Mar Qardakh is a new school we have been asked to engage with. We met the Headmistress in October, but this time we are here with a purpose - to prepare for the Professional Development Summer School that we will be running in July for the MQS teachers. MQS is the diocese’s flagship school pioneering the teaching of IB in Iraq.
As part of this, we met frequently with Carolen, the Diploma Programme Coordinator for the School, who arranged for us to observe a range of lessons on the final day of term. We were impressed by the students’ kindness, enthusiasm for learning and particularly their ability to stand up and present their thoughts to the rest of the class – all key IB habits. After observing ten hours of lessons between us, we met with all the teachers in the school and gave them an opportunity to suggest what would be most useful for them in the summer professional development programme.
There was a lively exchange of views!
We were also pleased to share our initial findings with both Carolen and Sally, the headmistress. As a result of these discussions, we have a much clearer idea of what is needed and – although there is a huge amount of work for us to do beforehand – we feel confident in our ability to deliver a useful programme.
However, as Archbishop Warda told us over lunch, this is only the first step. MQS is naturally struggling with being a frontrunner in education in the region and will need continued help over the next few years as they prepare for their IB evaluation in 2021. If anyone knows of someone who can help them in any way on this exciting journey of discovery, please get in touch.