Al Qualaa was founded in 1987 and is situated in Saida, the main city of south Lebanon. Then, only 100 children enrolled for the basic education cycle in kindergarten, grades one, two and three headed by Principal Nawal Al-Ameen and twelve other staff members. Due to its rapid growth in size and fame, a domino effect occurred permitting all classes at all levels to be offered in 1995. The school witnessed its first graduation ceremony for students exiting the Preschool (KG3) and grade 5 in 1989. A few years later, QSS was graduating students in grade 9 (Brevet) and in 1996 the school rendered its first terminal class graduation ceremony. It is worth noting that the first grade 9 to take the Brevet official exam was in 1993 and the first terminal class to take the official exam was in 1996. QSS not only made big strides in academic achievements, but also had its share in sports and performing arts. In 1991, QSS first debuted a school talent show and since then has become an annual event. Moreover, the school basketball and soccer teams have achieved outstanding results in local and national tournaments. In 1992, despite the rudimentary resources and size of school, QSS Hawks were able to gain first place in the Ramadan Tournament. This was the beginning of a new era in sports at QSS. Since then, the basketball and soccer teams have achieved remarkable outcomes in every tournament. We’ve had our share of success in swimming, ping pong and Karate as well.
The school system in Lebanon is complex and private schools like Al-Qualaa are free to determine their own teaching methodology, classroom organization and text book usage. Although private schools have greater autonomy than public schools, teachers must teach within the broad requirements of the established curriculum and their students sit for the national examinations (Brevet and The Lebanese Baccalaureate). The school prospectus states that it implements the practice of mixed ability groups and seeks to prepare students for the two external examinations: the Brevet in Year 9, and the Lebanese Baccalaureate in Year 12. The school prepares students for the Brevet examinations covering all academic subjects. The language policy of QSS is that it uses English as its medium for instruction and French is taught as a second foreign language. Some ‘non-academic’ subjects, such as Technology and PE, do not require students take a written exam, but are assessed using more practical tools.