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Doha Schools

(21 Posts)
sjg0304 Sun 16-Aug-15 13:02:08

wondering if anyone might be able to offer any advice or give me an insight into schools in Doha. Particularly interested to hear from anyone who has children already in either Sherborne or Compass. Also, that said, if we are looking at these two schools (prep/primary sites) so near Education City any advice on the best areas to start looking for accommodation would be incredibly helpful - thinking villa on compound with outside space. Thanks so much, looking forward to hearing from anyone who can help.


Living Sun 16-Aug-15 17:20:12

Sherborne is much more respected as a school than Compass. Most people use Compass as a filler school until they get something else.

Does Sherborne have space?

Can't help on compounds except to say wait until you have the school place before deciding.

Living Sun 16-Aug-15 17:29:20

What's your budget for a villa? That will largely determine your options there.

sjg0304 Sun 16-Aug-15 17:42:13

Thanks so much for getting back to me. That was my impression from the little information I can get online while researching from home! Not sure on budget yet as awaiting final contract offer but it will be pretty good we think. Interested to know good compounds for families with outside space and a nice friendly feel - not too big preferably within decent driving distance to school (our preference being Sherborne). Waiting for term to start back so that we can contact school and my husband can get there to talk to them but realise that it's likely to be full at the moment unfortunately.

Living Mon 17-Aug-15 04:53:57

I really think you need to look wider for schools. Compass will prob have space because they've opened a load of new classes for next year. Sherborne were waiting list only for reception/ grade 1 when I asked before the summer. I'm surprised they don't have admissions in over the summer BTW. Certainly not all admin work term time only there!

When will the kids have their RPs? Whilst some schools make exceptions in theory they shouldn't allow kids to start without them!

I'm actually little use on compounds but I would be wary of choosing to live close to Sherborne (which is in the middle of nowhere) before confirmation of a place. Gharaffa us a reasonably central area if you gave to decide now - you'd probably be looking at around 16-18k a month for the type of villa you're looking for.

Is your husband actually working at education city? I'd be considering Doha British School in Wakra or GEMS Wellington (poss also in Wakra) if the commute was at all doable. GEMS is new this year but decent international rep. Both likely to have space.

BeautifulBatman Mon 17-Aug-15 05:09:17

What Living says about compound costs, yy. You'll get prospective employers and recruitment agencies telling you that 12-13k a month is great. It's not. At least 16k a month is required for a family size house in a decent area - preferably 18-20.

yallahabibi Mon 17-Aug-15 16:47:50

Compass is extremely popular with the Dutch and European community .I've seen the campuses and thought them well appointed and staffed . They are less popular with Brits but I believe primarily because a) they are expensive b) there are lots of other options for British curriculum schools in Doha c) people are by nature sheep .

Most British residents send their children to either DESS or Doha Colłege . Both are British embassy sponsored ,well established and not for profit . They are very well regarded on the international schools circuit .

I think many are put off Sherborne purely on its extreme location and because the year groups are split over different sites. It has ,over my time in Doha , become more popular for secondary as spots at Doha College become more competitive .

In my time in Doha , I haven't met anyone who has kept children in Sherbourne , Park House, Newton British or DBS ( all British Curriculum schools ) if they are offered at place at either DESS or Doha College .

Doha is fairly small but the traffic can he hideous especially for those used to a short commute or stroll to school and a 9-3 school day . The school buses begin coming into our compound at 5.30am !

yallahabibi Mon 17-Aug-15 16:56:23

Just to add , once term begins in September , places often open up . Doha is very transient and some families plans may have changed over the summer and they won't return.
A friend , wringing her hands in desperation for any school spot for September has just got her daughter a place in from her first choice school .

Living Mon 17-Aug-15 18:56:01

I know people who are keeping kids in both Sherborne and DBS despite having DC options. Have to admit I don't know anyone who's kept kids in Compass or Newton in the same situation. I turned down DC for a non 'big name' school and I know others who have done the same.

Compass is popular with the Dutch because a lot of them go (Shell connections) and so it does dutch lessons etc. It's popular with Europeans mainly because it takes non-fluent English speakers. The facilities vary from campus to campus - some are decent. It's OK but doesn't justify the high fees. It is also one of the few schools which will take children with (minor) special needs (which is a good thing if you're looking for a more inclusive school).

