The children in the Primary School follow a curriculum which utilizes elements of the International and British National Curriculum where appropriate. Teaching is focused on the 'process of learning' although 'knowledge acquisition' is an important curriculum component. A great deal of the content presented is cross-curricula and is taught through an activity based approach.
Since English is a second language for the majority of students, the teaching of English is considered particularly important across the curriculum especially for the younger children.
Amharic ( the Ethiopian national language ) is taught to all Ethiopian students, and French is taught to international students from Year 3 upwards.
In Early Years all classes have a fully trained teacher and most also have a local assistant, some of whom have excellent local or international qualifications. There are English as Second Language (ESL) teachers who provide support in the classroom, in small withdrawal groups or on a one-to-one basis. The teaching assistants are also involved in teaching Amharic and ESL, and provide Library support work.
There is a through school Music specialist who teaches, or oversees the teaching of, music in Years 1 and 2. In Middle Primary School Years 3 and 4 classes each have a full time Teacher Assistant. The four Year 5 and 6 classes share two Assistants. A non-teaching Library Assistant maintains the Library resources.
The Primary Curriculum aims to:
Prepare children for the changing world they will inherit. Our aim is
to help your children develop qualities that will help them play an active,
constructive role as future citizens of the world. We work towards
developing students who, while developing pride and confidence in their own
culture, will value, appreciate and respect all peoples and will work
towards co-operation and understanding. They will need to recognize the
need to share, to preserve limited resources and maintain the safety of our
planet for all.
Strive towards continuous progression and excellence, whilst meeting the educational needs of the different educational backgrounds and experiences of the children who enter our school. We are fortunate to be supported in our endeavors by a capable learning support team. This team provides extra help to both able children and those who have learning difficulties or have had a disrupted educational background. In addition to their excellent work in this area, they also meet the needs of pupils who need additional help to acquire the level of English required to cope with the mainstream programme.
Make links with the wider community and to learn about the culture of our host nation. An integral part of this programme is the emphasize we place on sharing and respecting the variety of cultures, beliefs and expertise of the families that make up our international School community. The Primary team works closely together to plan and evaluate our curriculum. Assessment is an essential tool in this process. Through the constructive use of continual assessment, including self assessment for pupils and staff, we analyze personal strengths and identify areas for improvement. This facilities our constant effort to provide the best possible education for the children entrusted to our care.
International Primary Curriculum (IPC) of the International Baccalaureate; The British National Curriculum (N.C.)
Our curriculum reflects the needs of the pupils of our school. We feel this is essential, however, we realize that guidelines of other professionals can provide us with valuable insights.
We have found two sources of advice and guidance that are of value to us. The IPC and N.C. proved and basis for our curriculum, outlining the knowledge, concepts and skills, that are essential to prepare our children for adult life. IPC outlines a framework for the kind of student we hope will graduate from our school.
IPC gives us a base from which to develop the philosophical strand of our curriculum. The mission statement emphasizes the need to create a trans-disciplinary curriculum that is relevant, challenging and engaging for learners in the 3-12 age range. This curriculum has strong international roots. We celebrate the fact that we are an international school and we aim to make a significant contribution to developing students with an international perspective. We support the ‘student learning outcomes’ outlined in the IPC programme. Which contribute to this development. These emphasize the need to build on natural curiosity and to develop inquiring minds. They encourage a love of learning the will continue throughout life. Students are encouraged to become thinkers and communicators, who can express themselves confidently and clearly in more than one language.
Children are encouraged to develop physical and mental balance, to increase their knowledge and to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. Students are expected to be co-operative, to extend the principles of moral reasoning, and show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others.
The guidance provided by the British National Curriculum content. Some of the suggested programmes of study are not relevant to international schools. However, the curriculum offers a detailed framework for the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy. Our curriculum programme for English and Mathematics is closely related to the teaching objectives outlined in ‘The National Literacy Strategy’ and ‘The National Numeracy Strategy’. The teaching objectives outlined in these frameworks aim to raises standards in the ‘core’ subjects English and Mathematics.
In the Primary school we often work in a cross-curricular way, combining subjects such as, History, Geography, Multi-Faith Education, Drama ad Art. The advice given by the IPC and the N.C programmes supports our work in these subjects.
We use ongoing formative assessment to help teachers assess your child’s development and educational needs. The N.C. provides us with a framework for summative assessment at the end of Key Stage 1, (Year 2) and at the end of Key Stage 2, (Year 6). These standardized assessment tests give us the opportunity to monitor our achievements with children in the same age group in England and in other international schools who take the tests. Years 3 to 5 also use tests created by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in Britain in order to support their monitoring of children’s progress during Key Stage 2.
This type of assessment does not measure the success or failure of an individual, but acts as an indicator of their development compared with children of the same age in England. The majority of children in England are working in their fist language and these assessment tests are designed for children living in that culture. Many of our pupils at Sandford are working in English as a second language. The majority are unfamiliar with the culture the tests are biased towards, therefore, if they achieve one level below the targeted level this represents a satisfactory result. The level of achievement targeted for a child at the end of the second year in Primary is level of achievement targeted for a child at the end of the second year in Primary is level 2. Children leaving the Primary School at age 11 are aiming at achieving level 4.
Later at Sandford your children will have the opportunity to take a variety of subjects in the I.G.C.S.E. examinations and then to go on to study for the International Baccalaureate programme. The IPC and NC will help your child develop the skills, attitudes and understanding that will not only makes a significant contribution to their present education but will lay the foundations for their future education in the senior school.