Along with other schools in the Orbital Education Group, the Oryx International School, bases its programme on 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.
High academic standards depend on a good working environment and a willing student. The school is lucky to have excellent facilities and educational resources. The programme is well balanced, providing time for music, drama and sports as well as academic work. 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, to follow on to prestigious universities worldwide and for success in their professional and personal lives.
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 pupil is stretched, challenged and supported when necessary. Our students’ progress is closely monitored at all stages using a variety of internal standardised 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, music and PE.
Year 7 (age 11- 12 years) - 2017/18
Year 7 - 10 (age 11 - 15) - 2018/19
We are very excited to have our first cohort of Secondary Students. Their educational programme will continue to build on their success from Key Stage 2.
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 pupil in all areas of the School have personalised targets determined from baseline assessments. As in the Primary School there is regular monitoring, assessment and reporting to parents on the academic and pastoral progress of each student.
Children aged 4 and 5 are welcome into our Early Years Foundation Stage 2 group.
Once students progress into Primary School, the English National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘Key Stages’ (KS). Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are referred to as Primary Education:
Key Stage 1 welcomes students aged 5 to 7
Key Stage 2 welcomes students aged 7 to 11
Key Stage 3 welcomes students aged 12 for our first cohort to Year 7
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children aged 4 - 5
Early Years Foundation Stage - 2018/19
Our Early Years’ Department caters for students aged 3 to 5 years (as of 2018/19 academic year) 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
Students aged 5 - 7 years
Years 1 and 2 (aged 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 KS 1.
Key Stage 2
Students aged 7 – 11 years
Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (aged 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 pupil 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
11 - 12
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 develop subject skills, knowledge and understanding which will lead to success at Key Stage 4 to complete IGCSE or GCSE courses.
Every pupil in all areas of the School has personalised targets determined from baseline assessments. As in the Primary School there is regular monitoring, assessment and reporting to parents on the academic and pastoral progress of each student.
International Diversity and Languages
All age ranges
The curriculum is adapted to suit the needs of the different nationalities of students at Oryx. The primary goal is to ensure a high quality of English language is taught and spoken in the school. We are committed to ensuring an English speaking environment for native speakers and learners of English alike.
The majority of pupils have their skills and competence in the use of their language extended, enabling them to benefit from the experience of working and playing with a global community. We offer additional language teaching so every student also studies Arabic.
4 - 13
The music curriculum at Oryx International School is based on the National Curriculum for England.
Spanish Language Overview
5 - 13
The Spanish (MFL) curriculum at Oryx International School is based on the National Curriculum for England.
Physical Education Overview
4 - 13
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; the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 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 2 (FS2) (2017/2018)
- Foundation Stage 1 and 2 (2018/2019)
- Key Stage 1 - Year 1 and 2
- Key Stage 2 - Year 3, 4, 5 and 6
- Key Stage 3 - Year 7 (2017/2018)
- Key Stage 3 - Year 7 - 9 (2018/2019)
- Key Stage 4 - Year 10 (2018/2019)
- Sixth Form - Year 12 (2019/2020)
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
Foundation Stage 1 and 2, follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which was revised in the UK in September 2014.
The Foundation Stage Areas of Learning include the following:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication and language
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
As the students move on to Primary and Secondary School, we follow a modified English National Curriculum, adapted to meet the needs of international students.
The National Curriculum subjects include the following:
Art and design
Design and technology
We have organised the curriculum so that learning is easier and has meaning. Each term has a topic where several subjects are woven into a particular theme or unit. However, some subjects are taught discretely over a short period of time and may be ongoing over a longer period of time.
In addition to the National Curriculum subjects, all students study Qatari History and all first language Arabic speakers have to attend Arabic and Islamic studies classes, which are taught in Arabic and prescribed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
All 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 physical education, swimming, music and singing. All students are expected to take part in school productions where they sing and dance.
Class teachers can teach the full range of the National Curriculum but we have single subject teachers and spaces for physical education, Spanish, music, Arabic and Islamic studies.
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 Chromebooks 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. At the moment, we do not accept students who have special educational needs and disabilities; currently we don’t have the specialist facilities and resources that would be needed to enable these students to flourish in our school.
Class sizes are capped at 20 students in Early Years and 24 students in all other classes.
All of our teachers have at least two years’ experience of teaching the National Curriculum of England either in England, overseas or both.
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes have a Teaching Assistant for each class. Key Stage 2 share a Teaching Assistant between two classes.
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.
Foundation Stage 2 follows the Early Years Foundation Framework.
What subjects will my child learn?
Subjects covered in the curriculum include:
- Information Communication Technology (ICT)
- Languages including Arabic (Arabic Students in accordance with SEC directives) )
- Islamic Studies (in accordance with SEC directives)
- Physical Education (PE)
- History (including Qatari history in accordance with SEC directives)
- Design Technology
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 music as a subject, students will be expected to take part in school productions where they sing and dance.
All first language Arabic speakers 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?
Academic reports are issued three times per year and parents are invited to attend parent-teacher meetings each term.
Throughout the school year, student progress is consistently monitored against English National Curriculum standards through accepted benchmark testing methods and internal assessments.
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.
Will there be teaching support in the class?
There is a dedicated full-time Teaching Assistant for Foundation Stage 2 (FS2) – Year 2
Which year group is suitable for my child?
The English National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘Key Stages’ (KS). Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are referred to as Primary Education:
Early Years Foundation Stage
How do students progress from Early Years to Primary to 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 Department, to ensure that our students have a seamless transition from one Key Stage to another.
Do Oryx students have homework?
Homework is an important part of school life and is necessary to reinforce knowledge and skills. All Students are expected to complete age appropriate homework assignments as directed by their teacher. Students will be given reading as a part of their weekly homework programme.
What Progress/ Assessments, Parents Meetings and Reports does Oryx have?
Parents are always welcome at school. We believe that good communication between home and school is very important. Whilst formal meetings are important, we especially value the day-to-day contact we have with parents. The class teachers are always pleased to see parents on an informal basis after school.
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.
- 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 principal will recommend to the Head of School 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