise their full potential. It is structured to ensure each student is stretched, challenged and supported when necessary. At Key Stage 2 (KS2), core subjects continue to be literacy and numeracy, but as students’ progress through KS2, they receive increasing levels of specialist teaching in subjects such as languages, music and PE.
The secondary educational programme will continue to build on the student's success from primary. They will develop subject skills, knowledge and understanding which will lead to the completion of IGCSE/GCSE (Years 10 & 11) courses after which they will move into Sixth Form (Years 12 & 13).
Every student in all areas of the school have personalised targets determined from baseline assessments. There is regular monitoring, assessment and reporting to parents on the academic and pastoral progress of each student.
Age 3 to 4 - Early Years (Foundation Stage 1)
Age 4 to 5 - Early Years (Foundation Stage 2)
Age 5 to 7 - Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
Age 7 to 11 - Key Stage 2 (Years 3 - 6)
Age 11 - 14 - Key Stage 3 (Years 7 - 9)
Age 14 - 15 - Key Stage 4 (Years 10)
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children age 3 - 5
Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Early Years’ Department caters for students aged 3 to 5 years and is an integral part of our provision. We aim to provide a happy, secure and caring environment in which the pupils feel safe and nurtured. This, combined with educationally stimulating surroundings and activities, encourages our students to develop their inquisitive nature and learn at their own pace.
The EYFS is made up of 4 themes: The Unique Child, Positive Relationships, The Enabling Environment and Learning and Development. These themes are important as they all combine to ensure young children make good, strong progress in their earliest years. This Stage in life is the most important as children’s minds and bodies grow and develop most from birth to age 4.
Our young students gain knowledge through first hand, multi-sensory experience. Through constructive play, children are taught a solid curriculum based on the foundation stage, which includes the following areas:
- Personal social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Understanding of the world
- Literacy development
- Communication and Language Development
- Expressive Arts and Design
Pupils are encouraged to develop abilities such as social interaction, imagination, observation, exploration and investigation. By using these new skills, they will discover how to use numbers and shapes, read books, write, paint, draw, dance and above all enjoy learning!
Key Stage 1 (KS1)
Students age 5 - 7 years
Years 1 and 2 (age 5 - 7 years)
The priority within our Key Stage 1 classes is to ensure that each student’s experiences of school are happy and exciting. Students are encouraged to develop their creative and physical talents, to think independently, and to actively solve problems using their own invention and imagination.
Academic achievement is highly valued, and secure foundations are laid in literacy, numeracy, science and information communication technology (ICT). The school emphasises the importance of traditional educational standards, and basics such as reading and number work are a standard feature of the school day. Students are introduced to specialist teaching in language, physical education and music. A variety of assessment and monitoring of the students' development continues throughout their time in KS1.
Key Stage 2 (KS2)
Students age 7 – 11 years
Years 3 - 6 (age 7 – 11 years)
The sound academic grounding laid down in Key Stage 1 acts as a springboard for further development through school. The school curriculum is designed to allow students to realise their full potential. The curriculum is structured to ensure each student is stretched, challenged and supported when necessary. Our students’ progress is closely monitored at all stages using a variety of internal assessments.
At Key Stage 2, core subjects continue to be literacy and numeracy, but as students’ progress through KS2, they receive increasing levels of specialist teaching in subjects such as languages including Arabic, science, information communication technology, art, music and physical education.
Key Stage 3 (KS3)
Students age 11 - 14
Our students will follow a modified version of the English National Curriculum that meets the needs of our international student body here in Doha. Students will develop subject skills, knowledge and understanding which will lead to success at Key Stage 4 to complete IGCSE or GCSE courses.
Every student in all areas of the School has personalised targets determined from baseline assessments. As in the Primary School there are regular monitoring, assessment and reporting to parents on the academic and pastoral progress of each student.
Key Stage 4 (KS4) / IGCSE
Students age 14 - 16
Our students will move from Key Stage 3 into studying for their International GCSE course (General Certificate of Secondary Education).
Students will sit their International GCSE course examinations at the end of Year 11, these are recognised throughout the world.
