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.

Science Lab Outside

This week our Grade 6 students explored concepts on speed and motion by challenging themselves in a fun activity that took place outside on the school grounds. Students worked in teams to collect data related to distance and time in tasks that involved walking in four different paces. The teams took to measure a path of 30 meters to walk along and used timers at the start of their 0 meter mark for each task.  In the upcoming week students will process the data that they collected by calculating and graphing their speeds to understand the relationship between distance and time.

Qatar National Day 2020

18th of December is the day that nationals and residents come together to celebrate the National Day of Qatar. A national commemoration of Qatar unification in 1878.

Due to COVID-19 regulations and protocols we cannot host parents and all the students at the same time in the school premises. So, this year at SEK International School Qatar we celebrated the event online rather than having a ceremony at school.

Even though COVID-19 restrictions made celebrating this day different for all of us, we put out our best decorations and all the flags! The student spirit was up lifted and ready to make this year’s National Day celebration even more special.

Pupils from all grades participated in making this very exceptional presentation of talent and national pride, for everyone that considers Qatar there home. Poems and speeches from MYP students. Folkloric costumes with traditional songs, performed by PYP students. 

Inside their classrooms there were activities, prepared by the teachers, for the children that attended school.

We would like to thank all the teachers and the Qatar National Day Committee for putting everything together. We are grateful to our wonderful students for there performances which united us all and made us all feel appreciative for living in Qatar.

SEK showcases its future education model and learning technology at World Education Week 2020

SEK Education Group has taken part in World Education Week, an international event on education that was held, virtually, 5 to 9 October, with the participation of SEK-Qatar representing SEK Group.

SEK-Qatar, selected as one of the 100 schools that was represented at this event, gave several presentations including those by Verónica Sánchez – Head of School at SEK-Qatar, Daniela Kemeny – Deputy Director of SEK Schools, and Joaquín Rodríguez -Director of design, innovation and educational technology at SEK Group, with the shared theme of “Promoting the Science of Learning and Teaching”.

Agency, Co-creation & Self-directed Learning

Daniela Kemeny spoke on the benefits of giving students the ability to choose and direct their own learning. At SEK Education Group, as Kemeny stated, “we have implemented self-directed learning by students, where we aim for students to take the initiative, choose how they are going to learn, follow their interests, explore their talent and ambitions and set their own educational goals.”

Speaking about the role of students in shaping their learning, the Deputy Director of SEK International Schools said that “it is important to create an educational community in class, in which students are just as important as teachers when it comes to identifying what they know, what they can and what they want to do with their learning and actively participate in its design”.

The importance of implementing a Collaborative Planning & Professional Learning model for teachers  

Verónica Sánchez, Head of School at SEK-Qatar, explained during her panel that, as part of the SEK International Schools educational model, both students and their teachers are responsible for learning and teaching. “All the members of SEK schools learn and lead learning at the same time, not just the teachers,” she asserted.

As Sánchez reported in her presentation, at SEK-Qatar, time for professional learning has been implemented since last year within the school calendar. Three days a week have been set aside for this, and each Thursday two hours are used for professional learning and collaborative planning.

As the Head of School at SEK-Qatar said, “learning occurs in optimal conditions as a result of the development of a community of learners who interact with each other, not as a group of people who simply attend classes, workshops or courses”.

The teaching model being used by SEK Education Group, in the words of Verónica Sánchez, “encourages teachers to be researchers, to work together and collaborate with each other to improve the quality of teaching. All the discoveries that result from these enquiries are shared with the rest of the teachers so that everyone can benefit from them”.

The importance of technologies to enrich learning, collaboration and communication

Joaquín Rodríguez, Director of Design, Innovation and Educational Technology at SEK Education Group, outlined in his presentation how “technology helps improve creativity, communication and collaboration.” As Rodríguez explained in his panel, five years ago, the SEK Group began to imagine how lessons would be in the future, and following a Design Thinking process, they designed four principles on which classrooms would be based in the coming years.

“The first principle is that any student can learn anywhere and at any time; the second, that any student should have access to the tools and content necessary for their learning; the third, that any student should have continuous contact with all their classmates to develop real collaborative work; and finally, that every student should have tools on which to reflect on their learning process and the results of it”, said Joaquín Rodríguez.

The role of technology in this process is key, as Rodríguez says, and that is why the SEK Group has created MySEK, a digital ecosystem with several personalised applications for all members of the educational community. “With the advent of the pandemic and lockdown, all the advances we had made proved extremely useful. We had provided our community, in advance, with an answer to a question that they had just asked us,” he says.

This ecosystem, as Rodríguez explains, currently contains tools for videoconferencing; for collaborative work; for educational challenges and projects that can be used by both students and teachers; immediate access to the physical and digital catalogue of school libraries; personalised access to textbook content; digital notebooks; and even a video platform with recorded classes and support webinars.

“We have to use educational technologies to improve analysis, critical thinking, collaboration and self-directed work. We must bear in mind that technology is, at the same time, a tool that facilitates and supports our work, but also helps us to generate new ideas to create and develop our educational process”, concluded Joaquín Rodríguez.

First day of school begins as a complete success!

To everyone’s delight, we received our first group of students to inaugurate the opening of our school after almost 6 months of closing our doors due to COVID-19. What a long time it has been, and how we have missed having our students’ lively energy with us!

We are happy and proud to say that students, parents and staff collaborated to keep all safety procedures and protocols in order, ensuring an absolutely successful day.

Parents of the little ones were glad to see how all preschools students were welcomed and received at the main gate of the school by their teachers and teacher assistants, who guided them to their classes with umbrellas to protect them from the sun; and we are grateful and proud that students from grades 1 to 12 showed great sense of responsibility by going to their respective entrances and classes.

Throughout the whole day teachers made sure that students got familiar with the new “look and feel” of the school. We now have stickers that show the directions to walk, physical distance warnings, hand sanitizers all around school and posters that remind us all of the health and safety protocols we all need to follow.

Thank you so much for working with us as a big community. This fantastic beginning of the school year would not have been possible without your continued support!