How we teach
We are recognised by the International Baccalaureate as an IB PYP World School and therefore use the methodologies promoted by the PYP to support our young learners. We have six units every year which follow one of six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are taught in all year groups. Each unit, teachers plan together looking at the skills and outcomes required to be taught by the curriculum and what experiences can be included.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) at NCBIS allows us to deliver a comprehensive, international education to our students. It is delivered using the objectives of the English National Curriculum, modified to fit our units of inquiry.
The PYP aims to create a curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for learners in the 3–12 age range. The curriculum is transdisciplinary, meaning that it focuses on issues that go across subject areas.
The PYP is organized according to:
- The written curriculum, which explains what our students will learn
- The taught curriculum, which sets out how educators teach the PYP
- The assessed curriculum, which details the principles and practice of effective assessment in the PYP
Our planning framework expects teachers to work with essential elements — knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action, that young students need to equip them for successful lives, both now and in the future.
To support learning our Primary School is divided into three phases – Early Years, Lower Phase and Upper Phase. Early Years covers our classes in Nursery (3-4yrs) and Reception (4-5yrs), Lower Phase our classes in Year 1 (5-6yrs), Year 2 (6-7yrs) and Year 3 (7-8yrs), and our Upper Phase our classes in Year 4 (8-9yrs), Year 5 (9-10yrs) and Year 6 (10-11yrs).
The Early Years department provides a stimulating and high quality education, in a safe and caring environment, for children aged between 3 and 5 years. We aim to give children the very best possible start to their education and provide a firm foundation on which their future education can be built.
The Early Years curriculum is based on the UK Foundation Stage and is delivered through the inquiry topics each term, supported by the rigorous teaching of phonics through the UK Letters and Sounds programme. Structured, well planned play is an important feature of the curriculum and play based learning is essential to our vision of developing learners with a positive and creative mindset that enables them to achieve success at school and in later life; achieved through a happy atmosphere and safe and stimulating physical environment that is conducive to academic learning as well as personal and social growth.
The curriculum encourages the individual development of each child through a mixture of whole class, group and individual teaching and is lively, exciting and challenging!
The Early Years department is housed in its own building with a secure outdoor learning environment that is accessed by all the classrooms directly. The outdoor learning environment includes a purpose built splash pool, a large sandpit (a great favourite of our younger learners!), a cushioned tiled area for developing gross motor skills and an artificially grassed area that houses learning centres such as construction, a reading corner, water play, phonics and number skills. The area is covered by purpose built shades, allowing access all year round.
The Lower Phase encompasses Year 1, 2 and 3 children. Every class has a maximum of 20 pupils, and has a teacher and teaching assistant to lead the children in their learning. We believe learning is achieved through a happy atmosphere and safe and stimulating physical environment that is conducive to academic learning as well as personal and social growth. As such we take great pride in ensuring that our classrooms reflect the learning process and inspire intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and enthusiasm for learning.
Inquiry learning is central to our pupil’s development and our vision that we need to prepare our pupils for a rapidly changing world where skills, values, attitudes and attributes are as important as knowledge. In inquiring into the world around them pupils are able to gain a deeper understanding of new concepts and to explore those concepts in real life situations.
The outcomes of the UK National Curriculum for England are therefore taught through a combination of discrete skill based lessons and application through our inquiry approach to learning. The firm foundations provided by our Early Years department are built upon in the Lower Phase, with the continuance of the Letters and Sounds Phonics programme. This provides the foundations for early reading and supports our Talk for Writing programme.
Pupils in the Lower Phase are also supported by our team of specialist subject teachers; with specialist lessons provided in music, physical education and modern foreign languages. In addition to their academic studies, children are also encouraged to participate in our after school Extra Curricular Activities (ECA’s) programme, where a range of sporting, artistic and musical activities are offered to enrich the children’s learning experiences and to develop each pupil’s unique talents to help them achieve their potential.
The three years (Years 4-6) that form our Upper Phase continue to build upon and develop the skills, values, attitudes, attributes, knowledge and conceptual understanding that our students have gained in the Lower Phase.
Every class has a maximum of twenty pupils, led in their learning by a teacher and teaching assistant, and it is through a wide range of challenges and experiences that our pupils develop lively, questioning and informed minds. Our units of inquiry continue to deepen pupil’s understanding of the world around them and this is again underpinned by the UK National Curriculum outcomes. Local educational visits and residential events in country and overseas add breadth and interest to our programme of study, bringing to life the pupils learning and developing both their academic learning as well as their personal and social growth.
Choice and challenge, both within the curriculum and the extra-curricular progammes, is offered through our specialist lessons in music, physical education and modern foreign languages and involvement in school productions, sports competitions, musical events and our after school activity programme.
High academic and social standards are our expectation and as our pupils transition to Secondary School at the end of Year 6, we are confident that they leave us as caring international pupils committed to the traditional values of honesty, courtesy, respect, integrity and fair play.