Home > Qatar > Doha > GEMS American Academy Qatar
Doha
American curriculum
Ages 3 to 18

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CurriculumAmerican
Language of instructionEnglish
Age RangeAges 3 to 18
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Quick summary of key school information

Language of instruction English
Native English teachers
Extra languages (other than English)
Class sizes Average 21 students / class
Maximum 25 students / class
Extracurricular activities
School bus
School's webpage:
Yearly fees: from: 35,150 ﷼
to: 59,650 ﷼
Address: Al Wukair Qatar
Is this school a perfect match for you?

Tell us your preferences and we’ll calculate your compatibility.

  • Based on 10 different criteria including price and location
  • Fees personalised to your childrens’ ages

All the details about this school in their own words

We have organised the information available for this school into 6 sections and 41 questions. Click or tap on the name of each section to read more.
Number of students

1,200

Number of nationalities represented in the school

78

Most common nationality

American

Ratio of local students to international students

7:50

Max. number of students per class

25

Average number of students per class

Lower School (21-24 students per class) / Upper School (12 - 20 students per class)

Does the school employ teaching assistants?

Yes

Native English speaking teachers

The majority of our teachers are natives speakers of the English language. We primarily recruit teachers from the United States and Canada.

Language support for students not fluent in English

We have a Student Support Teacher who assists students who are learning English as a second language. As an English-immersion school, students will learn English naturally while in class throughout the year.

Additional language classes offered by the school

In addition to Arabic, we also offer French and Spanish language classes.

Use of technology in the classroom

Yes, we use technology that includes, but is not limited to: laptops, iPads and tablets, C-Touch screens, Seesaw, ClassDojo, littleBits Kits, EV3 Lego Robotics and various educational apps and software.

Is the school ready to use virtual classrooms when needed? (e.g. teaching lessons online if the school is closed, e.g. during COVID-19 closures)

Yes, we have a fully-equipped virtual classroom model for both Lower School and Upper School that incorporates a comprehensive, internal online learning platform in conjunction with GEMS Education.

Do teachers assign homework to their students?

Yes

Approximate hours of homework given

The suggested amount of time depends on the grade level of the student.

Uniform required

Yes

Waiting list

No

Entry evaluation for students

Yes. We require all prospective students to take an entry assessment. Students in Pre-K - KG2 will do a hands-on "stay-and-play" session with children of their same age to gauge their understanding of basic knowledge and classroom behavior. Grades 1 - 12 will take a MAP assessment that focuses on math, reading and writing comprehension.

Brief description of entry evaluation required

Pre-K, KG1 and KG2

All students must meet the age-level requirements, meet academic grade level requirements, listen to and follow directions and display classroom readiness. They must also conduct themselves in a respectful manner throughout the assessment.

For Pre-K and KG1 admission, children are assessed and observed in small groups. Five main criteria are considered for successful entrance into the program:

• Children must be age-appropriate for the requested grade level;
• Be able to separate from their caregiver and demonstrate a readiness to participate in the classroom;
• Be bathroom independent
• Be able to follow directions while engaging in an activity;
• Be able to demonstrate fine and gross motor skill development at age-appropriate level.

For KG2 admission, the children are assessed individually. The following are the main criteria for consideration into the KG2 program:

• Be age-appropriate for requested grade level;
• Be able to follow directions while engaging in an activity;
• Be able to demonstrate fine and gross motor skill development at age-appropriate level;
• Be able to identify colors;
• Be able to identify numbers 1 – 20 and write 1 – 20;
• Demonstrated early reading skills;
• Recognize letters of the alphabet with appropriate sounds.

Grades 1 – 12
GEMS American Academy Qatar employs a holistic approach to the process of evaluating students for entrance into the middle and high school. The evaluation process includes a review of the student’s application, past school records and/or transcripts and GAAQ entrance assessments.

The MAP assessment is administered to all students. This is a computer-based testing system built on 30 years of research and refinement. Basic skills of Math, Reading and Language are assessed. The MAP assessment test is self-regulating and adapts to the child in real-time as the test progresses for a pinpoint picture of learning, achievement and readiness.

The MAP assessment is administered to all students seeking placement from Grade 1 – Grade 12.

If the student is overseas at the time of the application, GEMS American Academy Qatar will schedule the MAP assessment for a date and time when the family arrives in Qatar. If your child has recently taken a MAP assessment, please upload the reports along with the school grade reports as this may serve to expedite the admissions process.

