03th September 2020

Returning to School and Supporting Mental Well-being

Coming back to school after months of strict restrictions can be daunting to some of our students. While some find the opening of classes exciting, others find it hard and challenging. Read along and find some tips on how we can all assist and help our students as they transition back to blended and eventually, physical learning.   Coronavirus, coping with anxiety It’s been a really uncertain time for everybody, both children and adults. It is difficult to tolerate uncertainty but that’s what we have to do right now. By doing so, it can help us manage anxiety in the long term. Lots of people are experiencing anxiety and that’s okay. Some people find it harder than others to manage. It is hard to gauge the full impact that the situation is having on children’s mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge that we are not all in the same situation. For a lot of children, it will be exciting to return to school and they will adapt quickly and smoothly to their new routine. However, for others coming back to school, it will be a challenge and we need to remember the children’s experiences of the lockdown period will have been varied. It is going to be important to talk to your children about how they are feeling in a calm way. Many adults are anxious right now but it is important for adults to try to model calmness.   Listen and validate their feelings Listen and validate, don’t assume that you know how they feel, we don’t know, and they might be feeling lots of things. Validate their feelings rather than coming up with answers, for example “it sounds like you are really worried right now and that’s understandable”. We don’t have all the answers. It’s possible we will go to school then VLE increases again, then back to school, you don’t have to pretend to know.    Limit news and misinformation If children have particular concerns, it may be helpful to address some of the facts together in a simple and clear way. For example, if your child is worried about going back to school and getting unwell or passing it on to someone else, you could watch the news and check out the infection rate together. If there is any misinformation they have repeated, try and address this in a simple and clear way. At the same time, you don’t want children to watch too much news as this could make any anxiety worse, so limit it but actually addressing misinformation can be helpful.   Limit reassurance This is really hard to do but we know that giving too much reassurance actually keeps the anxiety going. It’s very tempting, as giving reassurance can help anxiety in the short term but in the long term it doesn’t. Instead, encourage your child to ask questions. You can give some reassurance but don’t get into a repetitive cycle of giving lots of it.   Focus on possible strategies Ask them “how did you manage to adapt in Lockdown?”, “How can you use those strategies to adapt now to go back to school?”. Help them answer their own questions. Help them to solve problems, coming up with lots of solutions and thinking what would be the best way to solve this problem. If it’s a particular problem like “my friend won’t want to speak to me, I’ve not spoken to them for a while”, maybe they could call a friend or Zoom before seeing them again. There are other strategies that can help, for example, help your child to think what they normally do when they’re feeling worried, what strategies help? Some children find taking long deep breaths helpful, breathing in for 7 seconds and out for 11 seconds, helping them slow their breathing down and help regulate them.   Try to defer their worries Some children still have lots of worries so deferring worries could be really helpful where any worries that come up in the day, either in their mind or when they have written them down and they come back to them. For example, at 4:00 pm, I am going to have a half an hour worry time. What we know is that when they come back to them, the worries don’t seem as bad or they forget to have that worry time.   Regaining a good routine  Help children get back into a routine, helping them get up early again by going to bed at a reasonable time. Try doing the school run, try putting on their school uniform, reconnecting with friends again. Preparing them for what’s about to happen. Prepare children for changes in the school (as planned by DBS), for example smaller classes, working in school some of the time and online some of the time. Also break times won’t happen in the same way as they did before and washing of hands will be more frequent etc. Rewards for children who have been anxious but have managed to go to school is another helpful idea.   Self-care and kindness support good health.  Finally, it is really important that children are reminded to look after their own mental health. Eating healthily, exercising, connecting with friends, doing things they enjoy. These are really important during this time of huge transition, and also please encourage children to be kind to each other, to look after each other. This is a difficult time, just go easy on yourself as parents. It’s not going to feel okay overnight. It’s going to take time, it’s going to be a transition and that’s okay.

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02th September 2020

Doha British School students achieve excellent exam results for SY 2019-2020!

