One of the unique initiatives of Qatar Foundation's (QF) Pre-University Education (PUE) schools is the open campus project under which students from Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) and Qatar Academy Sidra (QAS) are able to take a class at one of QF's schools in a great opportunity to experience university life and personalise education.
Through the initiative, Grade 11 and Grade 12 students from QAD and QAS are now taking their classes at the new Education Development Institute (EDI) building, where they will have access to courses that might not have been offered at their school.
QAS director Carolyn Parker explained that students are now able to access a wider selection of courses, have access to both global and local perspectives around relevant issues, engage in more service-learning opportunities, and continue to be taught by high-quality teachers. "We continue to support individual learning pathways to support success for all of our students,” she added.
Anna Byrne, Grade 12 level manager and teacher of MYP and Diploma Design and Technology, QAD, noted that merging expertise across both schools is huge for the students of both QAD and QAS. “It will give the opportunity to use facilities that they may not have access to and also gain access to courses that may not be run in their respective schools.”
Batool Mahmoud, a Grade 11 student at QAD, thought it is great to bring the students of the two schools together, to study the subjects they are interested in. "I feel more focused in the classroom and have a lot of enthusiasm and desire to learn," she said.
Ahmed Iqbal, Grade 11 at QAS said: "I'm able to be more collaborative with my peers and with my teachers, and I'll have access to new facilities such as a science club, or the big library that they have in QAD and I will just have access to more resources, which will benefit my knowledge."
Adam Rooney, academic co-rdinator at QAD, felt it is an excellent idea to have students from different schools come together and have multiple subject selections available and allowing them to broaden their horizons."
"As part of the Open Campus initiative, some of our students are able to collaborate with the QAS students, and that allows them to make new connections and see new students in different environments. And it also allows for the QAS students to come over to QAD and sit with some of our teachers, learning new subjects that maybe they might not have been afforded."
Although it is in the early days of the initiative, Rooney believes it has the potential to be really successful. He pointed out that especially in Grades 11 and 12, students take a pathway which is unique to them. They have specific subjects which they need to take in Diploma Programme.
"Our students can cater those subjects’ selections to their needs. If they'd like to be an engineer, for example, they can select physics and chemistry if they want to be in computer computing, they can do digital societies, and maybe chemistry or something like that. It allows them to be able to personalise their learning, in that they can tailor their subjects around what they need for university."