All students will study nine subjects at IGCSE. The following subjects are on offer for the start of the 2018 academic year:
Core Subjects (with International GCSE examinations - Pearson Edexcel)
- English Language
- English Literature
- One of the Sciences
Complementary Subjects (no examination)
- Physical Education
Optional Subjects (with IGCSE examinations)
Students are then able to choose from a selection of optional subjects:
Art and Design
French or Spanish
*Compulsory for regional Arabic students only
Choosing appropriate subjects can seem like a daunting task. You and your child will be given opportunities to seek advice and ask questions via the Admissions Team who will introduce you to members of the academic team who will be available to discuss with you and your child. Please download the International GCSE booklet attached which will explain the subjects and requirements in-depth.
NB: ALL I/GCSE EXAMS INCUR ADDITIONAL COSTS NOT INCLUDED IN SCHOOL FEES.
Music Overview - Primary
5 - 12
The music curriculum at Oryx International School is based on the National Curriculum of England.
Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Overview - Primary
5 - 12
The Spanish (MFL) curriculum at Oryx International School is based on the National Curriculum for England.
Physical Education Overview - Primary
5 - 12
The Physical Education curriculum at Oryx International School is based on the National Curriculum for England.
Oryx International School Curriculum Overview
The curriculum framework at Oryx International School is based on the National Curriculum for England, and the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education for the teaching of Arabic; Islamic Studies and Qatar History. Our curriculum is designed so that it excites and engages students about learning and enables them to build learning for future success.
The National Curriculum for England is divided into Key Stages based on age. In Oryx International School we currently have the following Key Stages which are divided into year groups.
- Foundation Stage 1 and 2
- Key Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2
- Key Stage 2 - Years 3, 4, 5 and 6
- Key Stage 3 - Year 7 - 9
- Key Stage 4 - Year 10
When designing our student’s learning journey we have four questions in mind?
- What do our students learn? – Curriculum
- How do our students learn? – Pedagogy
- Are our students making progress? – Assessment
- What happens if our students are not making progress? – Support and intervention
Curriculum information can be found in the various sections above.
Pedagogy deals with the theory and practice of education - it concerns the study of how best to teach. This is the most challenging aspect of a student’s learning journey and ensures learning is activated. Planning a curriculum and measuring progress is quite straight forward and is a rational activity. Learning is complicated, personal and an emotional activity. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. That’s why all of our teachers have been to leading universities in the UK and have recognised teaching qualifications. They are all trained and experienced in using up to date teaching methodologies.
Before any learning can take place, students need to feel safe and secure both emotionally and physically. That way, children will feel confident in ‘having a go’, asking questions and feeling reassured that it’s OK to make mistakes without being reprimanded.
The physical environment is very important and children need to have access to resources that will allow them to be as resourceful and independent as possible. Classroom displays support and celebrate learning. Students have access to a range of resources that will support learning.
Our approach to learning makes the assumption that children learn in different ways and that the teacher needs to teach in different ways to ensure that learning power is maximised. We make sure that our teaching and learning is very brain-friendly and that children activate their learning in many different ways and the activities are as multi-sensory as they can be.
In our classrooms, you will see children learning in groups, in pairs or as individuals. You will see children working at tables or on the carpet. You will see children working in classrooms, corridors and outdoors. You will see children using desktop computers, laptop computers, large sheets of paper, exercise books and worksheets.
You will mostly see teachers focused with groups of children as well as individual children and you will also see learning assistants working with groups of children.
Within a class, children are grouped on ability and the teacher focuses with these children on a similar learning outcome. At times students will work with students from different year groups as they will be at a similar stage of learning. Stage is as relevant as age.
ICT plays a big part in 21st century classrooms and Oryx is no exception. All classes have access to Google Chrome books and we are developing the Google Classroom.
On a day to day basis, teachers are continually assessing how well students are learning and if they are making progress. They do this daily by asking questions and looking at books. They also set tests on a weekly basis and on a termly basis.
When students enter Oryx we give them Baseline Assessments that will inform us where they are in relation to age-related expectations measured against the English National Curriculum.
