The Division of Curriculum & Instruction consists of elementary school, middle school, and high school, as well as professional learning, assessment & accountability, and school improvement. At American United School, our mission is to combine 21st century digital technology and traditional student-centered learning practices to ensure that students achieve academic success and social growth.
Our commitment to the mission and learning experiences that AUS students receive begins with prekindergarten and continues through to graduation. Our prekindergarten through grade 10 core subjects are delivered through the framework of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and National Standards for Social Studies (NSSS). Extended core subjects such as, French, Spanish and Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) employ the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standards. Our Arts program operate under the umbrella of the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS). The physical education department utilizes the National PE Standards.
As a leading school in Kuwait, AUS’s curriculum and instructional practices are driven by collaboration, rigor, relevance and readiness. This framework is not a syllabus or a prescriptive measure of work, but instead it defines the methodologies to teaching & learning, pedagogy, and assessment. Consequently, it supports continuity in learning for students moving through our school and is characterized by the following five components:
The Five Components of AUS Curriculum & Instructional Practices
Academic disciplines comprising distinct sets of knowledge, understanding and skills.
Skills common to several disciplines. Discipline-specific skills with applications in other curriculum areas. 21st century skills.
The enduring understandings or big ideas that students gain as a result of exploration of relevant content in curriculum areas. Concepts allow students to see the bigger picture behind a specific discipline and how to build links to learning in other disciplines.
An approach to teaching and learning that allows students to actively construct meaning through engagement in relevant experiences allowing them to acquire new levels of understanding as opposed to the simple memorization of content.
Assessment and Reporting
A range of strategies that provides information on student understanding, allowing the teacher to plan the subsequent teaching and learning activities. Student progress is reported in a timely and appropriate manner.
The goal of the Elementary literacy program is to build independent readers, competent writers, articulate speakers, active listeners, and critical thinkers. Instructional units of study designed around Common Core ELA standards form the foundation for instruction. Delivered through a balanced literacy model, including Reader’s/Writer’s workshop, students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 receive 90 minutes of literacy instruction per day. The following essential agreements guide the instruction:
- Students will read for authentic meaning, to be informed, and to perform a task on a daily basis
- Reading instruction will be a balance of direct instruction, guided instruction, and independent learning (Readers Workshop)
- Students will write and teachers will evaluate using authentic writing and assessment of writing once a quarter
- Students will produce at least one multi-draft piece of writing per quarter
- Students will use writing as a way of expressing their ideas and/or supporting their opinions at least three times a week
Speaking and Listening
- Students will communicate orally in standard English to express ideas and support opinions on a daily basis
- Students will use standard English provide feedback to peers
- Students will understand what is said and demonstrate it by paraphrasing, responding correctly in English and actively participating in class discussions on a daily basis
The goal of our Mathematics program is create students who:
- Comprehend and persevere in solving mathematical problems,
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively,
- Construct viable arguments,
- Critique the reasoning of others,
- Model with mathematics,
- Use appropriate tools strategically,
- Attend to precision, look for and make use of structure, and
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
The Common Core Standards for Mathematics serve as the road map with an instructional model that embraces the gradual release of responsibility instructional framework.
The AUS elementary regards competency in the fundamentals of mathematics as a critical component to the development of the whole child. As such, we dedicate 80 minutes per day of mathematics.
Social Studies & Science
With a strong emphasis on building literacy and math skills in the elementary, the integration of social studies and science concepts and skills into literacy and math instructional units ensure students realize cross-curricular connections and gain needed skills as they transition into middle school.
Social studies utilizes the newly published Common Core 3 (C3) Standards for Social Studies. Our Science program applies Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) K-12. The emphasis of NGSS at the elementary level is on the scientific process and application. This methodology allows students to build background knowledge to solve real word problems in order to construct meaning of new skills learned.
The integration of subjects through a practical real world lens is part of best practices of 21st century learning and instruction.