Approach to Learning

Approach to Learning

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ACS offers the most rigorous, complete, and dynamic international curriculum of any school in the UK.

ACS International Schools offer a unique educational experience for students 3-18 years old - a bold international approach that’s informed by a proud American heritage. At its heart is our commitment to provide the right personal challenge within a culture of high expectations for the personal and academic success of every student.

ACS schools are inclusive communities that value diversity. We support a wide range of student interests and abilities, and we value the complex language profiles of globally-mobile students and their families.

At ACS, we focus on assessment for learning. An ACS education does not centre around never-ending preparation for a prescribed series of high-stakes examinations covering an already over-crowded curriculum. We use high-quality data to provide feedback about student achievement, inform and adjust teaching strategies, improve performance and celebrate learning.

ACS Cobham Graduation 2018

ACS’s rigorous academic programmes help highly-ambitious learners excel in the widely-respected international qualifications that support strong applications to selective and highly-selective (Russell Group and Ivy League) universities. Our students also pursue individual passions, explore personal interests, and prepare for high-level post-secondary opportunities in sport, creative industries, and business/enterprise.

ACS schools always aim for transformational learning - not simply the transfer of information from one generation to the next, but rather the exciting work of helping students get themselves ready for success in a rapidly changing world: celebrating the effective learners, confident individuals, and caring contributors that they are and want to become.

Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLRs)


By working to achieve the ESLRs, we build the knowledge, understanding, skills and dispositions that prepare our students to make a difference. This means that every ACS International Schools student is becoming: 

An Effective Learner
  • Directing their own learning with focus and curiosity
  • Using a range of languages and media
  • Working with others for a common purpose
  • Using creativity and imagination to address big questions
  • Pursuing individual interests with enthusiasm and determination


A Confident Individual
  • Navigating challenges with confidence and courage
  • Addressing personal physical, emotional and social well-being
  • Acting ethically and demonstrating personal integrity
  • Focusing on the positive in thought and action
  • Learning and growing through experiences and relationships


A Caring Contributor
  • Considering the world, their ideas and experiences
  • Building respectful relationships with people different from oneself
  • Making positive contributions to individuals and communities
  • Modelling ethical global citizenship
  • Sustaining the ecological systems and resources that support life


ACS Cobham

Our International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes

  • IB Primary Years Programme (IBPYP)
  • IB Middle Years Programme (IBMYP)
  • IB Career-related Programme (IBCP)
  • IB Diploma Programme (IBDP)
US High School Diploma students working in group

Our Advanced Placement (AP) programmes

  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses
  • AP Capstone Diploma (APCP)
  • AP International Diploma (APID)

Links to further information

Forest Schools | Responsive Classroom | EYFS | IBPYP | IBMYP | IBCP | IBDP | APID | AP | AP Capstone