St. Dominic's International School Lisbon
Reviews & Information

2.5 from 19 reviews
School Overview Reviews

About St. Dominic's International School


St Dominic’s International School is an inclusive school, providing an exceptional level of academic, social and emotional care to our students of over forty nationalities. We recognise and value the differing academic abilities of students, which are met through the three academic programmes of the International Baccalaureate. This, together with the diversity of our sporting and artistic heritage, enables each student to thrive in his or her own field of excellence. has a proud tradition of being a supportive and caring community that delivers outstanding educational opportunities.

Your child’s academic progress is kept foremost in our minds and our committed staff display enthusiasm, dedication and high level teaching skills. We constantly strive to create an environment in which every student is supported to achieve the highest levels of success. St Dominic’s International School creates personalized programs to support students with learning difficulties and for students who are new to the English language. Students with special gifts and talents are challenged and encouraged by our experienced teachers to achieve their full potential.

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Curriculum

IB

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Max Class Size

Unknown

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19 Reviews of St. Dominic's International School

Average Ratings

Overall 2.54
Facilities 1.93
Academics 2.00
Teachers 2.40
Sports 1.93
Music & Arts 1.87
Science & Tech 1.93

Reviewer Nationalities

Portuguese (3) Spanish (1) British (6) Angolan (1) Zimbabwean (1) French (1) Dutch (1) Italian (1)

How would you rate St. Dominic's International School?

Jose, 13/06/2021 @ 12:32:39
Relationship   Teacher

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One of the best International Schools in Portugal!

Tom, 23/01/2021 @ 16:47:56
Relationship   Teacher

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SDIS is a school with absolutely zero interest in delivering a good education, and puts it's students and staff at risk. This week the school was ordered to close after the FORCED staff and students to attend work on campus during a LOCKDOWN! The school responded by threatening staff for complaining to the authorities and published a letter on their social media claiming they are mistreated. What a joke. You can find the media reports here, which can be translated through the internet. https://tvi24.iol.pt/sociedade/sao-domingos-de-rana/policia-ordena-fecho-de-colegio-onde-42-alunos-iam-fazer-exame-em-cascais https://www.tsf.pt/portugal/sociedade/policia-chamada-a-colegio-privado-em-cascais-alunos-preparavam-se-para-fazer-um-exame-13263185.html https://www.sabado.pt/portugal/detalhe/policia-fecha-colegio-em-cascais-onde-42-alunos-iam-fazer-exame I STRONGLY ADVISE ANY PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS AND PARENTS TO AVOID THIS SCAM OF A SCHOOL. PORTUGAL IS A NICE PLACE TO LIVE BUT THE SALARY IS LOW AND THE SCHOOL IS AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE.

John, 03/01/2021 @ 02:35:32
Relationship   Teacher

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I am a former teacher who has just finished working for the ‘school’. My experience at this shit school was the worst professional experience I have ever had and I would like to share this with you so that you are not duped by this deceitful organisation. I also want to dedicate this site to all those teachers that were cheated, oppressed and bullied by the ‘school’. Before we begin, this school is NOT an international school. They have international teachers, with a thrown together IB curriculum but this company is all about money. • Administration The school is owned by 3 individuals who have shady reputations . The school is run by one of the owners who is at school every day, a vile woman Catarina Formigo. Lets just say it is a dictatorship where she enjoys the power she gets at the school. As the Portuguese culture is more dominated by men, this is the one place where she finds power, so I think she enjoys firing people on a whim and enjoys it when people grovel in her office. The woman does not have a clue about education or the progression of children. From what I have seen, the heads of the school fear this woman, they are afraid to make decisions on their own two feet and everything has to go through her. Recently she was described as a “visionary” for revamping the toilets – as if this will help in the academic attainment of the students. She suffers from a huge inferiority complex as anyone who upsets her whether it be parents, or staff, she always demands a written apology. • Racism I thought I would start off with this one. The school employs a huge mixture of nationalities including UK, and South Africa to name just a few. However, salaries are paid according to nationalities and not merit. Housing allowances are given to some and not others. Holiday pay seems to only be given to individuals who are related to ‘important’ people within the Portuguese community The Cascais Câmara (the local council in which the school lies) has prominent employees sending their children to this school. They do so paying staff school fees and it’s obviously in exchange for flouting local government regulations Catarina is also racist to various parent groups telling parents she was getting rid of the Brazilians, overcharging the Angolans and Chinese parents Females both parents and staff are often referred to bitches and whores as she often loses her temper and walks around the administration office screaming and ranting Coming to this school will also mean giving up the weekend and some of your evenings too. Once you signed for this school you are expected to do as you are told and work when and where they say, concept of weekend does not exist if Catarina says so. This school is run as a business, not a school. I don’t understand why the place has the word school in their title. Instead of St Dominics International School school it should be St Dominics International Cash Cow. • Some teachers do NOT hold teaching degrees and are not qualified I was mortified to find out that some teachers do not hold teaching qualifications and that they don’t even have degrees!!! yet the school claims everyone is highly qualified and this is a blatant lie to the ministry of education and the parents. Many parents have asked for teachers qualifications to be published on the website like other schools, but the school will never do this for this reason. • Threatening behaviour The school recently went through an accreditation. Before the accreditation teachers were told what to say and Richard Tangye made sure he was in the room next door to the Accreditation Team. He warns the teachers who he feels will be honest and vocal that the if they didn’t speak positively of the school during the meetings then expect your job to be on the line! • No school support with challenging behaviour This has to be the biggest worry for me. The behaviour at school was appalling, in fact it was the worst I had ever experienced during my professional career. Kids would be kids at the end of the day, but the expectations of support from the school was non-existent. You are alone in the classroom. When it goes bad in terms of behaviour it is YOUR fault and you are a bad teacher. • Blame teachers Working here I feel Richard , the Principal who is never present, and Michael who is completely incompetent have created a very poor atmosphere and moral within the staff. The administration of the school were never to blame, the children were never to blame and had no responsibility, but it was the teachers who were always in the firing line of blame. The moral was awful and teachers were treated as if they did not know what they were doing despite some staff having 20 years plus teaching experience. • High turnover of staff, staff runners There are countless staff that leave each year and mid year. I suspect none of the other international schools in Lisbon have a staff turnover as high as this school. I’ve met teachers from those schools and none of them are as unhappy as the staff at SDIS. There is NO professional development offered at this school. The school also provides no first aid or health and safety training to any staff members. There is no one at the school who will support you as a teacher. It’s a shit show from beginning to end. Being unemployed for a year would be a better option than taking a position at this school.

