St. Dominic's International School Lisbon
Reviews & Information

2.7 from 17 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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17 Reviews of St. Dominic's International School

Average Ratings

Overall 2.67
Facilities 1.83
Academics 1.92
Teachers 2.42
Sports 1.83
Music & Arts 1.75
Science & Tech 1.83

Reviewer Nationalities

Portuguese (2) Spanish (1) British (4) Angolan (1) Zimbabwean (1) French (1) Dutch (1) Italian (1)

How would you rate St. Dominic's International 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
Relationship   Parent

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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.

Tom, 28/07/2020 @ 04:12:12
Relationship   Teacher

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I feel I must write about St. Dominic’s in support of the fight against inequality. There is a lot of racial inequality and injustice based on certain ethnic groups at the school. St. Dominic’s has asked for and collected from Chinese parents a special placement fee of 30,000 euros per child on top of tuition that does not apply to other ethnic groups. St. Dominic’s has been known to ask for a full year of school fees upfront from Angolan families. When Brazilian families raised concerns about the school, they were singled out as a group and it was said that no more Brazilians would be admitted to St. Dominic’s, despite the educational needs of Brazilian families moving to Portugal. In sum, families of certain ethnic backgrounds are routinely asked for more money or denied access to the school for speaking up to try and improve conditions. There is also known pay disparity among staff of different backgrounds, creating division at St. Dominic’s. Yet no one is really paid well or treated fairly, since the inner circle consists mostly of family members and friends of the owners. The teachers are held to a high standard, asked to show compassion and to be fair but this same courtesy is not provided to families, students and teachers in return by the school’s gatekeepers. You see in plain view teachers, families and students silenced. Some international students are also housed in expensive living quarters that are not inspected and without much regard for the health and safety of those students under the school’s care. The school has clearly taken advantage of people from Chinese, Angolan and Brazilian backgrounds time and again. By such actions, St. Dominic’s is part of the problem and has ingrained in the school culture abuse of power, injustice, inequality, unfairness, bullying, intimidation tactics, and targeting people based on ethnic group – wherever they can grab the most money. When it is known among families that key decisions are made because of what country the person comes from and monetary greed, this goes against IB values. This kind of way to run a school is not and never was acceptable. It is time to pay attention, change the power imbalance and stand up to corruption, nepotism, misconduct, elitism, classism, toxicity and the extremely poor treatment of employees, students and families. Where is the money from the salaries of teachers that the school has withheld over and over and over again? Where has the extra 30,000 euros from numerous Chinese families gone? Look to the power of protest all over the world right now and reject a dishonest, corrupt school where teachers are afraid to ask for money that they rightfully earned. Insist on fair treatment for teachers and for everyone associated with St. Dominic’s, including the Chinese, Angolan and Brazilian families in the community. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

Christina Nunez, 22/06/2020 @ 11:47:14
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My children are so happy here! The school has strong teachers and warming environment. Staff is always very responsive to our comments or complaints. And they handled the pandemic masterfully by putting in place an complete online distance learning system in only one week.

Emma Allen, 14/06/2020 @ 14:41:54
Relationship   Ex Pupil

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i attended St dominics between 1997-2000 when i lived out there due to my dad being posted out there to the nato base i loved the school and am still in contact with many og the people i went to school with

Reviews from Google

Recent reviews posted on Google.

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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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Jen L, a month ago


As a parent of two lower school children in our second year in Lisbon and their second year at St. Dominic’s, I’d like to address that there have (and, as with every school, will be) issues and/or concerns that don’t make everyone happy all of the time. That said, as parents, we weren’t happy with some things that were happening on the administrative and ownership side of things last year, but this school has wonderful teachers and both of our kids have been the happiest (both educationally and socially) at this school over any of our past 5 years in 3 countries and at 3 different international schools. The school made the mistake of overfilling with an incoming rush of foreigners to Lisbon the past year or two (as most know, there has been a major boom of foreigners moving to Lisbon the past few years), but some of the concerns of past parents (who’ve since moved their kids to different schools), have already been addressed-with more to come. With regard to class sizes, they have done a great job bringing them back down to 11-14 kids per class, which I think is fantastic! The bathrooms have been completely renovated (yay!), updates to the nursery section are great, and now if they could add a proper playground, that would be great! (As of now, the soccer pitch and blue sports court are it for kids in grades 2-5, but they do have so access to playground items that can be used and then put away during recess/breaks). This school has been around for over 100 years. I’m happy that the classrooms are air conditioned (something one of our former schools in Brazil didn’t even have which made kids and teachers miserable in the heat), and kids are comfortable with warmth in the winter as well! Overall, while I can’t speak for the middle or senior schools, our children are happy, have made some lovely friends, they’re learning, they love their teachers, and that is our biggest need for them at this stage in their lives. As a family who moves around every few years, our biggest desire is for our kids to be able to transition into their new school where they feel comfortable, where they can grow in confidence, meet and make good friends (the kids my children have encountered have been kind, fun, genuinely good kids!), and enjoy their lessons. So far the PYP Units of Inquiry they’ve had have always held their attention and made them interested in knowing more! Again, while not everyone can be happy all of the time, and while we parents have not always agreed with how things have been run or handled at times, our children are our number one concern and we feel that same care and concern from their teachers and the families of St. Dominic’s.

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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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