Welcome to Elementary School at AISF!
Students' learning journeys begin in our dedicated Early Childhood Center with indoor and outdoor spaces providing plentiful opportunities for learning through play. There is a protected nature area, extensive sand play area, as well as a playground featuring climbing, swings, and slides. Within our ECC you will find Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and Kindergarten children (aged 3-6 years). AISF has embraced the International Early Years Curriculum to provide our young learners the opportunity to learn through inquiry about a host of topics including our host country, Sierra Leone, and their home countries wherever those may be.
Our beautiful, bright, and well-resourced Elementary classes (Grades 1—4, ages 6-10 years) reside in the main school building. Inside and outside spaces with modern flexible furniture provide multiple learning options for teachers and students. Classrooms all have cozy library areas with a wide range of levelled reading books. There are spacious indoor and outdoor spaces used flexibly for cross-curricular activities and presentations, as well as specialist subjects including French, Art, Music, and PE. Our two libraries are well-stocked and accessible throughout the day.
Technology is an integral part of our program, and each class has a set of iPads for easy access to research and design projects. The play areas for Elementary recess include a field, a hardcourt with hoops and gridlines, a large sand pit, a climbing wall, and swings. Our various outdoor seating areas are used for eating and learning.
With our dynamic international staff and our flexible learning spaces, AISF offers students an exciting and community-centered place to grow. Our curriculum reflects our internationally diverse students. We blend American standards in Math and Language Art with the International Primary Curriculum to offer a creative yet rigorous education with inquiry-based learning at its core. By differentiating between knowledge, skills, and understanding, our students can question, explore, research, investigate, process, explain, and present their learning.
Parents are invited onto campus throughout the year to engage in student learning via end of topic presentations of work. These events are a wonderful way for children to showcase their learning: the students become the teachers and experts in their field.
AISF uses standardized testing throughout Elementary to track students. DRA reading level assessments are conducted in Kindergarten and Grade 1. MAP tests for Math, Reading Comprehension and Language Usage are completed by students in Grades 2 upwards.
AISF’s Middle School Says Hello!
As its name implies, the Middle School at the American International School of Freetown acts as a bridge between the Elementary School experience of our younger learners and High School, a four-year program leading to graduation and post-secondary studies. The Middle School years are one of growing subject specialization combined with a focus on children’s social, emotional, and ethical needs.
To provide our students with the social groupings so important for this age group, AISF’s Middle School comprises two cohorts—a Grade 5—6 class and a Grade 7—8 combination. How does this work? Middle School has two core teachers, one for English and Social Studies and one for Mathematics and Science. To better manage the two-year groups in each class, the teachers are matched with teaching assistants who possess skill sets in those subject areas. Our Mathematics program, aligned to US standards, is differentiated meaning that Grade 5 and 6, for example, are taught separately though in the same classroom with the teacher and assistant moving between the two groups. The Middle School English Language Arts program, also aligned with US standards, is differentiated across writing, language, and reading standards (although grade levels will read the same text at times). Relevant texts are chosen to reflect the many different backgrounds and cultures of our community. For Social Studies and Science, we offer a two-year program again aligned to US standards but with very international content to meet the needs of an extremely diverse student body.
A Glimpse at High School
AISF is accredited by the Middle States Association to provide an education from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8. As a small, family-oriented school, the American International School of Freetown wants to offer its students the rich range of subjects that they will need to achieve entry to great universities across the globe.
To provide our learners with the widest range of opportunities, we work with two accredited American online High School programs—Virtual High School and the University of Nebraska High School. Each school accepts the credits of the other, so students could choose to graduate from either Massachusetts Mayflower Academy (VHS) or the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS).
VHS operates more like a regular school with weekly assignments, quizzes, and tests and a virtual classroom with colleagues from across the United States and around the world. VHS also offers a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses which are academically rigorous and provide the opportunity to apply to universities worldwide as well as in North America. The University of Nebraska offers courses that the students can start at any time and complete within one calendar year, so this is helpful for students who might arrive at any point in the school year.
Our students are supported by a full-time teacher/proctor who supervises their progress, provides academic support, and reports back to families. In addition, specialist teachers in the areas of English, French, Mathematics, History, and Psychology come into the class weekly to offer guidance, support, and explanation.
Our High School students take subjects such as Art, Music, ICT, and Physical Education in Grades 7 & 8. They also join with Middle School for lunch, breaks, after-school activities, and field trips to give them time for fun and social interaction.