News: Overseas Teaching in Saudi Arabia - Jan 24, 2021
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Sunday, January 24, 2021School Spotlights

Overseas Teaching in Saudi Arabia

In a picturesque city located on Saudi Arabia’s magnificent Red Sea coast lies The World Academy (TWA), an international standards-based curriculum day school for students aged 2–18. TWA aims to be the best international school in the Kingdom by providing students with a balanced curriculum, outstanding pastoral care, and broad co-curricular offerings.

The school is in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), an area that encompasses about 168 square kilometers and is located just north of Jeddah and midway between Mecca and Medina. This mega-project, launched in 2005, is divided into six main zones: industrial, seaport, residential, beach, educational, and business.

Located in the heart of KAEC’s commercial, leisure, and residential district, TWA is considered one of KAEC’s flagship assets and is easily accessible from all parts of the city. Most of the school’s teachers live in Al Waha, a residential area north of the school. To the south is a primary retail center and supermarket, and less than a ten-minute’s drive southwest is the Central Business District, where five-star hotels, sea view apartments, and various food and beverage establishments abound. The Red Sea provides ample opportunities for water sports, including the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world.

TWA’s facilities are exceptional by any standards. Learning zones were designed and constructed to facilitate self-reliance, creativity, and self-confidence. The zones are linked to a shared-specialist core that comprises Early Years, Student Support, Science School, covered play areas, and a large multi-purpose hall. Additional facilities include art and music suites; a multi-media performing arts black box theatre; a multi-purpose hall for sports and assemblies; an artificial turf soccer field; and a swimming pool complex.

Accredited by Cognia, TWA currently offers the national U.K. and U.S. Common Core curricula delivered with a marked international flavor. Presently, 413 students of 28 nationalities are enrolled, but the school can accommodate up to 2,000 students. The language of instruction is English, which is the second language for most students. Programs of study are all based on educational best practices underpinned by Saudi Arabian cultural values. At this time, the U.K curriculum—an adapted version of the English National Curriculum—is delivered to students up to Year 8. In Years 9–13, students follow the U.S. curriculum, which will be phased out over the next five years. In addition to Arabic literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and Islamic education, students receive instruction in physical education, computer technology, art, and music. The international teaching staff of 47 represents 19 nationalities and includes 12 Saudi educators and six from North America and the U.K.

Guided by respect for students' individual differences, this new school aims to offer a wide range of co-curricular activities to children of all ages. Through its pastoral care, the school encourages students to “live together in a happy, secure environment in which there is a sense of community, respect for one another, and good citizenship [and to not only] take personal decisions based on their own judgment [but to also] to be able to communicate these appropriately and effectively.”

TWA is interested in hiring exceptional educators, including those with a non-teaching spouse, newly-certified candidates, and veteran teachers lacking certification. Candidates must possess an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. While UK passport holders are strongly preferred—for visa acquisition reasons—TWA will work with experienced teachers who are from other countries. The school hires both Saudi and non-Saudi Arabic-speaking teachers for its Arabic and Islamic Studies programs. Candidates up to the age of 60 may obtain a work visa and need not be certified.

Benefits include a non-taxed salary, a settling-in allowance, fully-furnished apartment, and one annual airfare for the teacher and approved dependents. An End-of-Service Bonus (EOS)—equal to two weeks’ salary—is paid after completing two years. Tuition, as well as membership in all after-school sports and activities, is free for up to two dependents. TWA provides $500 USD for administrator-approved professional development either within The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Middle East/North Africa regions or at an accredited North American institution. The benefits package combined with the fixed exchange rate to the U.S. dollar allows for outstanding savings or the chance for a family of four to live on one salary. Additionally, the school has a variety of classroom-support positions for partners who want to work at the school in non-teaching roles.

To gain access to The World Academy’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.





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Senior Associate John Ritter consults on matters of governance, planning, head and board transition, and staff development with schools all over the world.