What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Nursery to Primary Two
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Parents drive them but school cars are available for pick-up and drop-off.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities provided in the Primary School are completely lacking. The essential reading books promised for the Oxford Reading Tree which is the cornerstone of the British Curriculum never materialised. The school does not have a library and the reading stand in each classroom has fewer books than the average child would have at home.
There are no classroom assistants for the junior students and my child was given hand-made as opposed to computer generated or printed worksheets. Substitute teachers are not all primary trained or are Montessori trained in developing countries and only three of the classroom teachers seem familiar with the British Curriculum they are purporting to teach. The proportion of children who speak English as a Second Language seems extremely high in relation to the staff ratio and teaching resources.
The playground is in inadequately equipped and unsafe in places. Metal manhole covers protruding from the playground have been thinly covered with matting. The swings kick out directly in line with the main gate resulting in frequent collisions. It is unclear how physical education would be delivered and related objectives in the curriculum would be attained as my primary aged child was never requested to purchase swimming or a PE kit and never engaged in these activities while at the school. The only extra-curricular activity offered was Irish Dancing for the primary school aged students. I only discovered this when I met the parent who offered this class by accident as it was never publicised.
The facilities in the nursery school are fair but the staff seem poorly trained and teachers are substituted without any advice or excuse given to parents. Classroom assistants are rotated between classes without a schedule being provided. There was an overall lack of discipline and hygiene with regard to toileting. A Montessori-based program was promised but I found my child watching Barney on numerous occasions.
Any attempt to raise these issues with the school's Principal or Co-Principal was met with derision or scarcely veiled hostility. We were forced to withdraw our children from this school after two months. We have subsequently discovered that we are not the only parents to have had difficulties in dealing with the School Principal.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
My children were making the transition from the Singaporean pre-primary/primary curriculum. I sent the school reports via email with my application. Only after I queried the lack of printed maths worksheets (worksheets were hand-drawn)and the absence of reading books did the classroom teacher reveal that she had never been given my oldest child's previous school report. She then requested to see my child's previous workbooks. On examining them she confessed somewhat apologetically that it would be impossible to teach to my son's level as she did not have a classroom assistant and said that he would have to wait until the rest of the class caught up at the toward the end of the school year. This was at complete odds with the promises made by the School Principal made at the beginning of term when we had specifically requested information on the differences between the British and Singaporean curricula. We felt we had been deliberately deceived and were forced to withdraw our child from the school even though we had paid the school fees in advance.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
None. There is no parent handbook and no information board. My children received no newsletters while at the school.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
We would strongly advise against it. Even though most international primary schools and nurseries in Oman are booked out or oversubscribed, I would not recommend this school. In the absence of any alternative we would suggest contacting the distance education section of your education department in your home country for advice on homeschooling.