2 November 2020
Construction is well underway on Downe House Muscat which will provide both Omani and international families with a premium, world class, all-round education tailored just for girls on an impressive purpose-built campus. Chair of Governors, Ms Fru Hazlitt said, “Downe House has been championing all-girls’ education since it was established in 1907, and countless generations of Downe House girls have enjoyed the benefits of learning without stereotypes and boundaries in a traditional yet innovative girls-only environment. Downe House is already committed to creating a global and diverse community within its UK offering and this momentous international development reflects our commitment and ambition to share our expertise in girls’ education on a global scale. The girls who attend Downe House Muscat will be immersed in an authentic interpretation of our ethos, excellence in teaching and learning in state-of-the-art facilities within a safe and inspirational environment. We are proud to be supported by the Oman Ministry of Defence Pension Fund and will be working closely with them to bring the plans to fruition over the coming months.”
Downe House Muscat will offer the Cambridge International Curriculum (CIC) 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 get involved in a wide range of co-curricular activities to discover their individual interests and talents beyond the classroom, helping to build character, teamworking skills and self-confidence and so much more.
Downe House Headmistress, Mrs Emma McKendrick commented, “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. We hope to build particularly strong links to enable both our staff and our pupils in Muscat to benefit from all that a Downe House education offers. We place a great emphasis on a global outlook for all our girls and I firmly believe that this development will be of huge benefit for the whole Downe House community. My thanks to the Governors, the staff here and in our partner organisations for all they have done to get the project to the stage it is at now – it won’t be long before we welcome the first cohort of girls to Downe House Muscat which is incredibly exciting for us all.”
Downe House is working with award-winning architects and many of the design features reflect elements of the Downe House UK campus, with a distinct reference to our impressive Murray Centre on the UK site. The Muscat campus will consist of four interconnected buildings providing state-of-the-art teaching facilities, a Performing Arts Centre with a stunning theatre as its centrepiece, a STEM Centre, an Art and Design Centre and a Sports Academy.
To ensure the success of integrating every aspect of the Downe House UK ethos into Downe House Muscat, the Deputy Headmistress, Mrs Michelle Scott has been appointed as the new school’s Founding Headmistress. Mrs Scott has been a key member of the Downe House community for twenty-three years and is well placed to develop the connections and align the two sister schools. Mrs Scott said, “I am a passionate believer in the very best education for girls, and feel honoured to be leading the first girls-only school run by a British girls’ school in the Middle East, and the first Downe House international sister school. 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 – our global alumnae community is the living proof that there is absolutely no limit to what a Downe House girl can achieve!”