Educational Approach


The backbone of the SABIS® Educational System™ is a rigorous and sequential curriculum that meets world-class standards. Supported by time-tested methods, this curriculum emphasizes a well-balanced body of knowledge, skills, and experiences. A critical review of the curriculum by SABIS® Academic Development Department is ongoing to ensure that it remains dynamic, comprehensive, and suited to the needs of a rapidly changing, global society.

In addition to the core subjects of English, mathematics, and world languages, the SABIS® curriculum is designed to provide knowledge of a broad range of subjects including science, social studies, art, music, health, physical education, and computers. It is designed to develop a balanced, well-rounded, college-preparatory experience.

The first step in the SABIS® curriculum development process is the identification of all concepts and skills for a given class, followed by their classification as essential and non-essential.

Essential concepts are those needed for future learning and not formally taught again after initial mastery. For example, the concept of converting from decimal to percent is not an essential concept for fifth grade. It becomes essential in sixth grade because it is needed for future grades and is not taught in later mathematics classes. Expectations in terms of mastery allow for differences in student abilities and efforts. All students must master essential concepts at 100% accuracy to advance to a higher grade level.

Non-essential concepts are those that do not interfere with future learning but are part of the curriculum. All students must master a set amount over and above the minimum requirement and will tackle some areas more extensively. It is within this body, over and above the essential, that the amount and depth of knowledge that students achieve varies.

The body of knowledge — the facts and skills — that makes up the content of a course will not be learned in its entirety by all students. Even the most structured learning, such as mathematics, is not strictly linear. One of the strengths of the SABIS® curriculum is its identification of essential and non-essential knowledge.

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