Key Stage 3 Art & Design
In Art and Design learners are given the opportunity to explore their creativity using a wide range of media. The artwork produced at DBS is something of which we are all immensely proud.
Key Stage 3 learners at DBS are given the opportunity to respond to exciting design briefs. They develop and make a range of DT products that they will be proud to take home. These projects include:
- Year 7: Colour Theory and Natural Forms and Abstract Skylines
- Year 8: Aboriginal art, views and perspectives and contemporary techniques
- Year 9: The sea, memories and macro-micro
All projects are assessed on the learners’ practical ability and project-related written tasks that are included in their sketchbooks/portfolios.
Art at DBS aims to ensure that all learners:
- explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas and meanings;
- work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity;
- learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made;
- reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, judging quality, value and meaning;
- learn to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers, working creatively and intelligently.
Key Stage 4 Fine Art
In Fine Art, our learners are encouraged to be creative, independent and willing to communicate their ideas through various media and research. Fine Art aims to develop imaginative and practical skills for communicating and expressing ideas, feelings and meanings in art, craft and design.
The course develops use of traditional media that includes paints, pastels and pencils. However, other media used for 3D work, modelling and sculptures are also explored. Artists' research and influential movements are also investigated for the duration of the course.
Learners are given a project theme from the exam board. They have six school weeks to prepare their work and then sit a ten hour exam, which is split over 2 days. This takes place in March.
The project is split into four Assessment Objectives:
- AO1 - Visual Research 25 %
- AO2 – Artist Research 25 %
- AO3 – Experimentation and Design Ideas 25%
- AO4 – Final Piece 25%
- Year 10 project themes: Cross Sections, Architecture, Technical Workshops
- Year 11 project themes: Jewellery, Mock Exam, IGCSE
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Visual Arts
An option to study the IB is available to learners continuing their education post-IGCSE. Visual Arts is a popular option for pupils keen on expressing their artistic talent in any chosen media areas.
Visual Arts opens up new possibilities and challenges traditional boundaries. This is evident both in the way we make art and in the way we understand what artists from around the world do. Theory and practice in Visual Arts are dynamic and ever-changing, and connect many areas of study and human experience through individual and collaborative production and interpretation.
The IB Visual Arts course enables learners to engage in both practical exploration and artistic production, and in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation. The course is designed to enable learners to study Visual Arts in higher education and also welcomes those learners who seek life enrichment through Visual Arts.
The course content for Higher Level and Standard Level is the same, however the assessment criteria are different. Work produced throughout Year 12 and 13 can be submitted.
- Comparative Study 20%
- Process Portfolio 40%
- Exhibition 40%
Wider Learning and Art
The Art department has so much to offer learners and the wider community and we are hoping to continue to maximise its fantastic potential. The facilities here are among the best in Doha and provide the learners with opportunities to succeed in the subject and further their interest out of the classroom. We have a range or art resources from computer-aided design programs, sewing machines, glass and ceramic kilns, a heat transfer press, batik facilities and much more.
After school and lunch time sessions are regularly offered to young people who wish to develop their skills further and use the department facilities to aid their project work. We often go on trips with the students to museums and to locations to record what is experienced though drawing and photography.
Key Stage 4 Business Studies
The IGCSE in Business Studies is designed to develop a sound understanding of business terminology, concepts and methods as well as the ability to use knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately in the context of international markets. Using real business examples, learners are encouraged to examine current issues which affect businesses, their operations, and how they adapt to change.
The course consists of 5 units:
- Business and the Environment
- Human Resources
The assessment of this qualification is through a two hour examination paper sat in Year 11, both set and marked by Edexcel.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Business Studies
The IB Business Management course is designed to develop an understanding of business theory, as well as an ability to apply business principles, practices and skills. The application of tools and techniques of analysis facilitates an appreciation of complex business activities. The course considers the diverse range of business organisations and activities and the cultural and economic context in which business operates. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making and the day-to-day business functions of marketing, production, human resource management and finance.
Links between the topics are central to the course, and this integration promotes a holistic overview of business activity. The Business Management course aims to help learners to understand the implications of business activity in a global market. It is designed to give young people an international perspective of business and to promote their appreciation of cultural diversity through the study of topics like international marketing, human resource management, growth and business strategy.
The course is assessed by 2 examinations (75% of overall grade) and an internally assessed research project (25% of overall grade)
Key Stage 3 Computer Science
Key Stage 3 Computer Science builds an important foundation for learners. Not only for those who will move forward with the subject to IGCSE, but for every learner, as it allows them to build confidence and competence in the key skills required for the subject.
