CURRICULUM COMPONENTS – one page
Unconstrained by a single mandated national curriculum, IslandCA is able to choose a combination of international curricula to create an integrated offering that represents worldwide best practices in all areas of learning:
A Biblical Worldview is integrated into all aspects of teaching and learning at IslandCA. It is also reflected in, and overlaid on, all aspects of school life, including community time, values formation, service opportunities, etc. Additionally, children have regular Bible classes during which they explore rich Biblical stories and truths from both the Old and New Testament, and daily devotional/prayer time. Teaching materials are both selected and developed internally to fit our philosophy, and are reviewed regularly.
International Primary Curriculum (“IPC “)
IPC is used as IslandCA’s core programme, around which we build a strong integrated offering. IPC is a comprehensive theme-based, creative curriculum, based on the latest brain research. It has a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for science, history, society, geography, art, technology and ICT subject areas, as well as for personal learning and international mindedness. Students develop and retain understanding when they can connect new ideas and concepts to those they have already developed, and the IPC units facilitate these connections. The IPC is philosophically similar to the PYP and students can move seamlessly from IPC into IB programmes or other international frameworks. IPC is one of the fastest-growing curricula in the world today.
At IslandCA, IPC units (usually 5-6) are carefully chosen for each year level, to provide a comprehensive curriculum for integrated teaching and learning in a particular year as well as to ensure progression and development of skills, knowledge and understanding across the primary years. The classroom and specialist teachers (Chinese, Music, PE) collaborate to integrate learning across subjects whenever possible.
The IPC’s motto is… great learning, great teaching and great fun… and we’re confident this is all happening at IslandCA. See the IPC web site for further information https://www.greatlearning.com/ipc/.
Literacy is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, and it is embedded in the teaching and learning at IslandCA. Students follow a structured comprehensive language programme based on the UK National Literacy Framework. The processes and content are reviewed and adapted, where necessary, to be more responsive to the broader needs of our international students and our integrated curriculum offering.
The reading programme focusses on ensuring that students learn to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, and that they develop a love of literature and habit of reading regularly for both pleasure and information. The Get Reading Right phonics programme is used for early readers to lay a strong foundation. We use the standardised PM benchmarking system to track progress and improve reading.
The writing programme focusses on developing students’ ability to construct and convey meaning in a variety of forms, which consider audience and purpose. Throughout the year levels, students learn the conventions of grammar, handwriting, spelling and punctuation.
Listening and Speaking
Listening and speaking enable students to explore ideas and concepts. To become discerning lifelong learners, students develop fluency as well as confidence in their oral language abilities
Viewing and Presenting
These skills are essential to effective communication in the 21st century, and students have opportunities to develop these as they move through IslandCA, where they are exposed to many age- appropriate presentation tools, often aided by the use of ICT.
Maths is central to developing a greater understanding of the world around us, and develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic lives. Students must be mathematically literate in order to explore problem-solving situations and accommodate changing conditions of their worlds.
At IslandCA, students follow a structured maths programme based on the Australian Curriculum, which covers the essential mathematical skills and knowledge in the following strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. ORIGO’s acclaimed Stepping Stones programme is used to structure teaching and learning. Our maths programme aims to ensure that students:
- are confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives.
- develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts, and fluency with processes, so they are able to problem solve and reason well.
- recognise connections between mathematics and other subjects, and appreciate maths as an accessible and enjoyable subject.
Students have Chinese Studies classes daily, taught by experienced, specialist Chinese (Putonghua) speaking teachers. There are three ability-levelled pathways from Year 2. A combination of commercially published textbooks and teacher-produced materials, enlivened by fun activities, music, cultural learning and local knowledge, is used to promote a love of the language and culture, and progress towards fluency.
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
Students use a range of ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discernment. They develop skills that are essential to effective careers in the 21st century. ICT is an integrated part of learning at IslandCA, rather than a separate subject, and has two main parts: Common Sense Digital Citizenship and IPC’s ICT programme. ISTE standards are used.
The Music programme aims to foster a lifelong love of music through developing skills-based practical music-making, and uses a variety of teacher- developed resources in combination with the IPC’s Music learning goals. Students have opportunities to sing, play instruments and move in ensemble and develop an understanding of the relationship between music, history and culture in twice-weekly specialist classes.
The aim of the PE programme is to foster the desire, skills and understanding that will allow students to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle both during and beyond their school years. It has been internally developed, based on a combination of the Ontario Curriculum and IPC PE learning goals. The focus of the programme is to promote physical, social and emotional development. Students engage in a variety of games and activities throughout the year, including athletics, games and fitness activities in twice-weekly PE classes.
We focus on the development of the whole child, so that every child will flourish not only academically but also physically, spiritually and socially. Character development and values formation are central to our approach to teaching and learning. Eight personal goals, which complement our vision, mission and values, and form the core of our vision for the types of children we are helping to develop, have been selected to focus how students are developed and prepared for life in and beyond school:
Thoughtfulness, cooperation, respect, enquiry, communication, adaptability, resilience, and morality.
These personal goals are taught, role modelled and developed in every subject, as important learning dispositions; they are integrated throughout school life during the year, and provide rich opportunities for whole child growth and development.
At IslandCA, delivering an international education and promoting global perspectives are seen as essential. International-mindedness is promoted in both academic and extracurricular offerings. As a core pillar of the IPC, international-mindedness comprises an important element of students’ learning experience across subject areas. In addition, in their daily Chinese Studies classes, students not only develop knowledge of the language, but also gain exposure to, and a love for, Chinese culture and history. Furthermore, the overlay of a Biblical Worldview across the whole curriculum promotes the values of respecting, loving and caring for others and the Earth as God’s creation.