We have thoroughly enjoyed welcoming our colleagues Anna and Sasha from King’s Hall in the UK this week. King’s Hall is the Prep School for King’s College in Taunton. Their trip centred around the sharing and comparing of provision and approaches between schools as well as discussions regarding our expansion into Year 7 and beyond. Both ladies remarked on how wonderfully we blend the King’s heritage, ethos and values within a truly international environment, which they found was clearly evident when speaking to the staff and children. They were particularly impressed by the children’s exemplary behaviour, their open-minded outlook, thoughtful questions and infectious passion for learning. This feedback is incredibly important to hear as these are all key hallmarks of the outcomes we aim to achieve within our progressive group of schools and it demonstrates that, through our continued alignment, the King’s culture of excellence is firmly established in Qatar. We look forward to fostering even closer links into the future through shared resources and consistent communication at all levels.
Justin Chippendale, Headmaster of King’s Taunton, expressed the root as to why our collaboration is so successful and already providing enhanced opportunities for our students:
“Our close, rewarding and purposeful relationship with King’s College Doha exists because of two factors. The first is our naturally occurring warmth and desire to work in close collaboration with those involved in our community for the greater benefit of all and the second is that we take care to share in each other’s lives.
Recent months have been a powerful demonstration of the second starting with a delegation from King’s UK to spend a few days working together with the KCD team as part of their preparations for the then-upcoming (and highly successful) QNSA inspection and on top of this, around this time, we were thrilled to hear that one of the KCD Year 6 pupils will be joining King’s UK as a boarder in September. We have also been privileged to welcome our much respected and admired sponsor, Sheikh Mansoor Jassim Al Thani, to the UK to have first-hand experience of the education we offer here: it was wonderful to show His Excellency around and for him to meet the staff and children. Finally, we have just had two teachers from King’s UK spend time at KCD and they have returned buzzing about all they saw. One commented, “It feels just like King’s (UK)”. And there is the proof that our strong relationship is also an effective one.
Mrs Hardy, Head of Geography at King’s Hall (The Prep School of King’s Taunton) commented: “When we were told we were getting the opportunity to visit King’s College Doha, Sasha and I were so excited. As a school, we have closely followed the development of KCD from the planning stages, as well as having had the chance to meet a number of KCD staff when they have visited King’s College, UK. The Headmaster of King’s Taunton, Mr Chippendale, delivers regular updates to the whole school, with children and staff alike very keen to find out more about our partner school.
It might have been a short visit, but we have come away with lasting memories and very quickly felt that the school shares much more than just a name and uniform. The children and staff could not have been more welcoming, with very high standards of work evident from fantastic displays all around the school and the work we saw being produced in lessons. It was very easy to fit in as the ethos and culture around the school really felt like we were at home – the children were all so polite and keen to please, taking real pride in their work.
The staff were really engaging and the children were clearly enjoying their time at school, with the whole school adopting such an obvious child-centred approach to teaching and learning. We were lucky enough to address the majority of the school when we delivered our assembly – the atrium is an amazing space full of such colourful displays that instantly captivate and inspire you as you walk through the doors.
This trip enabled us to deepen links between staff and share more resources. Sasha got to meet Mr McCann and his Year 3 class after various previous communications between them and her own Year 3 class in England. Some of the KCD Year 3 children even went home and wrote letters for us to bring back to England which was very special.
On our return to England and hearing about our experiences in Doha, many other staff are queuing up at the door to be the next to visit and we are looking forward to catching up with many of the KCD staff who have promised to come and visit us next time they are in England.
We want to say a massive thank you to everyone at KCD for making us feel so welcome and giving us so many good memories in such a short space of time – thank you! Anna Hardy and Sasha Gompels.”
Mr Chippendale concluded: “We are looking forward to the next significant developments of King’s in Doha and we go forward together with enthusiasm and confidence based on the depth of our complete understanding in each other.”
Before they headed back to the UK, they had the opportunity to explore Qatar and were impressed by the obvious investment in culture and education here – reminding us all how lucky we are to be playing an important role in helping represent ‘education for a new era’ in this beautiful country.