Global Education Forum (GEF)

SEK International School Qatar is excited to take part in the Global Education Forum (GEF), challenging the topic around “The future of Higher Education”.

The SEK Global Education Forum is an alliance between SEK Schools and our University and was created as a movement that proposed changes and alternatives to the traditional education systems.

Yesterday, we at SEK-Qatar had our first kickoff event and over the next three weeks our students will be part of the SEK-Qatar teams competing against schools and universities from all over the world.

They will be competing in either a Hackathon (MYP) or a Challenge (DP) debating the following questions:

“What does today’s university need to be better? What 3 things should it keep, 3 things should it add, and 3 things should it eliminate?”

“How can digitalization transform the current educational model?”

In addition, GEF will be holding online “microevents”. The first microevent will be on 28th September all about entrepreneurship. 

Eventually, from 13th – 15th of October, all participants will be able to join the vitual “Global Education Forum 3rd Act” where the results of the Hackathon and Challenge will be revealed. Participates will come together and get the opportunity to discuss key issues and conclude the debate.

For more information and registration please follow this link Home – GEF (globaleducationforum.org)

“The future of higher education is in our hands. Let’s reimagine it and redesign it together.”

Unite to Protect

Today, 9th of September – is The International Day to Protect Education from Attack

In honor of this day, our Grade 5 students were inquiring into our understanding of why #educationforall is important. After reading the first few chapters of The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, and learning about the plight of children not having access to education in other countries around the world, our G5 students had a discussion about why they think access to education is important.

They spoke about how education of some children around is world is under attack due to reasons such as their race, gender or political/economic status to name a few. We used online collaborative tools to capture all students’, at home and at school, understanding of this issue.

SEK International School Qatar has been recognized as a Microsoft Showcase School for the academic year 2021-2022!

We are proud of being awarded this recognition for the 4th time in a row. Requirements for the award continue to remain very strict, hence only five other schools in Qatar have been recognized as Microsoft Showcase Schools.

325 schools spread across 58 countries, we are part of an exclusive global network of schools and educators who support the culture of learning, innovation and continuous improvement. The community offers space to connect and share ideas as school life is moving towards a new area of digitalization.

As Microsoft likes to put it:

“Showcase Schools create student-centered, immersive, and inclusive experiences that inspire lifelong learning, stimulating development of essential future-ready skills so students are empowered to achieve more.”

And at SEK-Qatar we live and breath this quote daily. We are committed to school-wide digital transformation to improve learning outcomes of our students and focus on future-ready skills.

From Grade 4 every student has his/her own laptop, as the device is being used in almost every single class. IT is not only a single subject once or twice a week, IT is the foundation for our every day teaching and learning. Leaders and educators in Showcase Schools thoughtfully consider the role of technology as they explore new ways to redesign learning spaces, restructure curriculum, reinvent pedagogy and reimagine what 21st Century leading and learning looks like across diverse contexts.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we have become even more alert to inquire and learn about the digital potential in our school. Thanks to various MS applications, remote learning has been made smooth, accessible and fun. This has increased our appreciation of the critical work educators and school leaders do to help every student achieve more.

As we start this academic year, we are excited to share our experiences with our community to finding innovative ways to equip our students with the tools needed for success inside and outside of the classroom.

Induction Week 2021

Welcome to the new academic year 2021-2022. SEK International School Qatar is thrilled to be back after a well-deserved summer holiday.

Before the official start of the new academic year, on August 29th 2021, SEK-Qatar staff and teachers had the opportunity to prepare for the 11 months ahead.

Like every year we first introduced our new teaching staff to the school and its environment. Members of staff, who were still unable to travel to Qatar, due to Covid-19 regulations, were able to connect via MS Teams which showed great practice on how we can use today’s technology to collaborate regardless of circumstances.

A week later all returning teachers joined and the Head of School, Verónica Sánchez Ruiz, held a virtual meeting to give a warm welcome to everyone.

Fortunately, our teachers have taught and lived in many different countries, therefore exchanges between them offered a fantastic way to share knowledge, challenge each other, listen and learn from different perspectives.

After introductions and formalities we were able to work profoundly on the curriculum, revising, adapting and planning the learning for the upcoming school year. Many teachers had completed courses or readings over the summer and were excited to share their learning with their colleagues. We also reflected on  our experiences last year which allowed us to grow and  improve.

On top of that most staff attended our yearly First Aid training, hosted by Enertech Qatar. During a fun and interactive afternoon they learned how to react in case of an emergency.

When joining a new school it is almost like joining a new family. We share the same mission and vision and work together on the common goal to encourage our students to become life-long learners with the help of the IB learner profile.