During Key Stage 3 learners are taught a variety of topics, ranging from game design, to writing their own computer program. Through these projects young people learn the skills they need to develop during the following year and gain confidence within the subject. The beginnings of programming are introduced through HTML scripting and Scratch. Learners then move onto Python, which is the language they will continue to learn right through to IGCSE.
Key Stage 3 Computer Science is assessed via end of unit tests. Learners are also challenged to develop their computational and logical thinking, by completing online courses as their Tic Tac Toe homework.
Key Stage 4 Computer Science
Key Stage 4 Computer Science offers learners the Edexcel IGCSE, which includes both theory and practical elements. Learners will continue to use Python for their programming and will learn about Networks, Hardware and Data Representation among other units. This is combined with a teaching approach that incorporates a number of Web2.0 aspects to ensure that learners experience the latest the subject can offer.
The Computer Science IGCSE is made up of two parts: a theory exam worth 75%, and a controlled practical assessment worth 25% of the final grade. During the course, learners are continually teacher assessed and will sit multiple mock exams.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Computer Science
At Key Stage 5, learners can elect to study Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) as part of their IB course. This is the study of social and ethical significance of IT systems, while applying the situations to specific scenarios.
The course takes a modern look at ICT and encourages learners to consider how it takes its place in the world. ITGS makes heavy use of case studies and links nearly every topic to real life examples, allowing young people to develop their interest in and enjoyment of ICT as an integral part of modern society.
ITGS is assessed through an internal assessment and two exams at Standard Level or three exams at Higher Level. The second exam (second and third at Higher Level) revolves around case studies, where learners are required to apply their knowledge to a specific situation. The first exam follows a more traditional route examining the theory covered throughout.
The internal assessment is a brilliant opportunity for young people to experience ICT at an industry level, where they are required to find a client and develop a solution tailored to their needs.
Wider Learning and Computer Science
Computer Science offers young people the chance to be involved in BotBall: a national competition challenging students to design and develop a robot that fulfills a set challenge. The competition is run by Carnegie Mellon and is a great first experience into the world of robotics.
The department also enters teams into the Robot Olympiad, offered by the College of the North Atlantic. This is an international competition based around the Lego NXT robots, whereby young people are challenged to design and build a robot that completes a set route on a pre-designed table. Both competitions are thoroughly enjoyed by learners and are well delivered by Mr.Karjikar.
Design Technology (DT)
Key Stage 3 Design Technology
Key Stage 3 learners at DBS are given the opportunity to respond to exciting design briefs. They develop and make a range of DT products that they will be proud to take home. These projects include:
- Year 7: Desk tidy and packaging developments with product branding
- Year 8: Clock and interior design scale modelling
- Year 9: Mechanical toy and Point of Sale display advertising
The subject is in 2 parts: Resistant Materials and Graphic Products. These elements are taught each year to give every learner the opportunity to experience the real life applications of various design and technology areas.
Design Technology at DBS aims to ensure that all learners:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world;
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users;
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
Key Stage 4 Design Technology
Resistant Materials (RM)
RM covers a wide range of activities based on design and making functional products. The products are made from materials such as wood, metal and plastics. As well as learning hand skills, learners will use a range of industrial experiences to shape and form materials. RM is an enjoyable subject to develop creative, technical and transferable skills.
- Year 10 projects – traditional workshop techniques, plastic manufacturing and CAD/CAM, metal engineering skills
- Year 11 project – design and make project of choice related to previous learnt skills and separate theory examination
Graphic Products (GP)
GP covers a wide range of activities based on design and making conceptual products that are used as prototypes and models. The products are made using a variety of modelling materials such as various forms of board and computer-aided design programs. Product branding and advertising is also a key part of GP. The subject allows learners to be creative, solve design problems, make and test their own developed models.
- Year 10 projects – paper and card techniques, packaging nets and branding, conceptual modelling
- Year 11 project – design and make project of choice related to interior design and separate theory examination
Resistant materials and Graphic Products are assessed in the same manner:
- Knowledge and understanding exam – 40% examination paper (May or June in Year 11)
- Individual design and make project – 60% portfolio and product coursework (March in Year 11)
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Design Technology
The department has offered Design Technology at IB Diploma level since 2012 and it is a great option for IB learners to develop critical-thinking and design skills, which they can apply in a practical context. The subject aims to develop a detailed understanding of design and the technological advances involved to help create a better world and solve real life problems.
