The newly-appointed headmaster of the Sherborne School branch in Qatar is upbeat about the prospect of the prestigious UK institution’s opening in Doha on September 27.
Nick Prowse has expressed his excitement at having “a blank piece of paper to work upon, in a country where everyone seems to be so excited about education.”
Prowse, who recently left his post as the senior boarding master at Pilgrims School in Winchester, is in Qatar to help with preparations for the school’s opening as well as his own move here with his wife and three children.
And the headmaster could barely contain his enthusiasm at the prospect of Sherborne opening in Qatar, expressing his delight at being appointed the first head of the school.
“For a teacher to be given this kind of chance is amazing – from ordering the equipment and getting everything ready to actually running the school, everything is new and this is what made me want to come here,” he said.
Having never visited Qatar before taking up the job, Prowse has been surprised with what he has found here and said he was looking forward to exploring all that the country has to offer – especially in terms of his personal passion, sport.
And although the focus of the inaugural year of Sherborne Qatar will undoubtedly be the provision of excellent teaching facilities, the extracurricular and holistic aspect of education is something that Prowse deems essential to a Sherborne student.
“My number one priority this year will be teaching and learning – making sure we get it right and ensuring that the students can learn as much as possible,” he claimed, adding “but we will certainly be adding to this.”
Prowse is looking forward to the development of thriving music, drama and sports groups at the school as well as linking with other schools and members of the community in these areas.
Speaking about co-operation with other schools, Prowse said he had already been approached by a number of heads of other schools who he said had been “extremely welcoming and helpful,” and he claimed he was looking forward to future interaction.
“I would love to have sports fixtures with the other schools,” he said, “but I also intend to work with them in other ways – for instance if we have experts coming to address our staff on teaching certain subjects, then I will be inviting other schools for such events.”
“There is such a good atmosphere here, I am looking forward to getting things together with other schools,” he added.
Prowse also expressed his surprise at the level of support and the welcome he has received from other people since arriving here. He noted that the Supreme Council for Education had been particularly welcoming, and also emphasised the role of Sheikh Abdulla bin Ahmed al-Thani in bringing the school to Qatar.
“Sheikh Abdulla has been hugely involved in everything and has been very hands on with preparations for the opening,” said Prowse claiming that he has been amazed by Sheikh Abdulla’s passion for the project.
He also referred to future plans for the school, which will include a new site which could house a prep school, two separate schools for boys and girls and perhaps another building for boarders – but this is something that has only been discussed at a very preliminary level.
But whatever the future brings, Prowse was keen to point out that the current site will “definitely” be ready for its opening date after Eid.
“I can assure you that we will be ready to open on time,” he said, explaining “all our equipment has arrived and we will be moving it in over the coming weeks – everything will be ready.”
“We are not simply bringing the Sherborne badge to Qatar – we are hoping to replicate the ethos of the school in Dorset in an international setting,” he claimed, adding “I truly believe we have the chance to do something really special here.”
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