ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL
RAS Curriculum provides a strong foundation in language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. Art, Music, World Language and Physical Education are valued subject areas for students to explore their inner self and learn multiple methods of expression while demonstrating the RAS Learner Outcomes.
About Elementary School (Pre-K through Grade 8)
Grades 1 through 4 focus on literacy skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students learn the art of the English language through the reading and writing workshop approach. Numeracy is a daily focus as students work to gain a balance between concepts and procedures while developing sound mathematical practices. Science, Social Studies , Visual Art, Music, Physical Education and World Language are instructed in a student centered approach of practical hands on learning. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum by the use of a Macbook Pro Laptop dedicated one-to-one for each student.
About Middle School (Grades 5-8)
In the Middle School students rotate to specialist subject teachers. An emphasis is on Language Arts: reading,writing, listening and speaking as the reader/writer workshop approach is applied to higher level texts and writing purposes. Mathematics is instructed daily focusing on the mathematical practices required to explore algebra topics both conceptually and procedurally. Science class requires the art of scientific inquiry and synthesis of information gained through research. In Social Studies students explore the region of Asia, Ancient Civilizations around the globe, the Renaissance/Middle Ages, and culminate in the Global Issues of Today. Visual Art and Music allow students the opportunity to explore the world through an artistic lens. The Physical Education program instructs students on life long physical health routines. The World Language program allows a choice of a second language instructed through the 5 C’s: Culture, Communications, Connection, Comparison and Community. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum as each student is required to have a Macbook Pro laptop for use in each subject area.
Rooted in a firm belief in the importance of cultivating well rounded individuals, the physical plan of the school organizes the components of a student’s learning environment into a highly interconnected lateral network where all facets of a student’s development take equal footing.
Now more than ever, education must prepare its students for the fast paced, global environment that awaits them in adulthood. RAS places an emphasis on the theory of “multiple intelligences”. The academic pedagogy at RAS will seek to tap into every student’s potential by both exposing them to a variety of stimuli, and encouraging them to follow multiple pursuits in a range of areas (sports, arts, sciences, community involvement, etc.).
Through this web of activity and interaction, a student will be able to “cross pollinate” ideas, techniques and skill sets between their various trajectories, and often find a deeper understanding and mastery of each pursuit in the process.
Language Arts or the Art of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking is instructed through a balanced literacy approach. Reading, writing, listening, speaking, spelling, word study, and handwriting are studied in an integrated style through use of a variety of quality literature. Students work with leveled texts and learn to decode, develop comprehension strategies, and increase their independent reading level at an increasing degree of complexity. Students also focus on non-fiction texts as they acquire the skills to interpret information, research, and question material presented. Writing is focused on engaging students in meaningful context for the purpose of communicating their ideas on paper. Students are guided through modeling, reflecting on model examples, sharing their own work and peer editing the work of others. The 6 +1 Traits provides a consistent framework for student understanding of what good writing looks like through focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation. Students are encouraged to publish their written work in various formats for the genre produced.
Students study mathematics through a focus on the Common Core 8 Mathematical Practices. The practice of ‘Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them’ as well as ‘Attend to precision’ are consistently emphasized as applicable to all areas of mathematical study. Students engage in critical thinking as they ‘Reason abstractly and quantitatively’ and ‘Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others’. Problem solving involves the ‘Use of appropriate tools strategically’ and ‘Model with mathematics’. Strategic thinking also requires that students ‘Look for and make use of structure’ while ‘Expressing regularity in repeated reasoning’. These Eight Mathematical Practices, along with development of the four learner outcomes, forms the backbone for the mathematics curriculum. Students learn through direct instruction, fluency practice, games, math investigations, and collaboration. Study in mathematics requires student generated problems, modeling with manipulatives, group investigations, and classroom discussion. The Common Core Curriculum emphasizes a firm foundation and fluency in addition and subtraction before formalizing the algorithms for multiplication and division. Rational number study follows multiplication and division fluency as students are prepared to to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade. Measurement, Data, Geometry, Algebraic Thinking, Statistics and Probability are integrated into each grade level with various emphasis
Students study science in three dimensions. Scientific practices, scientific content and crosscutting concepts. Working with core content in Life Science, Engineering & Technology, Earth & Space Science and Physical Science, students explore the connection of core ideas to greater concepts such as causation, systems, energy, structure & function, stability & change, scale & patterns. Scientific & Engineering Practices of questoning, modeling, investigating, analyzing, and explaining are employed to enable students to design solutions, argue with evidence and commununicate information.
The social studies program begins with the microcosm of self and family and gradually expands to the global world today. Young social scientists explore their immediate communities and beyond. As a student progresses from self and family to community to state to country to region to world they acquire the skills necessary for mapping, interviewing, film making, and documentation. Students deepen their understanding of government, conflict, change, technology, and culture in the Asian region ultimately leading to the study of the global order and issues of today.
The World Languages currently instructed at RAS include Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin. Communities, Connections, Cultures, Comparisons, and Communication are the focus of the language units. Students do not have to have a prior level of language for study in the World Language Class during the school day. Higher level classes are offered 6th Period twice a week with teacher permission. Although these classes are instructed after school hours they are assessed as a school day class. Students will continue to advance their knowledge in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in their target language.
English Language Learner
RAS offers support for English Language Learners (ELL). Raffles American School provides English Language Learners with an enriched, language-immersion education in which English is the primary language of instruction. Our school-wide instruction and assessment is designed to facilitate our students’ learning to meet our school wide Learning Outcomes. English is taught as a subject and through subject matter content, thereby developing both basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency skills. The ability to use English for social, intercultural and instructional purposes is our goal. ELL students are supported to reach a reasonable level of English proficiency by the end of the tenth grade as required by RAS’ Admission Policy.
Arts: Visual and Performing
Visual Arts Units include drawing and painting, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture. Students are encouraged to research current and past artists, to become familiar with the principles and elements of design, and to communicate thought and expression through a variety of media. The music class engages students in the exploration of the elements of music, the components of performance, how music influences society, how we respond to music and current technology employed in the field of music.
Health, Fitness and wellness is the focus of the physical education program. Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Students demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students develop an understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. Participation in physical activities, development of social and personal respect for others in physically active situations and a life long enjoyment of physical challenges and expression are emphasized.