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Date Posted... Mar 24th 2021

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April Angilley CO12

Life teaching in Doha, Qatar

April believes her Truro School days have given her some of her “greatest memories and happiest days.” She studied at Truro School alongside her siblings Athena CO17 and Augustus CO16, following in the footsteps of their Father – Old Truronian David Angilley CO87.

“I have Truro School to thank for so many important things in my life. I am so grateful for all the incredible opportunities it gave me and the confidence I was able to build there. The support and guidance from teachers have been instrumental to the woman I am today. Being part of such a special community of teachers and students is something for which I will be eternally grateful.”

After leaving Truro School, April continued her studies at the University of Southampton, completing a BSc in Management and then spent a year working for American Express, in London. However, she soon realised City Life was not for her and decided to go travelling with Fiancée Tom, who she met whilst at University. Eventually, their shared love of the ocean and the sunshine aided their decision to settle in Doha, Qatar in 2016.

“The decision to move certainly came with challenges as the culture is quite different here. The international perception of the middle east is that life for women is quite different. But if one is considerate and mindful of the country’s culture, dresses appropriately and respects the native way of life things are not too much different within the ex-pat community.”

April began working in a school in Qatar as a PA, hoping to gain an insight into the education system. The School Principal recommended she pursue her interest in child development and psychology and so she began an international PGCE with Nottingham University Combining her studies with work, it took a year to complete the virtual course which included one week of face-to-face training in Hong Kong. At the end of her training, she was offered a teaching position at the school.

April is now a secondary school Geography Teacher at an international school in Qatar. Her school is part of a network of 66 schools worldwide and work closely with other countries through this global campus. They have 1000 students with over 70 nationalities.

“I do think it’s a wonderful place to be a child and have friends from all over the world. Most people speak English here, but in school we have a lot of EAL (English as an additional language) students, so we often have to adjust our teaching and vocabulary.”

April enjoys her role and feels a duty to try and inspire future generations to consider the world in which we live, and the impacts humanity is having – from volcanoes and weather, to important issues on development, population, sustainability, and climate change.

Although April has never taught in the UK, she believes there are some differences between the schooling system. She explains “We have a lot of freedom in our teaching here and there are less regulations, which can often make it more fluid day by day. However, there are months when we are restricted due to the intense heat. During May-September you cannot go outside, so it can be challenging keeping children entertained inside.” Just as in the UK, schools in Qatar have faced major changes in the last year due to the pandemic. “We locked down in early March 2020 and everything was closed until mid-July. We started live lessons straight away, so it was a long few months of online school for us.” Adapting teaching during COVID is something which April feels has enhanced her skills. Teaching has now resumed in school with April using a blended learning approach, with half the class present for face-to-face teaching, whilst the other half remain at home accessing lessons via Microsoft TEAMS.

This year April plans to continue her studies and begin a master’s in international education with Kings College London. She and Tom will continue their frequent visits to Cornwall to see family and friends as April is still close to three of her old Truro School friends: Julia Nilsson, Emily Harris and Marianne Kemp (all CO12). She describes the four of them as “inseparable from Day 1”.

Having postponed their wedding twice already, due to COVID restrictions, Tom and April hope sometime soon, they will be able to plan and enjoy their wedding day with family and friends in Cornwall. And, In the future, the couple hope to return to the UK and the county they love to buy a place of their own.

For now, April and Tom are relishing life by the beach, enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle, spending weekends on their speedboat and camping in the desert with their toy poodle, Ruby. Their love of travel has not diminished and as Tom is a pilot for Qatar Airways, they have visited many places together including Zanzibar, Nairobi, Zurich, Singapore, Boston, and Cape Town.

“Travel is something that makes you richer. It is the world’s greatest teacher.”

April with the U16 Netball team in 2009

April Angilley CO12 Skydiving

Marianne Kemp and Emily Harris visiting April in Doha

If you have any questions about the course April took to teach abroad, or are looking for advice about working abroad, the Truro School Connected initiative could help. Please contact the Development Team at: TSConnections@truroschool.com

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