Overview

Welcome to High School at the American School of Valencia!

High School is a four-year academic program that includes Grades 9 through 12 in the American education system. Students complete the last stage of their academic life at ASV by earning an American High School Diploma, the Spanish Bachillerato diploma (when meeting specific Spanish curriculum requirements) and, additionally, the International Baccalaureate Diploma if students choose this two-year curricular pathway beginning in Grade 11.

The ASV Mission and the ASV Learner Profile are the foundation of our comprehensive and challenging curriculum in High School. The resulting academic program draws on elements of many educational frameworks, in particular the American system and the International Baccalaureate, and serves both international and Spanish students.  

Curricular Areas for Grades 9 and 10

Students in Grades 9 and 10 are offered course selections which include four core curricular areas: English, Math, Science and Social Studies

The core curriculum is enriched with courses required by the Spanish National Program, which include Spanish Language and Literature, Spanish History, Geography, and Valencian Language and Literature.  

Additionally,  there is an emphasis on World Language acquisition, as well as, Arts (Music and Art), Physical Education, and technology-related courses.

English

In alignment with the Common Core State Standards in English, students will continue deepening their skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and using English language effectively in a variety of content areas. Students are engaged in Readers and Writers Workshop to broaden their reading and writing skills in diverse genres.

While reading increasingly complex texts through each grade level – classic and contemporary coming of age stories, graphic novels, and literary nonfiction – students learn to reflect on their reading and write about these texts in a variety of ways that empower students to think critically. In addition, students will read independent texts of their choice.

This approach leads to our students becoming independent, life-long learners with a passion for reading and writing, creating an intrinsic curiosity about the world around them. Students also develop an inquiry-driven research project that focuses on addressing real issues in our global community. Students’ speaking and listening skills are also emphasized each and every day through small group discussions, debates, Socratic seminars, and formal presentations or speeches.

Math

Mathematics instruction is driven by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the content determined by the Spanish educational authorities. The Mathematics Curriculum concentrates on a clear set of math skills and concepts, setting the path for students to build upon their previous knowledge to foster a deep understanding of core concepts in areas such as algebra, functions, geometry and statistics. Students are provided with opportunities to think critically and collaborate, with an emphasis on problem solving and communicating mathematically.

Science

Following the inquiry and research-based Next Generation Science Standards, a three dimensional framework that addresses cross curricular concepts, science and engineering practices and disciplinary core ideas, Science courses in Grades 9 and 10 provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

There is a fundamental focus on active student participation in laboratory investigations through sound methodological practices and the development of scientific literacy. At the heart of the science curriculum is the ability to problem solve, think critically, construct explanations, and formulate hypotheses based on ethical and evidence-based information.

These investigations and concepts will provide students with solid grounding in advanced scientific principles and skills needed to thrive in Grades 11 and 12.

Social Studies

Social Studies instruction in Grade 9 and Grade 10 is aligned with the Spanish standards for Educación Secundaria Obligatoria (ESO), the Common Core standards and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) standards as appropriate.  These standards focus on students’ acquisition of skills in four main areas: Key Ideas, Craft and Structure, Integration of Knowledge, and Complex Text Reading Skills.

Geography, History and Global Studies, are the three courses taught by the Social Studies Department. Teachers encourage students’ reflection on the following areas:

  • Physical, human and economic geography 
  • Universal and Spanish history
  • Research of the past and present to know how to analyze reality.

Teachers provide opportunities for students to interact with tolerance, solidarity and respect so they can be citizens who contribute to create a better world.

World Languages

German, French and SSL instruction at ASV is guided by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages aligned with ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). These standards are organized in four broad categories: Reception (listening, reading and audio-visual comprehension), Production (spoken and written production), Interaction (spoken and written interaction) and Comparisons (insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence).

Students will develop strong world language literacy skills by a critical analysis of a variety of texts, communicating with varied audiences, while fostering appropriate inter-cultural understanding, and exploring and embracing heterogeneous perspectives of culture.

Arts

As part of High School, students are able to select to study the Visual Arts in both year 9 and year 11 as part of a two year course. Art instruction challenges students to create, evaluate and discuss art, exploring materials whilst developing understanding of the formal elements. Art history plays a key role in their teaching, with students developing knowledge of the context in which Art is created before reviewing their own work in order to create informed choices when presenting outcomes. Students study a mixture of portraiture, Still life and landscapes, whilst following the National Core Arts Standards of Creating, Presenting, Responding and Connecting in Years 9 and 10.

The final two years follow the IB philosophy of shaping creative thinkers and risk takers, with students producing a set of meaningful and personal works that are presented in a final exhibition with students curating their own work for an audience. Students are able to explore and develop ideas creatively, apply subject specific language to their own and others’ work, respond to and develop an appreciation of diverse genres and cultures, and take responsibility for the direction of their learning.

Physical Education

The Physical Education program teaches physical literacy, which encompasses the three domains of physical education: psychomotor, cognitive, and affective.  The curriculum is designed following the SHAPE standards. Instruction takes into consideration not only physical competence and knowledge but also student attitudes, motivation, and the social and psychological skills that students need to develop to attain physical literacy.

