Approach to Learning

Section Title

Approach to Learning

Based on North American standards, our curriculum challenges learners to think, solve problems, and work individually as well as collaboratively while acquiring basic knowledge. We are teaching thinking that is disciplined, clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.

SSIS is committed to a holistic approach to learning. The purpose of holistic education is not only to prepare students for academic success, but to also enable them to learn the challenges of living as a whole (learning about themselves, about healthy relationships, about social responsibility, compassion, practicing managing time and competing priorities efficiently and effectively). Our educators strive to help learners find identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values.

Curriculum Framework

The SSIS curriculum is considered the entire set of experiences related to school and is delivered in two different ways: formally and informally. The Curriculum Framework looks at various curricular topics and states the school’s overall educational positions. It provides detailed positions on a wide range of curricular issues and guides all curriculum decisions.

The SSIS Curriculum Framework is a comprehensive document that is grounded in the founding documents of the school. The mission and Core Values are at the heart of the framework. Each Core Value was dissected to determine key concepts and related educational terms. The key concepts were used to identify the educational positions for the written, taught and assessed curriculum. The educational positions provide the roadmap to identifying common instructional practices.

The Curriculum Framework formalizes the learning progression from EC to grade 10, leading to Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in grades 11-12. It further articulates common language and learning experiences into a unified school approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching Model

SSIS is committed to exploring innovative models of teaching and learning that transform learning. Our talented and passionate educators from across the globe engage learners through a variety of teaching models. The formal written curriculum is designed through a holistic approach that is transformative, transdisciplinary, inquiry-based and community focused.

Transdisciplinary approach: We believed that the best learning occurs when connections are made across and between disciplines. Transdisciplinary education is an approach that means beyond, but connected to, all the disciplines. Transdisciplinary approach transcends curriculum content and focus on authentic learning, new perspectives, and current issues within the context of multiple disciplines.

Structured inquiry: Inquiry-based learning leads to the development of information literacy and critical thinking skills, better retention of information and a deeper understanding of content. Our educators provide experiences where learners actively formulate questions, investigate to find answers, build new understandings, meanings and knowledge, and then communicate their learnings to others through the structure of the content. Inquiry-based learning offers is the development of habits of mind that can last a lifetime and guide learning and creative thinking.

Community focused: The community focused approach fosters a learning environment that extends far beyond the classroom walls. Learners learn and problem solve in the context of their lives and communities. This approach nurtures natural engagement because of the deep and purposeful connections between schools and community, the curriculum is influenced and enhanced, removing the artificial separation between the classroom and the real world.

Technology integration: Technology is a part of the modern world, and is becoming more and more ubiquitous in our lives every year. It is also a proven method for improving learning, as it better prepares the learners with technical, communicative, interpersonal and creative skills. Learners in grade 3 are in a one-to-one iPad program and grades 4-12 are in our one-to-one laptop program. Technology is integrated into activities, projects and assessments. We believe that technology integration results in higher-quality student work.