We were thrilled to discover that one of our Secondary School English teachers was once a Park House student! From 2007 to 2011, Mrs Charlotte Devine (then Bradley) completed her IGCSE and A-Levels at what she calls “the best British School in Doha”.
Mrs Devine has been a Secondary English teacher at Park House, teaching KS 3, 4 and 5, for the past three years. She studied Journalism and Creative Writing at De Montfort University in Leicester and then studied her PGCE at the University of Sunderland. She fondly remembers being a student at our school and is happy to share some of her treasured memories and experiences with us.
I really enjoyed my time in Sixth Form at Park House as the class sizes were small and focused. It felt like a ‘family’ rather than an ‘institution’. I built lifelong friendships with my peers and connections with my teachers who worked so hard to cater to our individual needs. Between the students and the teachers, we all really got to know and respect one another.
The positive learning environment at Park House really made me value my education. I knew I was very lucky to be there and was receiving a much more enriching experience than I had been getting in the United Kingdom. I had never been excited to go to school until I came to Park House, but thanks to my encouraging teachers that made lessons engaging, kind peers and the wonderful friendships I made, school no longer became a chore! Something I know many teens battle with… I was miserable at the all-girls school I attended in the U.K. Park House gave me a completely new outlook on school life and I am forever grateful.
What advice do you have for current sixth form students?
It is sometimes difficult to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at this age. Some of your friends may have their hearts set on being a Pilot or a Doctor and perhaps you have no clue. I knew I loved English, writing, communicating and working with others and therefore I set out on a course to become a Journalist, assuming it was the ‘best fit’. Now, I am an English teacher! I had no idea this is where life would take me when I finished Sixth Form, but my advice is to pursue the subjects you enjoy, work hard and the right opportunities will open up for you.
Could you give us some differences between then and now?
One major thing that has changed is that there are a lot more students than before! More teachers too and a wider variety of subject options. They now have Spanish, not just French, they didn’t have Drama and they didn’t have Sociology before as well. The English department used to consist of only 4/5 teachers when I was at school. Now there are 7 English teachers in the department, which is reflective of the growing number of students. The technology used in school, of course, has changed to keep up with the times and there has been some modernisation of the sports facilities, auditorium, reception and Sixth Form block.
Did you make lasting friendships?
Yes! I graduated Sixth Form in 2011 and am still very close with many of the friends I made during my time at Park House. I went to University in Leicester and several of my Park House friends were nearby in Nottingham, Birmingham and Loughborough, therefore I regularly saw them. I had three of my Park House friends attend my wedding in 2019 and am still in contact with several others all around the world. After going to Park House, I now have friends to visit all over the world in Scotland, England, South Africa, Spain and Australia. I am also in contact with some of my teachers including my own English teacher, Miss Rebecca Cain (now Mrs Rebecca Sheridan), who particularly inspired me.
What were some of the highlights from your time at Park House?
There are so many highlights from my time at Park House but my most memorable moments were starring in the school play, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, representing the school in QUESS tournaments on the Volleyball and Netball teams, attending the St. Petersburg Model United Nations conference, being invited to attend a dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Head of the Sixth Form Committee along with Head Boy, Head Girl and our Sports Captain and members of the Senior Leadership staff; and finally leading the planning for the Leavers’ Ball at the Sharq Hotel.