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Abdul Hamid Sharaf School


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The Abdul Hamid Sharaf School is a private, coeducational, K-12 day school serving a diverse group of students, international and local. The languages of instruction for the basic subjects are Arabic and English. The school is licensed to teach the Jordanian Ministry of Education curriculum (Tawjihi), the British General Certificate of Education (GCE) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), and the American SAT II curriculum. Successful completion of the programs of study in English allows the student’s degree to be equated with the Jordanian Tawjihi high school diploma that is necessary for continuing education in Jordanian colleges and universities.
For students in the Arabic stream, a strong ESL program is in effect and is taught by qualified English teachers, many of whom are native speakers. Ministry of Education textbooks supplements audio-visual materials, teaching aids, and books, especially in science, math, English, and social studies. Enrollment in the English curriculum is possible, beginning at the third-grade level. American textbooks are used for grades three to twelve except in the British curriculum that starts with ninth grade.
Majesty Queen Noor and Her Excellency, Mrs. Leila Sharaf, have been very helpful and encouraging. Her Majesty sponsored a Montessori training program in the school and provided the equipment and materials for a Montessori kindergarten class in 1982, the first in the kingdom. Her Excellency, Mrs. Leila Sharaf, presented the school with a sizable fund to establish its first library. In recognition of his high ideals and convictions about quality education, the school was named after His Excellency, the late Sharif Abdul Hamid Sharaf, the prime minister of Jordan, in the late 1970s.
Dr. Sue Dahdah and husband, engineer Farid Dahdah, founded the school in 1980. It was among the first of many new, private, non-parochial schools to open in Amman, Jordan, in the early eighties. Starting with 18 students in a small rented villa, the school soon outgrew the location and moved to its current premises in the summer of 1991. The school currently has capacity for 800 students in kindergarten through twelfth grades.
The school offers subjects from the General Certificate of Education (GCE-British system), International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), and the American System (SAT I or SAT II). These streams can be equated to the Tawjihi.
Preparation for the ordinary level examinations (O-levels) of the GCE and IGCSE takes two years, beginning with 9th grade. The curriculum provides a broad and balanced range of subjects: classical Arabic, English, mathematics, biology, human biology, chemistry, physics, and world history.
Preparation for the advanced level examinations (A-levels) takes two further years of intensive study. Courses offered at the advanced level are modern Arabic, biology, mathematics, chemistry, and physics. English literature and history can be offered if enough students want those subjects.
The SAT II program is designed mainly for students who want to enter American universities worldwide and for students who want Jordanian Tawjihi equivalence to enter Jordanian colleges and universities. The subjects offered are English literature, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, world history, American history, and Spanish. A-Level Arabic was included as one of the options in the 2007/08 academic year. Seven exams must be passed in order to equate with the Tawjihi diploma. Passing scores (450 or higher) in science subjects and mathematics are required for scientific stream equivalence, while passing scores in language and social science subjects are needed for literary stream equivalence.
The Kindergarten program at AHSS is based on early childhood principles and the concept that “play is the work of children.” Activities are planned around the interests and needs of the children who participate in directing their learning.
Throughout the year, children are actively engaged in hands-on projects and thematic study units. Both the Arabic and English languages are emphasized throughout. The children participate on many field trips to places like bakeries, animal shelters, museums, and places of cultural and historical interest in the Amman area. They also have an annual olive-picking and olive-making activity, after which they enjoy breakfast together featuring their homemade olives. The children also share in the making of other dishes such as soup and spaghetti. AHSS Kindergarten emphasizes the concept that children learn best when they are actively involved in their learning. In our kindergarten, learning is a team effort, and our goal is to help our children become independent, joyful learners.
AHSS standards for children leaving kindergarten are high: reading at least 18 words, learning the ABC’s, and the sounds letters make. Math learning includes counting beyond 150, skip counting, adding, and subtracting. We take into consideration the child’s maturity level. While all of these skills are being presented, we do not pressure children who are not ready to learn them. It is a stimulating curriculum. We work on social skills, rules, art, and music skills as well. The kindergarten accepts children between three and five years old in its Pre-KG, KG 1 and KG 2 classes.

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