Last week, our MYP and DP students were able to engage in various University fairs. Among others, Unifrog was hosting a virtual international university fair for our students with nearly 50 institutions represented. The list included prominent universities from Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. The US Education Group (USEG) was represented on our SEK-Qatar campus with 15 American universities to discuss program options and pertinent issues for applicants.
The Community Project is a core part of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and at SEK-Qatar our students are completing it in Grade 8 (MYP3). This enriching project is divided in four phases, our year students started working on their projects in October in order to finish by May.
Phase one – Investigating: Students worked over the months of October and November researching about needs and issues in our community in order to set a goal for their project. They also had to evaluate their primary and secondary sources, to make sure they were reliable and up to date.
Phase two – Planning: Once they had finished their investigation, they started planning how they were going to achieve their goal and create a successful outcome or product. They were asked to use their organisation skills to set short- and long-term deadlines, as well as develop their collaboration skills within their groups.
Phase three – Taking action: In this phase students focused on giving a service and making an impact in our community. Some of them decided to organise in-school events, others were a bit more risk-takers and created connections with organisations outside of school.
Phase four – Reflecting: Finally students reflected on their learning experience and the development of their ATL skills. They evaluated the quality of the service provided and their impact in the community.
This academic year we are proud of our 13 projects and we are pleased to invite other students, parents and staff to see their presentations by visiting their virtual exhibition.
Through the link below, you will be able to access our very special and innovative virtual exhibition – https://bit.ly/3MEat0l
- Each section shows three of our student’s group. 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 continue reading below 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 student groups. When viewing the section you are linked to the related Sway (a new tab will open). Please make sure to read the survey at the end of each Sway where you will have the chance to leave your feedback which is especially very valuable for our students. After that, you can close the tab 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.
This year’s exhibition was a synthesis of the journey throughout the Primary Years Programme, and a time to share the knowledge, achievements and success of each student. As a culminating experience, the exhibition has given students an opportunity to pursue their interests, develop conceptual understandings, apply ATL skills and demonstrate the attributes of the IB learner profile. Students where able to showcase student agency and take action to make a positive difference in their school and local community.
During the exhibition, students overcame challenges as they worked collaboratively with their group members. Primary and secondary sources were sought, virtual field trips, online interviews and observations staged, data collected via surveys, experts consulted and group negotiations conducted. And it was from this, that sustainable action to educate, eradicate and even reimagine has and continues to be taken by these learners. Throughout the process they were guided by mentors who supported students with structuring their time, keeping them on track with their research and supporting them with questions and guidance.
The grade five students celebrated this process by presenting their understandings to the school community. They should be very proud of their achievements, the skills the students used in gaining that knowledge, the understanding of concepts which most might think are too difficult for a G5 student to understand, and the actions that the students have taken to attempt to solve their issue, or raise awareness of it.
This week we have been celebrating Book Week at SEK-Qatar. There have been many exciting opportunities for students to learn more about some of our great books in the library, as well as take part in many games and activities based around literacy.
Some of the great activities included:
- Book mark making competitions
- Story writing
- Mystery Readers
- D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read)
- Book Nooks in the main hall
We had many parents come into school to join us, reading some of their favorite stories, or reading in their home language. We would like to thank all those parents who were able to come in and celebrate with us..
The PYP Student Council also contributed to the fun, by organising some fun days over the week.
- Funny Hat Day
- Reading in our PJs
- Teddy Bears ‘Book’nic
One of the most important part of our Book Week celebration is the Book Character Parade that happened on Thursday. Students dressed up as their favorite book character and shared with their friends!
Qatar National Day goes back to 1978, when on 18th of December Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani succeeded his father, Mohammed bin Thani as ruler of the Qatari Peninsula. Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani is considered to have united all the local tribes by combating external powers and earned independence for the tribes of the region.
To mark this significant milestone in Qatar’s history, on 18th of December, nationals and residents celebrate with fireworks, a parade and show acts across the country.
Today, as part of this celebration, SEK-Qatar students of all grades performed songs, speeches and performances remembering and honoring Qatar’s independence.
Every year we are incredibly proud and impressed with how much detail and passion students rehearse, dress up and decorate for Qatar National Day. It is truly wonderful to see that any student, whether national or resident, relates to their country of living.
As in the previous year, due to COVID-19 regulations and protocols, we cannot host parents and all students at the same time in our school premises. Hence, for those who were unable to join the live event can soon watch the recordings online.
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.