Deadline for registration (new academic year)

Our registration cycle is ongoing.

Students can join after academic year begins

Yes

Percentage of students who pursue further education post-graduation

We are proud to have a 100% acceptance rate into higher education institutions for our first two graduating class.

External examinations or assessments available

SAT and AP exams

Results in these examinations

We are above the international average in these examinations.

Do students practice religion at the school? What religion?

As a school in Qatar, we have prayer rooms for male and female students that are Muslim. In addition, we celebrate key Muslim holidays and milestones throughout the year. Lastly, we offer the MOE-approved Arabic, Islamic and Qatar history curriculum.

How does the school accommodate non-religious students or students of a different religion?

As a diverse and inclusive American school, we accommodate all students, whether they are non-religious or religious. We respect everyone's free pursuit to freedom and liberty, including their choice of religion.

School bus service available

Yes. Our bus service covers Doha and the Al Wakrah municipality. In fact, the majority of our students live in the Pearl, West Bay, Al Dafna and other parts of metropolitan Doha.

Dedicated staff/programs for students with special learning needs

Yes, each grade in Lower School (Pre-K - Grade 5) has their own Student Support Teacher (SST) that supports students with special learning needs. Our SST personnel works with parents inside and outside of the classroom on a daily and weekly basis. For Upper School, we have SST personnel for Grades 6 - 12. However, please note that we have very limited availability for students with special learning needs at this time.

Learning support offered

The level of support is based on individual learning plans.

The school supports gifted, able and talented students

GAAQ has a Honors program as well as Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Student access to education psychologist

No, but our school has certified school counselors who have access to and can recommend educational psychologists.

School start time

(Pre-COVID) 7:50 AM

School finish time

(Pre-COVID) 2:30 PM every day except Thursdays, where we finish at 1:30 PM to support teacher professional development and departmental meetings. Pre-K students are allowed to be dismissed as early as 12:30PM, if needed.

Supervised care before/after school

(Pre-COVID) Students are allowed to enter the school at 7:30 AM where students will be supervised by school staff. Also, we have free afterschool activities (ASA) and clubs during the year for KG2 - Grade 12 students; these ASAs are supervised by a GAAQ teacher or staff member.

Extracurricular activities or clubs offered

(Pre-COVID) GAAQ offers a large variety of athletic, academic enrichment and interest-based extracurricular activities and clubs that are free. For example, we include, but are not limited to, academic enrichment clubs such as reading club, math club, Spanish club and science tutoring. Interest-based clubs include, but are not limited to, art club, fitness club, Qur'an study, Girl Scouts and environment science club. Lastly, athletic clubs include, but are not limited to, yoga, basketball, football (soccer) and volleyball.

School provided lunches

Yes

Food alternatives for special dietary needs (ie. vegan, kosher, halal etc)

Yes, we do have vegetarian and vegan options. Also, all food prepared is halal.

Sports activities included

Pre-K has their own gym. KG1 and KG2 have their own gym space, as well. Grade 1 - Grade 12 use our Multipurpose Sports Hall space and we have an outdoor, rooftop play area. Recess is a common activity in the Lower School curriculum, so we have open, safe and shaded recess play areas for these activities. Upper School has a CrossFit room and we have included physical fitness as an academic unit of Physical Education (PE). Also, we have an annual Sports Day where Lower School and Upper School students compete in various athletic events to increase and promote physical activity and teamwork.

Sports facilities at the school

GAAQ has an innovative infrastructure ripe for dynamic and experiential learning. Our 20,000 square meter, modern state-of-the-art campus includes:

Communities of fully-equipped classrooms in a bigger-than-it-looks building layout
• Interactive, technology-laden classrooms at each level
• Dedicated Arabic & Islamic rooms and resource areas
• Dual libraries and quiet work spaces

Science and Technology
• 4 cross discipline science labs suitable for chemistry, physics, biology and integrated sciences
• Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot Kit and littleBits Education coding kits

Visual Arts – dedicated areas for all grades
• Ceramics and pottery room
• Studios for 3D and 2D art
• BlackBox theatre space

Performing Arts Program
• Individual music practice rooms and piano lab
• Instrumental music and teaching space
• Recording studio

Athletic Spaces
• Dedicated CrossFit zone
• Multipurpose Sports Hall
• Rooftop sports court
• Full soccer (football) pitch
• Shaded playground areas
• Indoor mini-gyms
• Professional dance studio

Café/Dining
• Lower School dining
• Upper School café and outdoor eating space
• Parents Café

Sports teams or sport competitions available for students

GEMS American Academy Qatar believes that a well-structured athletics program is crucial in our student’s physical and social development. Also, there is a strong emphasis on empowering a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle and acquiring team skills to learn and compete cooperatively with others.

