News: Overseas Teaching in Qatar - Aug 7, 2020
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Friday, August 7, 2020School Spotlights

Overseas Teaching in Qatar

Qatar Academy of Science and Technology (QAST) is a STEM day school for boys and girls in Grades 8–12. The first three years of the program immerses students in a rigorous program exploring a constellation of skills and knowledge related to engineering, mathematics, humanities, computer science, and other core subjects. The final two years are focused on Advanced Placement (AP) courses as well as A-Level science subjects and an extended project qualification (EPQ) for which students conduct research at nearby universities, research labs, and industries. The three main courses of study are computer science, engineering, and biological sciences. The school’s website says,

Problem-based and mastery-based challenges and skills are developed through dedicated time each week using our own cyclical process of Challenge, Research, Investigate, Synthesize and Prototype (CRISP). The CRISP projects are real-world scenarios based on Qatar’s Grand Challenges. These experiences engage our students in critical challenges whereby the students learn from local experts and researchers. Doing so allows our students to identify the current thinking about the issue and to help focus, enrich, and make the issues real and immediate.

Because QAST is located in the Qatar Foundation's Education City, students have access to rich STEM resources nearby. The growing school has already seen impressive student achievement. The school, currently housed in a temporary building, will move to its world-class, purpose-built facility by 2021.

QAST is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the U.K accreditation body for A-Level Assessments. Additionally, the American Association for the Advancement of Science reviews the school’s course curricula. Currently enrolled are 100 students in Grades 8–12, 40 of whom are Qatari, with 10 from North America and 10 from the U.K. In total, fifteen nationalities are represented by the student population. QAST delivers the U.S. Common Core Curriculum in Grades 8–10, followed by A-Levels and AP courses for students in Grades 11–12. Core subjects are English language arts, social studies, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer programming, Arabic, French, and Arabic history. All of QAST’s courses draw their standards from AERO and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Common Core English and Language Arts (CC ELA) and Qatar’s Ministry of Education curriculum are also utilized extensively. The teaching staff of 14 includes four from North America, three from the U.K., and one from Qatar.

Based on student recommendations, QAST introduced three extra-curricular clubs in its first year: Mathematics Club, which competed in the Mathematics Olympiad; Model United Nations (MUN), which took part in the Netherlands conference in April 2019 as part of the school’s annual international trip; and Robotics Club, which builds and programs robots for a variety of applications and which competed in Sumobot in early 2019, in which teams attempt to knock the opposing robot of out the ring! As the QAST student body grows, the list of extracurricular activities will expand in number and range.

Whenever possible, QAST incorporates experiential learning into the curriculum to support a better understanding of real-world applications for the skills and knowledge students develop in class. Physics class went to a go-kart track to feel the forces that act on drivers, by measuring them with phone apps. Back in the lab at school, students used the data to create graphs and mathematical comparisons. Other field trips have been to museums and to visit local businesses and industries.

In 2018, QAST was honored to be the first school to visit Qatar’s largest combined cycle power and desalination plant, Umm Al Houl. There, students quizzed experts on the operation of the plant, challenges to supplying sufficient clean water for Qatar’s growing population, and plans for the future. They visited the control room to see how the facility is monitored and controlled 24 hours a day. The visit launched a six-week project where students were challenged to answer the question: How can we ensure there is enough clean water to sustain society?

Each year, students at QAST have the opportunity to enhance their education through an international trip. In April 2019, QAST students traveled to the Netherlands to not only take part in Haarlem’s MUN, but also to visit universities and industrial research facilities there in order to analyze how the country is creating a sustainable food supply. Students developed proposals that answer a question posed by local farmers and producers: “How can we grow fruit in Qatar?" QAST aims to develop more opportunities for students to learn from different communities and connect with students from similar schools.

QAST is interested in hiring experienced certified teachers, including those with a non-teaching spouse. Candidates need not possess an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. Those up to the age of 60 may obtain a work visa.

The benefits package includes a non-taxed salary, a moving allowance, fully-furnished housing in a gated compound, and a cell phone benefit. New hires may receive an allowance for furniture if their accommodation is unfurnished. Teachers also receive annual roundtrip airfare for the entire family. Free tuition for up to four dependents to attend any school in Qatar is another bonus. Professional development opportunities are extensive as the Qatar Foundation has its own Educational Development Institute. Worldwide health insurance—including life, dental, and long-term disability—is fully covered, and Qatar has state-of-the-art hospitals and care. This benefits package is a chance for substantial savings or the chance for a family of four to live on one salary. There are local employment opportunities for non-teaching spouses.

To gain access to Qatar Academy of Science and Technology’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of any vacancies, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here. Candidates already registered can easily access the school profile directly through their dashboards.

Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gary MacPhie is based in Toronto, Canada where he started his teaching career, and then spent 26 years overseas as a teacher, principal and recruiter in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.