Many families around the world aspire and strive to obtain an American education for their children. This is because American schools are well known for providing high quality education through a balanced and proven curriculum. The American education system is based on cutting-edge research, which helps students become critical thinkers with comprehensive social-emotional skills.
Generally speaking, American education combines facts, figures, and data with an open problem-based curriculum that involves collaboration, trial-and-error methodologies, and risk-taking. And this opens up unlimited opportunities for students, not only in the United States but also around the world.
Sending your child to an American school means they will gain the skills and confidence to enter schools, colleges, and universities in the United States or anywhere else in the world. But how do you know if an American education is right for your child?
How is the American education system structured?
Generally, the American school system is divided into four stages:
- Early Childhood Program (Kindergarten to Pre-Kindergarten) — ages 2 to 5,
- Elementary school (1st to 5th grade) — 6 to 10 years old,
- Middle school or college (grades 6-8) – ages 11-14, and
- High School (9th to 12th grade) — 15 to 18 years old.
A diploma or certificate is awarded to students who graduate from high school (grade 12). From there, many students go on to college or university, known as higher education.
What are the goals and outcomes of American schooling?
A balanced approach to literacy
Balanced literacy is about balancing explicit language teaching with independent learning and language exploration. It aims to find a balance between the whole language and phonetics when learning to read and write.
Lessons in critical phonetics are balanced with rich literature from around the world (especially in the United States) that demonstrates creativity and reflection alongside the necessary skills in phonetics and literacy.
Daily math skills
Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive program developed by the University of Chicago with over 30 years of authentic research-based success across the United States. It has consistently been ranked among the top 10 university mathematics programs internationally.
Everyday math uses a spiral approach, which means that concepts are presented repeatedly throughout the program in other applications or with increasing levels of complexity.
This hands-on, spiraling program not only meets each student where they are now, but continues to present skills and tasks throughout the elementary and middle school years. It develops strong skill-based knowledge associated with various problem-solving methods that students can learn and continue to use in high school and beyond.
Practical and authentic learning
American education emphasizes hands-on, authentic learning that incorporates real-life lessons and activities. Programs such as Inspired Science are designed to engage all students through virtual field trips, videos, podcasts, texts, interactives, and more that deepen students’ understanding of the lesson beyond simple facts and figures.
The program enables students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired at every age and stage, including essential lifelong skills such as leadership, collaboration, critical thinking, public speaking, data analysis and problem solving. Emphasis is also placed on authentic tasks, in which students apply what they have learned to create products or solutions to real problems.
This rigorous academic program is balanced with instruction in the arts, music, and sports to develop students into well-rounded individuals.
Character development program
More than just academic achievement, American education also focuses on character development in students. For example, the Second Stage program offers a holistic approach to social-emotional learning (SEL) by providing a full range of SEL activities and goals from kindergarten through high school.
The second step is closely aligned with the CASEL Framework, which creates a foundation for applying evidence-based SEL strategies to schools and communities. Through guided lessons, discussions and activities, students develop key skills within the framework of the five CASEL skills: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relational skills and social awareness.
This character development program aims to promote positive behavior, holistic awareness, tolerance towards others, and above all, kindness and empathy in students.
Why should you consider an American education for your child?
As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want to make sure they have access to the best possible opportunities.
For many families, the search for these opportunities, coupled with their child’s aspirations, typically leads them to the United States for additional training specific to achieving their goals. American education provides a solid foundation and an endless springboard to unlimited opportunities for students who want to live, study, and work in the United States. Simply put, an American school will provide the best preparation for students heading to the United States.
But what exactly are the advantages for international students?
1. American schooling is rigorous and standards-based
Rigorous educational standards such as the AERO curriculum and the American Common Core ensure that students meet their academic goals in math, science, social studies, English language arts/literacy, and other subjects. Plus, they allow easy transition to any similar US program around the world.
This means that international students will be familiar with the program when they move to the United States or to an American school abroad. It also builds confidence and provides a much-needed sense of security, which is especially important when adjusting to a new environment or country.
2. It prepares students for life in American schools
School transfer can be quite stressful, so you can imagine how your child might feel when moving to the United States or another country. More often than not, academics aren’t the primary concern – instead, many students worry about speaking up, making friends, and fitting in at school.
This transition is rarely easy, but it is much smoother for students coming from American schools. They are already familiar with the program and find it easier to participate in class, especially in an American classroom where discussions abound and students are encouraged to think critically and logically.
American education also helps international students understand and harmonize with their classmates, who also come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. By recognizing this diversity and integrating it into the curriculum, American schools are helping students develop the confidence and skills essential to thrive in their new environment. Students are also less likely to feel alienated, which means they can adapt more quickly to their new life and to school.
Whether your child goes to the United States or another country, American schooling provides a solid foundation for success in an increasingly global world.
Why should you consider XCL American Academy for your child?
As one of the newest American International Schools in Singapore, XCL American Academy (XAA) is more than just an academic gateway to America for students. The school offers a unique American curriculum and world-class facilities that will benefit the academic and personal development of any student, regardless of their chosen path to college and beyond. Our purpose-built campus is located in Singapore, one of the top educational destinations for students from around the world.
At XAA, we strive to inspire the next generation of trailblazers and empower them to leave a positive mark on our ever-changing world.
Focusing on what really matters to students and parents, we provide a rigorous, high-quality, and affordable American education in Singapore based on core American values of respect, honor, and courage.
Our curriculum is directly aligned with AERO and US Common Core standards to ensure our students are on track to achieve their academic goals. We also embrace internationally recognized curricula such as Everyday Math, Inspired Science, and a balanced approach to literacy with materials from Scholastic.
We are incredibly proud to announce that XCL American Academy is the first American school outside the United States recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence (BRSE) has worked with the United States Department of Education for over 35 years and works with schools across the United States of America to establish a standard of excellence for all schools who strive for the highest level of achievement. The program is part of a larger effort by the US Department of Education to identify and disseminate knowledge about school leadership and teaching practices. Using standards of excellence evidenced by measures of student achievement and known characteristics of research to exemplify school quality, the Department annually celebrates outstanding schools in states across the country.
We will start as a “budding school” and grow our profile over the next two to three years before welcoming the US team for a certification visit to assess our school against nine standards of excellence fundamentals. Once we reach this milestone, we will be fully recognized by the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. So far, only 17 schools in the United States have achieved this stature, and we will be the first and only international school.
We invite all young pioneers to join us for our inaugural year of pioneering, learning, innovation and global educational excellence.
Contact us today to learn more about our curriculum, the American education system, and how we prepare students to be agents of their own success. You can also book a tour or apply to become one of our founding families.
We look forward to welcoming your child as a young pioneer at the XCL American Academy in Singapore!