All Standard and Higher Level learners complete a common core of topics: human factors and ergonomics; resource management and sustainable production; modelling; raw material to final product; innovation and design; and classic design. The four additional Higher Level topics aim to introduce aspects of innovation: user-centred design; sustainability; innovation and markets; and commercial production.
Examinations account for 60% of the final IB Diploma level, with 40% based on an individual design project undertaken at the start of Year 13.
Wider Learning and Design Technology
The Design Technology department has much to offer young people and the wider community, and we are hoping to continue maximising its fantastic potential. The facilities here are amongst the best in Doha and provide the pupils with great opportunities to succeed in the subject and further their interest outside of the classroom. These range from computer-aided design programs and computer-aided manufacturing to the traditional hand-skilled craft techniques of engineering traditional materials.
We are proud to be the pioneers in Qatar for the F1 in Schools competition where international school teams compete to design, build, gain sponsorship and generate industry links towards their racing car. After school sessions are regularly offered to young people who wish to develop their skill further and use the department facilities to aid their project work or participate in competitions.
Key Stage 3 English
All learners follow the UK National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. Speaking and listening, reading and writing are integrated into all of the Key Stage 3 schemes of work, which all share common assessment outcomes. All students have two reading assessments, two writing assessments and two speaking and listening assessments per academic year. Teachers use shared assessment foci for all learners to ensure consistency. The same skills and learning objectives are assessed in half-termly unit assessments. Learners' half-termly unit assessments are used as a basis to track progress across the year. The Key Stage 3 text choices reflect the requirements of the curriculum and our international context.
Learners are set: a weekly reading or writing task; a list of spellings to learn; private reading (to be logged in a reading diary).
All Key Stage 3 learners have a library-based lesson every week. Reading is monitored by the Class Teacher and the Secondary Librarian. Key Stage 3 English pupils are issued with a recommended reading list at the start of each academic year.
Key Stage 4 English
The majority of Year 10 and 11 learners study English Language and English Literature; some learners study English Language and English as a Second Language. The English Department follows the Edexcel IGCSE specification for both English Language, English Literature and English as a Second Language. The aim in Years 10 and 11 is to prepare learners for their English Language and English Literature IGCSE examinations. All written coursework is taught in Year 10 and all examination preparation in Year 11.
English Language, English Literature and English as a Second Language are separate IGCSEs, but all elements of the individual courses are taught in English lessons. Learners read a wide variety of texts and learn to understand and appreciate the ways in which writers achieve their effects. Learners also learn how society, history and culture influence literature. They have an opportunity to study a wide range of texts and genres: Fiction; Non-fiction; Poetry and Drama. We hope that learners will enjoy the texts they read and will go on to explore even more literature independently at IB Diploma level and beyond.
Examination Requirements and Weightings
English Language IGCSE:
In English Language IGCSE 70% of the mark is assessed in one 2 hour 15 minute examination paper and 30% of the final mark comes from written coursework and from three Speaking and Listening assessments. Set text: Edexcel English Language International GCSE Anthology.
English Literature IGCSE:
English Literature IGCSE is 100% examination and there are two papers:
- Paper 1: Drama and Prose (1 hour 45 minutes). Set texts: An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Paper 2: Unseen Texts and Poetry (1 hour 30 minutes). Set text: Edexcel English Literature International GCSE Anthology.
English as a Second Language IGCSE is offered to some learners.
Learners are required to complete one substantial piece of written homework each week and one reading homework.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) English
IB English A: Literature:
An exciting, challenging, stimulating and ultimately enjoyable course. Learners study a wide variety of texts throughout the course. They develop analytical skills and present these skills in written assignments and in oral tasks and assessments. We offer Higher Level and Standard Level study.
It enables an exploration of one of the more enduring fields of human creativity, and provides opportunities for encouraging independent, original, critical and clear thinking. It also promotes respect for the imagination and a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of literary worksIB English A: Literature Guide (first examinations 2013).
There are four parts to English A: Literature:
- Part 1 Works in Translation Assessment: Written assignment (25% externally assessed)
- Part 2 Detailed Study Assessment: Individual oral commentary (15% internally assessed)
- Part 3 Literary Genres (Drama) Assessment: Paper 2 (25% examination)
- Part 4 Options (where works are freely chosen) Assessment: Individual oral presentation (15% internally assessed)
In addition, learners sit Paper 1: A literary commentary/guided analysis on a prose extract or poem (20% examination).