Each Year Group has a set of objectives that should be achieved by the end of the year. We refer to these as ‘I Can Statements’. There are ‘I Can Statements’ for mathematics, reading, writing and science. Students will either be at the expected standard, exceeding the expected standard or approaching the expected standard. We then plan the learning so that the student is enabled to make rapid progress and reach the expected level or standard.
We carry out follow-up assessments at the end of each term. You will receive a progress report and an opportunity to discuss the report with the class teacher.
SUPPORT AND INTERVENTION
We are all unique and not one student is the same. Students make progress at different rates and at different times. If your child comes to school and is not at the level of similar age students in England, don’t worry. Lots of our students do not have English as a first language, nor do they have experience of the National Curriculum.
Our students will soon catch up, because our teachers are all skilled in teaching children who don’t speak English as a first language or who are all at different stages of learning. Some students may be further behind than others and we plan interventions so they too will catch up. We have a specialist teacher who is dedicated to just that.
It is also important that parents support learning at home and that children attend school every day.
What curriculum does the school follow?
The school follows the modified National Curriculum of England which is adapted to meet the needs of international students.
What subjects will my child learn?
Please read through the various sections under Curriculum for specific year group information.
The school uses a topic-based approach to learning where combinations of subjects are woven into a particular theme. The themes reflect the real world around us which makes learning more meaningful for your child.
The school will follow the English National Curriculum for English and Mathematics, which will be taught as discrete subjects, although learning will also take place through thematic approaches.
The English National Curriculum is proven to advance young learners faster in numeracy and literacy skills than other curriculums.
Does my child have to study all the subjects on offer?
Students are expected to study all of the UK National Curriculum subjects which is an integral part of our broad and balanced curriculum. This includes drama, music and art as subjects, students will be expected to take part in school productions where they sing and dance.
All first language Arabic speakers (regional students) have to attend Arabic and Islamic Studies classes which are taught in Arabic and prescribed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
When will I receive feedback about my child’s progress?
Parents receive written reports on a termly basis and are invited to discuss their child’s progress at ‘Parent Teacher Student Conferences'.
My child speaks little or no English. What support does the school provide?
All our teachers have experience assisting students who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL). Our curriculum is differentiated to accommodate the diverse needs of EAL students. If your child requires additional support beyond that provided within the classroom, this will be discussed with parents on a case-by-case basis.
Which year group is suitable for my child?
The English National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘Key Stages’ (KS). Foundation Stage 1 and 2 (FS1 and 2) are referred to as Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS1 and 2) as Primary Education and Key Stage 3 and 4 (KS3 and 4) as Secondary Education. We will be opening our FS1 and Years 8 - 10 in 2018/2019 :
Foundation Stage 1
Early Years Foundation Stage
Foundation Stage 2
Early Years Foundation Stage
How do students progress from Early Years to Primary and Secondary?
Throughout their time in Oryx, our students’ achievements are celebrated and monitored. Parents are involved at every stage, and are regularly updated on their child's progress.
The Early Years’ Department works very closely with the school's Primary Department who in turn work with the Secondary School, to ensure that our students have a seamless transition from one Key Stage to another.
Do Oryx students have homework?
Home learning is an important part of school life and is necessary to reinforce knowledge, skills and concepts. All children are expected to complete age appropriate homework assignments as set by the teacher. Homework includes specific tasks or ongoing assignments or tasks.
In Primary home learning tasks will be sent home via the Class Dojo and/or in the Home Learning book. Home Learning will be set on a Thursday and collected back in on a Tuesday.
Please communicate directly with the teacher if you have any queries with regards to your child’s homework assignments.
Homework forms an integral part of your child´s education. We constantly review our procedures for homework in light of most effective practise and new arrangements for the curriculum. As an initial guide, we recommend the following advice to parents:
Students should receive homework regularly each week for core subjects (English, Maths and Science). Other subjects vary and teachers may set longer time frames for projects and research topics etc. In general, each homework task should last no longer than 30 minutes. Where specific homework tasks have not been set, students are encouraged to revise notes, research, continue with further reading and preparation of the topics in class.
