Curriculum design, implementation, evaluation and review are a constant process at Casablanca American School (CAS) and reflect the ongoing advances in understanding of how students best learn.
At CAS, we aim to provide a nurturing and stimulating learning environment where all students can explore and realize their potential, both academically and as citizens of a globalized society. We offer a challenging blend of American and international curriculum through the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), American Education Reaches Out (AERO)* and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) Program. Our graduates therefore have the opportunity to obtain the IB and American High School Diplomas, providing them not only with a competitive advantage but also exciting choices for college entrance around the globe.
*(American Education Reaches Out (AERO) Standards
The AERO project is supported by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools and the Overseas Schools Advisory Council to assist schools overseas in developing and implementing American standards-based school curricula. AERO provides a framework for curriculum consistency from Kindergarten to Grade 12.)
Learning at Casablanca American School: Lower School
MATHEMATICS Our aim is for students to become skilled problem solvers with the ability to communicate and apply their knowledge in new situations. We use Bridges in Mathematics, which is a comprehensive K–5 rigorous math program, aligned with the U.S. Common Core State Standards, to guide our approach to learning math and to ensure that all types of learners are successful. The program focuses on developing students’ deep conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematics and abilities to solve complex, authentic math problems. Students in a Bridges classroom can be observed daily discussing mathematical strategies, using stimulating math manipulatives, as well as testing and defending a wide range of problem solving strategies.
Students from age 4 to 7 prepare to become independent and confident readers and writers through the Jolly Phonics program. Jolly Phonics is a fun and child-centered approach that uses songs, rhymes and actions to teach of the 42-letter sounds. This multi-sensory method is very motivating and provides a proven and solid foundation for English Language Learners and native speakers alike. Through the Jolly Phonics activities, students also improve accuracy in pronunciation, build confidence to learn new words as well as expand their vocabulary.
Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop
Reading and Writing are taught through the Teacher’s College workshop model that helps young learners become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers.
Reading instruction relies on research that shows that students need to read a wide variety of texts, fiction and nonfiction, in order to progress to higher levels of comprehension and text complexity. They are introduced to an extensive toolkit of reading strategies that enable them to become increasingly independent and confident readers.
Writing instruction is taught through Units of Study that are organized by grade level writing ‘workshops’, Each unit teaches students the skills they need to effectively express an opinion, construct an argument, share information and become great narrators of their stories with increasing complexity and sophistication.
Students understand how the world works and their responsibility as citizens through the integrated study of history and society, geography, science, technology, physical education and the arts. This program of learning is structured through the International Primary Curriculum framework. The IPC is internationally recognized for its power to inspire both teachers and students through thematic units that connect learning to the wider world in meaningful ways for young learners. The main characteristics of the IPC approach to learning are:
Research informed: the unit design is based on what we know today about how children best learn.
Thematic: students explore a theme from the perspective of multiple subject areas. This helps them develop connections and creative thinking.
Inquiry based: a research component is integrated into every unit. Knowledge is therefore kept relevant and current, informed by the students’ own interests and curiosity.
International: each unit supports an international perspective and purposefully integrates activities that foster reflective, active and responsible global citizenship
Engaging: each unit has an entry point to ‘hook’ learners and an exit point to communicate learning in a fun and memorable way, often with parents.
Assessment in the IPC unit is focused on individual growth and the development of skills that will help students become reflective, self motivated and independent learners. Critical thinking, problem solving, effective collaboration and communication of learning are at the heart of the program.
IB Diploma Program (DP)
The IB Diploma Program is recognized by universities in 124 countries and is designed to be taken over two years (age 16-19). The DP includes six academic subjects and the central core which consists of the extended essay, theory of knowledge and CAS (creativity, action and service). Students study two modern languages, a humanities or social science subject, an experimental science, mathematics or computer science, and another subject including the arts.