Doha British School (DBS) students were celebrating after achieving another set of outstanding exam results. At iGCSE level, a total of 51% of students achieved grades, the equivalent of an A/A* (Grades 7, 8 and 9 in the new system), which is the school’s highest ever figure despite the new more challenging grading system. A total of 95% of students have met and exceeded the benchmark standards of five or more grades 9-4, with 81% of students achieving five or more grades 9-5. All students hoped it would be good news when they received their results on iGCSE results day but for DBS student Shada Koduymayil the news could not have been better as she achieved a perfect set of results with ten grade 9s, while Fiaz Mahmood and Kanzah Maktoum both earned nine grade 9’s. Students at DBS 6th form were also celebrating, with students achieving the schools highest set of results. Two students, Yaman Al-Haneedi and Benedict Canillo achieved 3 grade A’s at AS level. Students studying the International Baccalaureate weren’t to be out done, with 92% of students achieving a pass with outstanding points scores from Juanita Joseph and Muhammad Arsal Taimoor achieving 42 points out of 45. Paul Sherlock, Principal of DBS, said: “I am immensely proud of all staff and students at DBS. These results at iGCSE, AS level and IB are a fantastic achievement especially under the very difficult circumstances all our students and staff have faced this year. This just goes to show what can be achieved with the right combination of talent, constant dedication and a willingness to work consistently hard. We are all delighted for all our students and are proud of their achievements. We have record numbers in our 6th form, as students continue their education on our different post 16 pathways, which include a range of A Level courses now on offer. We are looking forward to working with all our students on their chosen courses next academic year."  

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06th October 2019

Exceptional IGCSE Performance for Doha British School students!

Year 11 students from Doha British School are celebrating after achieving a record set of iGCSE results. A total of 48% of grades were secured at the equivalent of an A*/A grade (Grades 7, 8 and 9 in the new grading system) which is the school’s best ever set of results despite the more challenging syllabus and grading system introduced this year.  A total of 89% of students have met and exceeded the benchmark standards of five Grade 9-4 including English and Maths. The examination board were so impressed by the results that they awarded certificates of ‘exceptional performance’ to 28 DBS students. These awards are in recognition of students who met the requirements for the ‘High Achievers Awards’ category, where students achieved grades 8 or 9 in 5 or more subjects. This puts them in the top 1% of IGCSE students worldwide. DBS Vice Principal, Paul Sherlock said: ‘This is an outstanding achievement by our students and we are immensely proud of their success. Well done to all 28 for their hard work and dedication to their studies. To achieve these exceptional levels is testament to both the hard work of the students but also the relentless effort and dedication of all the teachers at DBS’.  A permanent focus on securing excellent academic outcomes for students is the core purpose of DBS. In addition students are encouraged to embrace the wider aspects of school life and to participate in the many extra-curricular activities on offer. A wider and broader commitment to develop the whole child is very important to the school. If you would like to visit DBS and get a deeper insight into this great school, then you can join one of our Thursday morning tours. Please contact Ramsha Yousuf at DBS by emailing Ramsha.yousuf@dohabritishschool.com or by contacting the school office on 4019-8000 to arrange a meeting with the Vice Principal and members of the school’s senior leadership teams.

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03th September 2018

DBS students achieved excellent results!

It has been another year of success at Doha British School Ain Khaled, with outstanding exam results including: Tharienee Pillai scored the highest result ever in DBS history for her IB Diploma - an incredible 44 out of 45; IB average score for class of 2018 well above world average; 87% achieved 5 IGCSE A* to C including English and Maths; 45% of students scored A* or A in their IGCSE exams; Throughout the world 1174 students sat IGCSE Textiles. Of those, 40 were awarded a grade 9 (A**). 7 of those 40, i.e. 18% were from DBS. Top IGCSE DBS students with outstanding results: Juanita Joseph scored an excellent 10 A* grades 1 student with 9 A*s and 1 B 1 student with 8 A*s and 2 As Principal, Terry McGuire, said that “….these are the best overall academic results ever achieved at the school. This represents a continuation of the improvement in academic outcomes year on year. This achievement is the product of first class recruitment, continuous development of teachers, great resources and facilities, wonderful students and supportive parents. We are investing heavily in our facilities including significant investment in I.T.; a refurbishment of the swimming pool and basketball courts; and a new football pitch. DBS is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. Our first class examination results demonstrate how far we have come. This school is going from strength to strength. The sky’s the limit”.

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