We are proud to see such high degree of collaboration, and believe that all teachers will act as wonderful role models for their students. With all the challenges that may lie ahead of us, the whole of SEK-Qatar is excited for this academic year and wishes all students and staff a wonderful start!

Service and Action

As part of a physics unit on “energy and to address the global context of globalization and sustainability”; students organized an inspiring Service as Action project, about recycling and how everyone at SEK-Qatar could get involved.

The main objectives are to encourage students to work collaboratively with others and be engaged with issues of global importance.

The project had 2 parts:

  1. Students sent invitations to members of our school community to participate
  2. Students also did a reflection about how humans can have a positive impact on the environment by changing patterns of behavior and developing the use of sustainable energy and the long- term conservation of the natural resources. 

Furthermore, SEK-Qatar is also looking to all areas of our communities to take action and actively participate and reflect about our individual actions.  

We salute to our students for setting an example!

Here you can find a short fun video on how PK 1-3 “invites” our staff, teachers and students to recycle at school.

Let’s dive into the art world!

Student-led conferences (SLC) offer authentic opportunities for students to share their learning with their parents/caregivers. It encourages greater agency and helps students transition from the classroom to life experiences by practicing it with their parents.

During the SLC week, our students had an opportunity to reflect and share what they have learned throughout the year in visual arts class. They created artworks to share their experiences, thoughts, feelings, imaginations, and cultural arts with their parents. They were in control of what form of art and skills they would like to share which was highly motivational. They showed honesty and integrity related to their learning in the SLCs as they were required to take on a high level of responsibility to share their artworks with the SEK-Qatar community virtually.

We would like to say a huge thank you again to all students, parents, and guardians for their hard work and patience over this term and the academic year.

You will find unique artwork produced by inspiring young artist here.

Let’s dive into the art world! – Wakelet

Welcome to the Community Project Exhibition for the MYP Class of 2023

Our MYP Grade 8 students did an amazing job of overcoming the challenges of the pandemic and have produced some fascinating Community Projects. They have inquired into a range of issues facing societies, from creating safe ways to dispose masks to exploring how we can take better care of Qatar’s cats.

The Community Project is an important part of the MYP, it helps with preparation for the Personal Project in Grade 10 as well as developing students holistically in line with the IB Mission Statement.

Students have to apply multiple skills in order to be successful, especially it is crucial that they develop their communication and collaboration skills, both of which are very important competencies when working in a group. It has been a delight to see students work hard and embody many of the Learner Profile attributes, particularly how caring our students are about the community we live in and the wider world.   

Through the link, you will be able to access our very special and innovative virtual exhibitionhttps://bit.ly/3p1JsZH

  • Each section shows three of our student’s work. After viewing them and giving feedback, please move along to see the rest. You can always go back to the previous sections you have already visited by following the markers on the floor.

Please read to help you navigate through the virtual space.

By clicking on the markers on the floor you will be able to move around in the virtual space. Each section is designed by three of our students. When viewing the section you are linked to the related Sway (a new window will open). Please make sure to read the Sway as at the end of each Sway you will have the chance to leave you feedback which especially is very valuable for our students. After that, you can close the window and go back and look at the next project.

Do not miss the welcome video in the center of the virtual exhibition which will give you an overview of all their work.

Please be aware, loading time for the virtual space may take a while depending on your internet connection, please be patient.

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week we celebrate the teacher appreciation week 2021!

First and foremost, we would like to thank all teachers, and especially our teachers at SEK International School Qatar, for all their hard work throughout the past year. They had to find new ways of teaching and, despite living through a global pandemic, managed to succeed when schools all across the world had to adjust.

As SEK-Qatar is part of a global community of 325 Microsoft Showcase Schools, we are delighted to share an inspiring video, created by students who are part of the Microsoft Showcase family.

The official Microsoft Showcase School Website puts it in these words:

“Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

“For what is poetry, if not beauty?” -Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate Dear teacher, Thank you for opening our minds and hearts to the beauty of poetry, math, science, history, art, technology and so much more. Love, students everywhere.”

Watch the students’ video here!

Why we have provocations

Too often we give children answers to remember, rather than problems to solve. (Roger Lewin, 1974)

Why we have provocations.

When we first approach a new unit of inquiry, one thing that needs substantial planning is the provocation. The provocation is meant to ‘provoke’ or inspire inquiry, and create an experience that gets the students thinking and asking questions. It is a hook, that grabs hold of the student’s attention and helps them to think differently. Provocations are there to connect our 3D curriculum; knowledge, skills and concepts, and develop student questions about the new unit of inquiry. Teachers use the provocation as a way to assess prior knowledge, and give students a small ‘trailer’ of some of the learning to come. It is also a way to identify any misconceptions that will need to be addressed in later learning.

