Now more than ever, students need an international education to be responsible citizens of a global society. At Khartoum American School, we provide a program of studies that is just that: international.
When most people hear the word, “curriculum” they think of the academic programs and courses that are offered at a school. At KAS, the academic program is constantly reviewed and improved. Ours seeks to be an inquiry-based curriculum which places high value on being able to formulate and frame the questions of student inquiry with the basic understanding that the answers we get depend directly on the questions we ask. In education we have come to understand that the best and the brightest students are the ones whose education is guided by well-articulated questions.
Traditional education basically presents students with facts and skills and then evaluates students on how well they learn, and repeat, the answers. At KAS we value understanding rather than rote learning. Our goal is to develop critical thinkers, not human answering machines.
Our academic program includes work in the “core” disciplines of Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking in English), Social Studies (history, geography, economics, etc), mathematics (both theory and application), science (physical sciences, environmental science, chemistry and biology), and foreign language acquisition. In addition to these “core” disciplines, we believe that it is essential for students to cultivate a sense of the artistic (music, drama and the visual arts), a strong basis in computer technology, and the skills and activities that will lead to healthy living and exercise. Each of our students from Kindergarten through High School, follows these studies each year to one degree or another.
In their High School years, the courses become increasingly demanding. Qualified students may take Advanced Placement (AP) level courses in English Literature, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Economics and Art. AP courses are designed to offer university-level work to qualified high school students. Each course culminates in a rigorous examination which is externally graded. Depending on the score a student receives, he or she may be eligible for advanced standing or placement upon entrance into universities in the USA, Canada, Europe or Asia.
There is a certain “spiral nature’ to our curriculum. For example, “algebra” and “algebraic thinking” is introduced early in the elementary school years and is reinforced and re-introduced in increasingly sophisticated ways through the middle school and high school years.
Another example is in Social Studies where the concept of “community and society” is one of the primary focal points of Kindergarten and Grade 1 but is also a concept that is examined, discussed, debated, and analyzed throughout various grade levels in the entire K-12 continuum.
Whenever possible, we seek to create authentic learning experiences for our students so that learning connects with real-life experience. As educators we know that linking learning to life experiences ensures better understanding and usefulness.
We don’t adapt anyone’s pre-cut curriculum, we make our own! Using the most recent research and the best practices of our profession, our teachers and administration are following an established curriculum review cycle where each of the major program areas of our school is reviewed once every four years. In reviewing and revising the KAS curriculum we use internationally recognized standards: the AERO standards, the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) standards, and national or regional standards from Canada, the UK, and Australia. By doing this, we ensure that our students are learning at the same levels and to the same standards as students around the world.