A Homework timetable will help students and parents to organise homework schedules. This is included in the Student Planner.
Homework should be additional study at home to complement the work done in school time. It should not be excessive and students should not become stressed over this. Students are, however, expected to hand in homework on time and completed to the best of their ability. Students should record the due date for each piece of homework in their student planner.
Flipped learning: sometimes the teacher will ask students to prepare work at home to be discussed later in class. This allows for more time in class to help and support each student’s learning and progress.
What Progress/ Assessments, Parents Meetings and Reports are supplied?
Whilst formal meetings are important, we especially value day-to-day contact with parents. The Class Teachers are always pleased to see parents on an informal basis via an appointment.
Parents receive written reports on a termly basis and are invited to discuss their child’s progress at learning review conferences.
We try to provide plenty of information in a variety of ways; these include the calendar, the newsletter, wall displays, photographs and examples of students’ work.
Does my child have to do After School Activities (ASAs)?
After School Activities are optional and there is no requirement to take part in these classes
What nationality are the teachers?
The majority of teachers are British and trained in the UK. All our teachers are fully qualified, with at least two years’ experience of teaching the National Curriculum of England.
Attendance and Absenteeism
- Attendance at every timetabled lesson or activity in school is compulsory.
- We understand that sometimes children get ill and are unable to attend school; however, we expect a minimum of 95% attendance.
- Attendance rates deemed detrimental to a student’s learning may be reported to Qatar Airways and the MoE&HE.
- Any child below a 90% attendance within the first term, will be noted on your child’s register and you will be called in to meet with the Executive Principal. If this continues in Term 2 and 3 Qatar Airways management will be informed.
- If you do keep your child at home, it is important to phone 4036 0063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org the Main Office Reception before 07.30. Let us know that your child won't be in and the reason. We require this for registration purposes. All reasons for absence must be forwarded to the school office by the date of the child’s return to school at the latest.
- All absences require an explanation from the first day from a parent. Medical absences exceeding three days require a medical note from a doctor. Failure to provide a reason for absence will result in a ‘Non Compliance’ entry on your child’s register, which is subject to review and possible further action by the Executive Principal.
- It is important to understand that during examinations, including the mock examinations held in December and March of Year 11, any absence must be justified with a doctor’s certificate. With this document it is possible for us to apply to the examination board for special consideration. Please bear in mind that it is unlikely that the examination boards will still award a grade if a candidate has missed an exam – but without a doctor’s note, translated into English, it is impossible to even apply for that consideration.
- Attendance is extremely important for your child’s learning. It is not advisable to take holidays during term time as your child will miss out on vital learning. It is also very difficult for your child to catch up.
- Several ‘end of term/year’ events take place in the last week of term, including Award Ceremonies, it is important that your child is available to attend these.
Please note: IGCSE final examinations will take place in May and June. These are set by the UK examination board and are non-negotiable, your child has to write the examination on the date and time set by the board.
Absenteeism Formal Procedure
- When a student reaches their twentieth day of absence, a formal attendance letter will again be sent home with the student. The attendance letter will also be emailed to the parents.
- The above procedure will also be followed on the twenty-fifth day of the student’s absence, however, before being allowed to proceed to the next grade level, the student may also be required to successfully complete the next grade level entrance assessment. The decision for placement will rest solely with the school administration.
- After students exceed 50 days of school absence, the Primary or Secondary Heads will recommend to the Executive Principal that this student’s placement not be continued for the upcoming year. The school will provide a final “excessive absence letter” that will be sent home with the student, and a copy of the letter will be emailed to the parents.
- Teachers will not provide grades to students who are absent more than 25% (approximately 15 days) of a trimester; rather they will receive narrative comments and an N/A in place of grades.
- Absences are not recorded as excused or unexcused. The days absent will be reflected on the report card along with the number of days present and the total number of school days in each trimester. Students on school field trips will not be marked as absent. In order for a student to participate in an after-school activity they must be in attendance for the last two classes during the school day. A student and his/her parents should work closely with the classroom or specialist teacher to ensure that any missed work due to an absence is made up as soon as possible