Working with schools in
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
How will this webinar work?
Please ensure your microphone/phone is on mute
The webinar will be recorded
Please refrain from asking any questions during the webinar. There will be a Q&A
section at the end of the webinar
About the British Council?
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other
countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are on the ground in six
continents and over 100 countries bringing international opportunity to life, every day.
Aims of the webinar
Develop an understanding of Saudi Arabia, their Education system and the challenges
Benefits of partnering with a schools in Saudi Arabia for pupils and teachers
How the British Council can help your school partner with a schools in Saudi Arabia
Which areas of Saudi Arabia you can partner with
How to apply and useful contact details
Facts about Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comprises almost four-fifths of the Arabian Peninsula, an area
approximately one-third the size of the continental United States. Geographically, it is situated in the
south-western part of Asia.
The capital city of Riyadh is located in Najd region . A chain of mountains in western Saudi Arabia
runs parallel to the Red Sea. The Hijaz region along the Red Sea contains the holy cities of Makkah
and Madinah, the port city of Jeddah and the summer capital of Taif.
Today the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds the world's largest reserves of petroleum (26% of proven
total). Its annual purchasing power is about US$ 174 billion and the share of the private sector
economic activities has reached 46% of GDP.
Saudi Arabia’s fast growing population (26 million people today, compared to 12 million 20 years
ago) have witnessed these changes within their own lifetime. Standards of living have improved
dramatically as a result of comprehensive development programs.
Education system in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s education system has gone through an astonishing transformation. When the Kingdom
was established in 1932, education was available to very few people, mostly the children of wealthy
families living in the major cities.
Today, Saudi Arabia’s education system includes 24 public and 8 private universities, with more
planned; more than 31,000 schools , nearly 6,000,000 students , almost 550,000 teachers ; and a large
number of colleges and other institutions. The system is open to all citizens, and provides students with
free education, books and health services.
The objectives of Saudi educational policy are to ensure that education becomes more efficient, to meet
the religious, economic and social needs of the country and to eradicate illiteracy among Saudi adults.
History of English language Teaching in Saudi Arabia
• English Language was first taught in schools in 1929 with 4 periods a week and started
from the grade1.
• In 1942 it only started from the grade 7 with 4 periods a week.
• In 1945 it became 12 periods a week.
• In 1954 French Language was introduced, it ran for 17 years until 1970 when it was
• In 1959 (English) became 6 periods in the intermediate stage and 8 in the secondary
• In 1964 it became 8 periods in the intermediate stage and 8 in the secondary level.
• In 1980 it became 4 periods in the intermediate stage and 4 in the secondary level.
• In 2003 it was introduced in level 6 with 2 periods a week.
• In 2011 it was introduced in level 4 with 2 periods a week.
• Increasing number of the pupils over expected
• The quality of education & outcomes
• No enough number of professional teachers
• Keep pace with the global development
Why partner with schools in Saudi Arabia? What are
the benefits for pupils?
A real life global context for the whole curriculum .
Learning is real, relevant and exciting, and builds motivation and self-confidence.
Understanding of middle eastern culture, society and education
Helping students understanding their rights and responsibilities as global citizens.
Preparing students for work in a global economy and building a fairer, more
Motivation to build trust between communities in the Saudi Arabia and the UK.
What are the benefits for teachers and educators?
A chance to improve teaching skills and the curriculum by sharing best practice
Opportunities to visit your partner school in Saudi Arabia with the British Council.
A greater understanding of other countries, their cultures and their education
Recognition for your school through the British Council's International School
Resources to help you explore social, environmental, and cultural themes.
Access to online British Council run professional development courses.
A way to engage your local community and connect with other local schools.
How can the British Council help you partner with
schools in Saudi Arabia?
We can support you in:
Finding a partner – or school ‘cluster’ partner - and helping you apply
Funding your partnership
Managing your visit safely – e.g. help with local travel and accommodation.
Advice and support every step of the way
Which areas of the Saudi Arabia can you visit?
British Council manages regular UK school partner visits to host schools in line with
FCO travel advice, across the country
British Council also works with the Ministry of Education and the local District Education
Officers to make visits successful
Register on the British Council Schools Online site
British Council will suggest potential school partners in Saudi Arabia and connect you
Develop a joint application for a Connecting Classrooms partnership grant
Deadlines each term so apply when you and your partner school are ready
For more info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Feedback from participants who have worked with schools in the Saudi
"The partnership experience was very positive for staff and students. The opportunity to share cultures and learning
through shared projects was invaluable".
Our schools engaged in cultural exchange projects, which included swapping video diaries and a healthy living
project which involved sharing beliefs regarding what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and making comparisons
between the two countries.
Lead Specialist Practitioner
Bradfields School Outreach Team
Feedback from participants who have worked with schools in the Saudi
The partnership between the schools in the U.K. and Saudi Arabia has had a positive impact at both a personal level and
on the school and the wider community and it is a partnership I am pleased that we are involved with.I visited Riyadh in
February 2012 with a colleague for a planning meeting. This was a very proactive meeting where we planned the project
During the four days there I got to know a great deal more about the country, the people and the Education system. What
became apparent was there were many similarities between the students in both countries and issues facing teachers
were often the same.
The visit by the Saudi Arabians teachers was quite an event for our students. We have limited contact with people from
other countries and the opportunity for them to experience other cultures is an important part of their educational
experience.The visit was fantastic for the students ,the Saudi Arabian teachers came in National dress and were very
active during the visit with the students which led to many discussions during and after the visit.
Andy Pearce :Deputy
Head Teacher – Braunton School
Hi my name is Meshari Al Khames. I am an English teacher in Al Imam Al Sose intermediate school.
Thank you, thank you very much Ministry of Education and British Council for allowing me to join the programmer
(connection classroom). I love to attend meeting and programmers to help improve my English and to find new ways to
teach it. When I heard about connection classroom I thought it just another programmer. Thanks to Allah it was not. It’s
really hard to find a programmer that can effect and improve my student, principle, my school and me just in two years.
I asked my student to Google UK to look and learn about it before the task. Our first task was about ( Who Am I ). I
worked with a first grade students in this task( 15 student). I was amazed with the work the student did. The idea to
work a task and send it and receive a feed back from the UK school the next day is something drove the student to
work and to ask more. I told the principle about the programmer and how much its going to help not only the school but
the Saudi education. After a couple of meeting about connection classrooms my principle liked the ideas to share and
to learn from a schools with a deferent curriculum environment and method of teaching and learning. So he provided
me with support and encouragement. He even gave me a permission to use the school and to call the student’s parent
to allowed them to stay after the school to finish the second task ( food). My principle called and ask the ministry of
education to build a room. But not any kind of room an English lab.
A lot have change in two years and a lot will change. The are almost 10 schools in my area. The Ministry of Education
gave me a certificate for the best English teacher for using different method and activities to teach English. English
was a book I teach to student, but now English is The way I communicate, connect and share my experience.
Question and Answer session
Apply before 25 October 2013