Weekly assignments with clear deadlines.
To study IB Diploma English A: Literature, students must have at least 5 IGCSEs at grades A* to C with at least a grade B in IGCSE English Language and Literature.
English Literature is a universally recognised and respected subject to study with numerous transferable skills, including analysis and effective communication as well as teaching learners how to write essays, reference other writers’ work and construct cogent arguments. Those who choose to take the subject further often enjoy a variety of different career choices.
DBS will offer AS level English Literature (Edexcel) from September 2015.
Wider Learning and English
- The English department works very closely with the library to promote learners’ independent reading
- There are opportunities for learners to attend theatre trips
- Debating clubs
- MUN (Model United Nations)
- English revision classes
Key Stage 3 Humanities
Geography and History at Key Stage 3 in DBS are focused on building the skills, understanding and knowledge needed as learners move through to Key Stage 4 and ultimately on to the in-depth studies of Key Stage 5.
Both curricula are dynamic and allow learners to be engaged with Global History and Geography programmes of study that are designed to be fun, challenging and research-based. These study programmes enable all learners to show their potential in Humanities as they progress through to the next stages of their education.
Homework is set each week by the class teacher and may involve reading, Q+As, research, learning or Takeaway homework tasks.
Pupils do not undertake end of unit/term assessments rather they are continuously assessed to aid progress.
Continuous assessment in the form of open book written assessments in class alongside knowledge tests are employed each term to consolidate their learning. This termly continuous assessment programme gives learners opportunity to reflect on assessment feedback, make amendments and set new future targets.
Key Stage 4 Humanities
The IGCSE in Geography and History follow the Edexcel specifications.
The Geography IGCSE course is designed to both apply and build on the fundamental Geographical knowledge and skills taught at Key Stage 3. The course helps learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of Geographical concepts and appreciate the relevance of these concepts to our changing world, particularly through the taught units River Environments, Urban Environments and Hazardous Environments. Learners also have an opportunity to develop their awareness of global issues and recognise the need for a sustainable future in units such as Economic Activity and Energy, and Globalisation and Migration.
The final examination is a 3 hour paper that also includes two Practical Field Skills questions on River Environments and Urban Environments.
The History IGCSE enables learners to acquire knowledge and understanding of selected periods and aspects of History, exploring the significance of historical events, people, changes and issues, while using historical sources critically, in context, recording significant information and reaching conclusions. This course allows learners to organise and communicate their knowledge and understanding of History, whilst drawing conclusions and making historical judgments.
The IGCSE in History comprises two assessments. In Paper 1 learners complete two in-depth studies, and in Paper 2 students complete one historical investigation and one breadth study. Both papers are examined for 1 hour 30 minutes each.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Humanities
The IB Diploma Programme of study is followed in both Geography and History in Year 12 and Year 13.
The IB Geography course embodies global and international awareness in several distinct ways. It examines key global issues, such as poverty, sustainability and climate change. It considers examples and detailed case studies at a variety of scales, from local to regional, national and international.
Central to the syllabus is a consideration of different perspectives, economic circumstances and social and cultural diversity. IB Geography seeks to develop international understanding and foster a concern for global issues as well as to raise learners’ awareness of their own responsibility at a local level. It also aims to develop values and attitudes that will help students reach a degree of personal commitment in trying to resolve these issues, appreciating our shared responsibility as citizens of an increasingly interconnected world.
Students at Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) in Geography all complete Paper 1 which is a common core of Geographical themes. They also take Paper 2 - with 2 themes for SL students (Leisure, Sport & Tourism and Extreme Environments) and an additional 3rd theme for HL students (Hazards and Disasters). Although the skills and activity of studying Geography are common to both SL and HL students, HL students also study the Higher Level extension Paper 3, Global Interactions, to demonstrate critical evaluation, and to synthesise the concepts in the Higher Level extension. Finally all students undertake the same internal assessment, weighting at 25% at SL and 20% at HL. Students are required to undertake fieldwork collecting primary information and produce one written report that is based on a fieldwork question.
AS Level Geography
AS Level Geography is to be offered at DBS from September 2015.
IB History is more than the study of the past. It is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources. It is a discipline that gives people an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world, both past and present. Students of History will learn how the discipline works. It is an exploratory subject that poses questions without providing definitive answers. In order to understand the past, students must engage with it both through exposure to primary historical sources and through the work of historians. Historical study involves both selection and interpretation of data and critical evaluation of it. A study of History both requires and develops an individual’s understanding of, and empathy for, people living in other periods and contexts.
