HANDBOOKS / ASCOT CURRICULUM AND COURSES

Ascot Curriculum and Courses:
• Areas of the Curriculum
• Homework
• EAL (English as an Added Language)
• ECA (Extra Curricular Activities)
• School Trips and Residential Visits

Curriculum at Ascot

Areas of the Curriculum, an overview

Parent Handbook

More detailed curriculum information

Early Years

The Foundation Stage (Early Years) incorporates children from two years old through to five in Nursery, Kindergarten and finally Reception classes. The Ascot Early Learning Goals and Scope & Sequence was created by adapting the ‘Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals’ (National Curriculum for England & Wales), and was extended to include Nursery (Ages 2-3). These goals provide guidance when planning, assessing and teaching children in these age groups. The Ascot Early Learning Goals show the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that children will learn through our implemented curriculum. As part of the curriculum in the Reception classes, students are also introduced to computer technology. We focus on six specific learning areas which form the basis of the Foundation Stage curriculum. These areas are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Mathematical development
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Creative Development

Our curriculum is flexible and can be adapted to suit the needs of all young children, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

Key Stage 1
The Key Stage 1 (KS1) curriculum commences at the beginning of Year 1 (aged 5) and finishes at the end of Year 2 (aged 7), when children are formally assessed by National Curriculum Tests (NCT) in Literacy and Numeracy. The statutory subject areas for KS1 are Literacy; Numeracy; Science; Information Communication Technology (ICT); Art and Design; Design Technology; History, Geography; Physical Education (including swimming); Personal, Social, Health and Emotional education.

KS1 teachers at Ascot International School adapt the curriculum to ensure its relevance to the experiences of the students’ backgrounds, interests and the location of a school in Thailand.  ICT is an integral part of learning in all subject areas. All KS1 classrooms are fitted with projectors for whole class access. Learning is also supported by field trips experienced by the students to attractions and destinations related to their field of studies.

Key Stage 2

Throughout Key Stage 2, (Years 3-5 at Ascot) pupils continue to follow a broad and balanced curriculum based on the National Curriculum for England. All activities are designed to deliver the Programmes of Study whilst fostering an enthusiasm for learning. The Primary Strategy forms the basis for the daily Literacy lessons, providing a stimulating and systematic approach to the teaching of speaking and listening, reading and writing.

In Numeracy, this Strategy provides a clear and structured focus for our teaching of Numeracy.
We place a great deal of emphasis on the formal teaching of mental strategies and the ability to use them for problem solving. In addition to the daily Literacy and Numeracy lessons, all children in Key Stage Two enjoy full Humanities and Science programs based on the Ascot Scope and Sequence, adapted from the QCA Units of Work, (English National Curriculum) including Science, Art, Geography, History, Design Technology, ICT, Drama and PHSE (Personal, Health, Social and Environmental Education). Furthermore, all children in Key Stage 2 follow our MFL programme (Modern Foreign Language: Mandarin or Japanese), enjoy PE (Physical Education), Swimming, Thai Culture and Thai Language and Music. All of these subjects are taught by specialist teachers.

Key Stage 3 Years 6-9

In addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, students follow courses in Information Technology, History, Geography, Art and Design, Physical Education, Mandarin and PSHE. Critical thinking skills are encouraged to ensure the students are prepared to think around academic problems as opposed to simply rote learning.

Key Stage 4 Years 10 and 11

IGCSE International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) courses are followed by students between the ages of 14-16, in Years 10 and 11 at Ascot. Students choose a range of subjects from those taught in Key Stage 3, whilst continuing to study English, Maths, Science, Mandarin and Art. Students then take optional subjects selected from the following: Geography, History, ICT, Physical Education, English Literature, Economics and Business Studies. At the end of Year 11 students take external examinations. Some subjects are assessed by examinations set by the University of Cambridge.

Key Stage 5 Years 12 and 13 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The International baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

Our programme encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

It is a challenging programme of international education and rigorous assessment.

