MIS offers a primary school education which, as set out in the English National Curriculum, is divided into two stages known as Key Stages. Key Stage 1 consists of Years 1 and 2 and Key Stage 2 consists of Years 3 to 6.
The general emphasis in Key Stage 1 is on students becoming competent in a wide range of skills and developing their ability in basic literacy and numeracy. The underlying emphasis is on working together and experiencing a rich curriculum first hand which motivates and excites young minds.
This approach to learning continues through to Key Stage 2. There is, however, an increased emphasis on formal academic work. Throughout the whole process of learning, the students are not only absorbing facts but, more importantly, developing a wide range of skills, abilities and concepts which are transferable and help lay the foundations for higher order thinking skills.
In recent years there have been great steps taken forward in science and technology as well as significant changes in lifestyles and values throughout the world. Our curriculum has, therefore, been designed to offer children opportunities to explore our changing world and find their place in it.
The MIS primary curriculum is underpinned by the following values:
We think it is important to educate the ‘whole child’. Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education is part of this, as is SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) and Citizenship. We aim to equip students with the knowledge, skills and understanding for them to take responsibility for themselves, show respect for others and develop self–awareness and confidence.
Although our curriculum is based primarily on the current English National Primary Curriculum, we have adapted it in a number of ways so that it:
The core subjects are English, Maths and Science. These three subjects have the heaviest weighting in terms of teaching, and they form the basis of all assessment. Of the three subjects, English and Maths have a heavier weighting than Science.
For each National Curriculum subject, there is a programme of study. The programmes of study describe the subject knowledge, skills and understanding pupils are expected to develop during each key stage.
There is ongoing assessment and observation covering all the learning areas mentioned above. It is up to the professional experience of the lead teacher to assess students. The criteria that a teacher uses to assess a student are taken from the ‘Programmes of Study’ document as set out in the English National Curriculum. As long as teaching, learning and assessment falls within these very clear parameters, then we can be sure standards are being met. Assessments can include: class work; homework; classroom tests; group work; individual projects; group projects; teacher observation; student presentation; tests; end of term tests and exams; and end of year tests and exams.
We recently started use a set of standardised assessments for English and Mathematics from Year 2 to Year 6. These tests, called GL Assessment ‘Progress’ tests, measure the performance of our students against a large cohort of their British contemporaries. As students progress through Key Stage 2 and on through Key Stage 3 we will be able to use the data from these tests to build up an accurate record of our students’ ongoing achievement.
Homework in all the years is viewed as a valuable activity. It is given to support and reinforce work taught in school and to train children to work independently and to manage their time. Homework should NOT take more than 1 hour a day.
The English National Curriculum identifies four key areas of English learning:
i. Spoken Language
iv. Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, Punctuation and Glossary
We aim to encourage the development of speaking and listening skills throughout the school and in every lesson. To this end all lessons, with the exception of the foreign languages, are taught in English and we encourage our teachers to actively promote communication skills in their lessons.
We consider the reading component to be of critical importance in the primary school. Children have the opportunity to read a variety of texts in English on a daily basis, not just in their English lessons but throughout the curriculum. They also have weekly shared and guided reading lessons in both whole-class and small group settings. The school uses the well-respected Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme and this forms the basis of the books children take home throughout the week. We also have a well-stocked school library which the children can use to supplement their reading material.
We have adopted the Collins ‘Treasure House’ English scheme throughout the primary years. This state-of-the-art scheme places an emphasis on the development of writing and the more technical aspects of the English curriculum.
As with literacy, MIS uses a variety of teaching approaches. The latest version of the curriculum framework puts more emphasis on mental maths. It recommends that children should develop their recall of multiplication tables earlier with a focus on understanding and application.
As with the English curriculum, we have also adopted the new Collins mathematics scheme throughout the primary years to meet the demands of the new national curriculum framework.
We think it is important to educate the ‘whole child’. Personal, Social & Health Education is part of this, as is Citizenship. We aim to equip students with the knowledge, skills and understanding for them to take responsibility for themselves, show respect for others and develop self-awareness and confidence.
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