Our Vision

Through learning, inspire all to make a difference

In defining our Vision we have distilled the many ideas, feelings and voices that make up our international community. 'Through learning' captures our endeavour to encourage lifelong learning in everything we do, and remain curious and motivated by the world we live in. To 'inspire all to make a difference' expresses our collective desire to see and enable achievement as a personal goal. It embodies the energy we feel to enrich and contribute positively to the people around us, both near and far.

Our Values

Motivate and value others • When every voice is heard, nobody feels left out • Strong partnerships between students, parents and staff create a genuine feeling of family • Pride in what we do energises the special environment we share • Place value on quality • Engage students in their own education • Together we are dynamic, viable, and secure • Value opinions • Respect for others builds self-respect • Invest in people and they will invest in you • Foster a sense of belonging to enrich a warm and friendly environment • Provide foundation and continuity to the many communities that make up our community • Take all from where they are to where they want to be • Remember, change is exciting as a shared experience • Our global community is an education in itself.

• Action your wider responsibilities to the world • Always endeavour to do the right thing • Be an ambassador for our extended international community • Promote global citizenship through deeds as well as words • Collaborate to achieve a wider understanding • Get involved in humanitarian issues outside your comfort zone • Promote sustainability as an integral part of everyday life • Never tire of giving to those less fortunate • Strive to provide stability in an uncertain world • Try your best to make others happy • Accept opportunities to contribute in new and uplifting ways • Develop love for the people around you • See a world without barriers • Embrace social responsibility.

• Share success • Ensure students leave with more than good grades • Encourage broad talents, as a good education is not all about one thing • Set individual goals, as achievement means different things to different people • The journey is important • Achieve because the focus is on students, lifelong learning and not just results • Inspire all to be the best they can be • Discover and liberate the motivation to succeed that lies in everyone • Embody an ethos that enables excellence, rather than one that delivers excellence at any cost • Encourage integrity as a form of personal excellence • Provide the opportunity for all to succeed through their own desire • Prepare flexible minds • Seed excellence into everything • Succeed with integrity.

• Value and appreciate your role as a contributing member of one Earth • See and affect the world on your doorstep and beyond • Appreciate that international is the norm here • Draw unity from the fact that everyone is from somewhere else • Develop hearts and minds that respect cultural differences • Bring a sense of commonality to diversity • Use diversity to enhance learning • Champion the understanding of all cultures • Remain open-minded and curious • Enjoy the benefits of being part of a cosmopolitan group • Treat all differences thoughtfully • Diversity is stimulating and motivating when understood • Make all feel accepted.

Our Philosophy

ACS is...

A dynamic learning community. Our character is built on integrity, open-mindedness, and empathy. We welcome people of all cultures from around the world to create a powerful, shared experience that shapes the way we teach and learn, and actively defines our international character. We strive to build strong partnerships with parents. Above all, we appreciate that happiness enriches learning.

We believe...

A great education needs to be balanced. That is why we celebrate academic achievement alongside social, physical and emotional well-being. With us, learning happens everywhere – through opportunities and activities beyond the classroom that drive thinking and enhance our core academics. By shaping our teaching around each student, we value and inspire individuality. Our teachers know what is important: understanding how students think and feel, encouraging their talents, and inspiring them to personal success. We empower all to challenge what is possible, stay curious, visualise their own future, and master the skills and attitudes to make a difference.

Our students...

Gain balance, confidence, versatility, and resilience in the face of challenge, disappointment, and success. They appreciate that every experience is an opportunity to learn, innovate and grow. At ACS, students discover how best to learn, to work independently and collaboratively, to manage information, to communicate, and ultimately generate their own opportunities. Our students come to recognise what success looks like to them – motivated to identify, develop and enjoy their own talents, and use their abilities to benefit themselves and those around them. We enrich student awareness and empower them to empathise and engage with wider issues. Together they turn compassion into action, contributing towards a sustainable future.

