MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL
Stamford’s Secondary School is organized into a Middle School (Grades 6-8) and a High School (Grades 9-12). Developmentally-appropriate courses are planned for each grade level, which are well-supported by proven-effective primary and supplemental resources. One special area of focus is our STEM/Innovation (STEMinn) program, which blends the learning of our mathematics, sciences and innovation strands. Additionally, the entire program is broad and balanced in content, holistic in approach, developing the whole child, and imbued with the notion of international mindedness, which is paramount to Stamford being an international school.
The Middle School at Stamford is a special place where students begin to transition from the heavily transdisciplinary nature of Elementary studies to a blend of interdisciplinary and subject-specific areas of learning. In Grades 6-8, education begins to increase in complexity, and so students begin to dive deeper into subject-specific content, skills, and concepts. This is complemented with continued attention on developing the whole child through our advisory program and use of the Second Step curriculum for social-emotional learning development.
The High School will consist of two years of Stamford integrated courses (Grades 9-10) and then two years of Diploma Programme and Stamford courses (Grades 11-12). The courses in Grades 9-10 are developed using the same principles as the DP courses, to best prepare students. That means the courses are standards-based and inquiry-based in approach, with similar assessment objectives (knowledge, evaluation, analysis, application, etc.). The courses embed approaches to learning skills (ATLs), with international mindedness and global citizenship at the core. More information about the Diploma Programme is below.
Courses in both the Middle School and High School are based on the rigorous and proven American Education Reaches Out (AERO) and Common Core Plus standards. Teaching and learning are enhanced through the pairing of external standardized exams that happen twice a year (see Measures of Academic Progress below).
The IBDP is a comprehensive and challenging pre-university course of study that demands the best from motivated students and teachers. The two-year curriculum is designed to prepare students for entrance to leading universities worldwide and is one of the highest regarded academic programs for students aged 16-19.
Research conducted in the UK reveals that university admissions offices recognize that the skills developed by DP students make them highly desirable applicants for universities. Beyond completing college-level courses and examinations, IB Diploma students are also required to engage in community service, individual research and an inquiry into the nature of knowledge. The IBDP curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts: extended essay, the theory of knowledge and creativity, activity, service (CAS). The two-year course of study leads to externally-assessed final examinations and a qualification widely recognized by the world’s leading colleges and universities for its high academic standards. For more information, click here.
Stamford is currently in the candidacy phase of Diploma Programme authorization and plans to have the program in place for our first graduating cohort as they enter Grade 11 in the fall of 2021. Students will have a wide range of courses from which to select across the six DP groups. College guidance counselors will assist students along every step of the way during the university application process.
Each student’s achievements are continually assessed. Teachers use a variety of assessment techniques including testing for knowledge and skills, observations, portfolios of student’s work and analysis of book, project and practical work. Attitude, learning skills, social relationships and effort are considered equally important when looking at the overall development of the child.
Every student will undergo standardized Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments twice a year in Mathematics, Reading and Science. Administered each Fall and Spring, these results are benchmarked according to U.S. and International norms to determine each student's instructional level, allowing us to deliver individual learning plans and measure students' academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year.
Created by educators for educators, MAP® assessments provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path. MAP® is a computerized test, which dynamically adapts to student’s response as they take the test. If a student answers a question correctly they proceed to a more challenging question and if a student misses a question the test offers them a simpler question. In this way MAP® tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for each student's level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.
MAP® data is used within the school to differentiate instruction. The RIT scores provided for each student allows teachers to identify the standards-based developmental level for each student and therefore to construct learning goals based on the next set of standards that are individually relevant. For more information, click here.
*Stamford American School Hong Kong has applied for International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme candidacy and will seek authorization for the school’s first graduating cohort.