Academic Program Grades 1 to 10
CURRICULUM STANDARDS & RESOURCES
At ASB, our academic curriculum is supported by a range of robust, research-based standards and curricular resources, to ensure that our students benefit from the latest pedagogical developments.
Recognising literacy (speaking & listening, reading and writing) as the key to learning, ASB has adopted the Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) as our primary resource for literacy instruction in Grades 1 to 8. The Reading and Writing Workshop resources guide teachers to ensure that our students are learning grade-level skills in a consistent way. The Workshops are just part of our literacy curriculum, other key areas being word study (phonemic awareness and phonics in the younger years, using the resources ‘Heggerty’ and ‘UFLI Foundations’), a study of language constructions using ‘Patterns of Power’ by Jeff Anderson, guided reading, read-alouds and independent reading. Furthermore, the adopted English Language Arts standards are applied and strengthened in all subjects in Middle School and High School, not just during English classes.
The AERO Math curriculum aims to help students develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and have well developed number sense. Using a range of resources, we aim to develop conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, problem solving, and mathematical practices. Conceptual understanding involves the deep understanding of mathematical ideas and procedures and includes the knowledge of basic arithmetic facts to support the understanding. Procedural fluency is the skill of carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately. Problem solving is the ability to formulate, represent, and solve mathematical problems, selecting appropriately from a range of strategies. Mathematical Practices are the key behaviors of mathematicians that underpin all mathematical tasks. These are explicitly taught and reflected upon. They are:
A range of resources is used to support learning in Mathematics, including various texts, websites and manipulatives.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) identify scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all K–10 students should master in order to prepare for success in the IB Diploma, college and 21st-century careers. Students develop an in-depth understanding of content, and gain knowledge and skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and flexibility— that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives. Students learn in a hands-on, collaborative, and integrated environment, rooted in inquiry and discovery. Teaching based on the NGSS calls for more student-centered learning that enables students to think on their own, problem solve, communicate, and collaborate—in addition to learning important scientific concepts. ASB has a number of labs, including in Elementary, where students explore scientific concepts.
The teaching of Arabic Language and Arabic as a Foreign Language, Islamic education for our Muslim students, and Social Studies and Citizenship Education, are all a part of our core curriculum. These subjects are taught as directed by the Ministry of Education and our students follow the Ministry-approved syllabus in each component. We believe high quality teaching results in the best learning outcomes for our students, and we are determined that these subjects will be taught to the highest standards, encouraging learning and enjoyment, and a pride in Bahraini roots and culture.
From a young age, our students develop their language skills, whether Arabic- or non-Arabic speaking, through speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For native speakers, there is also a focus on grammar. Our curriculum for non-Arabic speakers focuses on developing communication skills in real-life situations. It is based on international principles and expectations applied in the teaching of foreign languages to non-native speakers. Students in the Elementary, Middle, and High schools receive Arabic lessons several times a week.
The Citizenship Education Curriculum is divided into four core areas:
- The Character and Morality curriculum supports the ASB values and develops honest, tolerant, resilient, kind individuals.
- The Individual and the Community curriculum helps our students understand about contributing to the good of society, participating actively and leading others to strive to make things better.
- Civil Studies ensures that, whether a student is a Bahraini, born in Bahrain, or an expat who moved here with their family, students understand and appreciate the fundamentals of how the Kingdom was formed and how it is governed.
- Culture is an inherent part of a society and the program highlights the Kingdom's shared human culture that encapsulates the traditions and symbols that help define who we are.
Our Social Studies program is developed around the AERO standards for Social Studies and, more recently, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework, which includes the domains of Economics, Civics, History and Geography. It is a rigorous inquiry approach to learning, which builds subject-specific and 21st Century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills, and which integrates English literacy standards. Our aim is for students to be able to apply knowledge, ideas and skills in real world settings. In Grades 9 and 10, students have the choice of Business Studies or History.
