Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 we mainly follow the Waldorf Steiner Curriculum with key learning links to the British National Curriculum, concentrating on the process of learning and the student’s developmental stages instead of requiring them to rote learn curriculum content. We do not believe in systematic testing in the younger years and feel that the ensuing stress causes more harm than good. In this way we believe that the students will be more receptive in the later years of Classes 9 and 10 where they will study for their IGCSE’s and will be more balanced individuals as a result.
In Key Stage 3, the student’s timetable is divided into Main Lessons which last for 1 hour and 20 minutes and the rest of the subject lessons as shown below. An important component of the student’s day is Circle Time which is the time spent with the class tutor every morning in activities such as games, poems, music or dance which ensure the students start the day energized and receptive to learning. We try to foster the understanding that we work as a team and encourage a sense of group identity as well as that of individuals.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4 and 5 the timetables differ according to the student’s individual option choices. The students are studying for the official IGCSE, AS or A level exams and follow the British Curriculum accordingly. Although these students are following a more rigorous academic curriculum at these stages, we do not lose sight of our school ethos which is to prepare rounded balanced young people, ready for the challenges of adult life.
An important aspect of our Educational System is the Main Lesson. One subject is studied in depth for three weeks at the beginning of every school day. A wide range of subjects is studied over the school year within the framework of a clearly defined curriculum. The precise content and arrangement of the Main Lesson will depend on the class teachers’ artistic presentation, but will include a range of pro-active activities together with the main theme. The students create their own Main Lesson book for each subject based on the material presented by the class teacher. These books are carefully crafted and illustrated and are a record of the student’s progress over the year. The Main Lesson blocks are taught by teachers with specialized knowledge in that particular area. The Main Lesson subjects include: Maths, English/Drama, History, Geography and Science.
During the rest of the school day, the students follow a timetable of lessons in other subjects which are taught by specialist teachers. These lessons are on a fixed timetable throughout the year and include: Maths, English, Science, Spanish, Valenciano, German, Music, Art, Crafts, ICT, Gardening and PSHE (Personal and Social Health Education). The students will also have the opportunity to take advantage of their wonderful natural surroundings; having the opportunity to visit historical sites and buildings, attend performances and exhibitions, learn about their local environment, all of which will support their learning and the curriculum area they are studying. At AIS, all classes from Class 6 (Year 7) through to Class 10 (Year 11) also have the opportunity to go on residential trips at the end of the school year.
Key Stage 5
The 6th form students undertake “in school placements” where they are allocated specific times during the week in which they support a designated class teacher or specific students. In this way they learn responsibility and become aware of their own capabilities and how their presence can make a positive difference within a class or for a particular student they are supporting.
We are also in the process of encouraging them to undertake volunteer work in the local community and will shortly be running the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Autonomy and individual responsibility is also encouraged through other activities such as the school newspaper which is written, designed and marketed by the students themselves.