At the High School level, students are assessed regarding their competence in a wide range of skills and knowledge, while the curriculum also allows for elements of choice in terms of activities, projects and more theoretical work as students are guided towards independence.

The goal of the ASV Physical Education department is that our students continue to be involved in health and exercise as part of a lifelong healthy lifestyle.

Spanish Language and Literature

Spanish Language and Literature is based on the Spanish National Curriculum, which continues to expand and deepen the students’ language, grammar and literacy skills, through the analysis of a wide variety of texts and genres.

International students, without prior instruction in Spanish, are offered Spanish as an Additional Language (SAL), which is adapted to their language competency needs, emphasizes communication skills and the daily use of Spanish as a world language.

Valencian Language and Literature

As part of the requirements of the Generalitat Valenciana, all Grade 9 and 10 students continue to learn the four essential skills of Valencian language: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students collaborate in a variety of situations to deepen their understanding of syntax, grammar, literary genres, and different types of texts through an authentic experience with the language. They also continue to develop their ability to communicate in a variety of situations and for various purposes in Valencian.

International students without prior instruction in Valencian will study a specific introduction to the Valencian language and cultural heritage.

Pathways in Grade 11 and 12

When entering Grade 11, students follow a rigorous college preparatory program which leads to the American High School diploma. Alternatively, students may take the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, a pre-university course of study that leads to external examinations and at ASV is taught in English.

See on the right more details about each pathway and visit the specific sections.

High School Diploma

High School students studying this diploma option earn an American High School Diploma which is required to apply for universities in the United States. 

Students have the opportunity to select from a rich variety of 70+ course subjects to prepare for their university studies and future career pathways, all of which are taught by experienced and highly qualified teachers.  Depending on the student’s course selections, courses are taught in English, Spanish, as well as, other world languages.

The High School Diploma complies with the certification requirements of the Spanish Ministry of Education. Subsequently, students also earn the Spanish Bachillerato diploma by completing the requirements of Spanish Language and Literature, and Spanish History and Geography. Therefore, most graduates will earn both an American and Spanish high school diploma.

With the convalidación (official recognition and acceptance) of the High School Diploma, students are prepared for and elegible to be registered for the Spanish PCE (Pruebas de Competencia Específica) exams at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). The PCE external exams are used as the entrance grade requirements in the Spanish university system; although each autonomous region in Spain may have its own university entrance requirements.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

The International Baccalaureate is an integrated program that offers students the skills and vision to obtain success in both university and in their chosen professions.  ASV is officially accredited to offer the IB Diploma since 2004, being one of the first two schools that implemented it in Valencia.

The IB Diploma combines a broad breadth and depth of study, stimulates critical and humanitarian thinking, and promotes a global vision that ensures the success of IB graduates for university access and career pathways.  The following section describes the six curricular areas, the IB Core, and the assessment system.

International Baccalaureate at ASV
PCE Results in 2020 (out of 10)
IB Average grade in 2020
graduates admitted in first choice
student per teacher rate

Teaching Philosophy

The ASV High School Curriculum is a four-year comprehensive, rigorous, and divers academic program that focuses on developing a deep understanding of the subject and its relationship in a global society.  Combining a methodological approach that includes inquiry-based learning, critical thinking, student agency, collaboration, and communication across languages, the ASV curriculum holistically provides for a future ready caliber secondary education. 

The school is fortunate to recruit and retain a world-class team of teachers, support staff and administrators who reflect the diversity of our student body.  Qualified instruction in High School fosters the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills needed to be a life-long learner.  Common Core, International Baccalaureate and Spanish National Standards form the basis of the curriculum design and implementation.

High School is the combination of an exciting and challenging time in every young person’s life in which students develop  talents and aptitudes along with long-term goals. ASV is dedicated to supporting students in this process. Our school believes strongly that there are multiple and diverse pathways to success that foster the characteristics of the ASV Learner Profile.

Languages Acquisition

At ASV, students graduate with proficiency in four languages: English, Spanish, Valencià, and German or French (depending on the student’s world language selection in Middle School).  Communicating well in these languages is a fundamental goal of the mission of the school. For this reason, all students are strongly encouraged to pursue world language acquisition as an integral part of the ASV curriculum.  Students studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program are provided with a variety of world language options in English, Spanish, French, German, as well as, their mother language (if it is not one of those) as a self-taught language.

Counseling Service

The Counseling Department provides various personal, social and emotional supports which include individual and group counseling for students, as well as, guidance for parents.

Topics addressed with students and families include study habits, friendships and healthy relationships, and balanced styles of living. Support and resources are also provided to students going through periods of stress or anxiety.

University Orientation

University Counseling is a comprehensive program for High School students and their families which provides continuously updated resources, information and trends in the university admissions world.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations (MUN)  is a renowned co-curricular program for students interested in learning about world affairs through simulating the role of United Nation delegates.