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Primary teaching in Saudi Arabia

(7 Posts)
Brightburn Mon 18-Feb-19 04:30:37

Hi all.

My DH is a primary teacher and I'm currently doing a schools direct course to gain QTS. We're considering moving abroad to teach. Does anyone have any experience of this?

- Would I be able to do my NQT year or would it be best to get it here first?
- How long is the school day/holidays?
- What's the accommodation like?
- Did you get much support from your school?
- How did your DC's adjust to the change of climate/environment?
- Would it be difficult for us both to get a job in the same area?

TIA!

OP’s posts: |
WinterHeatWave Mon 18-Feb-19 05:50:31

As a parent of kids at a British School in KSA:
School is 8-2.30 (primary and secondary). Neighbours kids go 7.30-1 at primary, and 7.30-2 for secondary.
Holidays are anyone's guess!!! Personally we went from Mid August to Xmas without a break then 3 weeks off af Xmas. One week at Easter, and finish early June. Think its 38 teaching weeks. Neighbours have much more UK style term, with half terms, and a much shorter (but longer than uk) summer.

Kids happy. Yes, it's hot, but school is fully AC. Playgrounds all covered, lots of inside gyms for sport in summer, and enforced indoor play above about 40C.

Personally, our school would snap you up as a teaching couple. Not sure if your qualification would translate tho. Saudu is very funny about the right paperwork. Check how your schools dire t course would be treated.
The other possibility would be for DH to vone overmatched and then you to apply as a local hire. Pay and benefits much lower for you, and DH would be less attractive to hire.

Looking at contact time, I'd say its low. Even in primary, my kids have specialist teachers for art, pe, music, Arabic- so for all those lessons, the kids are not with the class teacher.

Got to go out. Ask if there is anything else.

Brightburn Mon 18-Feb-19 11:13:05

I think my course is okay it's done through a university and will have QTS and PGCE at the end.

How did you find it living there as a woman? (I'm assuming your a woman!) Do you live in a compound? What do you wear on a daily basis?

OP’s posts: |
WinterHeatWave Mon 18-Feb-19 11:47:59

Yes, I'm a woman.
Yes, we live on a compound.
Its "cold" today. Was about 14 when I dropped the kids at the compound gates in jeans, teeshirt and cardi - the bus takes them to school.
Dropped the cardi, and put on an abaya. Did the some shopping in 20C heat. Came home. Changed into leggings and gym teeshirt. Walked across compound to go to the gym.
Back in jeans now. Very, very rarely do I cover my head - and if i do it's more because i dont want to stand out, rather than need to.

Switch jeans and teeshirt for shorts and teeshirt in summer. Some swimming pools, even on compounds, restrict bikinis - but not all.

DH cant wear shorts out and about - 3/4 or trousers to visit the mall. My primary aged kids are fine in shorts everywhere.

The teachers wear "normal" clothes. Ok, so my normal is slightly squiffy. Dont usually see sleeveless stuff, not much above the knee, mostly pretty modest neck lines. But dresses and trousers and western wear. If you teach in a British school, western wear would be expected. DS2s teacher sometimes wears shorts, but he's a very casual person all round.

All teachers I know are in school provided compound accomadation (dont come if accomadation isnt included. Our 3 bed, with one living-dining-kitchen is £40k rent. Other cities are cheaper, I believe!)

Brightburn Mon 18-Feb-19 21:19:14

Thank you so much! It's something we really want to look into! 40k shock. What do you do if you don't mind me asking?

OP’s posts: |
WinterHeatWave Tue 19-Feb-19 02:47:59

I'm a SAHM!
DH works with oil. Our accomadation is paid for thankfully - rent is paid annually in advance. So, that's a 40k cheque once a year, and forget about rent for 12 months. It does include all bills except phone /internet.

Cathpot Fri 22-Feb-19 23:09:36

I would suggest looking for work in other areas of the middle east before KSA . I’ve lived in various places in the region and KSA is not really a starter country. It is possible on some - by not all - compounds to live in a western bubble , but I found there was always a level of tension ( possibly imagined) off compound that was wearing over time. When I found myself in yet another conversation about wearing trainers to go shopping in case we had to run , for instance. Be extremely careful about what is and isn’t in any contract re accommodation/ health care/ flights home. Use expat boards to throughly check any school - there are lots of very badly run private schools you don’t want to end up in. Be aware that the driving is bad all over the region but Saudi has driving that reaches spectacular levels of awful. I wasn’t allow to drive when we lived there but I’m not sure I would have, even if allowed. There is no job security - if you upset the wrong person you are out. Some expats I met there had been there 20 years and were very happy , I lasted 2 and I had gone in with my eyes open and having lived in several nearby countries quite happily. It is not for everyone.

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