No child learns exactly the same way.
Challenging conventional education and offering multiple pathways to graduation is key to unlocking student potential and inspiring success in a rapidly changing world.
Neuroscientists are discovering more every day about how we learn, and leading schools are using this research to adapt methodologies and prepare each individual student for success by tailoring the learning experience for them.
Unlike any other school, Western Academy of Beijing works directly with our families to understand each child's needs and interests to build a personalized program. Our school has earned a global reputation as an innovator in education through tailored programs, including our Capstone Recognition Program and Individualized Curriculum Program, and our implementation of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
The IBDP is a two-year educational program aimed at 16-18-year-old students, which provides a qualification for entry into universities around the globe.
With a world-leading curriculum recognized around the globe, WAB is one of the only schools in Beijing to offer the IBDP to all Grade 11 and 12s. At its core, success in the IB DP is defined as developing students who are able to connect and apply their learning to make a difference in the world.
While this aim aligns directly with WAB's mission statement, the philosophy is not the only place where the two intersect. We're working in direct consultation with the IB Office on an on-going initiative, known as FLoW21, to transform the school in ways that maximize each individual student's potential.
Capstone Recognition Diploma
The Capstone Program is designed for students with a specific interest or career goal to hone skills through a personalized curriculum.
Working with a mentor, Capstone students create benchmarks, set goals, and map out a path of challenging and effective learning. They allocate 20 percent of their school day to learning and mastering skills in their field.The program requires each student to complete core subject learning, an extended project, a presented defense of their learning to a faculty panel, as well as a professional internship with a company or organization.
You can read and watch more about the inspiring work of our inaugural class of Capstone students here.
Individualized Curricula Program (ICP)
This pathway exemplifies the individualized approach to learning, which is at the heart of FLow21. An individualized program is created for a student who shows great strength and talent in a particular area, like a sport or artistic skill.
Learning experiences are tailored to make room for this student to continue the pursuit of certain goals, potentially by reducing time spent in other academic areas. At all times, these options are individually designed with the student, parents and teachers, and monitored with the student's goals in mind. The role of counselors, teachers and administrators is particularly important in maximizing learning for students with highly specific needs and desires from their education.
Every year in January, Grade 10 WAB students and their parents meet with a team of educators and counselors to discuss their academic future. A conversation about goals, interests and strategies triggers the creation of each student's independent pathway – following the the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), incorporating some of its elements, or even in a completely individualized course.
The options WAB offers students are unique and flexible.
"Research has taught us about how we learn, and the approaches to learning are key in the pathway each student takes," said Scott Lindner, WAB's Curriculum Coordinator. "We want students to be challenged, learn, and graduate feeling confident that they can make a difference in the world."To learn more about learning at WAB, visit our Learn page.