Downe House to open girls’ school in Muscat

The Muscat school will be the first girls-only day school in the Middle East founded by a British girls’ school

An independent school in Berkshire will open not only its first international sister school, but also the first girls-only day school in the Middle East founded by a British girls’ school.

Downe House are working in partnership with the Oman Ministry of Defence Pension Fund to open Downe House Muscat in late August 2021.

The school in Oman will offer the Cambridge International Curriculum which prepares girls for IGCSE and A-levels, blended with the Oman Ministry of Education’s curriculum for the teaching of Arabic, Islamic studies and social studies.

All teaching staff will have UK-recognised teaching qualifications and will teach their specialist subject in an extended day, which will give more time for girls to take part in co-curricular activities.

Construction of the school is already underway and many of the design features will reflect elements of the Downe House UK campus, with a distinct reference to the school’s Murray Centre. The Muscat campus will consist of four interconnected buildings providing teaching facilities, a performing arts centre, STEM centre, art and design centre, and sports academy.

Current deputy headmistress of Downe House, Michelle Scott, has been appointed as the new school’s founding headmistress. She has been a part of the Downe House community for 23 years.

Scott said: “Having spent time talking to Omani families, I appreciate and understand their desire to provide their daughters with the very best education available within a bespoke setting.

“Excellence in teaching and learning, tailored to the way we know that girls learn best, is the foundation of a Downe House education and our aim is to take each girl on a personal educational journey that challenges her and inspires her at every stage.”

Downe House headmistress, Emma McKendrick, added: “It is a very special moment for us to be opening a school in the beautiful city of Muscat and to be delivering an education which offers excellence and significant opportunity for the girls in Oman.

“We have built a strong and diverse global community which we feel is incredibly important as it helps our girls to value and be prepared for the rich and varied world that lies beyond Downe House and of course, Oman will be a very special part of that.”

Read more: Opening overseas – how British independent schools are leading the way

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