Message from the principals



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SCHEDULE

The schedule at ALS is based on a 6-day cycle, each day having six 55-minute blocks, a homeroom period, a morning break and a lunch break. Days will be numbered 1 to 6.

The reason for this is to ensure an even distribution of contact time.

At the beginning of the year, class schedules are issued to students. School doors open at 0715. From this time, academic staff are on duty. Students should arrive at the school by 0725 as school begins promptly at 0730. Students must remain on campus during school hours unless given written permission to leave by the appropriate Principal’s Office.


Grades 1-12 Schedule Monday Shortened Day Schedule


Time

Period (min)

0730-0805

Period 1 (35 min)

0810-0845

Period 2 (35 min)

0845-0900

K-6 Break /

7-12 Homeroom (15 min)



0900-0915

K-6 Homeroom / 7-12 Break (15 min)

0920-0955

Period 3 (35 min)

1000-1035

Period 4 (35 min)

1035-1050

LUNCH (15 min)

1055-1130

Period 5 (35 min)

1135-1210

Period 6 (35 min)

1240-1540

Staff Professional Development



Time

Period (min)

0730-0825

Period 1 (55 min)

0830-0925

Period 2 (55 min)

0925-0940

K-6 Break /

7-12 Homeroom (15 min)



0940-0955

K-6 Homeroom / 7-12 Break (15 min)

1000-1055

Period 3 (55 min)

1100-1155

Period 4 (55 min)

1155-1230

LUNCH (35 min)

1235-1330

Period 5 (55 min)

1335-1430

Period 6 (55 min)




  • KG1 and KG2 end their day at 1330.

  • All students should leave the school by 1440 if they are not in an afterschool activity.

  • All after school activities run from 1440 to 1540 on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • All students in afterschool activities must leave the school by 1545 as there is no supervision after that time.

CURRICULUM

The curriculum at ALS reflects our philosophy that the student is at the centre of the learning process. Therefore we strive to educate and develop the whole student’s individual, intellectual, physical, emotional and creative identity. Around this philosophy we have developed a curriculum that will grow with the school and its students.


The curriculum encourages student exploration, discovery and experimentation in a pleasant academic environment. The focus of the curriculum is on experiences and lessons that develop students’ writing skills, verbal fluency, comprehension, computational skills, analytical abilities and other skills needed to effectively meet a variety of challenges. The curriculum brings together intellectual, creative, social and emotional considerations, helping students to acquire the problem-solving and decision-making skills necessary for individual, family and community needs.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME

International Baccalaureate Organization (IB): We are an IB World School. We are authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme. The International Baccalaureate is a nonprofit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. It aims to help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. For more information regarding the IB, please visit their web site at the address below.

http://www.ibo.org/informationfor/parents/



Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The IB Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The programme offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to go beyond the confines of learning within subject areas. These themes are:



  • Who we are

  • Where we are in place and time

  • How we express ourselves

  • How the world works

  • How we organize ourselves

  • Sharing the planet

These transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiry that requires a high level of involvement on the part of the students. The inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks. Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher's feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The IB Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers. The programme consists of eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction that provide a framework for learning within and across the subjects. Students are required to study their mother tongue, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year of the programme, students also engage in a personal project, which allows them to demonstrate the understanding and skills they have developed throughout the programme. Schools are given much flexibility to allow them to introduce subjects that they consider important, and to organize their own student assessment and reporting procedures. However, the MYP gives clear exit criteria for each subject group for MYP 5 (grade 10).

The programme is based around five 'areas of interaction': approaches to learning (related to study skills), community and service, human ingenuity, environments, and health and social education. The areas of interaction are considered a key feature of the MYP. They are not generally taught as separate courses, but rather as themes that are reflected in all subjects through unit questions. The community and service area requires students to study and perform community service throughout the programme.

In addition, in MYP 5, students complete a personal project on a topic of their choice, with teacher supervision.



Diploma Programme (DP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a two year comprehensive and rigorous academic programme for academically ambitious students in grades 11 and 12. The programme originated in Europe in 1968 and was intended to establish a common curriculum and university entry credentials for students moving from one country to another. ALS was authorized to teach IB diploma programme in May 19, 2009. The IB Diploma Programme is highly regarded at universities worldwide.


