In the previous academic year, our Leadership Group invited all members of staff to share an idea or a project they would like to run that would enhance their professional development and benefit the Doha College students and community. The project would have to be measurable and have an impact on learning. The winning ideas would receive a budget each month to support the project's implementation, and the chance, of course, to change the school for the better.
Out of the plentiful responses from across the departments, the three that were chosen this year all came from Primary: 'The Year 6 Awards' presented by Alison Foppoli (Teaching Assistant in Year 6), 'School Council, Charity Committee and the Building Schools Abroad Scheme' presented by Jonathan Kuttschreuter (Year 3 Class Teacher) and 'DC Lifestyles' presented by James Lally (Year 5 Class Teacher).
Here is a summary of their new projects and how they plan to put them in action:
The Year 6 Awards
The Y6A is a new award aimed at Year 6 children, based on the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) that runs successfully in the Secondary School. Like the DofE, the Y6A is a progressive award with increasing levels of challenge and learning. The bronze level will take approximately one term to achieve, the silver award will take two terms and the gold award will take the entire school year. It comprises four components, namely 'Adventure', 'Service', 'Get Active' and 'My Interests'. The students can achieve the 'Get Active' component by completing a sports-based ECA, 'My Interests' is achievable by completing a skills-based ECA, while the 'Adventure' is completed on the Y6 Residential Trip. The 'Service' component has already been trialled last year, when most Y6 children took part in the PALS award scheme, volunteering their break times to help younger year groups. This programme was very successful and 40% of the students volunteered for the entire year, achieving the gold award.
Children will perform diverse and challenging activities improving their teamwork and problem-solving skills, increasing their self-confidence and respect to one another.
As well as improving the cohesiveness of the Primary School and the attendance of ECAs, the Y6A will help a smoother transition from primary to secondary school by increasing their High-Performance Learning Skills.
School Council, Charity Community and Build Schools Abroad
The School Council aims to link the philosophies of the Primary and Secondary schools and focus on whole school objectives. It will:
•Collect student feedback and take action on points that can improve our school.
•Encourage students' feedback on teachers, to give a better idea of what they have enjoyed about learning in their lessons.
•Work in the community to promote Doha College.
•Take part in traditional school events.
•Have a social media presence to allow more people to see our successes within the council.
The Charity Committee, new to Primary this year, will provide funding to three whole school charities. Once confirmed as committee members, following a selection procedure, students from Primary and Secondary will work together to raise funds for our respective charities.
The 'Building New Schools Abroad' scheme will now be a part of the charity committee. One school has been built already, educating around 300 students in Nepal, and they are now in the process of building another.
This programme aims to have a positive impact on the health and well-being for all students at Doha College. Each class will have a representative, who will work together on initiatives such as weekly challenges like 'everybody run/walk a mile', parents' workshops on lifestyle choices, videos on Firefly on stretching, mindfulness, workouts, lunchbox ideas, food preparation etc. The 'DC Lifestyles' programme will contribute towards a holistic approach to education, and aims to incorporate other areas of education that are usually not central to school objectives.
We look forward to the children getting involved in all these worthwhile initiatives and reaping the benefits. We will cover their successes later in the year, so do watch this space!