Academic Program

A look into your child's future

Primary Years Programme

Kindergarten - Grade 5

K-5 Homeroom

At CIS the Homeroom Teacher (HRT) is in charge of teaching Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies as well as integrated IT and Personal and Social Education.

Here are some key descriptors of our academic program:

English at CIS presents students with opportunities to engage with and develop the key competencies (visual language, reading, writing, listening and speaking) in diverse contexts. In the “knowledge” area of the PYP, language is the most significant connecting element across the curriculum, both within and outside its transdisciplinary program of inquiry. Language provides a vehicle for inquiry. The program of inquiry provides an authentic context for learners to develop and use language. Wherever possible, language is taught through the relevant, authentic context of the units of inquiry.

The teachers provide language learning opportunities that support learners’ inquiries and the sharing of their learning regardless of whether language is being taught within or outside the program of inquiry. Students are encouraged to become effective communicators who employ critical thinking skills. They are able to make connections, apply their learning, and transfer their conceptual understanding to new situations. This progressive conceptual development, together with an enjoyment of the process, provides the foundation for lifelong learning.

CIS has adopted the Common Core Standards to guide instruction for English language instruction.

Mathematics reflects the commitment the Elementary School at CIS has made to the Primary Years Programme (PYP). It emphasizes conceptual understanding, skill proficiencies and thinking skills in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Wherever possible, mathematics is taught through the relevant, realistic context of the units of inquiry. The direct teaching of mathematics in a unit of inquiry may not always be feasible but, where appropriate, prior learning or follow-up activities is useful to help students make connections between the different aspects of the curriculum.

Students are given opportunities to identify and reflect on “big ideas” within and between the different strands of mathematics, the program of inquiry and other subject areas. Links to the transdisciplinary themes are explicitly made, whether or not the mathematics is being taught within the program of inquiry. A developing understanding of these links contributes to the students’ understanding of mathematics in the world and to their understanding of the transdisciplinary theme.

The role of inquiry in mathematics is important, regardless of whether it is being taught inside or outside the program of inquiry. However, it should also be recognized that there are occasions when it is preferable for students to be given a series of strategies for learning mathematical skills in order to progress in their mathematical understanding rather than struggling to proceed. CIS has adopted the Common Core Standards to guide mathematics instruction.

Science at CIS within the Primary Years Programme (PYP) aims to develop students who are scientifically literate, caring, and responsible individuals who will think critically and creatively when solving problems and making decisions, to become aware.

It encourages curiosity and ingenuity and enables the students to develop an understanding of the world. Reflection on scientific knowledge also helps students to develop a sense of responsibility regarding the impact of their actions on themselves, others and their world.

The transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for highly defined, focused, in-depth programme of inquiry, and as science is relevant to all the transdisciplinary themes, all planned science learning should take place within this framework. In return, the science knowledge and application of knowledge will enhance inquiries into the central ideas defined by transdisciplinary themes.

The science component of the PYP should be characterized by concepts and skills rather than content. The knowledge component of science at CIS is arranged in four strands: scientific enquiry, life processes and living organisms, materials and their properties, and physical processes.

Social Studies at CIS prepares students for responsible global citizenship. In the Primary Years Programme (PYP), social studies learning guides students towards a deeper understanding of themselves and others, and of their place in an increasingly global society. It provides opportunities for students to look at and think about human behavior and activity realistically, objectively, and with sensitivity.

Exposure to and experience with social studies therefore opens doors to key questions about life and learning. It also explores on the unique development of human beings and their relationship and contribution to the natural environment and society. The knowledge and skills they will acquire will enable them to become active participants and leaders in national and international communities where they live and work.

The transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for a highly defined, focused, in-depth program of inquiry, and as social studies is relevant to all the transdisciplinary themes, all planned social studies learning should take place within this framework. In return, the social studies knowledge and the application of that knowledge will enhance inquiries into the central ideas defined by the transdisciplinary themes. The social studies component of the PYP should be characterized by concepts and skills rather than by content.

The knowledge component of social studies at CIS is arranged into five standards: Time, Place and Space, Change, Systems, and Global Awareness. These standards are concept-driven and are inextricably linked to each other. They also provide links to other subject areas of the PYP curriculum model.

Technology affects all areas and aspects of our lives and, as such, being technologically competent enables us to better understand our world, and to search for solutions to the problems of a global society. At CIS, the IT curriculum is based on authentic content in teaching the technological skills needed to meet the challenges of living in a 21st century environment. IT is integrated within the Primary Years Programme (PYP) throughout all subject areas as a resource and tool for teaching and learning. The IT teacher pushes into the classroom, so that the homeroom teacher can continue the development of IT skills in their daily instruction.

