We are in the process of evaluating a move to Saudi Aramco while waiting for the formal offer letter. Schools are a big question for us. We do qualify for Aramco on campus school but we are not able to gauge the level of academics taught at the school, for example compared to common core standards in the US. Public schools in the US vary in quality from one state to the other and from one neighborhood to the next. Our kids are currently attending private schools offering accelerated academic programs (two years ahead of what is taught in public schools in California). We would love to get help answering the following questions:
(1) Are Aramco schools teaching at the US Common Core standards? Are there any extra curricular added to the program (languages, art ..etc.)? Do they implement any project based learning methods upper elementary grades?
(2) For those who had their children in private schools in the US prior to joining Saudi Aramco, how do you like the education experience for your children after the move?
(3) Is it common for US citizens to enroll their children in the International British Schools to be on the IB track?
I cant comment on the Aramco schools, or the comparison with US standards, but as far as I'm aware, the British schools dont offer IB. Both BISAK and DBGS offer English national curriculum, with GCSEs and A'levels.
IPS, based in EuroVillage, provides IB curriculum from the start. I dont think this will meet your needs if you are looking for acceleration through grades. The ISG campus offers the IB diploma as part of their high school offer - I believe they also offer a standard US High school program . The elementary/middle school is US, and not IB to my understanding.
Thank you so much Swan. What we are looking for is a stronger academic curriculum from the current common core curriculum adopted by public schools in the US. Ideally a well-rounded education experience rather than pure text book old school approach. Acceleration through grades is certainly not a goal for us.
Many private schools in California are aware of the deficiencies in the common core standards and are offering alternate curriculum options like Singapore math or Russian math to ensure students are getting the solid foundation in math skills that will allow them to have a good chance to be accepted in tier 1 universities. The same applies to language arts and other core subjects.
The fact that the ISG campus offers the IB diploma is comforting, as it would be challenging for students to be successful in an IB track without having the solid foundation in core subject areas at a younger age.
Given that one of our children is at the end of the elementary stage, it is important for us to know what options he has to have a reasonable chance to get into a tier one university.