Distinctive Curriculum

The TASIS Program of Studies is Distinctive.

Singapore Math and coding lay the foundation for mathematics. Next Generation Science Standards ensure that technical and engineering approaches are utilized, so that students understand how “real science” works. A research-based approach to language arts is delivered via the timeless Core Knowledge curriculum. Together, these elements provide unparalleled academic preparation for a rigorous high school program, including the International Baccalaureate. Students’ learning outcomes are measured and tracked with respected external assessments—the Cambridge Primary Progression tests and Primary Checkpoint assessments.

Research on Teaching & Learning

In his research on what contributes to the most significant gains in student learning, educational researcher and professor John Hattie's 2009 meta-study, Visible Learning, found that direct teacher instruction and high expectations were the most powerful influencers on student achievement. Our teachers and our program are designed to maximize student learning.

At TASIS Portugal, teachers utilize our content-rich and sequential curriculum to set learning intentions and success criteria, which are clearly communicated to students. Exemplars, or models, are used to demonstrate expectations. Teachers use formative assessment methods to monitor student learning and provide feedback. We believe that teachers should use their professional training to decide how to best reach every child, and provide them with a complete and comprehensive curriculum to which they adhere.

Early Literacy = Key to Success

TASIS Portugal believes that early literacy ensures future academic success. Acclaimed researchers E.D. Hirsch, Jean Chall, Diane Ravitch, and many others conclude that a student’s reading level in third grade will dictate their academic achievement in high school. Our Core Knowledge curricular approach ensures high levels of literacy in reading, writing, and speaking. The same can be said for our Singapore Math approach to learning mathematics. Singapore Math has been established as the best mathematics preparation program, based on international test results (PISA and TIMSS).

Assessment Policy

TASIS Portugal assess students frequently and uses these measures of student achievement to inform parents of their children’s progress, assess the effectiveness of its teachers, and craft Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) for each student.

Our school also uses a balanced classroom assessment system that is effective in measurement and is purposefully planned to maximize student learning. The end goal of assessment is to assist learning, not just to measure it. Assessment is frequent and focused on gaining insights into the learning of students.

We use summative assessments at the end of a unit or at the end of a school year. Core Knowledge, Singapore Math, and Cambridge Assessments measure learning against a curriculum-based benchmark. Assessment as learning helps students take more responsibility for their own learning. Assessment of learning is a summary of what a student has learned over that period.



Core Knowledge and Singapore Math guide our PK-8 program with internally assessed curriculum-based exams to monitor progress; during this time, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is an external exam used to monitor progress. Core Knowledge and Singapore Math guide our PK-8 program with internally assessed curriculum-based exams to monitor progress. IGCSE courses (Grades 9 and 10) are externally assessed at the end of the 2nd year (grade 10). Students ultimately sit external examinations in high school through two main systems: IGCSE and IB.

Students join TASIS with a background from many different countries and educational systems. Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is the publisher of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). NWEA has more than 9500 partners in 145 countries and is validated by more than 40 years of research. MAP data helps to identify and plan for whole class curricular needs and individual student needs.

Why did TASIS select MAP? NWEA uses anonymous assessment data from over 11 million students and results can be used to measure growth over time in a consistent manner. The results directly inform content and skills students are ready to learn.