At DBS we follow Route 2: 20th Century World History. This consists of the following:
- Paper 1: Peacemaking, Peacekeeping – International Relations 1918-36. This is a source-based paper that is 1 hour long. It is worth 30% of the final mark for Standard Level and 20% of the final mark for Higher Level.
- Paper 2: Twentieth Century World History. This is an essay-based paper that lasts for 1 hour 30 minutes. It is worth 45% of the final mark for Standard Level and 25% for Higher Level. There are six questions on each topic and students must answer two of these. Causes, Practices and Effects of Wars: students study both the First and Second World Wars. They study different types of warfare, comparing total with limited warfare and looking at civil and guerilla warfare. There is also an in-depth analysis of the Chinese Civil War. Origins and Development of Authoritarian and Single-Party States: this topic looks at the European dictators of the Twentieth Century, focusing on Hitler and Stalin. There is also a chance to study Mao’s dictatorship in China. Higher Level students will also study Mussolini, Lenin and possibly Franco. The Internal assessment enables students to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge and allows them to pursue their personal interests. It is worth 25% of the final mark for Standard Level and 20% for Higher Level. Higher Level includes all of the above as well as an additional Paper 3.
- Paper 3: Aspects of the History of Europe and the Middle East: this includes Imperial Russia, revolutions, emergence of Soviet State 1853-1924, European diplomacy and the First World War 1870-1923, Interwar years: conflict and cooperation. Students are required to write three extended-response questions in 2 hours 30 minutes. It is worth 35% of the final mark.
Wider Learning and Humanities
As a department we are always looking to develop enrichment opportunities for our Humanities learners. Each Academic year we undertake 3 national trips and 1 regional trip.
In Year 7, Geography students take a trip around Doha’s well known shopping malls to study the nature of the shopping experience provided and the quality of environment they offer. This trip helps to build the Geographical practical field skills of Year 7, while encouraging them to think analytically about the environments in which they regularly visit.
In Year 9, History students visit Sheikh Faisal Museum in conjunction with their Qatari History unit. Students get to take a journey through time and space?, observing the large diversified collection of unique and extraordinary artefacts from over four continents, from the Jurassic Age through to the early Islamic period and up to the present day, across four themes: Islamic Art, Qatar Heritage, Vehicles, and Coins & Currency.
At IGCSE, Year 10 students take a trip around Doha’s urban environments. They study the land use patterns, comparing them to theoretical models, and access the environmental quality of the zones visited in the Pearl and Umm Ghuwailina. This trip is designed to give students a practical opportunity to practice the skills needed for Section C of their final examination paper on field skills.
Finally, in Year 12, IB Geography students take a field studies trip with Ecoventures to the northern shores of the UAE to undertake a Mangrove study, using beach profiling and probes to measure the environmental gradients and vegetation in the mangroves. This study permits IB students to collect primary data which allows them to complete their Geography Internal Assessment to the highest standard.
Key Stage 3 Mathematics
Learners develop their Mathematical skills covering the topics of number, algebra, geometry and statistics, building on their learning from Key Stage 2. Learners are encouraged to extend their knowledge by applying their new skills to real life scenarios and problem solving in groups as well as independently.
Homework is regularly set to consolidate learning outside of lessons as well as provide challenge at each level. Learners are regularly assessed to allow teachers to accurately track progress as well as provide support and extension where necessary.
Key Stage 4 Mathematics
In Years 10 and 11 the Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics A specification is followed, which builds on the areas of Mathematics that learners have already studied in Years 7, 8 and 9. Learners also continue to develop their skills in using and applying Mathematics by completing investigations and challenge questions.
The IGCSE is assessed by two written examinations (both calculator) with the most able learners sitting the examinations in Year 10. These learners then complete a Pre-IB course preparing them for their IB studies.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Mathematics
Our expert team of IB teachers deliver the IB course to Year 12 and 13 learners at three levels: Studies, Standard and Higher. Young people learn through a mixture of independent, paired and group work and we provide a high level of support outside of lessons where necessary.
Throughout the course learners progress to confidently use a graphical calculator to solve problems and in Year 13 complete an Internal Assessment on an area of Mathematics of their choice.
Wider Learning and Mathematics
Staff are keen to inspire and motivate young people and the subject is presented in a wide variety of ways, including the use of technology such as computers, interactive whiteboards and mobile technology.