The IB is different from other curricula because:

  • It encourages students to think critically and challenge what they are told
  • It is independent of governments and national systems, and therefore able to incorporate best practice from a range of international frameworks and curricula
  • It encourages students to consider both their local and international environment.

Unlike other programs such as A level and AP, the IB diploma gives not just a thorough academic preparation for university but it also has critical thinking and research skills embedded throughout the course. An IB student graduates as an independent learner ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow as a global citizen.

Our programme helps IB students:

  • To ask challenging questions
  • Think critically
  • Develop research skills to help them in higher education.

IB is a course designed to produce the innovators and thinkers of the future, who will answer those as yet ‘unasked questions’ and rise to ‘new challenges’.
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The IB Diploma Curriculum
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We encourage international-mindedness in IB students. To do this, we believe that students must first develop an understanding of their own cultural and national identity.

The Learner Profile

  • These are the 10 attributes that all IB students should develop throughout the continuum of learning that is the IB.

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The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

Holistic internationally-minded education
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Subjects on offer at Ascot

Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature (HL/SL)
English or Thai

Group 2 – Language acquisition (HL/SL)
English or Mandarin

Group 3 – Individuals and Societies (HL/SL)
Business Studies and Management or History

Group 4 – Experimental Sciences (HL/SL)
Biology or Chemistry or Computer Studies or Physics

Group 5 – Mathematics (HL/SL)
Mathematics or Mathematics Studies (SL)

Group 6 – The Arts (HL/SL)and Electives
Visual Arts or an Elective choice from Group 3 or 4.

Most subjects are offered at both:

  • Higher level (HL)
    (recommended hours = 240).
  • And at
  • Standard level (SL)
    (recommended hours = 150).
  • Usually over 2 years
  • Both external assessment (exams) and internal assessment (IA)are used.
  • Internal assessment is generally 20 – 30%
  • There are no modular exams.

Each subject (Higher or Standard) is graded on a scale from 1 to 7, where:

  • 7 = excellent
  • 6 = very good
  • 5 = good
  • 4 = satisfactory
  • 3 = mediocre
  • 2 = poor
  • 1 = very poor

The points are then added together, which gives a maximum of 42 for the six subjects.

      Points are then available for Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.

Each is scored on 5 bands:

      • A = Excellent
      • B = Good
      • C = Satisfactory
      • D = Mediocre
      • E = Elementary

These are then combined on a matrix, which gives a maximum of 3 Core points that can be added to the points for the subjects.

The Extended Essay EE

      • A piece of individual research carried out by DP students in ONE of their 6 subjects.

The Theory of Knowledge ToK

      • A critical skills course designed so that DP students can evaluate the knowledge that is presented to them through their subjects, the media, friends and relatives, and so on.
      • 100 hours

Creativity, Activity, Service CAS

      • Experiential learning outside the classroom followed by student reflection
        • example, a student who sets up and runs a school newspaper, or who learns a new musical instrument.
        • A student who learns a new sport, or who takes charge of a team
        • A student who organises a service activity e.g. Shopping for old people.
      • 8 Learning Outcomes.

University opinions on the IB

      • Princeton University, NJ, USA
        “The IB is a first-rate program, one we are all familiar with, and it prepares students well for a university like ours.”
      • Cambridge University, England
        ‘Because the IB differentiates better than A-levels……, if we are hesitating about making an offer, we would be more likely to make an offer to an IB student than an A-level student.’
      • MIT, CA, USA
        “Send us prepared students (like those from IB). It’s the ‘best’ high school prep curriculum a school can offer.”
      • Harvard University, MA, USA
        “IB is well known to us as excellent preparation. Success in an IB programme correlates well with success at Harvard. We are pleased to see the credentials of the IB Diploma Programme on the transcript.”
        Research shows that IB students are less likely to drop out of University.

