Kidzink Design has partnered with Artemis Education on one of their latest school projects, Northview International School, Qatar. We spoke with Northview’s Founding Principal, Sheldon Smith to discover more about his plans for this exciting new hub of community and learning.
Northview International School, Qatar will open in September 2022 and will bring an authentic American school experience to the surrounding community. Situated between Al Khor City and Doha, the experienced team behind this brand-new school are set to thread eco-awareness through every element of the curriculum and student experience.
Read on to find out how a partnership with Kidzink Design is helping to bring these ideals to life.
Sheldon, thank you for taking the time to talk to us at Kidzink Design. Can you tell us about the planning and ambition behind Northview School?
I have been a school leader in Qatar for a number of years, most recently at Doha British School. I have thoroughly enjoyed every school I have worked with, but when Artemis Education approached me about Northview International School, it was really an opportunity that was too good to miss! To be a Founding Principal is a once in a lifetime job, and I was thrilled to accept the role.
When I joined, Northview was little more that a patch of land in the desert! To begin bringing together the ethos and culture of the school, my role really started in three key areas; creating our school policies, hiring our academic team and working with them to clarify exactly what our curriculum would look like.
I have been fortunate enough to hire an incredibly dedicated and experienced team, and we have spent many hours together brainstorming what we want Northview to be.
As a team we asked ourselves ‘what do we want to be, what is our ethos and personality here?’. Eventually, alongside our goal of being a great value school with high academic aspirations, there was one word that kept getting louder and louder during these discussions, simply – ‘eco’.
We have decided that eco principles will be at the heart of everything, at the core of our delivery, day in day out. Our curriculum will have simple, continuous eco themes that work for every year group and every area of the curriculum. This core idea behind the school has really informed and energized everyone involved. We have great teachers, ready to go, and their energy when they get round a table together is just fantastic!
What will be the first eco-aspects of Northview school that students and families notice?
I think most notable will be our bio-domes, which we hope will give our children the chance to grow their own produce and explore nature. Eventually, I hope that we can host a regular farmers market, which will see our children bring the produce they have grown from seed to sell.
There will be other elements too – all paper in our washrooms will be made of bamboo, there will be no single use plastic allowed and all our food will be served in recycled paper cartons. On joining, our students will receive a hemp bag, a pencil and notebook with seeds embedded in them, a beeswax sandwich wrap and re-suable fruit and vegetable bags to take shopping with them.
What I think is even more important is that our school will be the first ‘carbon positive’ school in the country, thanks to a forest that will be planted in our name in South America. We are all thrilled about that!
Northview International School sounds like an incredibly inspiring place to learn and to work. How has partnering with Kidzink Design helped you to bring Northview to life?
The entire Kidzink team has delivered in an incredible way, really. I almost don’t know how to put it into words.
You know, just because I have been around schools for the better part of three decades, doesn’t mean that I know how to plan a learning space! We did try at the start, but eventually we knew we were just banging our heads together and that we needed Charlotte and Kidzink on board.
The fact that your team is so experienced and has really been evident throughout, and of course your commitment to ecologically sound working practices has supported our own goals.
Overall, I would say that the way in which Kidzink works, and the lengths to which they go to really understand your goals has been instrumental. Without fail, every member of the team has been helpful and supportive.
If you are keen to partner with Kidzink Design or to find out more about what we do – contact us by clicking here!