Living Mon 17-Aug-15 19:02:13

Interestingly park house is one of the only schools in Doha which seems to have a worse rep now than five years ago! It used to be considered one if the best. No idea what happened there!

longgoneGCC Tue 18-Aug-15 05:24:24

Hi Sarah,
Wishing you the best of luck with your search and the somewhat daunting task of moving to Doha.
We have been here for five years and my perspective is from being both a teacher and parent .
It is quite common, though expensive , for people to take a school places a less desirable school and then wait for slots in the better ones.
Having worked in both types, I would, if I could ,put my children in a embassy sponsored school.
The Supreme Education Council in Qatar governs all schools, but allows the embassy sponsored ones more flexibility and automaticity.
Though all schools for expats in Doha are fee paying , these schools put the money back into facilities and resources , pay staff well and have a great sense of community .
There is plenty of additional feedback on schools on the Qatar forum of expatwoman . Be aware that people are conscious of laws regarding online"reviews", given recent cases in the region.

Pootle765 Tue 22-Sep-15 16:41:53

Hi Sarah
Hope the research is going well. Just a couple of points to add in case it's helpful...
The age of your children may play a part in school places. DC just advertised spaces in Year 4 for example.
And also, there has been a bit of an exodus as some oil and gas companies have laid people off over the summer. This may mean there are spots in previously unavailable compounds.
Personally, I drive across town every day, my house and school are pretty far apart - yes, the driving is hideous, but it's one of those things you get into a routine of just doing - bit like a night feed (!) makes the weekends very welcome, and we love our compound so feel it's worth it. I would definitely advise a recce.
Good luck!

Boysdontcry Thu 24-Sep-15 13:59:31

Hi Sarah, I have children in the Sherbourne Prep and Secondary school. Is very early days for us here as we have just moved from Bahrain. Children happy so far. We were offered Doha college, but West Bay campus . Felt too disorganised. Just preferred the feel to the Sherbourne prep school.
We are on Al Fardan Gardens 2. Al Fardan 5 and Y Village next door to us. It takes me 12-15 mins to get to the prep school. Secondary takes 35 mins in the morning however. Myself and a friend have organised a driver for 3 mornings a week. Will see how that goes. School starts very early -7.10 for year 8!!!

Suzimummy Tue 03-Jan-17 08:32:16

Hi there,
just wondering if anyone can offer any advice/insight into compounds in Doha. My 3 children will start Park House School in April (we are still living in the UK) and we need to find some decent accommodation pretty quickly.
We would like a nice compound villa in a really nice compound close to Park house school.
Does anyone know which are the better ones to look at? Availability seems really low.
Would massively appreciate any feedback.
Thank you so much

habibihabibi Tue 03-Jan-17 17:48:17

The closest and best villas in terms of house and compound maintenence and facilities are in Alfarden 3 but they are orange !
Alfardan properties are very well regarded and house a lot of high level company staff.
There are proberly lots of cheaper places nearby but believe me a compound with excellent maintence is a god send when it's 45c and the a/c packs up.
Good luck.

stace123 Sun 22-Jan-17 00:12:48

hi everyone
hope some one can help me with my dilemma.I am planning to move from uk to doha this summer with three boys 9,12 16 to be united with my DH.My elder one will be starting A levels this September,which school do u suggest at this level because I don't want him to move schools midway as these 2 years are his precious years and settling in at this age would be little tough for him. similarly, if you can guide me for the other 2 boys going to year 6 and 8. i would appreciate the responses as we want to apply now because of the long ques. thanks

habibihabibi Tue 24-Jan-17 15:27:27

stace123 - If you want British schooling apply to the following schools first .Doha College is by far the most preferred but is still likely to have some places if you get moving on the applications and have your sons sit the entrance exams asap.
1) Doha College
2) Doha British School
3) Sherborne Qatar
If you are lucky and get them all into the one school your life will be so much easier.

stace123 Wed 25-Jan-17 17:59:48

Thankyou habibihabibi I have checked online Sherborne seems quite out of budget as my 3 kids will be going in doha but I'll ask DH to apply for the other 2 schools . My DH is also thinking to apply in park house, how is the reputation and any idea about Qatar international and Cambridge Doha..since we don't know anyone there so no idea what's the standards

habibihabibi Sat 28-Jan-17 14:49:01

Oh I forgot about Parkhouse. it has recently been taken over by a company (previously family run). Worth a look though because it is both primary and secondary .
Cambridge and Qatar International do not have very many (if any ) British pupils, though QI is well regarded for locals and has been around for a long time. Cambridge has some very bad reviews.

stace123 Sun 29-Jan-17 19:18:25

Thankyou for your help ..I think our third option would be park house..

Samibaby Tue 26-Sep-17 14:04:52

How did you find Park house for your children. My kids are 4 nd 10
I am thinking of park house for them as the fees are within my budget...
a bit scared as they go to an outstanding school here in UK

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