We will always champion what makes us special:

  • The quality of our world-renowned academic programmes.
  • Prestigious academic accreditations.
  • The qualifications and subject expertise of our teachers.
  • The breadth and depth of our co- and extra-curricular programmes.
  • Outstanding academic, extra-curricular and sports facilities.
  • A belief that school life must offer more than lessons alone.
  • Professional Development resources that enable all ACS staff to perform to their highest potential.
  • The knowledge that privilege has a duty to act and help those less fortunate or in need.
  • Our Vision and Values guide everyday school life through well-defined student learning outcomes.
  • A vibrant, international and multicultural community spirit.
  • Parent Survey results that tell us we are a very happy school.
  • Our holistic approach to education appeals to both local and international families and staff.
  • The advantages of a shared international experience that brings together students, staff, and families from over 100 countries.
  • A seamless transition process that successfully manages students, families, and staff both in and out of ACS.

Definition of Learning

At ACS we define learning as growth and development in knowledge and understanding, skills and dispositions.

  • Knowledge and Understanding focus on literacy, numeracy, core knowledge, and understanding in each subject area.
  • Skills develop each student’s academic, physical, and social skills through active participation.
  • Dispositions present opportunities, both within and outside of the curriculum, to recognise and develop positive characteristics such as resilience, confidence, perseverance, and responsibility.

Expected school-wide learning results

An effective learner

  • An inquirer, directing their own learning with focus and curiosity
  • A communicator, using a range of languages and media
  • A collaborator, working with others for a common purpose
  • An innovator, using creativity and imagination to address big questions
  • A scholar, pursuing individual interests with enthusiasm and determination.

A confident individual

  • A risk-taker, navigating challenges with confidence and courage
  • A healthy individual, addressing personal physical, emotional and social well-being
  • A role model, acting ethically and demonstrating personal integrity
  • An optimist, focusing on the positive in thought and action
  • An explorer, learning and growing through experiences and relationships.

A caring contributor

  • A reflector, considering the world, their ideas and experiences
  • A diplomat, building respectful relationships with people different from oneself
  • A volunteer, making positive contributions to individuals and communities
  • An ambassador, modeling ethical global citizenship
  • A steward, sustaining the ecological systems and resources that support life.

Improving student outcomes

ORGANISATION

Achievements since 2012

  • We established an ACS Definition of Learning to add greater focus, talent and resources to improving student achievement.
  • More subjects are now benchmarked against globally-recognised standards, ensuring ACS continues to offer the highest quality international education.
  • All four ACS schools developed a new shared philosophy and set of expected student learning outcomes, clearly aligning our educational goals with our Vision and Values.
  • Developed a common ACS definition of curriculum and assessment, providing a clear scope and sequence of every student’s learning as he/she progresses through the school.
  • An improved Student Assessment Policy generates more accurate feedback, ensuring every student is better supported and guided to achieve personal success.
  • Opened the Centre for Inspiring Minds (CIM) to champion the professional development of our staff through purposeful collaboration and action research aimed at improving teaching and learning. 
  • Established a Central Education Programmes Team to facilitate and implement cross-campus initiatives, oversee compliance, accreditation and policy development, facilitate improved use of data to inform decision-making, and share practices that promote transformation and excellence in education.
  • Reviewed and updated the Governance at Board of Trustee level.
  • Achieved Charitable status in 2018.

Goals

  • Develop ACS as a Charitable organisation ensuring that there is a focus on Financially Assisted Places, Partnerships and philanthropic giving to Advance Education
  • Empower teachers to drive individual student achievement through the intelligent use of data analysing tools, and year-on-year comparisons.
  • Undertake a comprehensive language acquisition review to ensure our academic programmes remain relevant, coherent, and well-articulated.
  • Use our Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLR) to meet and surpass the expectations of our teachers, students, and parents.
  • Increase our focus on data literacy and our ability to use information to improve student learning, and guide future decisions about curriculum development, learning design, and programme evaluation.
  • Work across the four campuses to review and revise key educational policies to better support our educational goals.
  • Discover and implement new opportunities and courses for students and staff to develop additional 21st Century skills.
  • Further develop the Performance Effectiveness System (PES) to include a Professional Growth Phase that provides more feedback opportunities for educators to reflect, self-assess, and improve their practice.
  • Help students to develop key school and life skills in teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity, and time management.

