Dear Parents

As the situation in Qatar progresses, all school staff are now working from home. This is something we have planned for and does not adversely affect our current educational provision in any way. We are extremely grateful to our facilities management company, New Image, for their continued support with cleaning, security and systems management. In times like these we need to support each other even more than normal and we will need to show resilience, patience, compassion, flexibility and creativity. It is a time for cool heads….

I have been very impressed with the way in which our students of all ages, staff and parents have adapted to the situation and we have received many wonderful and inspirational messages, photos and even some videos of the learning taking place at home. Please continue to send these to your child’s class or form tutor so we can share in our learning journey together.

I have been in communication with the Ministry of Education regarding Year 11 IGCSE examinations. This week I spoke directly with the Director of Private Schools Affairs and she assured me the ministry are very eager to help schools with their external examination requirements and at present they are considering our request along with many other schools in Qatar. However with the announcement yesterday from the UK Government, suspending all IGCSE examinations in May/June, we await guidance on how to proceed. Our Exams Officer, Mrs Laidlaw, is in regular contact with Pearson/Edexcel exam board for any updates. I have written separately to Y11 parents on this matter.

You will continue to receive regular and daily updates from teaching staff and Senior Leaders throughout next week and please be assured that we are monitoring the workload and engagement of students each lesson. We will contact you personally if we have any concerns over engagement at this time, in order to find a solution to help your child. We have reduced the amount of live lessons at the moment to give students a more balanced work pattern. Students will continue to receive a daily visual message from their class teacher/form tutor. In the meantime, please stay safe and keep in contact with the school through our VLE, social media and emails.

Regards and best wishes,

Mr. Derek Laidlaw

An uplifting message from Beijing

Greetings from Beijing! I couldn't help but want to jump in and let all of our friends know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We've been on "government lockdown" since the last week of January now and the spread of COVID-19 is barely a trickle proving it does work.

In the last week of January, we were in denial, couldn't believe this was happening as all of the theme parks and movie theatres and schools closed until further notice by government mandate overnight. Lots of talk about overreactions because this sounded like it was just another strain of the flu.

The first week of February was Fear and Depression about what this meant for the economy compounded by all of the flights getting cancelled and wondering if we had done the right thing staying here. Tracking down our employees, making sure they were safe and self-quarantining as instructed by the government and getting their computers delivered so that we could all start working from home.

Somewhere in the second week of February came Acceptance. Everyone was following the rules, and I was doing my research to understand the facts as being delivered by the medical community rather than journalists. A tremendous help to my peace of mind.

We were assured that grocery stores would operate as normal, so nobody panicked hoarding goods and it gave us an excuse to get out of the apartment every 3 days to do a little food shopping.

For those that don't love to cook, restaurants kept cooking and kept the delivery guys busy. Delivery happens a lot faster with no traffic! Everyone's temperature is taken looking for fevers as they come in and out of their communities. Starbucks closed a huge percentage of their shops for a few weeks, but they've started opening back up again for take-out.

In these last few weeks, traffic is starting to pick up as businesses start reopening. It was eerie the many weeks of silence. Peaceful at the same time. Spring has sprung so we grabbed a little sunshine yesterday

All I can say is, listen to the scientists, don't panic, follow the Government rules, and try to enjoy a quieter life for just a bit. We are starting week eight now and on our way back into the office !

Wishing you all love and good health!