Sharma Wills , 01/09/2020 @ 08:26:58
Relationship   Parent

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Money Looters If you send your child to this school, the only possible achievement you can hope for, is for them to scrape through the IB Diploma with a pass and the minimum points scored. Failing here is common. They fail on providing basic education, they care very little for students well being and safety, & are discriminatory and racist to certain nationalities. You can be sure that if the owner or any of her leadership are talking to you - you are being lied to. The only process that works well in this school is their banking. The busiest and happiest person at the school is the school attorney, who will sue parents when they leave. They expect parents to pay a full terms notice to leave. The capital levy is non-refundable and if you consider how many people change schools, there is no motivation reason for the school to improve. Leaving students is a money spinner for them each year. Don't waste your time here.

Maria, 18/08/2020 @ 17:06:56
Relationship   Parent

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Zero stars should be an option An absolute wreck of a "school". Exists only to squeeze money out of unsuspecting families, treats staff terribly and academics are appalling. Most of the good students know that this school is mediocre at best, which is why they leave. Entire School leadership is a joke. The Principal is incompetent and has achieved nothing in 5 years. He’s greatest achievement is turning this into the worst school in Lisbon Do not under any circumstances work here or send your children here.

Tony , 16/08/2020 @ 14:31:30
Relationship   Ex Pupil

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This school is a trash school that just takes parents money and gives us a dirty squashed campus They does nothing for a good school environment. Everything is bad, the food , science labs, there is no good art or music rooms I feel that my education would have been better at even a local school . We spend our days frustrated with teachers who are also frustrated. English teachers who are Portuguese teachers who can’t speak very well to teach in English There is no respect , very miserable place The principals lie about the problems in this school. It’s not safe here and even already a student died from a drug overdose. And one small kid lost part of his finger in the football field gate There have been police coming to check school bags but kids just hide stuff in toilets and in outside places The Covid online program was poor quality compared what I saw my colleagues from other schools receiving The school wants blame the IB algorithm for the bad results but the school had bad results every year The principals dont care about kids just smiling at parents like clowns Parents don’t send your kids here. It’s so bad they will do worse than you can imagine This school should be closed so no more kids have to go though such trash school

Sara S , 15/08/2020 @ 14:30:10
Relationship   Parent

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I see nothing at this school has changed since we left Portugal I had my children at this school for 3 years and can say the only positive Is the school has one or two staff who display care and warmth to the children. I was very concerned when i returned to our home country with glowing reports from SDIS only to discover that my children were way behind academically especially in Maths Talking to other parents who also moved countries and schools, all had the same experience. The children’s academics are lower than expected and all need tutors and extra lessons to catch up. The grades on school reports are inflated and not true. I’m happy to see there are a lot more international school choices as parents had limited options when I was there including teachers who told us they were treated very badly by the owners and, teachers are paid very poorly in comparison to the high school fees. I made sure that this school was removed as a school option at my husbands company as they send multiple employees to Lisbon every 2-3 years. I find it interesting that parents who don’t pay school fees or have a deal with the owner for reduced fees are the only parents who give the school 5 star reviews. This must be on instruction from the owner so be very suspicious to take a 5 star review as credible. The principal is a very poor leader. And is also almost never at school.

