Pre-Reception, Reception and Years 1-6 of the English Stream at NISL follow the National Curriculum of England and Wales primarily for core subjects; Literacy and Numeracy.
We very much promote thematic teaching which means that our students meet all learning objectives related to other subjects such as Science and History, in a cross-curricular and topic-based fashion. We call this learning for life and proudly integrate The International Primary Curriculum into our weekly timetable.
Our teachers provide a natural progression through the six years of primary education as well as differentiation within the year groups to meet varying abilities/learning styles. We promote an enquiry-based approach to learning to develop thinking skills and encourage intellectual engagement. Our curriculum aims to enable learners to communicate confidently and effectively and to develop critical skills in order to respond to a range of information, media and texts with enjoyment and understanding.
We have also incorporated units of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for Pre-Reception. These Early Years units have been written specifically for young children who go to school in a non-native country. Each unit or theme takes between four or five weeks and covers activities like language, math, creativity, music and movement. Social and emotional skills also play an important role within the IPC. We give the children many opportunities for developing early literacy such as listening, speaking and vocabulary. Children are learning to use language skills in different situations. They are exploring the world around them by using books, listening to rhymes and songs. Different opportunities are created for children to tell their own stories and to learn to use simple symbols to express themselves. To encourage their interest in books we visit the library once a week. During the day a lot of activities have a focus on math related education like: learning colours and shapes, counting, recognizing numbers and sorting different objects. These activities are given in a playful atmosphere. We are using educational materials specifically developed for language and math in pre-reception. At this stage of life, it is very important that teachers and parents and caretakers communicate as much as possible. We prefer daily contact with parents or caretakers to share all necessary information about your child, at drop off or pick up. Small changes or events might have a huge impact on the behaviour of a child. The children are assessed through observations and talks with the teachers. The observations are recorded twice a year on an observation list.
The younger students of our English Stream follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and are taught the essential learning blocks to make their Primary Education (as of Year 1) a success. Literacy or CLL (Communicating, Language and Literacy) covers the four areas, of language acquisition, which are; speaking and listening, linking sounds and letters (phonics), reading and writing. To support children’s learning of letter sounds we use the ‘Jolly Phonics Programme’. This scheme introduces letter sounds using stories, actions and pictures that help children to link letters to the sounds of the English language, and supports both their reading and writing development. As well as learning to link letters to sounds to support their reading, children will also learn to read using the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme. All the stories in this scheme are based around a typical family, which the children relate to very well. The children will be encouraged to learn the character’s names and talk about and answer questions related to settings, plots and characters. Children will begin to write as they develop the skills to do so and ‘Penpals Handwriting’ scheme will be introduced. Children will be encouraged to write their weekend news and through our various IPC topics they will also be encouraged to write for a range of real life purposes. In Numeracy children will learn through a range of practical activities and everyday situations about; numbers as labels and for counting, calculating, shape, space and measures. We use practical resources, interactive Math challenges on the computer and (to consolidate) by term 2; simple ability appropriate workbooks. Assessment is mostly based on teacher’s observation but Reception children will also be assessed through PIPS (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools) designed to monitor the progress of pupils. It consists of a Baseline assessment at the start of the school year and a follow-up assessment in June, to indicate progress. More information about the curriculum Early Years Foundation Stage is available on:http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/index.aspx
Building on the number recognition skills and knowledge of basic operations that children have learned in Reception, Year 1 maths encourages them to think more about why they get the answers they do and be able to explain calculations and methods. Through the “Collins Maths” scheme and a wide variety of classroom resources, children will continue to learn about shapes, as well as start learning to tell time, use money, work with weights and measures, practise estimation and count in sequences using a number line. Children will continue learning to read and write more complex sentences, as well as spelling new words to increase their vocabulary as the “Jolly Phonics Programme” is completed. In Year 1, children will then develop their reading and writing using ‘Jolly Grammar’ and “Collins Primary Literacy”. Penpals Handwriting focuses on letter formation and correct pencil grip. The Children will continue to progress through the ‘Oxford Reading Tree Scheme’ and they will also be introduced to the Big Cats reading scheme. They will be given the opportunity to access a range of texts in class as well as through the library.
Pupils in Year 2 will continue to learn maths from the perspective of real-life situations, through the Collins Primary Maths scheme, so they understand the concepts and can explain the answers they get. In maths they will be counting all the way up to 100, learning the basics of multiplication and division (two, five and 10 times tables), and they will start to work with fractions in halves and quarters. In Year 2, children will learn more high-frequency words and work further in phonics, and start to use joined-up handwriting. Grammar and punctuation including tenses, commas and question marks will be taught through the “Collins Primary Literacy”, and they will further develop listening and speaking skills through a variety of group activities.
Continuing with the “Collins Maths scheme”, children will be encouraged to calculate sums in their head – also known as mental maths. They will expand on the concepts of multiplication, division and fractions that they began in year 2, and start on basic geometry. Year 3 maths includes calculating time intervals, reading a digital clock, and converting /measurements. Students will have had a good grounding in phonics, recognising high-frequency words and reading long texts. They will continue to build on these skills, through “Collins Primary Literacy” by reading new words on their own and understanding the parts of a story (pilot, characters, themes).
Pupils will become more comfortable working out sums in their head (mental maths), and know their times tables up to number 10. They will work with three-digit numbers, using partitioning to add and subtract. They will use a calculator, learn to read a compass, start to understand angles and symmetry, and work more with decimals. Reading in Year 4 consists of broadening the students’ interests to include different kinds of books, poetry and stories. They will learn new words, and also read to themselves more and understand how to interpret text. Children will learn to have a good understanding of spelling, grammar and punctuation, and they’ll use this in class to learn how to write well. They will write both fiction and non-fiction, and will need to show clear and neat handwriting.
Pupils will become more proficient at using mental maths methods and will be able to apply these to multi-step problems. Pupils will also be able to quickly recall all the times tables up to number 12. They will work with three/four-digit numbers, choosing the most appropriate method to add and subtract and will use factors to multiply and divide. They will use a calculator to check answers, learn to compare fractions, decimals and percentages, explore and explain the properties of 2D and 3D shapes, and use line graphs with increasing accuracy. Reading in Year 5 consists of broadening the students’ interests to include different kinds of books, poetry and stories. They will read independently and be able to talk confidently about a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Children will continue to develop spelling, grammar and punctuation to a higher level, and they will use this in class to write in a range of styles including persuasive, myths, classical stories, poetry and film script. Children will also become confident speakers and performers using role-play, debates, interviews and poetry.
Year 6 This is very much seen as an extension, consolidation and preparation year. We look at every child as an individual but consider at all times international standards knowing that many of our diverse community will travel abroad for Secondary education. We extend their personal potential, consolidate key stage two learning and prepare them for examinations and future schools.