Student studies a book in the library

Curriculum

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World-Renowned Curriculum

At ACS Cobham, your child has access to an independent and flexible curriculum, underpinned by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the ACS High School Diploma (US). These opportunities develop your child’s learning and life skills. 

ACS Cobham High School offers a comprehensive and robust curriculum, adapted to the needs of an international student body. Our programme inspires students to pursue multiple academic disciplines, become successful learners, and grow into responsible global citizens. We offer a broad range of course choices with the purpose of helping each student find his/her “best fit” pathway to university.

In addition to earning a ACS High School Diploma (US), subject to meeting academic prerequisites, students may take the International Baccalaureate Diploma or Advanced Placement courses offered by the College Board. Students may also take a combination of International Baccalaureate courses, Advanced Placement and/or regular High School courses.

The Middle School curriculum is aligned  to rigorous standards, preparing students to undertake the renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, and/or the Advanced Placement (AP) Diplomas and courses in High School. World Languages is one of our core subjects in HS and MS. In addition, students study Drama, Music, Art, Health, and PE. Students are also encouraged to participate in a range of co- and extra-curricular activities including sports, and to chose from a variety of electives and clubs from Model United Nations to Coding. Our aim is to inspire every student to love learning and, in doing so, reach their ideal academic and social self.

Lower School students are guided by inspiring teachers to develop their academic, social, emotional and creative potential. Our academic programme is aligned to rigorous standards and delivered using the Responsive Classroom approach with developmentally appropriate challenges. We provide a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares our students to embrace independent learning, collaborative teamwork, and responsible decision making.

In Early Childhood we want our children to have fun, be happy, feel safe, and grow in confidence. Through the care and guidance of our teachers, we help children develop the ability to be creative, independent thinkers, and problem solvers. classroom work is enriched by weekly lessons in Art, Dance and Movement, World Languages (French or Spanish), PE, and Forest Schools – all taught by specialists.

Students sat in a classroom

An Inclusive Approach to Education

Throughout the school, we take an inclusive approach to education and our curriculum seeks to meet the needs of a diverse variety of learners. As students move up into High School, there is a great deal of choice on offer and students can choose their “best fit” individual pathways to university from the very wide range of courses available.

Our students’ academic progress is measured internally by our classroom assessment procedures and externally from grades 3 to 10, by the NWEA MAP test, an adaptive assessment which measures our students’ achievement in Mathematics, Reading and Language use in relation to US and international norms. In the High school, students take internally assessed examinations twice a year and may take further external tests, such as PSAT, SAT and CEM before sitting AP or IB exams.

ACS Cobham Students throw mortarboards in the air at graduation

Academic Standards & Future Pathways

Through our school wide curriculum, we strive to build the knowledge, understanding skills and dispositions that prepare our students for further education and life beyond. These are defined in the ACS Expected Schoolwide Learning Results which inform all of our educational programmes and provide a holistic definition of the outcomes we want for all our students. Our aim, stated in the ESLRs, is that our students become effective learners (inquirers, communicators, collaborators) confident individuals (risk takers, role models, optimists) and caring contributors (volunteers, ambassadors, stewards).

The academic curriculum at ACS Cobham is underpinned from kindergarten through Grade 10 by external educational standards frameworks such as the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English and the Next Generation Science Standards for Science. Also, in Grades 11 and 12 we offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Advanced Placement programmes in addition to our internal ACS High School courses. 

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Grades 1 to 8

Focus on regularly scheduled, small group sessions, offered in place of some core subjects – usually World Languages. Our aim is for students to reach the proficiency commensurate with their age and grade level. By 8th Grade, students are expected to be at an intermediate level of proficiency.

Grades 9 & 10

Require an advanced level of English, as students are expected to take mainstream subjects. Transitional English 9 and 10 courses are available for EAL students with an upper intermediate level of English, to enable them to acquire the language level needed to access the rigorous curriculum of the IBDP or AP programmes.

Grades 11 & 12

Students are required to have strong English skills in order to enrol at ACS Cobham. The school offers IB English B for non-native speakers, but all other courses require a very good command of academic English.

High school students working

Native Language Enrichment (NLE)

PRE-K to 10th Grades

Non-native English-speakers are encouraged to maintain their native language and culture by participating in our NLE programme. This is run by parents and, although it is coordinated by the school, is not part of the school’s formal curriculum.

NLE students must have some communicative competency in the language, however, this is left to the discretion of our native language teachers.

Native language classes are held before and after school for a maximum of 1 hour per week. Classes can take place during recess or lunch times – as approved by the division Principal. A wide variety of languages are offered, and these vary from year-to-year according to the nationalities represented in the student body.

A group of students sat outside on the grass
At ACS Cobham, we are committed to the continuous improvement of our curriculum driven by educational research and best practice, always seeking to serve the needs of our richly diverse student body.