Nursery and Primary schools in Muscat?

(22 Posts)
uhoh1973 Thu 01-Oct-15 14:29:54

An opportunity has come up for us all to move to Muscat (office location not yet finalised) after christmas. We have DD aged 5 (Yr1 in UK) and DS aged 2 in nursery. Can anyone advise on best primaries and nurseries in Muscat? We would want something that would follow the UK curriculum as most likely we will return home at some stage.
School fees would be paid by employer. Currently DD is at a village primary school. We would want something as academic as possible.
Also a nursery for DS. Are there any issues with spaces / waiting lists? Does the school year start in Sept like the UK?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Caught11 Sat 03-Oct-15 16:40:49

lived there 15 years ago, and my 3 DD's went to the British school in Muscat, they all loved it and did very well there . Don't know about waiting lists etc but the year started in Sept.

Caught11 Sat 03-Oct-15 16:42:59

There is a web site called expatwoman , I'm sure there is a Oman chat place there where you can ask questions, hope this helps.

partialderivative Sun 04-Oct-15 10:46:06

The British school is still running strong and is designed for pupils to be able to slot back into the English national curriculum seamlessly. So if you are only going for a couple of years it may be your best choice.

If you think you might end up working elswhere around the world you might consider ABA, which offers the International Bac.

uhoh1973 Thu 11-Feb-16 09:00:46

Many thanks for your help.

The move is still on the cards, now for summer 2016..!

From trawling the internet it seems the best choices for us would be;

BSM
ABA
Flight School

Unfortunately Flight School have closed their waiting list... We prefer to have UK curriculum as we plan to return to the UK after 4-5 years in Muscat. That said ABA seems to have a good reputation so we will apply to BSM and ABA. Given that waiting lists appear fierce what would people recommend as a plan B? International School Muscat?? Any other options? Any options of kindergartens / pre-schools for our youngest (he will be 3 in Sept 2016). I will also try PDO school but it looks like they have closed their waiting list too. I think there is no point applying to TAISM? Or should we apply to this too?
Any other ideas??

uhoh1973 Thu 11-Feb-16 11:11:05

I just found a new school that opened a couple of years ago in Muscat - OurPlanet. If we are desperate does anyone know anything about it? I read some reviews on TLC but they were pretty damning. Again any experience?

Many thanks

GreenSand Sat 13-Feb-16 12:53:48

Not explicitly Oman, but just over the border "wait lists closed" is more an indication than a certainty.
I wouldn't worry too much just yet. If i applied now, I'd be required to take the kids for assessment next month. If your not in country at that point, you loose your place on the list anyway.

For us, a British passport opened up wait lists that were otherwise closed (at British schools). We got 2 coveted places within 6 weeks of landing. Others have been waiting 3 years (one failed assessment in that time).
Enjoy you time. It's supposed to be amazing over there, and is on our weekend trip list.

EnormousDormouse Sat 13-Feb-16 13:02:34

A friend teaches at Our Planet, I'm seeing her tomorrow so will get the inside info for you. I'm at one of the others mentioned, and I know parents who are happy at all of them.
Muscat is a fab city to live, brilliant for outdoorsy activities and it's very family friendly. Just make sure you get good air-con and ideally leg it out of the country in the hotter months!

EnormousDormouse Sat 13-Feb-16 13:17:22

Re: term dates. Brit curric. Schools broadly follow UK private school type holidays, with a longer summer break than UK state schools. We're back in mid Aug this year though as Eid is in early Sept. There' a couple of days for Eid, and a couple for National Day. About 2 weeks Christmas and Easter, and half terms vary between a long weekend and a week

uhoh1973 Sun 14-Feb-16 19:32:48

Oh that would be brilliant thankyou enormousdormouse.
We have applied to BSM which would be our first choice as it sounds, from the internet, like it's the only decent school to follow uk curriculum (other than flight school which is apparently only taking forces families and pdo which is only taking pdo families). We feel panicky about it because it doesn't feel like there is much choice. We will try ABA although again from the Internet it sounds like that has an even longer waiting list than BSM. So I feel like all our eggs are in one basket.
Home schooling us not a viable option for us as I am the worker and DH will be at home but he is not very patient with the DCs. This also means that we will spend most of the hols in Oman too.
Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

EnormousDormouse Mon 15-Feb-16 05:27:34

I've pm'd you uhoh

mrsplopper Tue 16-Feb-16 03:45:23

Hi we have been in Muscat for nearly 3 years. My DS has attended Royal flight school. Its been great. A lovely laid back, friendly school.
I know the waiting lists are quite long. If there's any way of getting on, then try, I know some years are full, but I also know people this year who have got kids straight in. As soon as they arrived. I think they like you to be in country.
The new school building will be opening this year, looks fab, we are leaving in the summer for my DS to start uk year 7 in September.
I know lots of people who's kids attend BSM, it's a good school, but they are all older kids.
It also depends whereabouts you will be living, the traffic is horrendous, a ten min journey can often take me an hour, in the morning. It's like wacky races!

