Education is a spiral process by which new information is assimilated with existing knowledge. To that end, at Ascend we structure our classrooms and curricula to generate questions and inspire curious minds. In our classrooms, teachers model and require inquiry based thinking, planning, implementation and reflection as part of every lesson. Through this process, students learn how to investigate topics thoroughly and gain a comprehensive understanding of each subject area. Rigorous academic skills are embedded in the context of this inquiry-based work. Our classrooms create reflective and analytical learners who develop thinking habits that make them interested and interesting students.

Each classroom at Ascend is purposefully designed to be an interactive laboratory where the student conducts his/her research. Given the opportunity to construct their own understanding, students will learn differently. Each child has unique talents, ways of thinking and levels of understanding. Each student brings to the classroom a set of prior learning experiences and values from their family and community. We believe and build upon the fact that all of these differences are important to our understanding of individual students and how he/she makes sense of the world.

We anticipate that students will learn at different rates and expect that learners of the same chronological age will be at different places in their social, emotional, and physical development. The job of the teacher is not to create a single perfect curriculum or lesson, but rather to interact with individual students carefully and create individualized instructional strategies based on what each child needs at each stage of their learning process. As a baseline, teachers make sure that students are working at their current grade-level, yet the individualized curricula at Ascend makes it possible for individuals to also study material beyond their current grade level.

Teaching at Ascend demands the highest level of professional commitment. Our teachers express confidence in our students, sharing a conviction that all children are naturally curious, want to learn and in fact, rise to meet any challenge. Teachers at Ascend set high expectations for every student, inspire students to go beyond self-imposed limits, ask probing questions, and support students with specific, constructive feedback. Our teachers take every opportunity to work with individual students. In these conversations, teachers coach and assess a child's level of thinking. Using these interactions and observations, teachers at Ascend are always working to generate the next challenge for each individual student.

Our teachers also collaborate and share insights with one another; setting high expectations for themselves and their colleagues. At Ascend, there is a constant flow of conversation about children and the curricula that supports their development. Every teacher, administrator and staff member is an important role model and takes responsibility for the character development of our students.

We believe that all children are capable students and invested community members. We expect students to seek opportunities to explore their world and deepen their knowledge. Therefore, our students have a responsibility to

  • • create a community of inquisitive thinkers throughout the school
  • • foster an interest and passion for learning across subjects
  • • build fluency with academic concepts and skills
  • • develop the critical thinking skills necessary to apply these skills and concepts in a variety of problem-solving arenas.

At the end of their careers at Ascend, we expect our students to see themselves as able young adults with a broad base of strategies and skills with which they can engage the world around them. Students in our school demonstrate strong ownership of what they are doing and exhibit an agency to learn that is not always seen in traditional, teacher-led classrooms. Students at Ascend are taught to be internally motivated to create their best work. In this model, students work hard and succeed not to please others but rather, because it is intellectually fulfilling and an integral part of their learning profile.

The ability to work with others, innovate and expand upon ideas and reconsider one's own understanding are necessary tools for the 21st century to build, practice and enhance these skills. It is vital for students to learn to explain their thinking, to consider alternative perspectives, to build on someone else's ideas, and to reconsider their own thinking based on feedback from others. Teachers at our school expect students to collaborate to solve problems, to plan activities, and to work together on whole class projects. When students are exposed to multiple strategies for solving a problem, they become more flexible in their thinking. Students develop an international mindedness, which allows them to interact with a wide range of people and feel comfortable in both leadership and support roles.

The sanctity and importance of each student's learning style and personal work is a core value that teachers and parents at Ascend share. To build the best possible environment for each student; teachers, parents and children communicate regularly about the accomplishments and future goals for each student. The Ascend curriculum provides students with opportunities to connect their curricular experiences and individual talents with meaningful service. Whether learning about community resources through field trips, researching historical events, or engaging in a service project, Ascend students participate in meaningful learning within the broader community. Connecting with local and global organizations and communities enriches students' understanding of cultures, teaches civic responsibility and engagement and strengthens their understanding of our global community.

As our students learn to innovate, create and evolve beyond their current understandings, it is crucial that they maintain the core values and rich traditions that are true to the Indian culture. In each intellectual and social endeavour, we expect our students to share the generosity and humbleness that is a part of the Indian heart. Thinking of others before oneself and working to help others succeed are values that are reinforced and demonstrated daily at Ascend. Our curricula ensures students develop an understanding of the unique cultural heritage of India, while situating this understanding in a global context.

Modern India demands that students not only understand and appreciate their role in Indian culture but in the broader global community as well. Throughout their careers at Ascend, students are supported to consider multiple viewpoints and perspectives and to learn widely about the world around them. With this knowledge comes the responsibility to actively contribute to a broader community. Students from Ascend pursue opportunities to enhance the lives of others and to support the health and well-being of our planet. We teach our students not only about their community, but also about the universal commonalities that connect us all to one another. Students learn to listen carefully to others, to help one another, to share what they have learned, to coach one another, to participate in-group discussions, to hone their individual skills and develop areas of expertise. We believe that developing understanding and compassion for different languages, cultures and perspectives and empathy for the needs of others is essential to the moral development of a child and the creation of compassionate global citizens.

Ascend supports the development of healthy minds and bodies and educates students about the importance of balance for overall wellbeing. Students begin their physical education career at Ascend building movement skills, body awareness, and essential gross motor skills while also learning healthy eating habits and understanding foundational principles of yoga. As students develop, athletic choice commitment, competition, and teamwork are the core values that drive the athletic programme. Participation in sports is an important element of educational excellence at Ascend.