The American School in London:
The American School in London is a coeducational, independent school of over 1,200 international students, in Kindergarten 1 through Grade 12. Located in Central London near Finsbury Park, our students take full advantage of this wonderful city, participating actively in its vibrant historical, artistic, and cultural venues. At the threshold of continental Europe, we introduce our students to the background and experiences that will create the international citizens of tomorrow. We offer a singular opportunity to students—an American curriculum delivered by a first-rate faculty in one of the great cultural centers in the world. Students are selected on the basis of past school records, teacher recommendations and standardized testing scores. Extracurricular programs help students discover and develop their talents. From athletics and arts, to language study and community service, programs at the Lower, Middle and High School levels provide avenues to success for every student.
ASL follows an American curriculum of the highest quality. Students are challenged to learn by doing, and the School takes full advantage of its location to immerse students in the sights and sounds of London, continental Europe and beyond.
The Lower School program encourages children to explore their world, challenges them to think critically, promotes creativity and strives for continuous growth in an environment in which they experience the excitement of learning. Our goal is to help children become independent, lifelong learners.
Lower School classrooms are characterized by a stimulating, caring and relaxed atmosphere. Students learn to take risks and explore their world through concrete experiences. As they develop a positive self-image, children become less self-absorbed and more sensitive to the world around them. They learn to deal with their feelings, become responsible, make decisions and gradually become independent.
Early Childhood Program:
The two-year Early Childhood Program, for 4-year-olds turning 5 (Kindergarten 1) and 5-year-olds turning 6 (Kindergarten 2), provides an exciting and stimulating environment where the needs of the whole child are nurtured. Respect for the uniqueness of each child is central to the Early Childhood Program, with each child’s developmental level considered and accommodated. Different levels of ability, development and learning styles are expected, accepted and used to design appropriate activities.
Teachers in the Early Childhood Program prepare the classroom environment for children to learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children and materials.
Addressing the social and emotional needs of each child is an essential part of the Early Childhood Program. Fundamental is a positive self-image for all children — feeling confident about themselves and their ideas, as well as their abilities. Each child is encouraged to take risks and to view mistakes as natural learning experiences. The ages from 4 to 6 are times when children become more sensitive and aware of those around them and learn to be tolerant and respectful of the differing ethnic origins, beliefs, feelings and abilities of others. Children also learn to develop and sustain good relationships.
The Early Childhood Program is based on an integrated day in which learning is not separated into subject areas. Learning is through doing. Work and play are interchangeable, and all classroom experiences yield learning opportunities.
Students in Grades 1-4 gradually move from a developmentally based program toward a more formalized approach to learning. Children continue to learn by doing, practicing previously learned skills and acquiring new ones. Teachers encourage the formation of good work and study habits and organizational skills as well as a respect and understanding for other cultures. They endeavor to stimulate every child’s interest, curiosity and creativity, and to promote a true love of learning.
The Lower School strives to challenge each child to fulfill his or her fullest potential. Individual and group work in all core subjects is used to enhance students’ problem-solving, critical-thinking and logic skills. ASL students come from many different schools and learning environments, and their learning needs are assessed regularly to ensure their success. Teamwork and responsibility are emphasized throughout the Lower School.
Subjects include reading, writing, srts program, maths, technology, social studies and science. We also offer Italian, music, physical education and field studies.
The Middle School program is designed to nurture the intellectual, ethical, social/emotional and physical development of youngsters during their transition from childhood to adolescence. Students experiencing the rapid growth that occurs in early adolescence flourish in an educational environment that is distinctly different from either the Lower or High School models.
During Grades 5 through 8, students experience a dramatic shift in their cognitive abilities as they move from a concrete mode of thought to a more abstract level of thinking. To foster this growth, the curriculum is structured to guide students in making connections and seeing relationships among subject areas and with the world beyond the classroom.
The Middle School seeks to nurture close, trusting relationships with adults and peers to create a climate for personal growth and to help students deal successfully with change and transition. Homeroom and advisor group time provides students with the opportunity to share interests and concerns and experience the encouragement of their classmates and teachers. Students receive additional support from a full-time counselor and health classes at each grade level.
Program of study:
All Middle School students are expected to carry a full program of studies. Generally, this means major courses in English, mathematics, modern language, science, social studies, physical education and health.
In addition, art, music and drama are required in Grades 5 and 6. In Grades 7 and 8, students may choose from a variety of elective courses in the visual and performing arts, technology and community service. Music is required for all students in Grades 7 and 8.
The ability to communicate effectively with speakers of languages other than English is an essential skill in today’s world, fostering greater cultural awareness and understanding. The Middle School modern languages program offers a range of courses in French and Spanish for students in Grades 5-8 and beginning German for students in Grade 8.