Lunch time and after school workshops are provided to support and help learners to extend, consolidate and increase their confidence in Mathematics. Learners also enjoy taking part in Extra Curricular Activities such as Chess Club and the Cipher Challenge.
The study of MFL is an important part of the pupils’ curriculum. It equips them with a useful practical tool for communication in an international context; it strengthens their ability to express themselves; it enables them to develop transferable language learning skills; it encourages them to analyse a foreign language and compare it to their own; it provides an insight into other peoples, countries and cultures and thus widens their intellectual horizons. In a place like Doha, students are very aware of the value of language learning and we value the importance of these languages as French is widely spoken by the Arabic community and Spanish is becoming increasingly popular in Qatar thanks to the growing Spanish and Latin American communities here.
At DBS, pupils learn in fully equipped classrooms and teachers use a range of activities and resources to ensure that language learning is fun, challenging and relevant. The curriculum is regularly updated to mirror protocols and practice from the United Kingdom and students in KS1, 2 and 3 follow the British National Curriculum where we have many students who reach the maximum level of 8 at the end of Year 9. At Key Stage 4 we offer IGCSE French and Spanish along with GCSE Arabic and IGCSE Arabic, 1st and 2nd language.
Lessons are taught as far as possible in the target language thus allowing the students to see it as a valid medium of communication. They, in turn, are encouraged to use maximum target language in the classroom and to ask for help when necessary in that language. Through establishing a safe environment in which pupils are free to make mistakes and learn from them, learning to communicate effectively in another language consequently helps boost their confidence and self-assertiveness.
We have some wonderful display work, which showcases some of the talent that we have at DBS. Our lessons are very interactive and students make progress not only with their linguistic competencies, but their global awareness also increases as students find out about the range of places that speak the language they study.
Team work is at the heart of everything we do as we offer languages from Pre-School to 6th Form where pupils have the opportunity to learn French, Spanish and Arabic. We are committed to teaching languages at a level which is appropriate to the ability of each pupil and making language learning an enjoyable experience for all. Our department consists of highly qualified and experienced teachers, and our exam results are always outstanding at both IB level and IGCSE.
Key Stage 3 MFL
In year 7, we offer our students the opportunity to learn both French and Spanish on a rotational basis. During term 1, students will learn French. In Term 2, Spanish, and in Term 3 French again. This pattern follows through Year 8. Then, in Year 9, students will choose one of the languages to specialise in preparation for their IGCSEs.
Useful KS3 Links:
Key Stage 4 MFL
Building upon the strengths established in Key Stage 3, pupils can opt to take IGCSE French and Spanish along with Arabic as a first and second language. For native students of other languages such as Urdu and German, these students are also able to take their exam here as well. Students are assessed in 4 skill areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Exam results are always very good in the languages department.
The Edexcel IGCSE in French and Spanish, and GCSE in Arabic as a 2nd Language enables students to:
- develop understanding and use of the spoken and written forms of the French language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
- develop the ability to communicate effectively in the target language through both the spoken and written word, using a range of vocabulary and structures
- develop a knowledge and understanding of the target language grammar and its practical application
- develop a knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken
- develop positive attitudes towards modern foreign language learning and acquire a suitable foundation for further study in the target language.
The Arabic as a First Language course is divided into three sections:
- Reading: read a range of texts with understanding of explicit meaning and attitudes; follow an argument distinguishing between fact and opinion; Extract, summarise and present appropriately relevant information from text.
- Writing: Communicate in writing clearly and imaginatively, using and adapting forms for different readers and purposes; Organise their writing into clear and coherent sentences and whole text; Use accurate spelling, and observe the conventions of punctuation.
- Grammatical usage: Show an understanding of grammatical topics: cases, vocalisation, vocabulary choices and syntax.
Examination Requirements and Weightings:
Assessment of IGCSE French and Spanish consists of:
- Paper 1 – listening (25%)
- Paper 2 - reading and writing (50%)
- Paper 3 – Oral (25%)
Assessment of GCSE Arabic as a 2nd language consists of:
- Paper 1 – Listening (23%)
- Paper 2 – Speaking (27%)
- Paper 3 – Reading and Understanding (23%)
- Paper 4 – Writing (27%)
Assessment of IGCSE Arabic as a 1st is through two compulsory papers.
All candidates are required to take both components, paper 1 and paper 2.
Both papers target grades A*-G
The weighting for each section is:
Paper 1 – Comprehension 70%
Paper 2 – Writing 30%
Students will be required to complete one substantial piece of written homework each week. Students are expected to be revising vocabulary on a daily basis.
