ES-school

“I do not know who learns more in the classroom – the pupils
from their teacher, or the teacher from her pupils. We share so much about our different nationalities, culture and traditions.”
Mrs Robyn Hull, Grade 3 teacher

The ELEMENTARY SCHOOL offers a fully comprehensive, diverse program. Students experience a rich diversity of learning opportunities throughout the school. We have committed, caring and experienced faculty members who work with enthusiasm and dedication. Our learning also includes service learning and each grade has an identified social cause that they learn about and contribute to in a variety of meaningful ways.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEARNING AREAS

Our wide-ranging curriculum includes events such as sports day, inter-house competitions, educational fieldtrips, assemblies, residential camp in Grade 5 and a variety of extracurricular activities which provide opportunities for all interests and abilities. We aim to instill a strong sense of community, respect, responsibility and integrity among our students while equipping them with the skills to be curious, lifelong learners.

The Language Arts program, which is based on the US Common Core Curriculum, focuses on the acquisition of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and the ability to use these skills to become effective communicators. Teachers use a comprehensive literacy program for instruction, which includes daily instruction in the following areas: shared reading, guided reading, reading aloud, independent reading, shared writing, writing workshops, spelling and grammar. Teachers use a variety of formal and informal assessments to understand each child’s strengths and determine goals for instruction. The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) is administered to students to ascertain their reading level and measure progress in reading.

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The AISCT mathematics curriculum is based on the Everyday Mathematics program, which was developed by the Math Project at the University of Chicago to enable elementary grades to learn more mathematical content and become life-long mathematical thinkers. The program emphasizes the development of a variety of problem-solving strategies, computational skills and logical thinking and encourages students to apply their work to real life situations. Lessons include the following components: math message, math games, math boxes for review and skills maintenance, major instructional activities, ongoing learning and practice and differentiation options.

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The art program encourages children to observe closely, record their observations and express their feelings and ideas as well as enabling them to undertake a wide range of art and design activities. Skills and knowledge are developed through individual and collaborative work in two and three dimensions, using a range of materials and processes, and through investigating the work of artists. Cross-curricular teaching enables children to express aspects of knowledge gained in science or social studies in an artistic form, thus enriching their learning experience.
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Through PE, children learn the characteristics that promote positive teamwork, a healthy lifestyle, leadership and a commitment to personal fitness. During our bi-weekly lessons, we cover the following: cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, general ball skills, basketball, netball, soccer, field hockey, tennis, swimming, water polo, athletics and volleyball. We aim to have a combination of skills and fun and promote a positive attitude whether winning or losing. We focus on sportsmanship, team work, effort, knowledge of the game and skills during PE lessons.
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French and Spanish are taught as a foreign language starting in Grade 1. The overall focus of the elementary foreign language program is communication. Lower elementary students are mainly exposed to listening and speaking skills while becoming familiar with a wide range of vocabulary. Upper elementary students build on this foundation and are exposed to all four main language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in an increasing range of contexts. Children learn through songs, games, rhymes and a range of interactive activities as well as a variety of reading and writing resources.
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Drama lessons provide the students with an opportunity to develop their creative expression through class improvisations by retelling and dramatizing myths, fables, and fairy tales from various cultures and times. Through improvisations they become increasingly proficient at using the body, the voice and the imagination to express ideas.

Every student in the Elementary school is involved in an annual production. There is a Grade 4 and 5 production and a separate Grade 1, 2 and 3 production. The choice of plays tries to reflect units of study in the curriculum where appropriate.

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In an international school setting, music can serve as a window on other cultures. It also offers a channel for self-expression which is not dependent on English language proficiency. At AISCT a specialist music teacher offers students a rich music program which seeks to foster an appreciation of musical concepts and traditions. The music curriculum uses the cultural diversity of AISCT as a springboard for studying different musical styles and forms, past and present, including those of our host country. As part of the AISCT music experience in the Elementary School we focus on a variety of music appreciation mechanisms ranging from music theory, practical music, creative music expression as well as general and cultural music appreciation. Each class normally consists of introducing orchestral timbre identification sets as well as appreciating, analyzing and critically assessing selected music examples in pop culture. Besides focusing on how music works, we also explore practical music in terms of drumming, guitar and singing mainly. Due to our exclusive focus on integrated arts (music, drama and visual arts) we conduct theatrical productions each term and therefore a large chunk of each term is set aside for song learning, and group as well as solo performances. The Elementary School music curriculum focuses on laying a solid foundation for more experimental and contemporary creative aspects that we explore in Middle School music classes.
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Our Guidance and Life Skills program covers a range of topics for all grades in the Elementary school. As part of the program, students are taught about feelings as well as how to deal with their emotions and how to develop themselves. We discuss concepts such as problem solving, bullying, cooperation, respect, responsibility and acceptance. We also focus on general well-being and making good choices for a healthy lifestyle. Overall, our aim is to promote the development of a happy, healthy student body.
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Our school library serves to promote literacy, instill a love of reading and provide access to information. Elementary students visit the Library once a week to check out materials and practice information literacy skills. These skills may include knowledge of book genres, part of a book and literacy terms, use of the library catalogue and correct citation of sources.
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The Elementary School iPad program focuses on skills development as outlined in the curriculum.  The vision of the school is to use the computer and iPad facilities as an aid to teaching the curriculum.  Students are taught the required skills to enable them to produce the work required, using multiple devices, with a focus on iPads.  By using technology to learn basic curriculum, students also learn about technology and will leave elementary school with the attitudes and skills necessary to become capable and confident in a technology rich future.

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The IT Program in the Elementary School is varied, however the aim of this course is to teach students digital literacy, as well as basic iPad and computer operations such as mouse skills, keyboard layout and typing skills, while working within various software/application packages, with the emphasis on learning new IT and life skills where fun, lateral thinking and a progression of new skills are learned.

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AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Fun is the most important word we have when it comes to activities at the Elementary School level. Our teachers and coaches focus on skills development as well as friendly competition and fun games.
During the school year we have summer and winter activities that we follow and we play sports that are classified as summer and winter sports during these terms. Winter sports are during terms 1 and 4 and summer sports are between terms 2 and 3.

Winter activities include soccer, volleyball, touch rugby, cross country, field hockey as well as indoor activities, such as storytelling, movement club, craft club and French club. Summer activities include swimming, basketball, tennis, netball, touch rugby, soccer as well as indoor activities like gymnastics, cooking club, and art club.

At AISCT we keep a balance between the activities that are offered by the school and those that are facilitated by an outside company or individual. These activities are called private activities and are paid as an extra by the parents. Examples of private activities are Cooking Club, Little Kickers Soccer and Ballet.

At AISCT we encourage all students to partake in at least one activity or sport per term and doing so instill in students the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle.

SERVICE LEARNING

AISCT’s Service Learning program provides students the opportunities and confidence to positively impact the world through genuine engagement in collaborative, meaningful action with local partners.

AISCT has targeted specific social causes and selected the following partner organizations appropriate for Grades K2-5:

Grade Social Cause Partner Organization(s)
Kindergarten 2 Children with medical needs Cupcakes of Hope

Friends of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital

Grade 1 The elderly Princess Christian Home
Grade 2 Animal welfare TEARS
Grade 3 Children with differences SARDA
Grade 4 Marine conservation SANCCOB
Grade 5 Literacy The Shine Centre & Home from Home