Location – Ahmed Bin Majid St, Doha, Qatar
Website – https://durham.edu.qa/
Contact – +974 4036 2954
Nestled in the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Doha, Qatar, Durham School for Girls Doha is an educational beacon dedicated to providing young girls with a world-class education. Established as a sister institution to the esteemed Durham School in the United Kingdom, this institution upholds a legacy of academic excellence, character development, and empowerment. This article delves into the essence of Durham School for Girls Doha, highlighting its unique features, mission, and commitment to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow.
A Global Tradition of Excellence
Durham School for Girls Doha is an extension of the rich heritage of Durham School in England, a prestigious institution known for its academic achievements and holistic approach to education. Durham School, founded in 1414, has maintained an unwavering commitment to high standards of education for centuries. Its Qatar-based counterpart, Durham School for Girls Doha, is no different. Established in 2019, the school brings the values and educational expertise of Durham School to the heart of the Middle East.
Durham School for Girls was the first British all-girls school in Qatar. Linked with the 2030 vision of female empowerment. An all-female campus that offers the security for girls to develop individually, respect Qatari cultures and values, and embrace the British curriculum and methodology.
Durham School for Girls Doha aims to inspire a lifelong appetite for learning in a caring environment that will develop emotional, moral, and spiritual strength for future leaders. The school strives to provide a curriculum and range of co-curricular opportunities that will enrich its pupils’ sense of self-belief and help them make appropriate judgements, giving them ‘Confidence for Life’ and aspiration for achievement. With an emphasis on both individual and collective learning, the curriculum will be set in an international context whilst staying inspired by Qatari culture and tradition.
Durham School for Girls Doha aims to provide a supportive environment that is tailored to meet the individual needs of girls as well as provide them with a safe learning environment to fulfil their true potential. This is achieved in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 to empower young women while preserving their national and Islamic identity, preparing them for the opportunities and challenges posed by the 21st Century.
At Durham School for Girls Doha, the core values are encapsulated in the acronym MARK, which guides daily actions and ensures that they consistently uphold their high standards. These values of Moral Integrity, Ambition, Responsibility and Kindness are integral to their commitment to being the best version of themselves.
Vanessa Whay is the founding principal of Durham School for Girls Doha Qatar. She has 25-plus years of international experience, and she runs the school grounded on values and female empowerment. She firmly believes in providing an educational environment where students can reach their full potential and become society leaders.
Creating an Atmosphere of Inquisitive Participation
Durham School for Girls Doha is dedicated to providing a well-rounded educational experience, nurturing academic excellence and personal growth. Since their first full academic year in 2022, free from lockdowns, they’ve introduced an array of new services and activities to enrich their student’s school experience despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The DSGD campus boasts diverse facilities supporting holistic student development, including a football field, swimming pool, indoor netball courts, two gyms, Mariam Library with extensive resources, two cooking rooms, a sewing room, a dedicated music room, computer room for tech-based learning, 6 fully equipped science labs, a Majilis for communal activities, two welcoming reception areas, outdoor playing areas, art rooms, and a specialised black box drama room. These amenities promote well-rounded growth in students of all ages.
Beyond Traditional Curriculum
As a fully accredited High-Performance Learning World-Class School, it embraces learning based on each student’s own potential and capabilities. Internally, there is a strong belief that Durham is more than just a school and it offers numerous opportunities for development.
These include but are not limited to:
- Community projects
- Student leadership programs
- Internal Sister mentorship programs
- Values and soft skills development
- Academically focused external curriculum programs
Steps for Motivation
Listening to their students’ needs is a top priority to provide an environment where students feel supported and motivated to learn. They set aspirational academic targets and students are rewarded through an academic merit system for their progress. With positive re-enforcement and good local role models’ students take ownership of their learning and the house system ensures that students motivate each other to be the best they can be both in and outside of the classroom.
Ministry of Education Voucher System: DSGD is part of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education voucher system. This system is designed to support and subsidise the education of Qatari students. Given that they have 98% Qatari students at their school, the majority of the students benefit financially from this system. It helps cover a significant portion of their tuition fees, making quality education more accessible to Qatari families.
An Inclusive School
Durham School for Girls Doha (DSGD) stands as a unique educational institution for several compelling reasons:
- All-Girls British School: DSGD offers a distinctive British-style education within an all-girls environment, which empowers and instils confidence in our students. This setting allows for a personalized, focused approach to girls’ education, addressing their specific needs and interests.
- Exclusive All-Female Staff: DSGD distinguishes itself by maintaining an all-female staff during school-specific hours, respecting cultural norms and values. This policy ensures a safe and comfortable environment for girls who choose not to cover during school hours.
- International Curriculum: DSGD provides the British curriculum adapted to local culture, instilling a global perspective in students. This approach equips them to excel in our interconnected, diverse world.
- High Percentage of Qatari Nationals: DSGD takes pride in having the highest percentage of Qatari nationals among international schools in Qatar, demonstrating a strong commitment to serving the local community and supporting the educational aspirations of Qatari families.
- Cultural Sensitivity: The school’s policies and practices are deeply rooted in respect for the cultural and religious values of students and their families, including adherence to dress code and gender segregation norms.
- Empowerment and Inclusivity: DSGD is devoted to empowering young women and fostering an inclusive environment that enables every student to excel academically and personally. The presence of an all-female staff and a supportive learning environment play a pivotal role in building confidence and leadership skills among our students.
Following Upcoming Education Trends
As members of the AOBSO and BSME they are able to easily stay up to date with changes in educational trends. DSGD places great emphasis on CPD for staff because they know it is essential to the growth of student development and the school follows and develops the latest educational philosophies and practices both in the Gulf region and internationally. As a school DSGD embraces opportunities for development presented by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar.
Awards & Achievement
- First ever all-girls International High-Performance Learning World Class School
- British Schools Overseas Inspection – Good with outstanding features – DSGD is recognized and registered with the UK Government.
- Qatari National Accreditation
- Microsoft Showcase School -3 years running
- Approved Centre for Pearson iGCSE and A/S and A Levels
- Approved Centre for Cambridge iGCSE and A/S and A Levels
- 2021-22 we saw our first graduates take places in great universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Commonwealth, St Andrews, and Qatar University.
Future Plans DSGD is at a turning point where they have established their school on a strong foundation and are continuously improving their skills and offering to ensure their girls get the best possible opportunities. As a school, they look to this to ensure the growth and development of their programs and ensure their accreditation with AOBSO, HPL and QNSA are always up to date.