Curriculum Overview Lower School Philosophy Curriculum Co and Extra Why Join our Lower School? Our Lower School aims to inspire a lifelong commitment to learning, self-discovery, and social responsibility and to promote excellence at all levels of school life. Lower school students participate in an academic program that combines comprehensive, hands-on instruction, individualized attention and extensive extra-curricular opportunities. This will help prepare them for the challenges of Middle School, Upper School and beyond. We pride ourselves on providing our children with a solid academic foundation, critical thinking skills essential in a rapidly changing world, and a safe haven for collaboration, exploration and discovery. Curriculum Overview Association International School provides its students a rigorous, challenging, and innovative curriculum and is fully accredited by several international academic bodies. AIS: Is an IB World School offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) Is a member of the College Board, offering the Advanced Placement Program, as well as preparing our students for the ACT and SATs Is a Cambridge International Examination Independent School (CIE) Is an ERB School. Our curriculum uses best practices from around the world that reflects AIS’s values. In all lessons, teachers use a combination of technology and a hands-on approach. Their lessons are always activity-based. Teachers adopt different strategies, including differentiation, to meet the needs of all students during lessons. Two assessment methods are used to ensure that learning has been successful; during and after lessons. These are the assessment for learning and the assessment of learning. In the Lower School, we use Singapore Math, which is a combination of hands-on experience and visual application and reflects the recent developments and trends in mathematics education. Singapore Math emphasizes conceptual understanding, skill proficiencies and thinking skills in teaching and learning of mathematics. These components are integral to the development of mathematical problem solving ability. Emphasis is also given to reasoning, applications and use of technology. Our math program is implemented from Junior Kindergarten through fifth grade. Students learn their addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts and eventually memorize them. They also learn the structure and patterns behind the facts, so if they forget them, they are able to construct them in their minds. In the early grades, children learn to compose and decompose numbers and manipulate them in useful ways in order to calculate mentally. Singapore Math is about students solving problems, thinking deeply, sharing their ideas, and learning from one another. Conceptual, procedural, and factual understanding is developed through problem solving and carefully structured practice. As a result, the foundations laid in math are strong and students internalize the concepts learned and also develop a positive attitude towards math. Lessons are engaging and student centered, and the curriculum is intentionally spiraled from one level to the next. In Literacy/Language Arts, a well-structured scheme incorporates the main elements of English language: reading, vocabulary, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. Reading is fundamental and is a strong feature of teaching in the lower years. We use a phonic basis that is effective in producing quality reading and also good spelling, vocabulary, and writing skills. Students in the lower school also develop strong verbal reasoning skills through our award-winning vocabulary program. Handwriting is taught, using the D’Nealian method. Our lower school science program provides a foundation for scientific studies at higher levels. Central to our curriculum framework is the inculcation of the spirit of inquiry. The conduct of inquiry is founded on three integral domains of (a) Knowledge, Understanding and Application, (b) Skills and Processes and (c) Ethics and Attitudes. These domains are essential in the practice of science. The curriculum seeks to enable students to view the pursuit of science as meaningful and useful. Inquiry is therefore grounded in knowledge, issues and questions that relate to the roles played by science in daily life, society and the environment. Our science curriculum seeks to nurture the student as an inquirer. Children are curious about and want to explore the things around them. The science curriculum leverages on and seeks to fuel this spirit of curiosity. The end goal is confident and self directed students who enjoy science and value science as an important tool in helping them explore their natural and physical world. The role the teacher plays in the science classroom is the teacher is the leader of inquiry. They impart the excitement and value of science to their students. As facilitators and role models of the inquiry process in the classrooms, the teacher creates learning environments that encourage and challenge students to develop their sense of inquiry. At AIS, our teaching and learning approaches center around the student as an inquirer. Social studies is an exciting hands on curriculum that emphasizes the inter-relation of different subjects. The study is broadened to the history, geography, political science and economics of the different countries and regions studied. We believe in the value of regular educational visits to places of interest. Bible: We believe God is the author of all learning and seek to learn His ways. We have specific lessons each week when we learn what He has revealed through His word, the Bible. In Grade 5, students are given the opportunity to move into a departmentalized model and are taught by specialists in all subjects to ensure that our students are always very well prepared for entry into our secondary division and also ready to write the Cambridge Check Point Examination. This creates a seamless unit of instruction and growth, making the transition into 6th grade effortless.