Embracing diversity and developing global citizenship in a safe, stimulating environment, while developing independence, concentration, love of learning, and student agency remain the foundational values that guide our dynamic Lower School Montessori and IB PYP programs.
The Toddler classroom is a rich, educational environment filled with hands-on, sensorial activities in language, pre-math, and cultural studies that support the critical first plane of development. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that children all over the world when given the choice, were drawn to real, purposeful activities, which form part of the Practical Life Curriculum including Gross Motor Activity, Fine Motor Activity, Grace & Courtesy, Care of the Environment, and Care of Self. Students enjoy freedom within limits to explore various interests in a multi-aged, prepared environment.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children absorb knowledge effortlessly and have a natural and intense desire to learn about the world, particularly before age 6. By providing a stimulating, concrete, hands-on curriculum, children’s senses are awakened to the wonders of the world while developing a foundational understanding of abstract concepts in five curricular areas: Language Arts (English and Chinese), Mathematics, Practical Life, Sensorial, and Cultural Studies (Botany, Zoology, Geography, Art, and Music). The exploratory journey through this rich, profound curriculum is framed by four transdisciplinary IB PYP Units of Inquiry (UOIs): Who We Are, How We Express Ourselves, How the World Works, and How We Organize Ourselves. This unique and intellectually stimulating integrated curriculum develops individuals who are self-directed, confident, and creative, with a positive self-image and core academic skills that prepare them for elementary school and for life.
Classes in Lower Elementary (Grades 1 through 3) implement an approach to learning and teaching that is drawn from the dynamic integration of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Montessori Lower Elementary curriculum and philosophy.
MONTESSORI’S COSMIC CURRICULUM takes students on a captivating, profound, and deeply enriching learning journey experienced through The Five Great Stories: The Story of the Universe, The Coming of Life, The Arrival of Humans, The History of Writing, and The History of Numbers.
Students engage in the exploration of these great stories through music, art, drama, dance and student-led individual and group presentations.
Content from The Five Great Stories, along with Montessori language, math, and cultural (science and social studies) materials are used to support six IB PYP Units of inquiry (UOI), that rotate through a three-year cycle: Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How We Express Ourselves, How the World Works, How We Organize Ourselves, and Sharing the Planet.
Students in Upper Elementary (Grades 4-5) engage fully in the IB PYP, which nurtures and develops young scholars into competent, caring, active agents of change, both at school and beyond. Through its inquiry-led, transdisciplinary framework, the Upper Elementary curriculum challenges students to think for themselves, develop strong personal values, and take responsibility for their learning while investigating local and global issues and seeking opportunities for service, action, and problem-solving in real-world contexts.
The PYP Exhibition is a transformative, culminating experience for Grade 5 students, as they take full control of their final transdisciplinary unit—Sharing the Planet—by exploring a global issue of personal significance, while engaging in an enlightening, creative research project in small groups, guided by a teacher mentor. The PYP Exhibition experience increases student awareness, self-motivation, confidence, and presentation skills, while educating the school community on how we can live more sustainable lives here on planet Earth.
The MYP develops critical and reflective thinking, inquiry, and innovation through the following courses: Language and Literature (English, Chinese, Korean), Language Acquisition (English and Chinese), Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Drama, Film), Physical and Health Education, and Design Technology. The MYP utilizes six global contexts to frame what is learned in the classroom and connect it to students’ lives and experiences: Identity & Relationships; Personal & Cultural Expression; Orientation in Space & Time; Scientific & Technical Innovation; Fairness & Development; and Globalization & Sustainability.
Through the Middle Years Programme Personal Project, students in MYP5 (Grade 10) experience the responsibility of completing a significant yearlong project of deep personal interest. The Personal Project enables students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action, and reflection on both their learning and the outcomes of their work—key skills that prepare them for success in further study, the workplace, and the community.
As our eldest students prepare to spread their wings and immerse themselves in the wider world after graduation, the IB DP Programme provides rigorous preparation for college life and beyond, allowing them to take their place as internationally minded global citizens. An IB Diploma is recognized in 159 countries and, as such, QAIS students have gained entrance to the world’s leading universities on four continents. Drawing on the strength of a diverse international community, our DP Programme provides the knowledge, skills, and understanding that empower students to become global leaders and peacemakers.
Students choose 3 Higher Level (HL) and 3 Standard Level (SL) classes from among 6 subject groups: Language & Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals & Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts. In addition, students must complete the DP Programme Core: The Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service).
TOK (Theory of Knowledge)：A required course that encourages students to think critically about the nature of knowledge and how it’s acquired, challenged, and evaluated. TOK aims to help students develop their own approach to knowledge and to consider the ways in which different areas of knowledge (such as the natural sciences, mathematics, history, and the arts) intersect and overlap. By the end of the course, students should be able to apply critical thinking skills and an awareness of different perspectives to a range of real-world situations.