SPORTS CURRICULUM

GAAQ’s athletics program offers both interscholastic and afterschool sports for upper-elementary, middle and high school students. Alongside with the Physical Education Department, students from Pre-K to Grade 12 take physical education courses which prepare them to transform basic skills to complex abilities that can be applied later in sports. Apart from regular sports events and competitions, the celebration of GAAQ Sports Day (early February) constitutes as one of our major annual sporting events. Our Athletic Department and scholar-athletes continuously represent our core values of leadership, innovation, purpose, tenacity and respect.

A DYNAMIC PROGRAM

The athletic year is structured into two seasons (September – December & January – June); each season provides a range of opportunities for our students. All sports and activities are guided by skilled, experienced and passionate coaches to help our students reach their personal best in whichever activity they choose. Our athletes compete locally against other international and local schools across Qatar.

Qatar Private Primary Schools Sports Association (Grades 2 – 5)

As part of QPPSSA (Qatar Private Primary Schools Sports Association), GAAQ competes with other schools along the year in a variety of sports such as:

• Track & Field
• Soccer
• Cross Country
• Basketball
• Swimming

Qatar United English Speaking Schools (Grades 6 – 12)

As part of QUESS (Qatar United English Speaking Schools), GAAQ competes with other schools along the year in a variety of sports such as:

SEASON 1 (September – December)

• Volleyball
• Netball
• Soccer (u16 & u19 years of age)

SEASON 2 (January – June)

• Track & Field
• Badminton
• Basketball
• Soccer (u12 & u14 years of age)

SOP (School Olympic Program)

Supported by the Qatar School Sport Association and the Qatar Olympic Committee, GAAQ is proudly taking part in SOP for the current year. With competitions from Grades 2 – 12, athletes represent GAAQ in a variety of sports that are typically celebrated in the Olympics such as:

• Soccer
• Volleyball
• Taekwondo
• Fencing
• Track & Field
• Swimming

Qualities and characteristics best defining the school

The following qualities and characteristics define GEMS American Academy Qatar:

• ACCREDITATION: GEMS American Academy is a fully-accredited NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) school that is internationally recognized by colleges and universities around the world.
• PARENT SATISFACTION: Received highest parent satisfaction rating among K – 12 GEMS Education schools across their international network (2 years in a row)
• INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED: Garnered distinction as one of the “Top 10 Best International Schools in Qatar” as well as the “Most Valuable School to Watch in the Middle East” by American magazine - The Knowledge Review.
• DIVERSITY: Home to 78 student nationalities and 19 teacher nationalities (educators mostly recruited from the United States and Canada).
• ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: Recipients of Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) “School Sustainability” award as well as just the 3rd Qatar school to receive the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) Eco- Schools Green Flag Award. GAAQ is the only school in Qatar with a NAAAS-certified aquaponic greenhouse.
• FLEXIBLE EDUCATION: The big difference with the American curriculum, in comparison with the British education system and CBSE (India) is that students in an American school do not experience the immense pressure of a comprehensive singular final exam. Therefore, students have less stress around the academics and have a large opportunity to pace themselves comfortably in order to progress more dynamically throughout the semester.
• COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PLACEMENT: Parents and students work with a professional school counselor to guide them throughout the college application process to colleges and universities around the world. Thus, parents and students feel less pressure as they have a trusted point-of-contact for advice and questions along the way.
• FUN, SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT: GAAQ scholars LOVE to come to school! Students wear uniforms, but have an opportunity to show school spirit each month through themed spirit days that range from crazy sock day to favorite sports jersey day. In addition, students and staff celebrate other notable days like Earth Day and United Nations Day that require dress down days. Lastly, the staff is professional, accessible and easy to get along with.

Teaching approach of the school

GEMS American Academy Qatar believes that all people have unconditional worth and potential. So, one of our goals is to cultivate a lifelong and engaged learning environment where students, parents and teachers pursue learning long-term and appreciate curiosity and imagination. Moreover, the school teachers in diversified learning styles, where students learn through various approaches such as visual, auditory and tactile instruction. GAAQ is focused on developing the whole child in areas such as academic, social, emotional and cognitive development as we promote growth through learning, global citizenship, the pursuit of excellence and leadership through innovation.

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