AMERICAN ACADEMY IN PRAGUE
1ST - 12TH GRADE
A network of American schools, we are inspired by the best educational concepts from around the world: freedom to choose subjects, individual approach, subjects divided according to competences, emphasis on practical learning, project-based learning and theme weeks. All classes are taught in English and led by a team of teachers from all over the world.
American Academy in Prague is an innovative school helping to educate and create future leaders. We offer an American style curriculum with project-based learning that allows our students to choose the subjects that fit their interests. Not only do we help to prepare our students to study at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, we also help our students become proactive global citizens who can be positive contributors in both their communities and the world.
Our signature theme weeks encourage our students to cooperate, utilise their creativity and enhance their problem solving skills both inside and outside of the classroom. Our team members work together to create a supportive and fun learning environment as well as providing a space for students to grow as individuals.
During the teaching at Elementary School, we emphasize an individual approach to each of the students and through project and thematic teaching we enable them not only to acquire the necessary knowledge, but also to apply it correctly.
1st to 5th year students take courses in English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, art, physical education and library skills. From such an early age, they learn the curriculum completely in English, which gives them a huge advantage in the future and prepares them for a smooth transition to our Middle School.
The Middle School program corresponds to grades 6-8 in the Czech educational system. It offers students a diverse range of subjects on which they can exercise a certain amount of choice so that they can focus more on the areas that really interest them.
The subjects are divided into several departments, including but not limited to Mathematics, World Languages and Natural Sciences. From each department, students choose the subjects they want to pursue -- the condition being, of course, that students achieve the required number of credits.
High School students work to develop their strengths and focus on subjects that prepare them to study their dream disciplines at quality universities around the world. High School has four grades and corresponds to the Czech 9th grade of elementary to 3rd grade of high school, so American Academy students leave school a year earlier than is common in the Czech Republic.
Thanks to the composition and quality of the subjects offered, however, they depart high school better prepared for university than anyone else. We pay maximum attention to counseling and preparation for university studies at this level.
The STEM Program is designed for Middle School and High School students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In this specialized educational program, we acquaint our students with up-to-date technologies, informatics and scientific methods or tools and at the same time show them how to apply them in everyday life.
The program is divided into two special blocks which are taught every day: Programming & Robotics and Science. Students have at their disposal special classrooms with first-class equipment, so the quality of our program is on par with top American private schools.
Our curriculum is inspired by the best of world’s educational programs, notably American and Finnish systems.
Our students have the freedom to choose the subjects they want to study so they can focus on what really interests them and develop necessary social and practical skills during high school.
We put emphasis on high-quality academic program. Besides a wide range of subjects led by great teachers, American Academy offers Advanced Placement (university level courses) and in September 2021 we are also opening new academic program STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) led by RnDr. Jakub Haláček.
Both of these programs together with American high school diploma increase students’ chances to get accepted by the world’s best universities.
Much like the International Baccalaureate Diploma or British high school diploma, our students must get their diploma validated if they want to apply for a Czech University. It is a process which we are familiar with, and we are happy to help students with their individual application processes. American Academy also offers Advanced Placement courses, which are equivalent to university courses in the American and Canadian systems. Students take exams in these subjects, which are comparable to the IB exams and accepted by universities around the world.
Deputy Director for STEM
Tim was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA, a suburban city known locally for its hot dogs and nationally for being the namesake of a Billy Joel song. He left home to study physics, math, and scientific computing at Kenyon College in Ohio and continued his studies in physics by attending graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he did research in computational cosmology. This is the fourth year that Tim has been a teacher of math and science at AAP, where he has taught both high school and middle school. His hobbies outside of school vary month to month but have included painting, rugby, reading, and hosting a radio show. Now, Tim's major focus is learning enough Czech to be nosy about people's conversations on public transportation.
We divide the High School and Middle School STEM program into two blocks, each of which students take 75 minutes a day, each time they complete classical subjects.
In all subjects, attention is laser-focused on developing problem solving skills, cooperation, creativity and critical thinking.
Students learn the basics of programming, which develops algorithmic thinking. They use Scratch, a block-programming language, to write various programs including those of simple games inspired by classic games from the early days of computers. Students also work with Ozobots - small programmable robots with ultrasonic sensors and the ability to make sounds, read colors and flash in various ways. When working with Ozobots, students apply their acquired knowledge of programming to solve problems.