Extended Essay：A 4,000-word research paper that allows students to explore a topic of their choice in depth. Students work with a supervisor to choose a topic, conduct research, and develop an argument or analysis. The extended essay should demonstrate a student’s ability to engage in independent research and academic writing, and it’s an opportunity to explore an area of interest in greater detail. The extended essay is a required component of the Diploma Programme.
CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service)：An experiential learning requirement that invites students to engage in a range of activities beyond academics. CAS encourages students to develop skills, interests, and passions outside of the classroom by pursuing creative endeavors, engaging in physical activities, and participating in service projects. Students are expected to reflect on their experiences, set goals, and document their progress throughout the CAS program. CAS is intended to foster personal growth and to encourage students to become active, responsible members of their communities.
The ARTS are a way of life at QAIS with the most comprehensive arts program in Shandong Province. Expert staff guide students to find ways of expressing themselves through music, visual arts, drama, and film, while producing high-quality musicals each year for the entire Qingdao community to enjoy.
Students from Early Childhood to Grade 12 use the lens of music to explore big ideas and gain insights into themselves and the world around them, enhancing learner wellbeing. Ensembles include Concert Band, String Orchestra, and Mixed Choir: Sopranos, Altos, & Baritones. There are many opportunities for students to perform throughout the year. DP Music (theory, composition, performance) prepares students for a college major or career in music.
Students from Early Childhood to Grade 12 work in a range of 2D, 3D, and digital mediums to explore skills and techniques across a wide range of contexts, including IB Units of Inquiry, interdisciplinary collaborative tasks, and student-designed projects. Many students extend learning beyond the classroom to work in stage design, photography, and student-led art clubs after school.
Students from Early Childhood to Grade 12 become aware of their own personal and cultural perspectives, developing appreciation for the diversity of theatre practices, processes, and modes of presentation. Drama courses connect with IB Units of Inquiry, enabling students to engage with different forms of theatre across time, place, and culture while promoting international mindedness. QAIS is a member of the International School Drama Association (ISTA) and has launched an impressive list of musicals and dramatic productions, performed at least once each year, creating a unique theater landscape for the international community in Qingdao city: Seussical (2017), Peter Pan (2018), Once on This Island (2018), Little Shop of Horrors (2019), Honk (2019), Shrek (2020), Into the Woods (2021), Swamped (2022), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (2022), and Romeo and Juliet (2023).
Secondary film courses aim to develop students as proficient interpreters and makers of film texts. Students examine film concepts, theories, practices, and ideas from multiple perspectives, challenging their own viewpoint and biases to understand and value those of others, while developing critical abilities and appreciation of artistic, cultural, historical, and global perspectives in film.
Ocean Protection Project Documentary
QAIS offers a world-class Robotics program. The innovative environment encourages students to take risks and develop problem-solving skills, while promoting teamwork and leadership. The QAIS Robotics teams are ranked among China’s best, after having placed in several Make-X Championships since 2017. In 2018, QAIS won the Industrial Design Award at the RCC International Robotics Open and was a finalist at the First Robotics Competition in Shanghai. In 2019, QAIS was the overall champion at the Make-X Premier Qingdao Regional Invitational Championship while placing second at the Make-X World Robot Conference in Beijing. Amerasia placed in the top four in the RCC championship in Hangzhou, and then participated in the FRC global competition in Silicon Valley, California, USA as a representative of the Asia-Pacific region, competing with the world’s top teams and learning from each other.
If you can dream it, you can make it in the Amerasia Dream Lab, a space created to combine the technical, innovative mechanics of robotics with the aesthetics and complexity of modern fine arts. Dream Lab students extend learning beyond the classroom to work in stage design, photography, and student-led art clubs after school, learning how to operate machines and equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, electric planers, table jig saws, bench drills, aluminum cutting machines and more, all to support students in realizing their imaginative concepts and designs.
QAIS promotes healthy lifestyles by offering students a wide range of athletic activities that nurture great sportsmanship and confidence on and off the field, while empowering students to challenge themselves. QAIS participates in the Qingdao International Sports Network (QISN) which allows students to compete in volleyball, basketball, football, table tennis, and badminton with eight other international schools in and around Qingdao. QAIS takes pride in the excellence of our athletics program, our numerous championships, and our reputation throughout the city for great sportsmanship.
QAIS runs a robust extra-curricular program, offering after school activities to Grades K-12 twice per week in the Fall and in the Spring. Students can choose from a wide variety of classes and clubs in athletics, arts, robotics, service, personal hobbies and well-being that engage, inspire, and empower.
... and help light the world by becoming the best possible versions of ourselves.