We are approaching spring break with (dare I say) a renewed spring in our step. I hope you will all be able to take some time to enjoy the pleasant weather and spend quality time with your families enjoying the amenities here in Qatar.

We have enjoyed a very busy and much more ‘normal’ term since January. Our first set of IAL exams yielded some excellent results, our CIS Accreditation visit also yielded some excellent outcomes and we have seen a return of more of our school engagement activities, such as book days, photo competition, individual and class success in local and national mathematics competitions, the re-start of outdoor PE lessons, investigation activities, Mini-Olympics, school photographs, the launch of Orbital’s Virtual A-level programme, inter-house competitions, achieved ‘outstanding’ in the world-wide mathematics ratings from PISA, and our wonderful COVID Reflections video. We are getting back on track now and I am confident that in August we will see a return to more ‘normalised’ school activities.

There are several reasons to be optimistic about the weeks and months ahead, not least the COVID vaccination programme underway in Qatar. School staff and contractors working in schools were prioritised by the government, alongside health & medical workers and the various armed & security forces. This is making our schools even safer than previously and we will be continuing with all our COVID health precautions in addition to the vaccine requirements. Our Year 12 students are also now being offered the opportunity to receive the vaccine, which shows great commitment from the MoEHE to extend this level of protection to the over-16 age group in Qatar. Travel between countries should become more frequent and convenient as the vaccine is rolled out across the world. Qatar, being a major worldwide travel hub will benefit immensely in terms of social wellbeing, culture, travel and tourism and the economy. We may not yet be ‘out of the woods’ but we have weathered the storm.

Throughout all of the challenges and rapid changes this past school year, we have shown that as a school community we have the resilience, determination, flexibility and empathy to work together to overcome and adapt - none more so than our students – and we have hope in great abundance for the future. Thank you for your continued support, cooperation and understanding.

Thank you to all our wonderful teachers and admin/support staff for their continued dedication to the children in our care.

Some teachers taught the curriculum today. Our teachers taught students today: there’s a big difference.