Beginners courses are aimed at students who were not in a yearlong modern languages program during the previous school year. If a student successfully completes a beginners course, he or she will enter a continuers course the following September. Continuers courses are for students who have successfully completed at least one full year of an academic program in their chosen language.
Classes are conducted in the target language, as appropriate to the students’ level of proficiency, and are designed to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Students who successfully complete the year in Grade 8 usually proceed to a Level II High School class. Students displaying outstanding proficiency in their language of study may be considered for entry into a Level III course in Grade 9.
Trips to mainland Europe give students the opportunity to improve their communication skills and a chance to experience different cultures.
Students help create the curriculum for the health class – which meets once per eight-day cycle – by raising health issues that are important to them. In addition, students interview parents, teachers and older students for their input on topics to be studied. Content and teaching methods also evolve based on regular student, teacher and program assessment.
Key curriculum components include: self-esteem, labelling, building trust and cooperation, communication skills, drug education, sex education, nutrition, eating disorders and stress management. Programs that reinforce the health curriculum include Natural Helpers, Project Adventure, advisory activities, homeroom initiatives and the counseling team. The Middle School counselors teach the health classes.
The High School provides a varied and challenging program that emphasizes academic excellence and personal, social and intellectual growth, and encourages each student to be a well-motivated and constructive member of society.
The High School strives to develop students who demonstrate in their personal, social and intellectual philosophy:
• integrity and a realistic self-image that provide a basis for appropriate decision-making
• an appreciation of their own creative, artistic and athletic skills
• a perceptive and just approach when dealing with others
• an appreciation of world cultures
• an understanding of the importance of contributing to and participating in the School and local communities
• an aesthetic and scientific awareness of man and nature
• the critical acquisition and logical processing of information
Program of study:
The High School offers a broad and challenging college-preparatory program of study. A student progresses in each discipline as far as his or her abilities and interest warrant. Students consult with class deans and college counselors to make the best course selection.
Students can register for a maximum of eight courses each semester. Students plan their programs of study in consultation with their teachers and class deans and take a balanced selection of courses, which include academic, arts and physical education classes.
A high school diploma from the American School in London represents the successful completion of a planned course of study within a college-preparatory American curriculum. Grade 9 students are required to enroll in a minimum of seven courses (five academic classes, an elective and PE). Students in Grades 10 and 11 should take a minimum of six courses (five academic classes, one semester of health, one semester of an elective). Grade 12 students are expected to take a minimum of five classes (four academic classes and an elective). Yearlong courses receive one credit; semester courses receive half credit.
Required program of study:
• English: 4 credits
• Social studies: 3 credits
• Mathematics: 2 credits
• Science: 2 credits
• Modern languages: 3 credits*
• Arts: 2 credits
• Health: 1/2 credit
• Technology: 1/2 credit
• PE: 1 credit
* The graduation requirement for modern languages must be met by the study of Chinese, French, German or Spanish. Students in our Arabic, Japanese and Russian programs receive elective credit only.
The School’s Advanced Placement program offers students the opportunity to take college-level courses during their high school years. By enrolling in AP courses, and by achieving the requisite scores on the May examinations offered by the College Board, a student may earn advanced standing or even college credit at many US colleges and universities. In addition, results of these examinations are recognized by British universities and are seen as the equivalent of A-levels in the admission process.
Typically, over 90 percent of ASL students taking AP exams score three or higher. ASL currently offers Advanced Placement courses in Art History, Biology, Calculus AB and BC, Chemistry, Computer Science, European History, French Language, French Literature, German Language, Macro and Micro Economics, Music Theory, Physics B and C, Statistics, Studio Art, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature and United States History. The English program, based on an elective system in Grades 11 and 12, does not offer AP courses, but many students elect to take either or both the AP English exams available: AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition. In addition, students often choose to take the AP Human Geography and AP Psychology exams.
ASL is offering an outstanding summer program for students age 4-16. Based at school and our playing fields at Canons Park, the program guarantees loads of fun, opportunities to discover new interests and new friends. With 5 different camps running throughout the summer months, there is something for everyone.
A major goal of ASL's physical education program is to promote enjoyment of physical activity so that children continue the healthy habit of participating in sports outside of school. Students at every age are taught sportsmanship, cooperation and safety. ASL enjoys a reputation for excellence in its athletics program. The School has maintained this achievement not only through results, but by virtue of the character and competitive spirit displayed by our student athletes. The emphasis of the program is not on winning at any cost, but rather on the personal growth of the student through the discipline of preparation and competition.