COBHAM

Achievements since 2012

  • The Outdoor Education Programme in Early Childhood and Lower School takes full advantage of every outstanding and diverse external space on campus.
  • Our successful Highly Able Programme in High School has been rolled out to identify, benefit and motivate gifted students of all ages.
  • A better-defined assessment policy has established greater consistency in our assessment practices, ensuring very student is supported and guided to achieve personal success.
  • A new language policy provides a seamless progression of World Language teaching throughout the school.
  • A new Maths policy, and a change to the Maths programme in Lower School, has introduced a more engaging, student-focused, and enquiry-led syllabus.

Goals from 2017

  • Empower teachers to drive individual student achievement through better use of data analysing tools and year-on-year comparisons.
  • Further growth in the Highly Able Programme will help identify and develop more top academic achievers at every age.
  • A comprehensive curriculum review will guarantee our academic programmes remain relevant and of the highest standard.
  • Introduction of the Advanced Placement Capstone and International Diplomas will add greater challenge to, and opportunity for, our top AP students.
  • Increased and improved College Counselling expertise will lead to better subject choices and more students attending the university of their choice, anywhere in the world.
  • The introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Core Curriculum in Lower and Middle School will provide better standards to evaluate the teaching of Science, Maths and English.

EGHAM

Achievements since 2012

  • A better-defined assessment policy has established greater consistency in our assessment practices, ensuring every student is supported and guided to achieve personal success.
  • A new school-wide language policy better defines delivery and monitoring of language teaching and acquisition.
  • As part of an enhanced College Counselling offer, a programme of work experience opportunities has been introduced in Grades 9 and 10, giving students experience of possible careers and the wider working world.
  • A restructured Individuals and Societies course now offers Grade 9 and 10 students more classes in Economics, Geography, and History as better preparation for the IB Diploma.
  • The Design Tech Programme in Grades 9 and 10 has been expanded to include new-world skills, such as robotics.
  • Developed and increased our usable outdoor spaces, adding variety and diversity to activities and new learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

Goals from 2017

  • We adopted the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) eAssessment tool in 2016, with a view to offer the full IB eAssessment suite from the start of the 2018/19 academic year, to expand student access to university placements around the world.
  • Introduce Big Reading and Big Writing in Lower School to more effectively set and meet individual student learning expectations through active discussion, meaningful assessment, fun, and the acquisition of basic skills in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting.
  • Further improve College and Careers Counselling expertise in High School to include work experience placements and aptitude testing.
  • Offer a Personal Social Health Education curriculum so students can develop a range of well-rounded life skills that complement and boost academic achievement.
  • Create a Maker Space hub to inspire young entrepreneurs and designers of all ages to share their ideas, learn from external professionals, and acquire additional real world talents.
  • Increase our World Language choices to reflect the needs of the ever-changing world we live in.
  • Continue to upgrade libraries into fully flexible and ergonomic learning hubs that enhance student digital literacy, and their ability to access, share and use information.
  • Build a dedicated Lower School science lab to enrich our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) and inspire budding young scientists.

HILLINGDON

Achievements since 2012

  • Technology is better integrated and more effectively used within the curriculum to encourage future skills that benefit all ages.
  • Lower School became an Apple Distinguished Program for using technology to innovate and deliver better curriculum design.
  • Achieved Council of International Schools (CIS) International Certification, validating our commitment to internationalism and intercultural learning and the development of truly global citizens.
  • Increased and improved College Counselling expertise led to better subject choices and more students attending the university of their choice, anywhere in the world.

Goals from 2017

  • Improve curriculum alignment and documentation, and link these to quality standards in all grades to streamline student progress through the school.
  • Encourage systems thinking, teach more for understanding and add visible thinking teaching strategies into all areas of learning to promote individual student achievement.
  • Further improve and enhance the use of technology, and progress the way we use and look at IT in education, life, and future careers.
  • Look to expand the Performing Arts and Drama Programmes to broaden our well-rounded education, and boost student participation through increased choice and opportunity.
  • Review and enhance the benefits of mindfulness, well-being, and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) into everyday school life.