Useful KS4 Links:
Key Stage 3 Music
Key Stage 3 Music builds an important foundation for learners. It not only benefits those who will move forward with the subject to IGCSE, but also every learner. It allows them to build confidence and competence in the key skills required for the subject.
During Key Stage 3 learners are taught a variety of topics, ranging from World Music such as Chinese Music and African drumming, to Musicals and Music in the Media. Learners are taught through a number of different methods where they have access to real instruments and to Music technology, using the IMac computers and Music software programs such as Sibelius and Logic Pro.
Learners are assessed at the end of each topic through a practical and written assessment, using a range of assessment methods.
Key Stage 4 Music
Key Stage 4 Music offers learners the Edexcel IGCSE, which includes both theory and practical elements. Learners continue to use programs such as Sibelius and Logic Pro to complete the composing aspect of the coursework. They also complete solo and ensemble performances and finally an exam on four areas of study, from the history of Music, incorporating 12 set pieces of Music which are studied in detail.
The Music IGCSE is made up of three parts; a theory exam worth 40% and a controlled practical assessment in performance and composition, worth 60% of the final grade. During the course, learners are continually teacher-assessed and sit multiple mock exams. Learners are also encouraged to self-assess their performances and compositions on a regular basis so that they know at what level they are currently working and what they can expect to achieve.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Music
At Key Stage 5, learners can elect to study Music as part of their IB course.
The course covers every aspect of the history of Music but with a focus on teaching the relevant skills to analyse and discuss any type of Music. Learners are expected to perform in front of a live audience and to create original Music in various styles and genres.
Music is assessed through an internal assessment in either performance or composition at Standard Level, or both aspects of performance and composition, a Musical links investigation and an exam for Higher Level. Learners are expected to perform and compose in a variety of styles that demonstrate their diversity and technical ability. They are expected to have a wide knowledge of different Musical genres and the exam tests their analysis skills of the elements of Music.
The Music course looks at Musical links between many different genres and it enables learners to develop an understanding of Music from around the world in context of history and culture. It enables them to develop an appreciation of The Arts, which makes them well balanced, lifelong learners.
Wider Learning and Music
Performing Arts are a huge part of school life at DBS and young people have opportunity to be part of many Extra Curricular Activities. There are regular Music recitals from learners taking the peripatetic Music lessons in a variety of instruments, and an annual production for Secondary learners. Recently a committed group of young people in the Secondary school performed the musical Blood Brothers. Opportunities exist to audition for a role in the plays/musicals or to be a part of the back stage crew, learning about stage management, lighting and sound.
Other activities include the DBS orchestra and choir, which have regular opportunities to perform at concerts, festivals and the annual Spring Fair. We also have an annual Voice/Young Musician and Battle of the Bands House Competition where students can showcase their talent. Performing Arts are thriving in the school and are something in which the students take great pride.
Physical Education (PE)
Key Stage 3 Physical Education
The DBS Key Stage 3 Physical Education curriculum inspires all learners to excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. The programme provides opportunities for learners to become physically confident in a way that supports the school’s main aim of Health, Fitness and Well Being, and ensures that learners become lifelong participants. Fully embedded into the curriculum are opportunities to compete in inter-house school sport competitions, school teams via the Qatar United English Speaking Schools (QUESS) League and the British Schools in the Middle East (BSME) Games, along with other Extra Curricular Activities.
Key Stage 4 Physical Education
Key Stage 4 Physical Education builds upon existing curriculum knowledge, involving a range of activities and situations that develop tactics, strategies and technique. Learners focus on personal fitness whilst understanding and promoting active, healthy lifestyles. The Key Stage 4 pathway for Physical Education is IGCSE PE examination board Edexcel.
IGCSE PE provides learners with the knowledge and understanding of how to live a healthy and active lifestyle, enabling them to make informed choices about their own physical development. Learners have three 1 hour lessons per week mixing practical activities with theoretical understanding.
Learners need to have a good understanding of biology, detailing how the body’s cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal and muscular systems work and be able to link these to exercise.
Learners wishing to take IGCSE PE must be interested in why people participate in sport for social, physical and mental benefits. They must have a competent understanding of training programmes through participation in club sports and be able to understand how to design a six week training programme in a sport of their choice. They must be confident with public speaking to large groups for both the practical and theoretical elements of the course.
Attendance at Extra Curricular Activities is a requirement if accepted on the course.