So what does a provocation look like?

As you can imagine, the provocation needs to be something new, and needs careful planning and consideration. Teachers ask themselves what experience the students could have that supports not only the new unit of inquiry, but is appropriate to the age of the students. To do this, during our collaborative planning sessions, the grade level teachers, along with the coordinator, ask themselves if the provocation is going to;

  • spark inquiry?
  • generate questions?
  • leave a lasting impression?
  • support the construction of new knowledge, skills and conceptual awareness?
  • be meaningful, interesting, exciting?

Below are some examples of provocations that students at SEK-Qatar have experiences during hybrid learning.

Preschool 5 – How the world works

Central Idea: Scientists study the properties of light to use in daily life

Our Pre5 students arrived to the classroom with the doors closed. I watched on as the students stood outside for a while, and then hesitantly knocked on the door, asking if the teacher was in there. Inside the classroom was completely black. The windows had been covered up with card, and there was no light coming in apart from the crack in the door. Once inside, students were given the opportunity to explore different sources of light that were around them; torches, light cubes, all had different brightness and some had different colours. The students were excitedly whispering to each other about what they could and couldn’t see, and were seeing if they could make our the details of the classroom. The students asked questions about where light comes from, how our eyes work in the dark, and why we need light to see and do things.

Grade 2 – How we organize ourselves

Central Idea: The organisation and operation of marketplaces is determined by the communities in which they are located

Our Grade 2 students had a different experience to the Pre5s. There provocation happened in the corridors, to enable more social distance and safety. One morning, the G2 students, while walking through the corridors on their way to class were met with stalls set up, tills ready, and stock on shelves. A mini market place. After some small instructions from the teachers, the students were able to take on the role of the vendors or the customers. (Usually, students would have more of a free reign over what choices they made, but with our current protocols we had to plan with safety in mind) Immediately there was a buzz. What am I selling? How much will this be? Do I need more of this? Can I sell this to you because I need more of this….. They had taken on their roles with vigor, and soon posters were made advertising what they were selling. While the stores were getting set up, these customers had made their own money, written shopping lists and thought about how much they wanted to spend. Then the customers were able to, with physical distance in mind, ‘visit’ these other stores to see what they needed. This role-play enabled students to think about the role of marketplaces in Qatar and in the local communities, think about what markets used to look like and inquire into markets of the future.

Grade 3 – How the world works

Humans manipulate materials to meet their needs

In G3, students were given a task, create the tallest tower using only the materials available to you. Students at school were supplied with 4 sets of materials that they could choose from. Students at home had been told which resources they needed to have available ready for the activity. This synchronous task happened at school and at home, and the competition was fierce. Student used their scientific thinking to predict which materials would be best for them to create the tallest tower, and during the activity you could hear them speak with their friends about making the right or wrong choice. Students used their prior knowledge of structures and materials to create their towers, and reflected on both the process, and the materials used, sparking questions about the use of appropriate materials for the task and how these materials can be manipulated.

Grade 4 – How the world works

Space exploration leads to new discoveries and understandings

For this provocation, since due to our current circumstances we could not visit a planetarium, the planetarium was brought to them. The grade level teachers transformed the auditorium into a planetarium using a variety of projectors and speakers to give the students an immersive experience. Students were shown videos of outer space, the solor system, and exposed to the gentle hum of space. The students were in awe as they were taken on a journey into outer space, and many made comparisons to the journey to mars that humans are currently planning.

Students are always excited when met with new leaning, and talk about these experiences for months after they have happened. When you receive the newsletter advertising you children’s new unit of inquiry, please make sure you ask them about their provocation, and what questions they had that they want to answer.

Physical Education Lessons Outside

The PYP students have been outside beginning of Term 2.

They are using the football and basketball courts as well as the shaded areas when they have PE lessons in the latest hours of the day.

The safety protocols are still in place, keeping social distancing and using hand sanitizer or washing their hands before and after we go outside.

We are currently not using any equipment, but when times comes for us to use it, the school’s cleaning crew will help us sanitizing every object after each time we use it.

We have started our unit games and Athletics and the kids have been enjoying their time outside, they get excited and have a great time during our lessons.

This week the PHE team were able to resume back to teaching physical education lessons outside and started with badminton, the students were so excited about this.

We are very proud of SEK students for following all safety protocols and ensuring they keep a safe distance while exercising.

Students have been able to develop their social skills and explore ways on how to adapt games to suit the current social distance rules.

During this unit, we will be aiming to successfully build the student’s communication skills in a number of ways, with the chance to competitive participate in a range of games.

We look forward to the student’s having this time to be outside and be physically active.