The DP curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts. Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours). Each subject course is completed over a two year period. Students sit external exams in May of their grade 12 year.
All three parts of the core—Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme:

  • An independent, in-depth research project resulting in an Extended Essay of 4000 words. ALS students begin this project in the spring of grade 11, work over the summer, and turn in their final paper by the winter of grade 12.

  • A Theory of Knowledge course and essay, which addresses the questions: what do we know and how do we know?

  • A commitment to the community in ALS, in Riyadh and internationally through Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) projects. At ALS, CAS is perhaps our proudest achievement, with Diploma students sponsoring individual and group projects in the local community throughout the year. Over the course of two years, students are required to fulfil 150 hours of service that encompasses all three of these areas.

For more information on the IB Programmes and subjects offered by ALS please refer to the IB Website: www.ibo.org



GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
Grades 9-12
To graduate within four years and earn the Advanced Learning Schools International Diploma, the following academic requirements must be met:

30 credits is the maximum that students can accumulate throughout grades 9-12; 26 credits is the minimum required to receive the ALS Diploma.



  • Students must accumulate a minimum of 19.25 credits by the end of grade 11 to be promoted to grade 12.

  • Students in grades 11 and 12 need to have at least 6 courses registered every year in addition to Islamic Studies, Social Studies of the Arab World and Theory of Knowledge.

  • Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and CAS are additional requirements for the ALS Diploma.

Credit Tables:



Subject___Total_Credits'>Subject


Total Credits

English

4

Arabic

4

Mathematics

4

Science

4

Humanities

4

Fine Arts/Modern languages

4*

Design Technology

1

Physical Education

1

ToK

1

Social Studies of the Arab World

1

Islamic Studies

2

Total

30

Subject

Minimum credits to graduate

English

4

Arabic

4

Mathematics

4

Science

3

Humanities

3

Fine Arts/Modern Languages

3**

Design Technology

1

Physical Education

1

Social Studies of the Arab World

1

Islamic Studies

2

Total

26

* 2 out of the 4 credits are optional. If students opt not to take Fine Arts or Modern Languages in grades 11 and 12, they must take 2 additional science or humanities credits.


** If students opt not to take Modern Languages or Fine Arts in grades 11 and 12, they must earn an additional credit in science or humanities.

ASSESSMENT POLICY

Goal of Assessment:

Assessment of students’ work aims at being a supportive and positive mechanism that helps students to improve their learning, teachers to improve their teaching and contribute to the efficiency and development of the programme, and last but not least, parents to be able to follow up and provide support to their children’s achievements.



Purpose of Assessment:

  1. To provide information about how students learn and to determine what knowledge and skills they have acquired and understood.

  2. To diagnose learning problems and student needs.

  3. To ascertain that the learning outcome is in alignment with curriculum objectives and goals.

  4. To act as a feedback mechanism for curriculum development.

Principles of Assessment:

  1. Assessment should allow students to:

    1. Have criteria that are known and understood in advance.

    2. Analyze their learning and understand what needs to be improved.

    3. Synthesize and apply their learning in addition to recalling facts.

    4. Highlight their strengths and demonstrate mastery.

    5. Learn in ways that the teacher did not foresee.

    6. Be reflective and partake in self and/or peer evaluation.

    7. Express different points of view and interpretations.

    8. Be encouraged to be responsible for their learning.

    9. Experience successful learning.

    10. Perform at a higher level when challenged.




  1. Assessment should allow teachers to:

    1. Have criteria that are known and understood in advance.

    2. Analyze their teaching and identify areas that need to be altered.

    3. Highlight student ability and be able to differentiate teaching.

    4. Offer feedback to parents on their child’s performance.

Practices in Assessment:

    • Assessment should take place in every grade level and every subject.

    • Assessment should reflect skills applicable to content and course objectives.

    • Assessment should consist of a range of formative and summative activities applicable to the year and/or course.

    • Assessment should be used to diagnose individual differences and needs.

Expectations with Regard to Assessment:

Students should:

  • Have a clear idea of the knowledge and/or skills that are being assessed and the criteria against which they are being assessed.

  • Be aware of the weighting of each assessment in the overall assessment scheme.

  • Receive clear and timely feedback regarding assessment outcome.

  • Be given advance warning of any assessment for which preparation is necessary and be clear about the date of the assessment.

