Dear Parents

2020 – a year for more, not less.

This is the final newsletter of this academic year, a year which will be long remembered for many reasons, most of them probably not the best reasons. Hopefully some positive outcomes will have helped us through the worst of the crisis and given us renewed determination to make a brighter future: certainly as a school we can take several positives from this situation. It is a time for more, not less.

As a school community we have reinforced the necessity for empathy in working together for our mutual benefit. We have all learned to be more tolerant, more flexible, more creative, more reflective and more humble. That which is really important in our lives has been brought into sharp focus and despite the challenges, frustrations and difficulties caused by the current situation, we can emerge more resilient and with greater appreciation of what we do have, and not what we do not have. We have a unique opportunity to forge a new path for ourselves, one which will draw on the positives, rather than the negatives. It is an opportunity to recognise what is important in our lives and what was superficial. We can use these experiences over the last few months to define us or to condemn us. Opportunity has not been removed from our lives and for the sake of our younger generation we owe it to them to help forge a brighter future for us all. Oryx International school is ready to lead the way.

A message for those leaving Oryx :

“The goodbyes we did not say become important hellos.”

As expats, we can choose to focus on the amount of times we say goodbye, or we can also focus on the thousands of times we say hello. In the current climate, many of us have not had the opportunity to say ‘goodbye’ in person, however, we can dwell on losses or we can use them to shape what comes next. So it is, in this current situation, that we are all sharing a life experience we did not plan for. It is challenging, but there are 2 important lessons which could make a difference to how you navigate through the turbulence of life.

Firstly, time! As Expats, we have learnt that time is our friend. In time we got used to new ways of living, crafted friendships, rebuilt support systems, became more confident about our reinvestment in life. Our children are resilient members of a global transient family.

Secondly, people! Expats are experienced in dealing with unexpected life events but that does not mean we do not feel the impact. We just learn to look to each other for support. If there is something good to emerge from our present situation, it is the opportunity for connection and reconnection this journey has afforded us. New and old friends together have reunited us and re-connected us with the people who help us navigate through these times.

So today on the final day of this turbulent academic year, make a conscious decision to hold on to the connections you have made or rekindled. Do not say goodbye at the end of this crisis: keep saying ‘Hello’. As change is inevitable, there will always be challenges on some scale. Time and connection are important, because together they give us the sense of belonging necessary to navigate the turbulence of life.

For those families and members of staff leaving us today, on behalf of the school community I would like to thank you for your support and contributions to the life of OIS. As a school community we have come a long way in a very short time, and although our journey has only just begun, you have all played your part in that journey so far. I hope you will look back on your time at OIS with a sense of pride, accomplishment and endearment. I wish you all every success, good health and happiness in the future.

For those of us returning to Oryx after the summer, we look forward to renewed opportunities to achieve our 5-star school status. We will be capitalising on the knowledge and skills acquired from our eLearning programmes, enhancing our curriculum with A Levels and BTEC courses , re-energising our practical subjects such as PE, DT, Music, Art and Drama, welcoming new staff and harnessing their skills and experiences and providing new opportunities through our collaboration with other Orbital schools via our CANVAS VLE.

You will have received our calendar of events for next year, and as with all schools at this time, we remain flexible with the method of delivery which might be online or on site and adding new events when the authorities permit (eg Sporting fixtures, larger gatherings). You will also have received our bespoke Virtual Summer School programme which we hope you will find useful during the summer holidays. We are one of only a very few schools in Qatar offering a summer online programme.

I wish you all a very relaxing and enjoyable family summer-time and look forward to welcoming you back on Tuesday 1st September.

Regards and best wishes,

Mr. Derek Laidlaw