While inquiry is at the heart of learning at AIS, developmentally-appropriate learning outcomes at each grade level guide teachers in nurturing students as they develop what they know, how they know and learn, and how they demonstrate learning. The written curriculum of AIS is informed by research-based standards and guided by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) guides for the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programmes (PYP, MYP, DP). The AIS curriculum standards are vertically aligned from grade PK to grade 12, including the IBDP. Each unit is designed with a focus on learning expectations, performance assessments, and concept-based classroom instruction. This format is used for framing all curriculum units. All agreed upon units are documented in the AIS Atlas Rubicon system and are written, revised, edited, or changed by teachers in consultation with Teaching Teams, Heads of Department, the Curriculum Coordinator, IB Coordinators, and divisional Principals.
A variety of IB publications inform how AIS teachers guide and assess student learning at AIS. The how encompasses the practices that guide the delivery of curricular standards and grade level expectations and the assessment of student learning. The how is where proven practice ideas and theories come to life.
While the guides from the IB inform how to teach and assess, the AIS curriculum standards documents inform what to teach and assess (e.g., skills, content knowledge). Adopted curriculum standards provide the foundation of teaching and learning at AIS. These documents identify what(specific content and skills) students should be able to do as a result of instruction. Currently each subject area document outlines standards, benchmarks, and vertically aligned grade level expectations. Outcomes and alignments are ongoing works in progress.
Students develop knowledge and skills in a progressive, developmentally appropriate manner. Research-based standards documents, paired with IB programme guides, provide teachers at AIS with a solid road map to guide the learning journey they take with students during a school year in a particular subject area. Standards enable AIS to fulfill the expectations of the IB to “ensure that students experience coherence in their learning regardless of which teacher has responsibility for them at any particular point in time.” (International Baccalaureate Organization, 12). Over time a consistent approach serves to narrow and eliminate gaps and redundancies in student learning.