  • Be aware that failure to meet set deadlines could result in reduced effort and achievement grades.

Teachers should:

  • Agree to deadlines in light of the students’ other workload and give adequate time for the completion of out-of-class assignments.

  • Clearly define common assessment tasks within subjects for each grade level.

  • Use student performance as a feedback mechanism to initiate development or changes in the curriculum and its delivery.

  • Use a variety of assessment tools.

The School should:

  • Monitor a master calendar to ensure an even distribution of assessment tasks with enough notice for students.

  • Keep records of achievement.

Parents should:

  • Support all policies of ALS, particularly those that relate to learning.

  • Support student adherence to set deadlines for work.

  • Help motivate their children.

  • Help create an informative environment that is to the benefit of their children.

Examples and Definitions of Assessment Tasks:

All assessments can be oral or written.



Major test:

  • A formalized class-controlled activity with students given notice of at least one week.

  • Material to be tested should not be more than one semester’s work.

  • Tests should not be on the day after major holidays.

Unit test:

  • A formalized, in-class and controlled activity where students have been given at least 5 days notice.

  • There should be reasonable intervals between tests.

  • Tests should measure student performance on work that has been taught.

  • Work should be limited to a defined unit of work of which the students are aware.

Quiz:

  • A formative piece of assessment on a small part of a unit, or through an informal class activity, given after completion of a particular topic. A quiz can be announced or unannounced.

Lesson review:

  • Short verbal or written questions to assess student understanding.

  • All material reviewed should have been taught.


Investigation:

  • A piece of structured work not necessarily linked to specific course content.

  • Problems are often open-ended, with students achieving results through investigative work.

Formal Essay:

  • Extended piece of independent student work.

  • Can reflect a student-generated title, a teacher-set title, be open or closed in nature and may have guiding questions.

  • As students progress in age, this activity will move from descriptive to analytical or evaluative and increasingly have a formal structure dependent on the subject area.

Research Project:

  • Involves both teacher-guided and/or independent student work done in class and/or as homework.

  • Requires appropriate referencing of research sources.

  • The product may be in any medium: oral presentation, written work, video, computer presentation or appropriate combinations.

  • The depth of the work expected should always be age-appropriate.

Journal Writing:

  • A continuous-assessment activity that can be part of classwork or homework.

  • Criteria, guiding how students’ performance will be determined, should be made available prior to the beginning of the activity.

Field Work:

  • Off-site data collection for analysis and interpretation.

Practical/Experimental Work:

  • Involves both teacher-guided and/or independent work.

  • This activity is usually in a lab or specialist room involving specialist equipment.

  • Criteria, guiding how students’ performance will be determined, should be made available prior to the beginning of the activity.

Group Work/Class Activities:

  • Part of a continuous activity or part of other assessment tools

  • Individual student performance must be acknowledged as well as group performance.

Short Exercises and Discussions:

  • Work usually done in class and/or homework.

  • They could form part of a larger assessment task and reinforce taught material and/or develop specific skills.

Portfolios:

  • A collection of different activities done in class or as homework.

  • Clearly defined selection criteria are required.

Homework:

  • Work done at home, although it may be begun in class.

  • Should take the nature of set reading, set writing, reviewing work, revising and/or consolidating work that has already been taught.

  • May allow continued work on research projects or other projects.

  • The recommended number of hours should be reasonable, relative to age group.

National and External/Internal Standardized Tests and programme requirements:

  • PYP Exhibition

  • MYP Personal Project

  • MYP Monitoring and Moderation

  • DP Extended Essay

  • DP External Examination

  • International Schools Assessment (ISA/ACER)

  • ALS Internal Standardized Assessment

  • SAT/TOEFL/IELTS/QIYAS

  • Arabic Diagnostic Tests

Examples and Definitions of Assessment Tools

Rubrics:

An established set of criteria for rating students, with descriptors that describe what characteristics or things to look for in students’ work and how to rate the work on a predetermined scale. Rubrics can be developed by students and teachers, and they are to be published with the assignment of the task.



Exemplars:

Student work that serves as a concrete standard against which other samples of work are judged. This exemplar serves as a benchmark.



Checklists:

A list of information, data, attributes or elements that should be present in any assigned task.



Continuums:

Visual representations of developmental stages of learning. These continuums show a progression of achievement or identify students’ progress.





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