At the end of the Kindergarten Stage the students enter Elementary School. Elementary School is a five-year phase covering Grade 1 to Grade 5.
Our learning environments are well resourced and maintained providing the students with a range of multi-sensory activities. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards to support the children's learning. These offer ways to support and consolidate day to day skills and allow access to the world outside through interactive websites. Our display boards value and celebrate the children's work across all curriculum areas.
The students have a dedicated play area featuring a range of high quality climbing equipment, a fall safe surface and a range of other activities that keep them fully occupied at break time! This also includes a playing field providing opportunities to participate in team games. Specialist teaching rooms for ICT, Music, PE and Food Technology complete the department facilities.
Teaching assistants support the class teachers in the delivery of the curriculum and specialist teachers deliver the programs for Arabic, Islamic Studies (for Muslim students), UAE Social Studies, Music and PE.
Learning and Teaching methodologies emphasize student engagement and collaboration amongst learners. We take the notion of “lifelong learners” to heart. Our job embedded professional development program ensures teachers stay up to date and incorporate high leverage, research based strategies that positively impact students’ learning. Classroom teachers deliver English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, ICT, Social Studies, PSHCE and Arts. Subject specialists deliver Music and Physical Education program. Links across the curriculum are made wherever possible and all activities are planned and delivered to maximize hands on experience and respond to differing learning styles. Strategies to incorporate 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical and creative thinking are weaved across the curricula.
Wherever possible children are taken out of classroom for activities that support and enrich the curriculum. For example, during an Instructional Writing Unit, the third graders may visit the Food Technology Room to design gourmet sandwiches that they would later write a recipe for. Similarly, as part of exploring measurements, fifth graders may use the playground pitch and trundle wheels to understand geometric formulae. As part of learning about countries and cultures around the world, students collaborate to research and present. Parents are invited into school to see class presentations. The children have great fun preparing for this through projects and performances.
Similarly, visitors with special skills and experience are invited into class.
Our curriculum is aligned to the US Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Maths and Virginia State Standards in Science, Social Studies and Arts. Additionally, our Science program is linked to Next Generation Science Standards. Science and Social Studies are taught through interdisciplinary units of studies that incorporate other areas of curriculum where possible.
In Elementary school, we believe that the curriculum should be:
● Language rich in order to develop English language confidence and competency
● Integrated as much as possible in order to make learning meaningful for the students
● Relevant to the real world, tackling global issues and related to the context of the UAE whenever possible
● Focused on developing personal learning and self-awareness skills alongside academic knowledge and skills
● As practical and ‘hands on’ as possible in order to promote engagement and interest
Our English Language Arts program aims to develop strong speaking and listening skills along with development of accuracy, fluency and comprehension skills that enable students to access all other areas of curriculum effectively. We believe that reading and writing are two sides of a coin, and each area builds on the other. Students are actively involved in discussions to foster critical and creative thinking skills while reading. Reading is supported through a variety of programs which include but are not limited to Journeys, Read Write Inc. Raz Kids, and a range of leveled readers, both fiction and nonfiction that enthuse and motivate readers at all levels.
Writing is taught as a process where students are taken through different stages of composing from planning to editing and ultimately publishing. “Talk for Writing” is emphasized at all stages for students to develop coherence and structure.
We adapt Everyday Mathematics from the University of Chicago to help our students connect the study of mathematics to real-world contexts. A strong emphasis on developing facts fluency ensures that students gain automaticity and accuracy with calculations. Our Mathematics curriculum aims to provide multiple avenues for representing and solving problems including the use of manipulatives, tools, spoken and written words, pictures, diagrams, and symbols to meet the needs of students with a range of learning styles and interests.
Students develop expertise across the disciplines of Science, Social Studies & PSHCE through integrated units of study designed to provoke enquiry, raise engagement and harness 21st century skills. An additional feature of our integrated units this year is providing STEM Science, Technology, Engineering & Math experiences to our students. Our students “do” Science in a collaborative environment in order to learn the skills needed in today’s technologically advanced world.
The school day begins at 7:45 am when students gather together for the National anthem and are welcomed into class in preparation for a 7.50am start.
There is a short snack break in the morning where the children get the opportunity to socialize and eat their packed lunches. This is followed by a longer break later in the day during which they get the opportunity to play eat their packed lunches, or buy from a selection of menu from the cafeteria.
School finishes at 2.30 pm and parents are invited to collect their children from the shaded area in the main entrance. However, if extracurricular activities are elected, the school day continues later, normally to 3.30 pm.