uhoh1973 Thu 18-Feb-16 16:14:30

Thanks for the warning about the traffic! I will let you know if I make any progress. Unfortunately by the time the children are 'in country' it will be the new school year.
Can you advise, given the fall in oil price, is there any sign of more than average expats leaving Muscat?
Many thanks

mrsplopper Sat 20-Feb-16 15:13:49

Hi yes that's the problem lots of families face, we were lucky, able to put our sons name down for 2 schools about a year before we arrived in Muscat. We got offered places in both. Royal flight suited him, as he's quite shy. He's done well there.
I do know of a couple of people who are leaving this year, due to the oil prices. There is always a big turn over of expats here though, lots of people coming and going. Have noticed more cut backs this year, with contracts and allowances. Sure you won't regret coming over, lots of great things to do x

aminagrey Mon 28-Mar-16 14:17:51

Hi EnormousDormouse I'm also considering Our Planet for my two children,I would really appreciate any information about it from your friend.TIA

neeps1207 Wed 30-Mar-16 19:17:38

My son goes to BSM and loves it there. Our Planet is a brilliant school too. As someone mentioned above, please consider the area you will live when choosing schools. If you live at the Wave, you are looking at a 30-40 minute commute to BSM and Our Planet. However, if you are in MQ or Madinat Al Ilam it's only 5 mins. This Expat woman Oman forum doesn't get the same amount of traffic as the Dubai forum. I recommend going onto the 'Families in Oman' Facebook page and asking there. I think someone was asking the same question recently. As well as tuition fees, also consider the building fees, which can also be very high. Good luck with your move. Muscat is an amazing city - you and your children will love it!

notonyurjellybellynelly Sat 02-Apr-16 06:15:11

The recent crash in oil prices means that school which previously had long waiting lists now have spaces available almost immediately with people receiving phone calls from at least on of the established schools below saying, for e.g. - your 3 children can start now if you like.

Our Planet School - its steadily improving and will be great one day thanks to the owner being the person she is. I think if you want to know just how its doing you would ask how many of the IB targets it was supposed to reach, and did reach, or is still working towards.

BSM - well established and good at what they do.

ABA - well established and good at what they do.

Royal Flight - a smashing school but priority is given to the Royal Flight Children with other children being offered places if and when they become available.

Also re travel to BSM and ABA from The Wave - with the opening of the new slip road on to the express way you can easily do it now in 25 minutes. I regularly do the school run for my grandchildren and whereas we uses to leave at 6.30 to be there at 7.10, we now leave at 6.45 and its an easy journey.

DH will be at home

I would check how this is going to work out Visa wise.

uhoh1973 Tue 19-Apr-16 12:20:31

An update! Having applied for BSM places for both children in February we have just been offered a place for our 6 year old for sept! Exciting stuff except I am still waiting for the job to be finalised !! I hadn't expected to be offered a place before July / August!

The fact that I will be the worker and DH will be at home will be in the lap of the via processors - my employer is aware and there's nothing I can do about that. I have seen that the sultan has said he wants more women in the work place so it could be a good thing ;-)

notonyurjellybellynelly Wed 20-Apr-16 22:56:30

I can do about that. I have seen that the sultan has said he wants more women in the work place so it could be a good thing

I think the meant local women when he made that speech. ;) Its actually very difficult for an expat female to find work here.

Thats good news about the school for the wee one. smile

Im so silly shock. Ive just remembered that when I had my own business one of my employees was a SAHD prior to coming to work for me part time. This was only last year and the company his wife worked for didn't have a clearance to give him so after a year or so of doing visa runs he decided to get a job and as we only needed a part timer in a specialised field we were able to take him on.

I also know a SAHD at ABA.

Fingers crossed for you.

uhoh1973 Wed 20-Apr-16 23:53:52

I realise the sultan means Omani women but as a senior figure in the company I would also have some kind of diversity / mentor lead for women. I have heard of PDO having women with non working husbands. For medical reasons my husband cannot work (part time or otherwise).

uhoh1973 Fri 22-Apr-16 08:04:46

Oof finally got through to HR yesterday and the project has been cancelled :-(. We are v disappointed.

notonyurjellybellynelly Sat 23-Apr-16 16:26:07

Uhoh, Im sorry you wont make it to Muscat soon but fingers crossed there's another job for you just round the corner.

Here's to you, and your husbands health. wine

eta -Just so you know, for when you do eventually get here smile There is a new school opening very soon, I think for a September intake. Its offering the British Curriculum.

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