Assalamu alaykum dear parents.
We pray you are in the best of health and Imaan InshAllah. As your child is at the Qaida stage of learning, I just wanted to inform you of how we teach and assess our children. This is part of our drive to now ensure that parents are given regular personalised updates on their children’s progress. We will be sending out similar updates on the nazra and hifz section in due course inshAllah should you also have children in these sections. For now please read the following so you are aware of how our Qaida section works. I’ve done a few Q and A’s to clarify some main areas I thought would be of interest to you all.
Why is Qaida stage so important?
The Qaida stage is the Qur’anic phonic stage and probably the most important stage of a child’s learning for recitation. The stronger the qaida is learnt the stronger the Qur’an recitation, however any weaknesses at this stage will only show up when the child comes on to the Qur’an. The best reciters are therefore those whose Qaida stage was done properly which is why we take our time and want to be thorough.
How long does it take to finish the Qaida book?
For a full time student it takes a year (for a 7 year old plus student) while it usually takes 2 years for part time / weekend student. This is an average guide although it can be completed sooner / later. We teach the Qaida-Al-Baghdadia which is an Egyptian Qaida book that consists of both phonics and reading. It is around 160 pages in length and has approximately 13 chapters.
How do you teach the Qaida Baghdadia at the BQA?
Students are allocated into groups depending on what stage of the Qaida they are at.
There are 3 levels/classes. Class one is for beginners which covers pages 1–5, class 2 covers pages 50 – 100 and class three covers pages 100-160. Each student has their own individual work although learning can take place via instruction through the teacher as well as group exercises in the class.
However each student must be independently assessed by myself. On the completion of a successful test, students are issued with a certificate, a sample of which is enclosed. Ideally you want your child to obtain a certificate which is a seal of approval of a high standard. Teachers may continue to teach the student but only those sections that are independently assessed are indicative of a standard that shows excellence. Our aim is to encourage both students and teachers to work together to achieve these Qaida certificates. InshAllah as soon as your child passes this independent assessment, we will issue your child a certificate and notify you, inshAllah. All managers aim to have as many certificate issued as possible.
What areas in the Qaida do you assess students on?
This is a great question and one that all should be aware of, including parents. The 2 key areas of assessment are pronunciation and fluency. Both must be present and briefly this is what we are looking for:
Pronunciation: Articulation of the letters done correctly in an Arabic accent and in a correct tajweed manner. Knowledge and application of soft / heavy letters and correct pronunciation of throat letters are the main challenges students come across that we need to work on.
Fluency. This means reciting at a relatively medium to fast pace and at the same time applying correct vowel counts to each syllable. A syllable could be 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 beats and a student must be able to read fast with the correct beats. This is what the independent assessment in fluency is graded on.
Who is teaching my child?
All our qaida teachers are experienced and strong Qaida teachers. We have around 10 Qaida teachers and your child will be allocated to one teacher for each of the three levels. Your child is also physically supervised by a dedicated manager. Ustadha Aroosa manages the female staff and also generally supervises the students on the girl’s side while Shaikh Umer does the same on the boys side. Your first points of contact are these managers. As mentioned I do the independent assessments to ensure that teaching and progress is as effective as possible and that standards are always maintained.
When will my child be assessed and how will I know of his/her progress?
Starting from mid-March we will be sending parents of Qaida students a report on their children’s progress. This report will give you an update on the amount of pages covered for the last two weeks and our assessment of the two key areas of pronunciation and fluency. As mentioned we will be sending this to you via Whatsapp text as a PDF document attachment.
What if I can’t open the Qaida report attachment on my phone?
These reports are in document form so have to be sent electronically as a document. We can’t send out the report as a simple text message but only as an attachment via text. If you can’t open this document we can send it to you via email but you must send us a message asking for it to be sent via email along with your email address please. Alternatively you can come and pick it up physically but please notify us so we can have it printed out for you.
Other than Qaida what else do you teach my child?
We also undertake Islamic studies for the last hour which is planned in advance and usually based on the lives of important Islamic personalities such as stories of the Prophets. We cover topics that deal with faith, Islamic identity and salah (prayer). Also included in this document is a schedule of planned activities/lessons for all our Qaida children based in the Bahu Building (former church building) for the next few weeks. We will be sending one in the next few days for students who are based in the main masjid hall. For this reason it is important that your child attends until 2.50pm please.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me on and I will be more than happy to answer any of your questions/queries:
Ustadh Shauket Fazil
BA Hons (Law/Arabic) SOAS Univ of Lon
MA Arabic Literaure SOAS Univ of Lon