DOHA

Achievements since 2012

  • Developed a well-rounded after-school activities programme encompassing the arts, sport, world languages, outdoor activities, overseas trips, and local and global outreach service.
  • Successfully created a world-class curriculum featuring the prestigious American High School Diploma, and the globally-recognised International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years and Diploma Programmes.
  • Achieved Candidate status to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), with full authorisation expected in 2017.
  • Introduced a Bring Your Own Device and 1:1 iPad programme to further embed the skills and benefits of IT into our education.
  • Established a quality Arabic language, Islamic Studies, and Qatar History programme for native and non-native speakers to support and champion our diverse community.
  • Became the sole regional provider of the internationally-recognised Coerver Soccer Coaching Programme.

Goals from 2017

  • Enhance our Student Support Services to expand our English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Special Education Needs (SEN) programmes, to meet the evolving needs of our local and international community.
  • Establish a Centre for Innovation to pursue new and progressive initiatives that drive student achievement relevant to 21st Century requirements.
  • Increase additional World Language options and support for mother tongue languages.
  • Embed mindfulness into the curriculum, expand our pastoral care, and further promote well-being as an integral part of school life.
  • Champion creativity by recruiting more specialist teachers, and expanding our curricular and co-curricular programmes in dance, drama, and the visual arts.
  • Increase inclusion by adding more sports activities for girls within a growing sports programme.
  • Expand academic choice and drive quality US university entrances by introducing the renowned Advanced Placement (AP) programme to the High School curriculum by 2019.

Growing our organisation

Achievements since 2012

  • We opened our first overseas campus, ACS Doha, in 2011. In the first seven years, the campus has developed into a successful IB World School with over 900 students, aged 3 to 18. In 2016 the High School celebrated its first graduation, with students winning places to the university of their choice across the region and worldwide.
  • ACS Doha continues to evaluate and expand its programmes, and has established strong relationships with the Qatari Ministry of Education, other educational institutions, and local, regional and global businesses and corporates, ensuring the school remains forward-thinking, relevant, and attractive.
  • As a dynamic organisation, ACS continues to research and gauge educational demands in other regions of the world. However, our primary focus is to continue enhancing our current campuses.
  • We maintain strong investment in the programmes, staff, and facilities of our four schools to ensure they continue to deliver academic excellence as standard. Recent growth projects, either completed or underway, include:
    • ACS Cobham: a new dining hall, Performing Arts Centre with 500+ seat Theatre, the development of our existing Boarding House, the opening of a second Boarding House and a new Lower School dining hall in 2018.
    • ACS Egham: a new Sports Centre, the conversion of the original gym into a Performing Arts Centre, and new science and design technology labs.
    • ACS Hillingdon: a new Sports Pavilion, an upgraded auditorium, a new High School Student Centre, and a new Science Centre opened in 2017.
    • ACS Doha: extensive development of campus facilities to create more flexible classrooms, additional age-appropriate playgrounds and sports areas, and improved gym flooring and apparatus.
    • Develop and evolve our focus on advancing education, partnerships, internationalism and community engagement.

Goals

  • Continue to develop new relationships and channels to understand and meet the changing needs of the local and global students, families and organisations that we serve.
  • Ensure our identity, what we stand for, and what we offer is relevant, clearly understood, and continues to attract and benefit both local and global students.
  • Develop our Boarding House offer to students, enabling us to offer our exceptional international experience to more students from around the world.
  • Ensuring that the combined Boarding residencies will also allow us to develop new initiatives, such as summer schools, to support and broaden our educational offer.
  • Open a new ACS Doha campus in 2020, with outstanding facilities and programmes to educate over 2,200 local and global students.
  • Establish a new Alumni and Development office to boost ACS Alumni & Friends’ engagement, strengthen professional links, and expand the ACS global network.
  • Expand the student financial support programme to widen access to ACS’s world-class education, experience, and opportunities.
  • As ACS transitions to a charitable entity, develop opportunities for partnering and philanthropic support that will bring us closer to realising our Vision and Values. 

Attract staff of the highest standard

Achievements since 2012

  • Improved the ACS recruitment experience, and added new staff induction and onboarding programmes.
  • Designed and implemented an annual Staff Survey to improve organisation-wide understanding, strengthen staff engagement, and support delivery of the ACS Vision, Values, and ethos.
  • Established an ACS Staff Consultation and Communication Forum to improve internal communication and collaboration.
  • Developed and implemented an ACS Faculty Performance Evaluation System to enhance professional development and encourage outstanding teaching.
  • Aligned professional development and career progression with performance evaluation and pay progression.
  • Established an Employee Assistance Programme and Support Service to ensure every ACS employee is helped to maintain job performance, good health, and mental and emotional well-being.

