The Loydence Academy, a primary school based in Al Dafna, which offers the National Curriculum of England, will be launched on October 18.
A high-quality international primary school, Loydence Academy, which is owned by a member of the ruling family here, will offer a full curriculum taught in English with the addition of Arabic and Islamic studies. Arabic as a second language will be offered to foreign students whose first language is not Arabic.
David Andrew Guy, the school’s principal, said the school would initially offer classes for Pre-School, Reception and Year 1, but will expand each year. Each class will offer students a personal approach, which means the number of students per class will be kept low.
“We do not want to have an extremely big school where children are just numbers… We want it to be a personal approach. What we want is a small school but with extremely exceptional standards… We have the right quality equipment, the right books, and the best teachers (staff members are from the UK),” said Guy.
It is anticipated that most of the student body will be made up of Qatari nationals with many other nationalities being represented. Guy said 25 percent of the students enrolled at the school now are Qataris.
Guy said there will be around 15 to 20 students in each class as they want to show each child is important. “Some of these Qatari children will be going to school for the first time and we will be teaching them English… so we want it to be a small group so we can concentrate on each child… We will be doing an individual programme for each child, a process which we call differentiation…”
Guy said in addition to the usual subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Art, ICT, PSHE, Arabic, Islamic Studies, Quran and PE, the school will also teach the history of Qatar and the country’s traditions. “This is how children learn… Children learn from their immediate environment… only as they get older can we extend those boundaries… So we start with their local environment, which is Qatar.”
According to Guy, the children will have to undergo an entrance test and an interview to “see if the children will fit the school’s academic approach and see if they have the right social skills to integrate with the other children in the class… There will also be an observation period.”
“During the interview, we will be asking the children to play with toys, talk to them, have them interact with other children to see if they get on well with other children in the group… We are looking for children who will benefit from the curriculum that we are offering,” he said.
The school will have eight classrooms, a nurse’s room, offices, staff room, indoor PE hall, outside shaded bicycle/games/sand-play area, and a large play area with swings/slides, among others. There will also be a school bus to pick the children up from, and take them to, their homes. The school will have a sports and assembly section, reception, library room, outdoor covered play areas, and reading areas. All classrooms will have computer access and connection to the Internet. The school also boasts an attractive pool which has been designed for use by small children who are learning to swim.
Guy said the school library will start with around 5,000 books all in English and Arabic. The library will also include books in other languages as the school will offer foreign languages like French and Spanish in the higher grade levels.
Guy said Loydence Academy will relocate to a bigger area in a year or two. “We will build our own building, with gymnasiums, a theatre and bigger grounds for sports.” They are now looking at new possible locations, he said.
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