What is the Secondary School curriculum?

Stamford’s Secondary School is organized into a Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12). Developmentally-appropriate courses are planned for each grade level, which is 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 of learning. 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 as an international school.

Stamford has adopted American standards-based curriculum, based on the rigorous and proven American Education Reaches Out (AERO) and Common Core Plus standards. These are explored using an inquiry-based approach to prepare students for the rigor of the IBDP as well as nurturing curiosity and problem-solving needed for post-academic success.  

The Middle School at Stamford American 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 high school diploma 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, they use similar assessment objectives (knowledge, evaluation, analysis, application, etc.), they embed approaches to learning skills (ATLs), and they have international mindedness and global citizenship at their heart. 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). 

Ultimately, the Secondary curriculum continues seamlessly from Elementary and places a strong focus on social studies, languagethe artsphysical educationmathematics, and science.

Stamford offers three graduating pathways to give your child a world of choice, read more about the different pathways here. Stamford's approach is proven to lead to success, with 86% of students that graduated from our Singapore campus gained entry to their top two universities of choice such as Northwestern University (US), University College London (UK), University of Toronto (CA), Australia National University (AU) and the Nanyang Technological University (SG) and click here to see more!

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

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, action, service. 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 American School Hong Kong is authorized as an IB World School. We will offer 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.

Cornerstones Project

All students in Grades 9 and 10 have the unique opportunity to work with world-renowned organizations to find their career aspirations and prepare for universities while earning high school course credit. Students choose one of four organizations per semester, where they are guided by that organization’s industry expert and a Stamford faculty advisor. Learn more about the Cornerstone Project here.

Assessment & Achievement

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.

Measures of Academic Progress®

Every student will undergo standardized Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments twice a year in Mathematics, Reading and Science. 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 problem, 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.


Watch Us in Action

  • Our Amazing STEMinn Boat Project
    We brought innovation to life, our students built life-sized boats as a culmination to a series of projects related to the Volvo Ocean Race
    Watch Video
  • Five Tips to Prepare your Child for the IBDP
    Learn some ways you can help prepare your child for this rigorous program early to help foster success.
    Watch Video