Ercole De Conca, 12/08/2020 @ 13:35:05
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We cannot express how happy we are having our daughter in SDIS. She has been there since kindergarten to grade five, now starting grade six. We have had a very positive experience in this school: the students follow an amazing academic program and the teachers are very supportive and nurturing. Stuff and administration have shown our child genuine caring and compassion, all the while providing her with quality education. By watching our child response, we can tell teachers have truly interacted with her and touched her in some way. As matter of facts she’s very happy and always looking forward to see again her teachers on a Monday or after the holydays.

Ana Cristina Neves, 07/08/2020 @ 11:39:29
Relationship   Parent

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My daughter has done all the three IB (PYP, MYP and DP) programes and she was very well prepared for Law School. St. Dominic's has great teachers and staff who are always supportive to students in their doubts and difficulties and that strengthen their capacities. It has a great sports programe, my daughter has represented St. Dominic's twice at ISSA tournaments in London. It has also has the Duke of Edinburgh Award available for the students who would like to do it. It even accepts students from other international schools who do not have it. This school has also a very good variety of CAS activities. I believe that I have chosen the best school for my daughter's education, it has prepared her to be an excellent student with great skills of studying, with respect to other nationalities and cultures, to be a creative thinker and to fight for her dreams. If you are looking for a school with a very good environment where everybody look for each other this is the best one!

Max, 29/07/2020 @ 01:08:07
Relationship   Teacher

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Despite the school’s welcoming website, the caring image it portrays does not outweigh the ugliness of the toxic environment that is created and reinforced by the administrators, specifically the owner Catarina Formigo, her egregious Principal Richard Tangye and all the weak individuals they would like to call Leadership. This place is a depressing environment where your students cannot grow and is run by an administration who sees children and family as mere monetary objects. The owners and the Principal and all of the current administration place money before people, and staff are treated with little regard and dignity. Richard Tangye is highly unprofessional and shockingly deceitful - the list doesn’t end there. Being an IB school, one would think that all administrators would try to uphold and model the values they aim to instill in the staff and children of SDIS. But not this school, they behave like a Mafia, intimidating and bullying staff. They will intimidate parents who criticise and leave the school. They short pay staff, terminate contracts illegally. I believe they count on staff being too afraid to go to lawyers as this will make Richard Tangye angry and place them on his black list. No one in this school supports or guides teachers. Leaving the tyrant owner to continue her abusive behaviour. Over the years both Catarina’s and Richards persistent bullying and intimidation tactics has done a grave disservice to the school, forcing strong teachers out due to the negative and toxic work environment. High turnover rates are common at international schools, but the number of teachers who flee SDIS, sometimes even before the year or their contract has ended, far exceeds the standard rate. I’m ashamed that I stayed at this school for as long as i did. In my opinion, this school cannot improve under the current owners or Principal.

Reviews from Google

Recent reviews posted on Google.

Google logoRating: 

Lm C, a month ago


just writing to say I am flabbergasted by some bad reviews left here. Is the school perfect ? No Does it deserve one star ? No The school have already started a major overhaul of their installations in the last couple of years, have pulled out from the ground the new senior building in less than 4 months in order to be ready for September 2018/19 It might take a few more years for the school re-do to be finished but it is getting there. We also have traveled around the world and went through a bunch of international schools, here my kid in senior is thriving , very satisfied with the curriculum and would not want to go to any other international school to pass her diploma. I know the school for the last five years, in my experience St Dominic always have been trying to improve and always have done their best to address issues. More is coming and I am sure they will resolve management matters in the future.

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Stefan, a month ago


Our son is at Saint Dominic's since 2 years and he is happy there. The education level is very similar to the other international schools he has been at. Some teachers are better than other, but this is normal. The results of the school seem to be within the average of international schools. A comment to the 1 * ratings: I find it very strange that nearly all of them have just one rating posted in Google, this looks like they have just been created to bring the school rating down. Please have a look yourself. Definitely 1 * is not correct or fair.

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Raquel Maille, a month ago


If you are looking for a school that gives strong academic foundation or progress for your children, this is not the place to look. Its below average. Will children be happy here? Oh yes. A school without rules, standards and expectations - usually quite hard to find children who don't like this Can you compare this to the standards of the International Schools that all have waiting lists ? Absolutely not. There are great schools, average schools and then schools like St Dominics that are below average and below standard. But that works for some people. If you are not expecting university entrance for your children and have very low standards for them this place will work.

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Martim Almeida, 3 weeks ago


St Dominic’s has for the many years lived on its past good reputation but that is fast coming to an end. It is a for profit school that is now full of locally hired teachers, many with poor English and also with no IB or international teaching experience. Some can even be questioned if they have any teaching qualification. The owners employ many family members in key positions to keep tight power. There are many stories from past teachers of poor treatment of staff and unfair labour practices relating to salaries and compensation My advices is to scratch the school off your list.

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