Early Learning with a Lasting Impact
At Taipei American School, our Lower School is powered by care, joy, and discovery.
A caring community
Our Lower School is an inclusive community where our diversity is celebrated. A rich academic program and intentional focus on social-emotional learning enable our students to become creative thinkers, self-directed, skillful communicators, and positive collaborators.
By focusing on social emotional development and a rich academic program, we develop students who are engaged, empathetic, and well-prepared for the next step in their educational journey.
An Unshakeable Foundation
Hear from Dr. Tara Simeonidis, Lower School Principal, about the Lower School learning community.
Lower School Curriculum
The Strongest Start
Our Lower School curriculum prioritizes curiosity and the value of learning for its own sake, as students tackle key curricular areas and specialty subjects like Mandarin, Technology & Design, Art, Music, and Physical Education.
We follow an American curriculum based on common core standards and our reporting is standards based. Our teachers work with our youngest learners to nurture essential skills, provide developmentally-appropriate challenge, and support students' social-emotional development. Benefiting from limited class sizes and a devoted team of skilled educators, our Lower School promotes a nurturing, cooperative atmosphere that tailors attention to each student to ensure that they are sufficiently challenged and supported. From differentiation in the classroom to specialized tracks in our Mandarin program, we ensure that every Tiger learns at their just-right level.
We invite you to learn more about our program by clicking the button below, to see just how we engage, challenge, and support our students from Grades KA through 5.
Homeroom and Beyond
Lower School students join a homeroom community for an entire year. Learning and growing together, thanks to strong reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science programs, helps children become critical and creative thinkers able to apply academic skills to a variety of challenges.
In addition, our young learners have many opportunities to expand their skills and discover new interests. Through dedicated STEAM lessons and integrations into core subjects, our art, music, and Mandarin classes, engaging field trips, and student council, our young Tigers step into the shoes of scientists, artists, musicians, explorers, and leaders as they learn to be part of a global community.
Throughout the year, homeroom teachers and counselors work together to help students build their social and emotional skills using two key CASEL SELect programs: Responsive Classroom and RULER.
The Responsive Classroom (RC) approach reinforces and validates great teaching, is research based, increases student engagement, and strengthens our sense of community. All of our Lower School educators are trained in Responsive Classroom, and implement its strategies throughout the day, including: Teacher Language, Interactive Modeling, Morning Meeting, Logical Consequences, Closing Circle, and Quiet Time. Each homeroom begins with a Morning Meeting, and the day always ends with a Closing Circle.
A key component of Responsive Classroom is the practice of Morning Meeting. In the Lower School, students have a consistent time and place every day to practice and explore social skills and is one of the places to merge social, emotional and academic learning. Morning Meeting creates a sense of belonging for all students and nurtures empathy by giving children a chance to take care of others and feel a strong sense of community. Specialist teachers, counselors, and principals also participate in Morning Meetings.
Responsive Classroom strategies help build routine for our students, and support them in building and improving their positive behaviors and academic performance. Across the board, all Responsive Classroom strategies help develop our students’ CASEL 5 competencies.Responsive Classroom promotes respect, kindness, and positivity in our school community, while addressing students’ social-emotional needs.
Our Lower School educators also use components of RULER (recognize, understand, label, expressing, and regulating) an evidence-based social and emotional learning approach developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This learning approach uses four RULER tools: The Charter, The Mood Meter, The Meta Moment and The Blueprint.
These skills and tools are integrated into both social and emotional learning lessons, and academic classroom learning. By using the charter and mood meter, two of the tools from RULER, educators teach our students to Recognize, Understand, and Label their feelings. The mood meter helps build a student’s self and social awareness in the CASEL 5, and RULER lessons also align with the ongoing work in Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) and social justice standards.
Camp Taiwan is a core bonding experience for our Grade 2-5 homerooms each year. Students learn about themselves, others, and nature, and foster team-building, develop outdoor skills, and create lasting memories through a wide range of activities that include high adventure challenges, river tracing, wide games, mapping, ecology scavenger hunts, archery, skits, and campfire songs.
Learning and Language Support
We offer support services for all students. Support is available for multilingual learners in Grades K-8. We also offer academic support in Grades K-12, and speech/language support in Grades KA-12. Each program serves students with mild learning differences, with the goal of enabling every child in the program to thrive at TAS.