Our recruiters receive quite a few questions from candidates about the unique BASIS Curriculum used across all the BASIS Independent Schools. To help you get more of a feel for what makes the BASIS Curriculum different, we’ve compiled answers to some of your Frequently Asked Questions.
FAQ About the BASIS Curriculum
Q: What curriculum do you follow?
A: As a BASIS Independent School, and as part of the BASIS Curriculum Schools network, we use the BASIS Curriculum. The BASIS Curriculum is an AP-infused, integrated liberal arts curriculum designed to provide a foundation of disciplinary knowledge that fuels critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. Teachers using the BASIS Curriculum are given the academic freedom to determine how to best teach their students, to enable them to realize deep subject knowledge and mastery.
Q: How prescribed is the BASIS Curriculum?
A: We provide the framework upon which teachers develop their own classes and syllabi. Teachers are empowered to reach the objectives set by the curriculum in a way that will best benefit their students.
The BASIS Curriculum establishes what students are required to learn. Teachers are given the chance to decide the best way for their students to achieve what is required, appreciate the material while doing so, and accelerate beyond the material when desired or possible.
Q: BASIS Curriculum students take a lot of AP exams. Does this mean you are an AP school?
A: AP courses have been a part of the BASIS Curriculum since our network’s first school was founded in 1998. AP courses and exams help us assess through an unbiased, respected, internationally recognized standard, the degree to which we help our students understand the various subjects.
Our students take a minimum of seven AP courses to graduate. However, our focus is on subject mastery, rather than teaching to the specific AP exam. Our students also have the ability to take post-AP courses in the subjects they most enjoy, further expanding their subject mastery to depths more typically seen in 300-400 level university courses and beyond.
So, while AP courses are a significant component, the BASIS Curriculum goes beyond these standards to further students’ subject mastery.
Q: Have you found teachers with a particular curriculum background to be more successful with BASIS Independent Schools?
A: We employ teachers from a variety of curricular backgrounds and we encourage them to bring their best practices into their classrooms, while teaching the BASIS Curriculum. Through this diversity of experience, the BASIS Curriculum has always evolved to incorporate cutting-edge educational practices from around the world.
Above all, the most vital background for our teachers is a passion for the subject that they teach. This has been true for BASIS Curriculum teachers for over twenty years, and remains true today.
Q: Are there resources available to help create lessons and syllabi?
A: Yes, in every subject, and for each grade level, BASIS Curriculum Schools utilize the expertise of “Subject Advisers,” veteran teachers who provide expertise and guidance about the BASIS Curriculum, lesson planning, meeting course expectations, and approaches to engage students in the course content. Additionally, BASIS Curriculum teachers have easy access to our network’s shared repository of lesson plans, syllabi, support material, etc., that their colleagues across the network have previously created and successfully used. As part of the BASIS Curriculum Schools network, you benefit from much of what has made the network successful: shared knowledge, shared material, and shared best practices.
Q: With such an advanced curriculum, are resources available to help students who struggle?
A: We recognize that the BASIS Curriculum is rigorous and challenging. The support provided to students is one of the critical pieces that has made our schools successful. BASIS Curriculum teachers consistently communicate exactly what is expected of students–and make themselves available to assist any student who wants or needs that support, in and out of the classroom.
That’s why BASIS Independent School teachers hold student hours (office hours) to provide additional help and support for students who request it. Each school also offers academic support beyond the teacher, for help with coursework, to any student in any grade.
Q: How are students assessed?
A: We administer regular comprehensive exams in grades 6 – 8 to ensure that students meet the requirements of their classes. In high school, our students take AP exams to assess content mastery. Our teachers also manage their classrooms with a hands-on approach. They check in with their students, monitor how they’re doing in class, offer assistance, and encourage students to self-assess, and ask for help as needed.
We hope this answers some common questions about what makes the BASIS Curriculum unique and a joy to teach. You can find more detailed information about different aspects of our academic program, specific to each grade level, on our careers website.
A version of this post originally appeared on the BASIS International Schools careers blog.