They say time flies by when your time is spent times tabling all the time. Well it may feel like 12 months has flown by, but when I think back to my visit to the wonderful place that is Doha (Qatar), I’m reminded of how far we have come with improving our offering for our Middle Eastern schools. This was kickstarted by my visit to Sherborne Qatar Preparatory School. In a mild heat of 35 degrees, I rocked up at Sherborne Preparatory (Grand Zone, Mall of Qatar), located in Ar-Rayyan, just west of Doha. This is just one of many Sherborne schools out in Qatar: they have several campuses across the country, offering single sex, co-educational, SEND schools, for both preparatory and senior students.
Prior to the visit, we had identified Sherborne Preparatory as avid TT Rock Stars users, with the programme spearheaded by Zahra Mohammad, a year 6 Teacher and the former Head of Maths.

When I arrived – I was not disappointed: the walls were decorated with Top of the Rocks posters, the TT Rock Stars displays were fun and vibrant, and the kids were enthusiastic to play and eager to learn.

TT Rock Stars was being used in every maths class from year 3 up to year 6. It was everything we could want from a school!

Whilst I was there, the school were competing against Oryx International School in a Top of the Rocks competition, as well as an intra-school Battle of the Bands. There was a high level of competitiveness amongst the students, but also a strong sense of collaboration.

I spoke to teachers, students and parents throughout the day and was thrilled with their comments and feedback on TT Rock Stars:

In addition to the kind words and feedback, throughout the day I was constantly jotting down recommendations and requests from parents, teachers, and students. Unfortunately the Shaun the Sheep themed guitar is not going ahead (thanks to the lovely girl who requested it), but many other great ideas and suggestions made it back on the plane home with me. And I’m proud to say, if they’re not a work in progress – they’ve already been actioned!


So when I returned to TT Rock Stars HQ we set about turning the requests and recommendation into reality. We hope that we have enhanced the experience – not only for Sherborne Qatar Preparatory School, but hopefully all schools in Qatar, the Middle East and internationally!


Children at school in Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries have the option to dress their avatars from an extensive selection of traditional Arabic attire.

Girls have a selection of Abayas and Shaylas. Boys can choose from a range of Dishdashas, Thobes, and Ghutras:


We were particularly keen to engage in regular contact with our schools in the Middle East, and the perfect opportunity presented itself a few months after my visit. 

Bruno Reddy (Maths Circle CEO) was invited to speak at a British Schools in the Middle East (BSME) meeting, organised by the Network Lead for maths with BSME – Daithi Colton, who is also the current Head of Maths at Sherborne Preparatory School. Bruno was able to speak with maths teachers from British schools across the Middle East about teaching times tables, using TT Rock Stars to the best of its ability and much more!


The appetite for competition at Sherborne Prep School was palpable. They were competing in monthly Top of the Rocks competitions against other Qatari schools, and almost weekly(!) Battle of the Bands competitions, where their classes were competing against each other. After a Top of the Rocks tournament which involved eleven schools in Qatar, we had all the prompts we needed to set up a national competition of their own. Cue Qatar Rocks.

Qatar Rocks was held between January⁠ 15th to January 17th. 76.5% of the schools subscribed to TT Rock Stars took part, which included 429 classes and 4,720 students who, together, answered 3,282,914 facts correctly. For the first Qatar Rocks competition, we were mightily impressed!

Congratulations to 6 Led Zeppelaydin – Mesaieed International School, who were the winning class, with a score of 7,363. This was closely followed by 6B Miss Elmi 23/24 – Doha English Speaking School on 4,223 points and Y5TB 2023-24 – Compass International School in third place on 3.336 points.

As we move forward, we are committed to enhancing educational experiences for all schools worldwide, ensuring every student has the opportunity to thrive.

I’d like to say a big thank you and shout out to the awesome teachers at Sherborne Qatar Preparatory School, especially Zahra Mohammed and Daithi Colton for the warm welcome to their school and extensive help on making the Qatar Rocks tournament possible. Here’s to many more!

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