ACS International School (ACS) Doha has found a unique way of bringing children together again around their favourite activities online. As schools moved temporarily online for children in the earlier years of learning, ACS Doha introduced bedtime stories for both Early Childhood and Lower School, allowing its youngest students to gather again with their teachers and classmates around their favourite stories for a bedtime reading.
“At ACS Doha, community is at the heart of all that we do,” said Ester-Leigh Rawson, Early Childhood principal.
"The core principles of our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme focuses on the development of introducing our young learners to the concept of expressing themselves using various forms of communication to support their social education. Reading bedtime stories together as a community online allows children to socialise with the ACS staff and their peers. “Using various characters in the storybooks allows for us to check in on our students to see if they can make connections and comparisons to their emotions. Our families are excited to tune for the next book reading. It is great that we can help foster this excitement through these challenging times.”
Jonathan Rawlinson, Lower School principal, added: “The school has always been the focal point for making social connections. Reading bedtime stories allows some of these connections to remain in place, students get to interact with each other in a relaxed, yet purposeful environment. Reading with joy and seeing the students smile warms the heart, laughter however distant, still remains the best medicine. Reading also allows me to stay connected to the children's learning journey and, should they need it, a child or parent knows we are still connected and ready to support them in every way possible."
A special guest speaker, Aisha al-Naama, Qatari mountaineer, read to the children from a newly launched children’s book by author Dr Matthias Krug inspired by her adventures, titled 'The girl who dreamed of climbing Mount Everest'.
In addition to the bedtime stories, ACS Doha has also included other online community initiatives for both students and parents alike. Lower School students can tune in to a live PE lesson every morning to help them keep physically active and meet their classmates socially before starting their studies, and Middle School students have an option of tuning in and joining online HITT classes hosted by Christopher Quinn, the school’s athletic director.
Head of school Robert Cody and dean of Admissions & Marketing Sowmiya Kasthuri have also included daily check-in links to the communities to join them online throughout the day, as well as live Zoom support hosted by the IT department.