Goals

Teaching at ACS is only as good as the people who deliver and support it. To that end we need to attract, retain and develop staff of the highest standard in order to continuously grow and enhance our reputation as a leading group of international schools. We will achieve this through:

Reward

  • All staff will have clear and transparent pay and benefits.
  • Basic pay will be managed within a band or at a spot rate benchmarked to the market.
  • Variable pay will be defined more clearly and consistently.
  • Benefits will be benchmarked to the market.

Performance

  • All employees will have an annual performance evaluation and professional growth discussion with their manager.
  • Embed the Performance Evaluation System for all faculty staff, and implement a ‘progression and succession’ proposal.
  • Implement the Performance Evaluation System for all support staff
  • Generate campus-specific staffing profile reports by function to address talent, succession, and diversity needs.

Talent/Resourcing

  • Our goal is for 80% of key positions to be filled from a pre-selected ACS talent pool made up of highly qualified internal and external professionals.

Training and Development

  • All staff will have opportunities each year to agree a clear and transparent development plan linked to performance and career progression.
  • Training & Development budgets will be visible and linked to a request and approval process.
  • All staff will have a discussion about their development linked to an annual performance evaluation.

Engagement/Employee Relations

  • Staff surveys record a consistently high scoring for all key engagement drivers.
  • Consultation about what it means to work at ACS and review the employment contract for all faculty staff.
  • Progress to a more distributed leadership model involving Principals, Line Managers and other influencers.

Ensure our long-term viability

ORGANISATION

  • Continue the work on medium to long-term strategic planning, to ensure our schools are best able and best placed to deliver an outstanding international education to more local and global families.
  • Enhance and strengthen our Board Governance to comply to best practices that keep our schools strong, dynamic, and relevant.
  • Ensure effective financial management through continued improvements in budgeting, reporting, and internal controls.
  • Focus on cash-flow management to better enable financial viability.
  • In line with our Founders’ wishes, continue to transition the organisation to charitable status to better reflect our strong educational values.

COBHAM

  • Start the next phase of the Cobham Master Development Programme
  • Complete works on the new Lower Village to help further advance education.
  • Continue improvements to campus site access and the internal road network to improve traffic efficiency, parking, wayfinding, and safety.
  • Continue to re-develop and enhance campus facilities to increase student opportunities, meet evolving needs, and attract wider enrolment.
  • Continue to focus on enhancing the quality of education to help achieve even stronger results and help further transform education for young people

EGHAM

  • Develop the long-term plans for the Master Development Programme.
  • Undertake a complete refurbishment of all school libraries to add greater functionality as an integrated information hub.
  • Reconfigure and upgrade the IB Diploma Programme Centre to meet the evolving demands of a growing High School.
  • Continue to re-develop and enhance campus facilities to increase student opportunities, meet evolving needs, and attract wider enrolment.
  • Continue to enhance the education programme to advance education and continue to the journey towards transformative education

Hillingdon

  • Develop the long-term plans for the Master Development Programme
  • Enhance the performing arts offer to pupils across the entire school
  • Continue to enhance the education programme to advance education
  • Focus on ensuring that every pupil can be the best that they can be
  • Focus on areas of education transformation

Doha

  • Ongoing investment in, and development of, the campus facilities, making the most of all spaces, and creating more flexible classrooms to support an expanding programme.
  • Open a new state-of-the-art, purpose built ACS Doha campus in 2020, with outstanding facilities and programmes to deliver a leading international education to over 2,200 local and global students. Key features include:
    • A 60,000m2 site
    • Large classrooms
    • Multi-functional spaces
    • Dedicated specialist teaching areas
    • FIFA-sized football pitch
    • 25m pool
    • 8 court Sports Centre

Realise our founders wishes

Left to ACS to ensure we never lose sight of what really matters.

They motivate us to:

  • Provide the highest quality of teaching, care and facilities
  • Reinvest our surpluses to enhance education
  • Be committed to internationalism
  • Attract, retain and develop staff of the highest standard
  • Operate efficiently to deliver long term viability.