Stamford uses an American standards-based curriculum based on the rigorous and proven American Education Reaches Out (AERO) and Common Core Plus standards that develop a strong foundation in the core subjects such as language, art, math, humanities, and science. We deliver this curriculum using an inquiry-based approach across themes and nurture every child through a personalized learning approach to foster curiosity and independent thinking. Our programs culminate with three diploma options, including the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP).

What are the core elements of the curriculum?

In addition to our adopted American standards, the core of our curriculum has several elements that focus on developing the whole child. These elements include global citizenship, approaches to learning, international mindedness, service learning, building character, and social-emotional skills. These elements are crucial to fostering successful individuals to achieve both academic success and real-world skills. As life outside the classroom requires individuals to work across a broad range of skills and subject areas when solving problems, we use a cross-curricular approach to allow students to combine multiple skills and areas of knowledge. Hands-on project-based learning not only engages learners but allows skill application rather than just testing content memory.

As an IB world school, our curriculum is broad and balanced. Students study a range of specialist subjects, including a modern language (Mandarin or Spanish), visual arts, drama, music, and physical and health education, providing excellent preparation for our three graduation diploma options. Unique to Stamford, our pioneering STEMinn program develops students with the technology skills needed to excel in the careers of today. Our students gain hands-on experience working with industry professionals for course credit in our Cornerstones program in high school.

We are most proud that our students have exceeded their growth targets by up to 25%* while being happy and eager to come to school. How do we know this? In a recent survey of parents, 60% said the top reason to reenroll at Stamford was their child was happy. Our student's achievements come as no surprise as we know happy children learn better. The social-emotional programs used at Stamford are proven to achieve an 11% academic gain for students**.

 

*Based on Measures of Academic Progress Scores at Stamford from 2017-2021

**https://www.secondstep.org/success-stories/improve-academics

What subjects are part of the core curriculum?

  • English Language Arts
  • Modern Language (Mandarin or Spanish)
  • Humanities
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • STEMinn
  • Visual Arts
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Social Emotional Learning

What standards and benchmarks do we use?

Subject(s)Standard(s) Used
English, Humanities, Mathematics, SciencesAmerican Education Reaches Out (AERO) (based on Common Core framework)
Modern Languages (Spanish and Mandarin)American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
Music, Drama, Visual ArtsMassachusetts Arts (MA)
STEMinn / InnovationNext Generation Science Standards (NGSS) International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Physical and Health EducationSociety of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) National Health Education Standards (NHES)
Social Emotional LearningSecond Step Program (Pre-Primary to Grade 8) School-Connect (Grade 9 to 12)

Why does Stamford use an inquiry-based approach combined with rigorous standards?

This approach gives students the benefits of both learning approaches. The standards provide a strong academic foundation while the inquiry-based approach develops higher-order thinking skills such as creativity, critical thinking and complex problem solving which they need to thrive in the modern world, as seen in the World Economic Forum.

How is my child’s character developed?

Each week students have a dedicated lesson in socio-emotional education (Second Step or School-Connect) which promotes skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, and conflict management.

Pro-actively combating bullying, Second Step works to improve behavior, positivity and academic performance. The social curriculum teaches these critical life skills weekly to all students from Pre-Primary (Kindergarten) through Grade 8.

An advisory program also supports our Secondary students’ academic progress and college and career readiness by developing essential skills and habits for learning as they understand their strengths and areas for improvement in support of academic achievement.

See our Curriculum in Action

  • Our STEMinn Program
    See our STEMinn program in action and hear from our teachers and students why it is innovative and inspiring.
    Watch Video
  • Our Mandarin Curriculum
    Learn more about our Mandarin curriculum and what makes the program at Stamford unique and engaging for students.
    Watch Video