Secondary & 6th Form : Doha College- Top International British School Doha, Qatar

Secondary & 6th Form

Doha College has an outstanding Secondary and 6th Form where students are encouraged to play a full and active role in all areas of school life. We offer a supportive, yet challenging environment in which our students can achieve their best and where we prepare them for the next stage in their adult life.

Secondary

As a student at Doha College you have the opportunity to be part of a well-established International School where the emphasis is on every student reaching their full potential. The college has a commitment to all students through providing a safe learning environment, where students can enjoy all the benefits Doha College has to offer.

With an emphasis on academic excellence, careful attention is given to students’ individual learning needs. Regular monitoring and tracking as students move from Year 7 to Year 11, help to prepare the way for the transition into 6th Form. We follow the National Curriculum for England and students are examined in (I)GCSEs at the end of Year 11.

As with all aspects of the college, students are encouraged to challenge themselves and take advantage of the broad and balanced curriculum. The school offers excellent opportunities through many local and overseas trips, DofE International Awards, Model United Nations, Debating, sporting events, music, drama as well as an extensive Extra-Curricular programme.

The House system within the college is highly competitive and hosts a range of activities throughout the year. Students are encouraged to show a loyalty to their House by getting involved in the many enrichment activities that are available to them. The current House leaders are Unicorn.

6th Form

6th Form students follow AS / A Level courses which qualify them for entrance to universities throughout the world. The transfer of students from Doha College to the UK and other countries is straightforward, and is supported by our Universities and Careers Advisor.

6th Form students have a large number of options available to them, depending upon their (I)GCSE grades. Studying at A Level is academically demanding and acceptance on a particular course will be subject to a student having achieved at least five (I)GCSEs including English Language and mathematics, at grade C or better and a minimum grade B in the option subjects. Teacher recommendations will also be taken into account when deciding whether or not a student is accepted onto a particular course.

All subjects at AS / A Level are now modular. Advice on the choice of course and subjects is available from the Head of 6th Form or subject teachers.

We are often asked why we offer A Level as opposed to the International Baccalaureate (IB). The most obvious answer is that we will always do what is best for our student cohort and we believe that the A Level curriculum best meets the requirements of our students.

There are differences between the 2 awards as outlined below.

QuestionsA LevelIB Diploma
What is the essential difference between A Level and IB? For A Level most students study 4 or 5 AS Levels in the Year 12, reducing to 3 or 4 in the Year 13. Students will study 6 subjects over the two 6th Form years, 3 at Higher Level and 3 at Standard Level. In addition, each student will complete an Extended Essay, a Theory of Knowledge course (TOK) and the CAS programme. (Creativity, Action and Service)
Is there an element of compulsion in each route? The A Level pathway allows students a free choice of subjects, although students will be guided as to the sensible combinations of subjects appropriate to their proposed university studies. The IB Diploma students study English, a second language (modern or classical), a Humanity or Social Science, a Science, a Maths course and either a Creative Art or a second subject from one of the previous groups. You may choose whether to study a subject at Higher or Standard Level (there are 3 separate Maths courses to suit all candidates)
How do universities regard A Level and IB? Universities are very familiar with the A Level. University offers are normally based on 3 subjects and typical offers from prestigious universities are in the range 3A*, A*AA to ABB. Universities have become very familiar with the IB and offers from good universities will be in the range of 32-40 points. Offers may stipulate a 6 or a 7 in the subject to be studied at university.
Are both pathways suitable for courses such as Medicine? A Level candidates are expected to have studied Chemistry and a second Science subject or Mathematics to A2 Level, and Biology at least to AS Level. Some medical schools like a subject outside the sciences as the remaining subject. IB candidates are expected to have studied Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level (although Maths Higher Level is also acceptable). The breadth of the IB means all students can offer a Humanity and Languages as well as their Science subjects.
What about grading? The A Level is marked on an alpha scale, A*, A, B, C etc. The overall A Level grade in each subject is based on the marks from the AS and A2 units. The IB Diploma is marked on a numeric scale. The maximum mark for each subject is 7, leading to a total of 42 points for the six subjects. 3 additional points are available for the core (Extended Essay & TOK) The maximum possible Diploma score is 45 points.
Will the A Level and IB students be taught together? A Level students will normally be taught separately from IB. IB students will normally be taught separately from A Level.
What are the advantages/ disadvantages of each programme? Students have a freer choice of subjects, but have 2 years of public examinations. Universities can find it harder to differentiate between students because of so many achieving A* and A. Students have a more prescribed range of subjects, although there is flexibility within the options for each subject. Students only have one set of public examinations, at the end of the Year 13. Universities find it easier to differentiate between students, therefore offers can be favourable.

At Doha College we choose to follow the A Level course because we believe it:

  • Allows students to specialise in subject areas that are relevant to chosen Higher Education courses.
  • Offers more breadth at A Level than there used to be and most students opt to study 4 A Levels.
  • Offers stretch and challenge, gaining an A* grade is higher than the top IB mark.
  • Examines subjects in more detail which is viewed as an advantage when studying this at University level.
  • Is balanced by offering a broad range of Extra-Curricular activities to students who partake in a range of opportunities that the IB would offer.

paul young

 

Paul Young

Senior Vice Principal – Head of Secondary