PSE in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is concerned with the individual’s well-being through the promotion and development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to this well-being. Well-being is intrinsically linked to all aspects of a student’s experience at school and beyond. It encompasses physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social health and development, and contributes to an understanding of self, to developing and maintaining relationships with others, and to participation in an active, healthy lifestyle.

The development of overall well-being is defined through three common strands that have relevance to all teachers: identity, active living and interactions.

Specials

"English as an Additional Language"

The goal of the EAL Program is to help English learners (EL) with the language of academic English in all subject areas. Teachers differentiate for depth of content, learning tasks and assessment tasks so that EL students can achieve the same learning outcomes as mainstream students. Instruction may happen in ‘push-in’ or ‘pull-out’ situations.

Spanish & Mandarin

Language and communication are at the core of human interaction. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent, the need to communicate effectively across cultures and languages is essential. The primary aim of the CIS Additional Language program is to encourage students to gain competence in a language other than English or their first language, with the long-term goal of balanced multilingualism, using language as a tool for cultural awareness. It provides knowledge necessary to develop in students’ excellent communication skills and appreciation of the literary works through communicative activities for creative expression and functional use of language. 

 

The Arts are an integral part of human life that delight and stimulate, soothe, and comfort us. The Arts provide an alternate way for students to communicate that go beyond oral language abilities. The Arts represent a universal language shared and appreciated among all people regardless of culture, gender, age, social status, race or ability. It is through our ability to create and share of ourselves through the collective disciplines of The Arts that honors our history, cultural evolution, and defines our human spirit.

The Arts are both an active and reflective process. Students need to be given the opportunity, both individually and collaboratively, to discover a broad range of artistic experiences including practicing, performing, classifying and analyzing dance, drama, music and visual arts.

By exposing students to a wide and varied repertoire of The Arts from different cultures and perspectives, students gain an appreciation for The Arts and develop a more comprehensive understanding and sensibility towards others. Through informal and formal performances, students gain self-confidence, discipline, habits of mind, persistence, perseverance, patience, collaboration and an awareness of audience.

The Arts are both an active and reflective process. Students need to be given the opportunity, both individually and collaboratively, to discover a broad range of artistic experiences including practicing, performing, classifying and analyzing dance, drama, music and visual arts.

By exposing students to a wide and varied repertoire of The Arts from different cultures and perspectives, students gain an appreciation for The Arts and develop a more comprehensive understanding and sensibility towards others. Through informal and formal performances, students gain self-confidence, discipline, habits of mind, persistence, perseverance, patience, collaboration and an awareness of audience.

Physical Education at CIS is learning about and learning through physical activity. Physical activity leads to knowledge of mechanics, understanding the nature of sports, development and cultivation of skills, positive attitudes, and values. Physical Education fosters student’s ability to appreciate and respect the ideas of others, value each other’s contributions and develop effective collaboration and communication skills. Through varied opportunities for social interactions in games and individual pursuits, students learn to relate positively to others and build intercultural understanding.

Physical Education students are able to develop an awareness, appreciation and understanding for developing healthy life choices. Students in this course will explore a variety of concepts that help promote an awareness of their identities and capacities that help them to achieve and maintain healthy habits and a balanced lifestyle.

Physical Education at CIS involves learning through Individual Pursuit, Movement Composition, Games, Personal and Social Behavior and Health-related Fitness.

Music at CIS is seen as an integral part of human life and a foundational form of human expression. Through music, students communicate in ways that go beyond their oral language abilities. Music is a universal language shared and appreciated among people regardless of culture, gender, age, social status, race or ability.

Music requires both action and reflection for both the performer and listener. Students need the opportunity, both individually and collaboratively, to discover and participate in a broad range of musical experiences including: classifying and analyzing sounds, composing, exploring body music, harmonizing, listening, playing instruments, singing, notation, reading music, songwriting and recording.

By experiencing a wide and varied repertoire of musical styles from different cultures, eras, and perspectives, students have the opportunity to develop an appreciation for and understanding of the universal role of music in people’s around the world. Through performances -informal as well as formal- students gain self-confidence, persistence, perseverance, patience, collaboration and an awareness of audience. CIS offers General music for grades K-5 and band for grades 4 and 5.

Action & Service Learning

In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process.

This action will extend the student’s learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different within each age range. As a PYP school we offer all learners the opportunity and the power to choose to act; to decide on their actions; and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.

Actions taken by students include fundraising for earthquake victims, building liters of light for a local community, posting signs to protect wild life, writing letters to local government organizations, distributing food, toys and interacting with students from a local dumpsite and in a local schools to name a few.