Our Muslim students in Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle and High Schools attend specialist Islamic Education lessons once a week. The curriculum provides help to the students to develop their understanding of their religion, values, and beliefs.
BAHRAINI SOCIAL STUDIES
In Social Studies, the students follow the MoE curriculum. They learn about their culture, national identity and Bahraini citizenship, helping them develop a sense of belonging and pride in their country and heritage.
French & Spanish are taught in High School and use the AERO World Language standards in combination with IB success criteria. Students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and we aim to have students apply these skills in real-life performance tasks.
Computer science, and the technologies it enables, rests at the heart of our economy and the way we live our lives. To be well-educated citizens in a computing-intensive world and to be prepared for careers in the 21st century, our students must have a clear understanding of the principles and practices of computer science. In addition to Information Technology, we also value Design Technology. Problem-seeking, creative thinking and problem-solving are core skills we wish to develop in ASB students.
To this end, ASB offers three distinct technology programs for students at different grade levels.
For primary children, ASB develops its own creative curriculum, based on PBL and STEAM activities. Our Elementary children participate in Maker Space lessons to explore their own creative and critical thinking skills. Grade 3 to 5 students experience Maker Space once a week, either working on projects individually or as part of a team. During this period, they explore resistant materials, such as balsa wood. From this, they hammer, saw, sand, glue, and create several 3D projects, from Ancient Indian irrigation systems to constructing sustainable cities. Resistant materials aside, students also look at many technological aspects, from using a laser cutter to a 3D printer, allowing the opportunity to produce mazes and kites, for example.
In addition, the tech integrator works with teachers and students to ensure competence with the digital tools needed to complete tasks in different subjects. This is also the model in Grades 6 to 8, with students receiving Design lessons as part of the Art program.
ASB offers a technology program for grades 9 and 10 that is based on standards established by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) in the United States. The CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards define a core set of learning objectives that serve as the foundation for a comprehensive computer science curriculum and its implementation in grades K-12. The curriculum:
- Introduces the fundamental concepts of computer science to all students, beginning at the elementary school level.
- Presents computer science at the secondary school level in a way that can fulfill a computer science, math, or science graduation credit.
- Encourages interested students to study facets of computer science in more depth and prepare them for entry into the workforce or college.
- Increase the availability of rigorous computer science for all students, especially those who are members of underrepresented groups.
VISUAL ARTS & MUSIC
The ASB Visual Arts Department believes that “every child is an artist!”
Our Art program is based on the US National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), crafted to guide the curriculum, improve student learning, and celebrate the diverse voices of our multicultural students. Our specialist educators encourage students to explore various media and techniques through hands-on learning. As a department, we allow for artistic expression through sketching, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and digital art. The school boasts three designated art studios and two maker space labs, where students have access to a front-loading kiln, etching, hand lever press, and silk screen printing with an accompanying dark room. The technological aspects allow students to experiment safely with a laser cutter and 3D printers. Our annual art shows and exhibitions highlight work of all students throughout the year. Additionally, we run national and international trips to give students exposure to art from around the world. Above all, the department's ethos is to provide students with real-world experiences, allowing them to define who they are and celebrate where they have come from.
ASB’s Music program goals are to nurture students into Musical People and to foster Young Musicians, ready to appreciate and make music for life. We utilize the standards outlined in the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS). This can be visualized by the entire community in the following ways:
- Early Childhood students participate in First Steps in Music, a musical readiness program.
- Elementary students sing, dance, play instruments, and learn music literacy through the Conversational Solfege program.
- Middle and High School students participate in a Band program.
- Performances occur twice a year.
- There is an extracurricular choral progam open to students in Grades 2-12.
ASB's Physical Education program is based on the standards established by Shape America or the Society of Health and Physical Educators, the largest society of health and physical education professionals in the United States.
Standard 1: Competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
Standard 2: Application of knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.
Standard 3: Demonstration of knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
Standard 4: Responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
Standard 5: Recognition of the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.