In summary here are the skills that the IB Diploma develops:

      • Research skills – from the EE
      • Critical skills – from ToK
      • Language skills – from the two language sections
      • Analytical skills – from Science
      • Mathematical skills – from Maths
      • Creative skills – from Arts, CAS
      • Personal skills – from CAS
      • Organisation and self-motivation

The IB Diploma is a globally recognized qualification that will open doors for your child anywhere in the World. The IBDP will take your son or daughter where they want to go.

The Thai Curriculum
The Thai Language / Culture program is compulsory for all children is taught by qualified Thai Teachers. The Thai teacher differentiates for the level of students in the class. All students take part in the Thai Studies Program which provides a deeper understanding of the beliefs, culture, traditions and practices of Thai people and their way of life.

Homework

Homework expectations vary from Year level to Year level. Students in EY are asked to do their Homework to support the learning at school and all students should complete it independently. If it is brought to school incomplete, teachers will send it home to be finished.

Students in Primary complete unfinished homework in Golden Time each Friday.

Students in Secondary receive homework detention if it is not turned in on time, but homework must still be completed at home.

Students in all Year levels are also required to read a story / fiction book daily. For EY, KS1 and KS2, this is included in the times stated above. For KS3 and KS4, daily reading is an additional expectation (40 minutes per day).

EAL (English as an Additional Language)

All new students to Primary classes at Ascot complete an English language aptitude test. This is aimed to find out the level of spoken and written English so that appropriate support can be designated if required. If it is identified that a child requires language support, parents, the EAL Department and classroom teachers are notified.

Students who require help with their language are supported by EAL staff both within the classroom setting and outside the classroom in small group situations. Small groups are made up of students of the same or similar year level. This is designed to best meet the needs of the students and target their specific language requirements. The number of EAL sessions per week depends on the ability of each individual student.

Extracurricular Activities at Ascot
ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) at Ascot consist of academic, sporting/fitness and general interest classes. They are elective and are developed for the students’ needs to improve their academic, interpersonal, creative, and sporting skills.

Examples of Academic Classes on offer
Storybook art
Homework Club
English
Science club
Maths support
Mandarin
Thai language and Culture

Examples of Sports and Fitness Classes to join
Football
Swimming
Outdoor sport activities
Tae Kwon Do
Junior Muay Thai
Yoga
TISAC dance

Examples of general interest activities
Art & Craft
Ukulele
Glee club
Drama
Thai art
Magic

Times of ECAs
Activities are held Monday to Thursday from 3:00pm – 4:00pm.

ECA staffing

Generally, Ascot staff teach ECA. In some cases, ECAs are outsourced and professional, qualified instructors are hired to run the activity. More information about ECA can be obtained by contacting the Front Office. Please call 02 – 373 4400 ext. 0.

School Trips and Residential Visits

Ascot recognises the importance of how excursions and residentials reinforce curriculum areas learnt at school. Trips and residentials are carefully planned to relate to the Schemes of Work and to ensure maximum learning opportunities for students. They are planned to support the Schemes of Work classes are learning at school. Teachers take their students to visit different destinations each year. You will be notified of your child’s trip details each term.

Examples of Early Years’ Day Trips
Safari World
Siam Park
Fire Station
IMAX
Siam Ocean World

Examples of Key Stage One Day Trips
Rama IX Park
Ancient City
Jim Thompson’s House
Disney on Ice’ Show
National Science Museum

Examples of Key Stage Two Day Trips
Ancient City
Art Museums and Galleries
Environment and Ecosystems
Farms and Animal Sanctuaries
Theatre Groups

Where does the school go on its Residentials?
In 2016 the residential trips were as follows

Year 3 Residential Chonburi 2 nights
Year 4 Residential Khao Yai 2 nights
Year 5 Residential Rayong 2 nights
Year 6 Residential Chonburi 2 nights
Year 7 Prachuap Khiri Khan , camping in Khao Sam Roy Yot National Park
Year 8 and 9 Joint trip to Kanchanaburi

These trips can change from year to year depending on the availability and changes in the supporting school curriculum.