Wider Learning and Physical Education
At DBS, the Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) programme is an established part of school life and is offered to all children and young people from Year 1 to Year 13. Activities are held from Sunday to Thursday, from 2pm to 3pm. A small number of clubs for our older learners are available from 3pm to 4pm. Our programmes are very well attended by learners with over 600 involved each term.
The school’s Sporting ECAs are part of our commitment to the Health, Fitness and Well Being of all of our learners and reinforce skills learnt in curriculum time, while additionally providing them with exciting new skills. We offer a wide range of over 20 sporting activities in which learners may participate.
Our Sporting ECA programmes are closely linked with our participation in the Qatar Primary and Secondary schools sports leagues, QUESS and QPPSSA (Qatar Private Primary Schools Sports Association). There are around 140 fixtures each year in a wide range of sports ranging from cross country to football, and rugby to cricket.
Our inter-house competitions aim to encourage children and young people to use their skills in a competitive environment. We organise a range of both sporting and non-sporting competitions throughout the year for all Year Groups.
Sporting competitions include football, basketball, swimming, volleyball, table tennis, rounders and hockey. These take place at lunch times on a given week with teams playing to reach the semi- finals and finals.
The PE department will be running the annual school Ski Trip in 2016 as well as an international football tour. Opportunities to represent the school are frequent in a variety of sports, with termly BSME Fixtures.
Key Stage 3 Science
The Key Stage 3 curriculum is heavily focused on the scientific skills which learners need to develop as they move through Key Stage 4 and ultimately on to the specialised Sciences at Key Stage 5, i.e. how to write an effective and accurate lab report, how to move from simple regurgitation of facts to the analysis and evaluation of scientific data and how to link the various scientific topics. With the help of our excellent lab technician we have significantly developed the practical aspect of the course and this will continue to be the centre of our focus moving forward.
Over the three years learners are engaged in a spiral learning process, where some topics build on previous learning whilst others give an insight into new ideas, with regular assessments, in the form of long term projects and summative tests, to allow learners a chance to reflect and set new targets. Topics range from energy, to the environment, from respiration to reproduction and from microbes to magnets, with much more besides!
Key Stage 4 Science
The majority of learners at Key Stage 4 follow the dual Science course, where two IGCSE grades are awarded, based on the average result across separate Chemistry, Physics and Biology exams, each of two hours duration. The Edexcel IGCSE dual Science course allows for a more than adequate preparation for Key Stage 5 and certainly gives learners a thorough grounding in each discipline, however for those with the greatest ability who wish to push themselves, or learners looking to follow a scientific route at university and beyond, triple Science is an option. If this is the preferred route, learners sit all three 2 hour papers as well as an extra hour long paper in each Science, this will be reflected on results day by three IGCSE grades in Chemistry, Physics and Biology respectively. We do not offer any ‘single’ Science options.
The course at Key Stage 4 increases in intensity and there is also a more obvious split into the constituent scientific subjects (although the best learners still make the appropriate links). Currently the top three sets work on a three-teacher rotation with specialists leading their lessons, whilst the remaining learners spend most of their time with a single teacher allowing supportive relationships to be built up over a shorter time. Although the final exams dominate the distant horizon there is still scope over the two years for learners to develop their scientific skills, strengthen their understanding and begin to answer the question of ‘What is Science?’.
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) Science
At Key Stage 5 pupils should have a genuine idea of where their scientific interests lie and pick an appropriate course or courses to follow as a result. Future aspirations will obviously form a key part of that decision, however the department will be on hand to share their wealth and breadth of knowledge and experience to make those decisions easier for our young adults. The topics at Key Stage 5 build on everything which has gone before, drawing on the skills developed in Years 7, 8 and 9 and the subject knowledge and understanding from the IGCSE course, although learners will be challenged to apply this learnt knowledge much more than they have previously. There is also a significant coursework aspect to Sciences in the Sixth Form and learners will have the opportunity to link their learning to real world applications and investigations. They will also at times need to adapt their thinking and take risks when debating the ‘Theory of Knowledge’ and its relevance to Science.
Wider Learning and Science
As a department we are always looking to develop enrichment opportunities for young people, including the Green Awareness club at Key Stage 3, the Year 12 Green project, coursework in the mangroves, zoos and conservation centres of Doha, field work on Purple Island and the proposed Science Fair for Key Stage 3 in Term 3. We also entered two successful teams to the second annual Medical Review Conference recently, as well as entering a team into the Qatar University Bridge Building competition and using our most gifted IB learners as mentors for the lower Year Groups in our extended revision programme.