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High School

High School Curriculum Overview

The RAS High School curriculum qualifies students to earn a US High School Diploma. Student choice in all subject areas allows students to tailor their High School diploma to meet the requirements of desired future studies. Rigorous courses delivered with a focus on the RAS General Learning Outcomes are offered at varying levels of difficulty and commitment. RAS offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses designed by the US College Board, which provide students the opportunity to earn university credits and gain a competitive edge in college admissions. Beginning in Grade 10 students work with a High School Guidance Counselor to assist in suitable course selection for potential university requirement. Graduation from RAS is, in itself, a passport to potential entry to every university across the globe.

Grade level Average Age
9th Grade 14 years old
10th Grade 15 years old
11th Grade 16 years old
12th Grade 17 years old

High school students are required to complete four years of English study.

Grade 9 English: Students work with leveled texts, develop comprehension strategies, and improve their independent reading level at an increasing degree of complexity. Students also focus on nonfiction texts as they acquire the skills to interpret information, research, and question material presented. Writing is focused on engaging students in a meaningful context to communicate their ideas on paper. Students are guided through modeling, reflecting on model examples, sharing their work, and peer editing others’ work.

Grade 10 English: The Literature course requires students to apply their knowledge of the reading and writing process to critical pieces of literature spanning several genres and periods.

Grade 11 English: Students can choose to specialize in English by taking Advanced Placement English Composition (AP) or a college preparatory level of English Composition, focusing on literature and the writing process.

Grade 12 English: Advanced Placement Course: Literature and Composition is designated for motivated students who have a strong command of standard English, an interest in exploring and analyzing challenging classical and contemporary literature, and a desire to analyze and interpret dominant literary genres and themes. Alternatively, students may take the college preparatory English course in Literature.

High school students are required to complete three years of Mathematics. The basic track would include Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. The most challenging Mathematics track would consist of Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, and Advanced Placement Calculus (AP). Alternatively, a student may choose Advanced Placement Statistics (AP). All mathematics courses focus on the Common Core Eight Mathematical Practices. 

The practice of ‘make sense of problems and persevere in solving them’ and ‘attend to precision’ is consistently emphasized as applicable to all mathematical study areas. Students engage in critical thinking as they ‘reason abstractly and quantitatively’ and ‘construct viable arguments and critique others’ reasoning.’ Problem-solving involves the ‘use of appropriate tools strategically’ and ‘model with mathematics.’ 

Strategic thinking also requires that students ‘look for and make use of structure’ while ‘expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.’ These Eight Mathematical Practices and the development of the four general learning outcomes form the mathematics curriculum’s backbone. Note: Ti83 or Ti84 graphing calculators are recommended.

High school students are required to complete three years of Science. The basic track would include Integrated Science, Biology, and Chemistry. The most challenging Science track would consist of Integrated Science, Chemistry, Advanced Placement Chemistry (AP), Physics, and Advanced Placement Physics BC. A challenging science track would include Integrated Science, Biology, and Advanced Placement Biology (AP) with Chemistry or Physics in Grade 12. Directed reading of factual, informational text provides the basis for vocabulary and concept acquisition. 

Teachers engage students in experiments while emphasizing research, observation skills, safety, recording tools, and communication of conclusions. Students are encouraged to interact with their environment, pose additional inquiries, research in the library and on the Internet, and share their thoughts collaboratively.

High school students are required to complete two years of World Language. The World Languages currently offered at RAS include Bahasa Melayu, Korean, and Mandarin. Communities, Connections, Cultures, Comparisons, and Communication are the focus of the language units. Students will continue to advance their knowledge in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in their target language.

High school students are required to complete three years of Social Science study. The basic track would include World History and Human Geography and at least one other choice, including Government, Economics, or Psychology. The most challenging Social Science track may consist of Human Geography (AP), Comparative Governments and Politics (AP), Economics (AP), and World History (AP). 

Students in these courses will learn about history through critical reading and writing, investigations, projects, and other activities. Students will examine relationships between humans, their environment, and the unique way they interact with each other. Social science themes include culture, migration, population, political organization, economic development, and industrialization. Upon completing these courses, students will gain a strong interdisciplinary foundation and provide a useful context for understanding world events, past and present.

High school students must complete one credit (½ in grade 9, ½ in grade 10) of Physical Education. Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. Physical education aims to develop individuals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful activities. 

Students demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of activities. They also develop an understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to these activities’ learning and performance. Participation in physical activities, the development of social and personal respect for others in physically active situations, and a lifelong enjoyment of physical challenges and expression are emphasized. 

Secondary students are expected to change into their PE kit for PE classes and back to their academic attire before returning to regular classes.

High school students are required to complete one year of one or more fine arts.

They can select from concert band, visual art, drama, or photography. Most of these are offered as semester courses allowing students to choose more than one.

High school students are required to complete one semester of technology. The technology class focuses on fluent use of the most current technology, along with basic computer coding. High school technology electives are also offered to all students.

High school students are required to complete one semester of Health. The health class focuses on the physical, emotional, and social health issues faced by today’s teenagers.

High school students are required to complete six credits of electives. Elective choices are essential when considering entrance to a university of choice. Students are counseled in their choice of electives based on their future educational desires. An emphasis may be placed on AP courses or a specific subject track. Alternatively, students may choose electives that most reflect their passions if university entrance requirements are not yet targeted.

The ELL Program provides academic support to students whose home language is not English who need extra practice to succeed in grade-level academic standards. RAS offers a program that supports the student’s grade-level education with scheduled ELL classes and push-in and pull-out support for secondary school students. Students enrolled in an ELL class can receive credit for the course in the World Language category. 

The program focuses on developing interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency. The ELL program uses WIDA’s international standards and RAS’s General Learning Outcomes to determine progress, proficiency, and achievement. ELL students are supported to reach a functional English proficiency level by the end of the tenth grade.

English Immersion Program (EIP) is a rigorous one-year immersive language learning course for students applying for grades 3-10 who speak little to no English but are motivated to become independent linguistic learners and English speakers quickly. 

This program gives students focused language instruction for up to one academic school year to prepare them with the language skills required to reintegrate into and succeed in their appropriate grade-level classes. This program has strict entrance and exit protocols.

To receive a High School Diploma from RAS, the following graduation requirements must be met between the 9th and 12th grades:

Department Number of Credits
Core: English 4.0 Credits
Core: Mathematics 3.0 Credits
Core: Science 3.0 Credits
Core: Social Studies 3.0 Credits
World Language (2 credits required, 3 highly recommended) 2.0 Credits
Fine Arts 1.0 Credits
Physical Education 1.0 Credits
Health 0.5 Credits
Technology 0.5 Credits


Total Required Core Credits 18 Credits
Electives from Core Subjects (minimum of 2 apart from English) 2 Credits
Additional Electives 5 Credits
Total Number of Credits Required for Graduation 25 Credits

“I’m from Ecuador, and I love being a part of the RAS community because it has taught me a lot about different countries, people, and cultures. In the five years that I have studied here, I have broadened my English vocabulary with words that I didn’t know before and began learning Mandarin, which is honestly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! I’m really thankful to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey here at Raffles American School!”

Arianna – Senior 2020/2021