Dear Parents

I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy your 'staycation' during February half-term and to take advantage of Qatar's attractions and lovely weather. On this subject, our forthcoming House Photography Competition is based on the theme of 'My Qatar' and details are mentioned in this Newsletter.

The rhythm of our days in school continues to be dominated by the requirements of providing education during these unusual times. The hope of the vaccine campaign gathering momentum, gradual re-opening of schools around the world and our continuation of protocols here in school to ensure that provision is maintained, particularly during the current examination session, is counter-balanced by the necessary restrictions all schools are presently operating under.

Advice from Pearson Edexcel, in the wake of the cancellation of this summer's I/GCSE and A level examinations continues to arrive and a clearer picture is beginning to emerge. As expected, Centre Awarded Grades (CAGs) will be the conclusion this year, as they were in 2020. However, more planning is going into this year's processes compared to 2020 and we will confirm precise details once they are issued. In the meantime, it is imperative that Year 11 and Year 12 students continue to work with continued momentum and be assessed since their submissions will ultimately result in their Awards next August. Teachers are fully aware of this priority. Our current Mock examination session is providing significant evidence which will go towards CAGs and there will be continuing gathering of evidence in the form of Past Paper assessments, Coursework submissions and further tests in lieu of the summer examination series.

Assessments for Years 7 to 10 are taking place currently. Reports, for all year groups, will be issued at the end of term.

We are exploring opportunities to lighten the mood and give some variety to the children's experience, whilst remaining within the necessary parameters. World Book Day will be celebrated on 4 March and 5 March. The children are decorating their classrooms and are encouraged to come to school dressed as their favourite character. We are sure there will be some amazing photo opportunities! House Countdown (Part Deux) will take place on 15 March and Mr McCartney will revisit his TV persona to host the competition here in school. Mr Musa is overseeing the House Short Story Competition this term and noteworthy entries will be shared in due course.

'My Qatar' is the strapline for the House Photography Competition and we hope that the children will use their cameras and phones to capture images in the categories announced (Architecture, Qatari Culture, Qatar Wildlife, Portraits and Open Category). Initially targeted at Secondary school students, we intend to roll this out to Primary students and all interested Parents next term, culminating in a gallery-style display of the winning entries closer to the summer.

My Qatar FAQsHere

Mrs N. Brown has been collecting video footage of student's perceptions of their experience over the past year and some of the narratives are enlightening and emotional. It is now almost a year since we moved to exclusively online teaching, in March 2020 and the student's reflections on this anniversary are being collated with a view to being made available and held as an archive. Thank you for all your support, communication and understanding over the past 12 months. Hopefully, we are starting to enter the final phase of the current situation and our next retrospective will focus on how we re-established normal education. I am sure that you join me in saying that it cannot come quickly enough.

Yours sincerely

Ken Haggarty