This program block involves a new concept for teaching Science. The curriculum proceeds chronologically from the Stone Age through ancient civilizations (e.g.: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome) until eventually reaching the present. We approach individual epochs by identifying technology and aspects of engineering and/or manufacturing. Then we analyze these aspects, tools and procedures in the language of today's science. For further understanding, we also deal with related mathematical problems. In doing so, students learn to better understand what discoveries have led us to where we are today, which technologies have survived, what they are used for now and what improvements have been made. An integral element of the subject is taking a practical approach.
Students learn the Python programming language and build necessary programming skills which they then apply to LEGO Spike Prime kits in the form of projects. What might assignments look like? For example, the teacher might provide students with instructions for assembling a CNC machine with several errors included in the construction and programming sections. Students would first compile and upload the code, then test and look for bugs, suggest how to fix or improve it, and finally test everything. The final result of these kinds of projects is documentation that simulates real-world situations.
This program block aims to strengthen students’ systematic thinking, understanding of and adroitness in the scientific method, analysis skills and to develop their ability to generalize and process data. Class activity is focused on experimentation and the scientific method. For example, the teacher might show the students a pendulum and give them the task of finding out what affects the swing time. Students would be tasked with determining which parameters affect the swing, then measuring the individual combinations of parameters and forming hypotheses. This would be followed by measurements using high-quality instruments (e.g.: Vernier), data collection and further processing, as well as determination of errors and weaknesses of the experiment, and finally drawing conclusions. The focus is primarily on the method, form and systematics instead of on the amount of information that students learn by heart.
We believe it is crucial that our students had easy access to knowledge that is not usually taught at schools. We offer a wide variety of choices, which allows students to focus on what really interests them and what they enjoy.
In addition to our American based curriculum, American Academy offers theme weeks inspired by Finnish academic traditions. During theme weeks, there is a school-wide project that develops skills and competencies such as communication, team work, collaboration, problem solving, creativity, critical thinking or project management.
During theme week students experienced a lot of different things – some students went to escape rooms in Prague, some students went on a haunted statues tour, other students went on a cave trip, and some students even went to Kutná Hora. They experienced these things in order to learn much needed skills which helped them to organize their own final projects based on the same Magic and Mysteries theme.
These final projects included: our phenomenal Haunted House, our own puzzling escape room, podcasts, a charity bake sale, an art exhibition, a magic show, and the list goes on and on. Proceeds from the Haunted House, Escape Room and the Bake Sale which raised money for SOS Children’s Villages (SOS Dětské vesničky).
In the beginning, the students had to ask themselves some questions regarding how have rivers shaped human history and how do humans now shape rivers? Once the list of questions and workshops descriptions were finalized, they were asked to rank their choices so the teachers could create a customized Theme Week schedule for each student. Some workshops were held in the school in a classroom, others were on site in the water treatment plant, exploring the city of Pilsen, canoeing, creating art, making a short film, and a two-day hike exploring the Labe River. At the end of the week, all the staff and students gathered for an assembly where different groups presented what they learned, including a song, several videos and a skit. The school also created a "gallery walk" with drawings, games, and other visual representations of what each group learned during their workshop.
A group of ten students and a teacher explored Prague’s treasures: museums, monuments, food, transportation, landmarks, the river, and the people. Some of the more noteworthy trips included a tour and workshop at the Jewish Synagogue; a walking tour showing secret treasures of Prague, and a lecture by a holocaust survivor. During Thursday of that week, each group made a special tour and picture scavenger hunt in the morning and then the different groups switched tours and ran around Prague and saw Prague through their classmates eyes. The winner of the best tour and scavenger hunt won a pizza party. Students then created a product like a song, a presentation, a website and more that captured what they had learned during the whole week. It was followed by a school-wide assembly where students showcased their final products.
The third theme week of the 2019-2020 school year was called Creation in Isolation. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, students either worked on their theme week projects by themselves or in small groups. Students were given the task of thinking about something that they had always wanted to do but never had the time to. They chose projects like learning how to play the violin, learning how to skateboard, learning how to do animation, upscaling clothes, learning how to sew, writing poetry, building a website, and so many more! The groups or individuals then had to document their progress throughout the week and make a final video showing what they had accomplished. We were so impressed with our students for embracing this theme week and putting so much effort into it.
Don’t expect long tests; we are mostly interested in the student’s character and enthusiasm. That is why we focus on a personal interview and written essays. For the academic year 2022/23, we have spots for 150 students.
- 2022 -
An American Academy graduate is a confident young person who is engaged in the immediate world around them and will be mindful of those that exist around them. They have developed confidence, solve problems actively, and always take full ownership of their actions. They have discovered what their main values are and are able to act upon them.
Graduating from an international school, the students are ready to begin higher education anywhere in the world, including the highest ranking universities.
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