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Academics » Elementary

Elementary

Our Elementary Program provides an academically strong grade school education while developing bilingualism, biliteracy and character education skills that will set your child apart

 

Building on the strong foundation developed in preschool, the elementary program employs a full immersion model. We teach all content matter in the target language and in English and execute a design that ensures mastery and depth of understanding.

 

Students receive content instruction for language arts, math, science, and social studies, in the target language for 80% of the day in Kindergarten & Grade 1, with a gradual increase in time spent in English as they develop through the program. It is through this intensive exposure to academic content in a second language that students develop mental flexibility, leading to greater cognitive abilities and advanced language proficiency.

 

Our curriculum uses an interdisciplinary and inquiry-based approach to student mastery of content standards in Language Arts / Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies / History.

 

We use discussion-based, interdisciplinary, project-based learning (DBIPBL) units of study so that students are challenged to think broadly and deeply about essential questions and enduring understandings and apply their skills to various tasks.

 

We employ flexible groupings and on-going assessments (formative and summative) to ensure that we are able to differentiate and thus maximize learning for each student. Students may be grouped, by level and cross-age.

 

All elementary students beginning in Kindergarten have access to Chromebooks and other devices such as iPads. Technology is integrated into units of studies from an early age.

 

Standardized test results for our students in grades 3 through 5 show, on average, significantly higher scores in subject matter tested in English as compared to the national norm of independent schools, as well as a higher level of language proficiency compared to other immersion programs.

 

 

We live our values and develop character organically and intentionally. It is woven into all aspects of our curriculum, school life, staff development, and parent resources.

 

Social emotional learning (SEL) enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges. Throughout the grades, we are committed to helping children develop SEL competencies.

 

SEL competencies include:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Skills
  • Responsible Decision-Making

 

We pay particular focus to the need for students to develop self-management skills and good judgement through their time in the middle school. Many of our programs are designed to support these skills and prepare students to be successful during this phase of their development. It is important to us to look not only at the youth who join our middle school in Grade 6 but also at the young adults who move on to high school programs, ensuring that students have the life and learning skills they need to be successful with the next step of their development and education.

 

We implement Responsive Classroom, a student-centered, social and emotional learning approach to teaching and discipline which aims at developing responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of the community. Integrated with our monthly character education themes, class meetings where children can collectively problem solve and build community are held each day. Reflection of the themes lead students to actions that impact the world around them. While service projects often begin small, they have the potential to grow as students’ capacity increases.

 

Language Arts Literacy (LAL) learning targets are similar regardless of the language of study. Language Arts classes in English, Mandarin, or Spanish develop and nourish a love of reading and provide tools students need to communicate effectively in speaking and writing. We use Journeys or Sendoros in English and Spanish, and Better Immersion in Mandarin. The faculty facilitates reading habits, exposing students to storytelling and diverse genres of literature. Students are introduced to the Writer’s Workshop, a student-centered framework for teaching writing that builds students’ fluency in writing through continuous, repeated exposure to the writing process.

 

 

We use Singapore Math as a curriculum for our elementary programs. The philosophy behind Singapore Math is to provide students with a thorough understanding of math concepts, developed through a sequence using concrete manipulatives, followed by pictorial representation, and then abstract representation, leading students to deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Students are challenged to understand the “why” & “how” of numbers manipulation, rather than memorize facts & sequences of steps in problem solving. Frequent group work allows students to understand the importance of discourse, collaboration, and diverse methods of solving a problem.

 

Social Studies / History provides the context for the current world cultural awareness imperative to preparation for global navigation & citizenship. Our teachers provide authentic knowledge and cultural understanding to help students broaden their understanding of our world. Students learn about pluralism, cross-cultural, socio-cultural, socio-economical & socio-political interdependence, across the target language nations, and the world.

 

Our science program includes experiments, predictions, and hands-on learning experiences that generate curiosity for science. While scientific concepts and skills are integrated into the units of study, we also use a supplementary resource to enrich the learning experiences of our students in this subject area. Science unit of studies include life, physical, earth science and STEM.

 

Technology is a fact of life for our children today. Teachers guide students through appropriate and progressively more sophisticated use of devices. Students have direct and daily access to technology using tablets and computers. We use technology both as a tool to facilitate learning in other disciplines and as a subject of study in its own right. 

 

 

The Mandarin / Spanish Transition Program (MSTP) allows elementary or middle school students to successfully integrate into our immersion program no matter where his/her journey begins. Students enrolled in MSTP are placed in the class that best matches his/her language development needs based upon initial and ongoing assessments of their Mandarin/Spanish language level progress. MTP focuses on academic literacy through the balanced development of students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to produce bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural global citizens.