At this stage the curriculum is still delivered through themes but is gradually leading to a more subject-based approach. Pupils learn the following subjects: English, Chinese, Mathematics, Geography, History, Philosophy and Theology, Computing, Art & Design, Music, Physical Education, PSHE. The teaching programme builds knowledge systematically year-by-year. Core Knowledge is our foundation and our methods are a blend of the best of English and Chinese schooling.
All subjects are taught in both English and Chinese to ensure children master vocabulary in both languages. Because our pupils build such a strong foundation in two languages, by the time they reach Year 1 they will be fully prepared to learn academic content in both. They slowly build their vocabulary and knowledge of Chinese characters. Because of the significant reading and writing-related cognitive linguistic skills which come with mastering the Chinese written language, pupils develop their memory and their powers of concentration very early. By acquiring these skills our children will master English grammar, spelling and punctuation with greater ease. The curriculum builds up on their knowledge of English and classical stories, tales, poems and sayings.
As well as traditional English methods our teachers use the Shanghai approach to teaching maths. This is a method by which children master the language and correct terminology for each concept, thus they gain a conceptual understanding of the subject. Teachers ensure all pupils master the concepts before moving on. New concepts are taught and learned in a variety of approaches to accommodate pupils’ individual ways of learning.
Science topics are presented systematically to ensure our children’s knowledge and understanding progresses steadily throughout their time with us. Our teachers encourage each pupil to take part in discussion and debate, experience the joy of discovery, hone sophisticated practical experimental skills, become independent in reading and research and see the relation between what we learn in the classroom and everyday life.
Children obtain an overview of world history and geography. We give special attention to the topics that are specific to UK and China. Children develop key historical skills of investigation and analysis. Children experience Chinese culture also through calligraphy as part of their arts curriculum, and martial arts within Physical Education classes.