QSI International School of Astana

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Coord Template:Infobox school QSI International School of Astana is a branch of Quality Schools International located in Astana, Kazakhstan. QSI Astana was founded in 2005 as a non-profit, private institution. QSI International School of Astana has an English language of instruction; it offers a curriculum taught entirely in English from elementary school to secondary school. In 2013 a new facility completed construction. The facility contains 32 classrooms, 3 computer labs, an auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, library, outdoor soccer field ( with an Olympic running track) and basketball court, and several playgrounds.[1] Approximately 250 students with over 25 different nationalities are enrolled for the 2015-2016 school year. Classes range from Preschool to High School level.[2]


QSI Astana is based on the American Education system. All subjects (excluding second-language classes) are taught in English.[1] Standardized MAP (Measurement of Academic Progress) tests have been adopted to provide an initial academic benchmark and intellectual progress of the school's students.[3] The school has been accredited by MSA/CESS (Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools) since 2011.[4] QSI International School of Astana has also been certified as a legitimate testing center for the SAT Reasoning Test and all AP (Advanced Placement) tests.[1] PSAT (Preliminary SAT) exams are offered to all secondary students. The school is licensed by Kazakh Ministry of Education.[5]


The QSI education system differs from the traditional American system in several aspects. The naming of the key stages in the QSI curricular system diverges from typical naming. Additionally, the different stages cover different age groups. The table below represents all the changes:

QSI Education System
Traditional American


QSI Schools Age Group
Preschool Pre-K 3-4
Kindergarten 4-5
Elementary School 5-6
Lower Elementary 6-9
Upper Elementary 9-11
Middle School 11-12
Middle School 12-14
High School Secondary 14-18

A variety of AP Courses is offered, ranging from AP World History to AP Chemistry. Apart from Spanish, Russian and Kazakh languages are also offered in QSI Astana. The school, being located in Kazakhstan, is obligated to abide by Kazakhstan's Ministry of Education's regulations.[5] To meet the regulations, QSI Astana, QSI Aktau, QSI Atyrau, and Almaty International School (QSI Almaty) made Kazakh History, Kazakh Language, and Military Preparation classes mandatory for all Kazakh nationals.[6] Intensive English class is compulsory for ESL (English as a Second Language) students who have struggles effectively communicating in English. A university counselor is also offered to the senior class. Study Hall is offered to high school students with tight schedules and/or numerous AP subjects.

The QSI grading system also differs from that of traditional American schools:

QSI Grading System
A level B Level N (Not Yet) W (Withdrawal) P (In Progress)
Student illustrated knowledge beyond mastery, went beyond what was expected of him/her and has completed all the TSW's Student illustrated mastery in the unit and completed all the TSW's Student failed to show mastery in the unit and has not completed all the TSW's Student withdrew from the particular unit or the subject as a whole Student is in progress of mastering the unit and has not completed the unit at that point in time.

TSW ("The Student Will") are a set of guiding points that illustrate what the student should learn in the unit/subject. A TSW sheet is created by a group of teachers with expertise in that particular subject. Every unit in every subject has a TSW sheet.

All QSI schools are based on the course credit system. Each whole-year subject contains 10 units. Each semester-long subject contains 5 units. A single completed unit with a grade of B or above will earn a student 1 credit. A pupil must earn 220 credits throughout his secondary (high school) years and complete all mandatory subjects such as Algebra I and Biology to earn a Standard Diploma. If a student wishes to receive an Academic Diploma, they must earn 240 credits and embark on additional English and Social Science classes. With a student wishes to receive an Academic Diploma with Honors, he/she must complete 2 AP subjects between Secondary 1 and Secondary 4 as well as meeting the requirements of both the Standard and Academic Diploma.The student must complete the subject's AP exam with a score of 3 or above.[7] The mandatory courses for the 3 diplomas are as listed:

QSI Diploma Requirements
English Mathematics Science Social Science Arts Phys. Ed. and Health Advanced Placement

(Only for Academic

With Honors)

Standard Diploma
  • Writing I and II
  • Literature I and II
  • Algebra I and II
  • Geometry
  • Physical Science
  • Biology
  • Physics or Chemistry
  • World Geography
  • Modern World History
2 of the 3:
  • Drama (1 semester)
  • Music
  • Art
  • Fitness
  • Health (5 credits)
  • Phys. Ed.
Any 2 of the following:
  • U.S. History
  • World History
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Physics B
  • Physics C
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus AB
  • Literature
Academic Diploma +
  • Research Project
  • American Literature
  • British Literature or

AP Literature

------------------------------- -------------------------------- +
  • U.S. History
  • Economics (5 credits)
  • World Government

(5 credits)

------------------------------ -------------------------------
Academic Diploma With Honors ------------------------------- ------------------------------- -------------------------------- --------------------------------- ------------------------------ -------------------------------
File:QSI Astana Indoor Gym.jpg
The indoor gym facility.


The newly built school offers students a much broader spectrum of extra-curricular activities. The facility contains a fully functional 400m track with proper markings. Inside the track is an official size soccer field, made from synthetic grass and rubber bits. Adjacent to the track is a Long Jump Pit and an outdoor tennis/basketball court.[8]

File:QSI Facility.JPG
View of the facility from the track field.

The school's library offers a wide range of over 13,000 volumes from authors such as Charles Dickens, George Orwell, and John Green. The library also offers textbooks which could be signed out at the end of the year for pupils who'd like to study over the summer. The cafeteria can house more than 80 pupils and teachers at any given time. The auditorium is used for plays, musical performances, guest speakers and presentations. Students participate in many school and extra-curricular activities including soccer, basketball, volleyball, taekwondo, dance, swim team, arts & crafts, ping pong, and other student founded clubs.

QSI Astana has been steadily growing in numbers of students as well as teachers. The school is also expanding its campus. Currently, there are three facilities that are expected to complete structure (i.e. housing for administration staff, elementary school building and faculty staff). The school has already constructed parking areas for the teachers as well as parents, and the security is strengthened by constant patrolling. In the coming years a new principal, who is also a counselor will be arriving. There are going to be new native teachers to support the increasing number of students.


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