Curriculum Overview

The curriculum of Keystone Academy provides students with the opportunities to take risks, ask questions, explore ideas, and develop their imaginations while engaging them through active learning and rigorous study. The environment at Keystone is designed to promote a love of knowledge, appreciation of disciplinary expertise, and the motivation to reach high academic and personal objectives, all in a bilingual environment. In each division of the school, teachers build rich and inspiring learning experiences to help students participate in our changing world as highly competent and literate citizens.

Keystone Academy offers a most unusual educational experience, weaving together the best of three educational traditions: Chinese, American, and Global. A profound respect for education and a rigorous approach to learning are foundation stones of the rich and deep Chinese practice; inquiry-based and discussion-centered pedagogy inform the American way; and critical thinking, creativity and world mindedness are fundamental parts of global education.

In curriculum design, a focus on mathematics and the sciences is strong in China, while liberal arts education is well developed in the United States. The intercultural competence that comes from learning two or more languages is a strength of the global educational domain. Keystone will combine all of these elements, using well-trained and culturally sensitive teachers who make their classrooms places where students feel the trust and respect necessary to explore and take risks in their learning.

Key learning goals for Keystone students are:

  • Linguistic proficiency in both English and Chinese
  • Content mastery in specific subject areas, and exploration of the connections among them
  • Confidence and capability in creative expression
  • Ability to navigate successfully the ever-changing technological landscape
  • Skills development in inquiry, collaboration, and active learning
  • Holistic personal development
  • Intercultural communication and global competency
  • Building character through our shared values

Keystone Academy makes a deep commitment to experiential learning. This concept of learning-by-doing, both in the classroom and outside it, allows students to further their understanding of questions relevant to their everyday lives. Students at Keystone have many opportunities for service learning, field trips inside and outside Beijing, and other activities that extend the boundaries and experiences of learning from the classroom to the residential halls, to the community, and to the world. Keystone Academy believes strongly that project-based learning effectively engages students and instills in them a love for active exploration of concepts that have relevance and purpose in their lives. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of this kind of educational experience, and lead – as research demonstrates—to higher retention of knowledge and improved academic performance.