POWIIS curriculum

English National Curriculum

The English curriculum extends and excites all students whatever their interests or ability.

When children join the School in the Nursery or Reception class they will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Programme from the English Curriculum. Learning is practical, hands on and tailored to and guided by each child’s choice and interests. The pupils from Year 1 onwards will follow the English National Curriculum with some adaptations due to our geographical position. In addition to the core subjects of English and mathematics, the school syllabus includes science, geography and history, music, art, design and technology, languages, ICT and personal, social, health and citizenship education.

In the first two years the children will follow a creative curriculum with half termly topics on which they base their learning. Literacy and numeracy are interwoven with the theme, as is learning in many of the traditional subjects; however, where it is not possible to make meaningful links, then subjects are taught independently. Throughout their time in the first two years pupils will become curious and keen to learn, listen attentively and respect others opinions and have an appetite for learning upon which they can build as they move into Year 3. In the final four years the curriculum is tailored to the needs of the pupils with the English National Curriculum being adapted and enhanced to ensure that every pupil is motivated, inspired and challenged.

The school offers a range of after school activities which are aimed at fostering pupils’ confidence, independence and breadth of interest. We aim to offer pupils a safe and happy learning environment where they can acquire knowledge and understanding which will equip them for future challenges.

Prince of Wales Island International School

Overview of individual subjects For Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2


Science teaching aims to stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. If science is dictated as ‘facts to learn’ and not presented as current theories to question and use in deeper exploration’, its relevance in today’s world will not be recognised by children. Every day, the POWIIS Primary team aim to make lessons fun and stimulating, to ensure understanding rather than rote learning, to enable pupils to leave the school with confidence in science, an enthusiasm for learning and lots of questions to ask. The curriculum is taught throughout the school with concepts introduced and revisited as pupils develop, adding greater layers of conceptual difficulty and factual knowledge. A practical approach is taken to all learning with experimental work being at the heart of this gathering process.


We all live geographically. Planet Earth is our home. It is awesome, diverse, inspiring and ever-changing. As geographers at POWIIS Primary, we are passionate about discovering how our world works and what impact humans are having on its fragile existence. The geography curriculum allows our pupils to explore aspects of human and physical geography that affect their surroundings both locally and worldwide. The staff are committed to improving the knowledge and understanding of their pupils and, also developing the thinking skills which are so vital in the study of Geography.


At POWIIS Primary we see the study of history as a means of understanding the world in which we live by learning about how and why it has come about. History is, above all, the study of human behaviour and children learn about themselves and their society in a uniquely meaningful way. We pride ourselves on being able to make past events relevant and interesting to our pupils. We are fortunate to have technological resources which help to bring history alive. The pupils are no longer reliant on only textbooks; with the huge selection of material available online there is a wealth of information available to support their learning.


English unites the important skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening as well as opening the door to the world of the written word. The ability to question and communicate are key to both learning and life in general and are encouraged from the first day at POWIIS Primary. Reading and writing are taught through a range of methods, including phonics, and activities are linked to the theme for the term. Pupils start with books without words to encourage them to use picture cues, make predictions and discuss the characters and what they may be thinking and feeling. They then progress at their own pace until they can read for both meaning and enjoyment viewing books as a pleasure and not a chore. Parents are encouraged to help with their child’s reading progress by sharing a book at home on a regular basis. As reading skills progress, guided reading sessions help children to develop more sophisticated skills such as inference and prediction. In the final two years, an emphasis is placed on discussion and the formation of individual opinions. A cursive script is introduced from the beginning of Reception with emphasis on correct letter formation and formal handwriting lessons are given during years 1 and 2. Presenting work in a neat handwriting style is encouraged throughout the School. Pupils are encouraged to use their knowledge of phonetic spellings in the early stages of writing so that what they can record is not limited to what they can spell. This process is refined as they learn ‘tricky words’ which do not follow phonic rules. In year 3 and 4 time is spent consolidating skills in the basics of spelling and grammar while working on tasks linked to the creative curriculum themes making the learning experiences much richer and more varied. In years 5 and 6 English is taught as far as possible through literature enabling the pupils to have the opportunity to study a variety of novels, poetry and plays. We encourage our pupils to become creative and imaginative writers in a variety of genre and this is an area that is regularly assessed. English at the POWIIS Primary is at the heart of the curriculum. The ability to communicate effectively, infer accurately and respond with sensitivity is vital to a child’s development and subsequent contribution to society. The Department aims to excite and enthuse pupils about language and literature.


At POWIIS Primary, we believe mathematics is more than just a subject – it is a way of thinking. Our pupils will gain understanding and enjoyment from mathematics lessons and be challenged at levels appropriate to their age. If a child understands why a technique works they have a much better chance of being able to apply that method in a different context. Pupils are introduced to Numeracy through practical, mental and written mathematical activities differentiated according to their age and ability. We recognise it is essential that children make sense of what they are taught in order to develop a sound understanding of mathematics. The challenge in Mathematics is understanding the process and recognising that there are many different ways of arriving at the answer. The aim is that mathematics intrigues, inspires and makes real sense.

Information and Communication Technology

As we delve deeper into the 21st century, Information and Communication Technology is increasingly being integrated into every area of everyday life. As such, understanding computers, how they work and how we can use them to our benefit is a necessity for future generations. At POWIIS Primary the children are immersed in ICT from the first day they start school as the use of technology is fully integrated in all subject areas.


The POWIIS Art Department is lively, exciting and invigorating, and children participate in a wide range of activities to develop their creative talents including painting, drawing, print making, collage, model making and a variety of other media and processes. Art is seen as an integral part of the whole curriculum and is often used to complement, and be complemented by, other areas of the curriculum. Initially art is taught by all class teachers and the pupils are given the opportunity to explore, enjoy, discuss and respond to a variety of art, craft and design forms. As the pupils move through the school a specialist art teacher, who works in a large well equipped art room, develops their skills. Each pupil keeps a sketch book which is used to record observations and to research and plan projects. Through experimenting with ideas, trying out new techniques, recording feelings, thoughts and information about artists the pupils develop work that is ambitious, individual and well-thought out. Some projects may require team work which helps to stimulate camaraderie and ultimately a feeling of common accomplishment. The aim of the Art Department is to inspire pupils to continue their appreciation and enjoyment of the arts both into their next school and beyond.

Design and Technology

The Design Department at POWIIS is well equipped with a broad selection of tools enabling pupils to work with a range of materials. Designing skills are developed through communicating ideas, generating and developing ideas, drawing plans, investigating and evaluating. Making skills are developed through planning, using a variety of tools, measuring and marking out, cutting, joining and shaping. Pupils develop these skills through focused practical tasks. Initially the classroom teacher will oversee all projects which are usually related to the topic being taught, therefore making the projects cross curricular. As the pupils move through the school the lessons involve a combination of teacher-led oral discussions, practical work and written design work. The staff are passionate and generate a vibrant learning environment in which pupils can utilise their skills to produce a range of specific projects.

Physical Education

Through the POWIIS Primary Physical Education programme the department aims to foster, in each child, the notion that sport is a lifestyle choice and that playing games is enjoyable. The programme has been developed to meet the needs of every child regardless of physical or mental ability. In the early years children’s physical activities are planned into all areas of the curriculum, with pupils having designated lessons each week on PE, Music and Movement, swimming and group games involving running, jumping, hopping, stopping and changing direction. Initially the emphasis is on learning the core skills of hand-eye coordination, teamwork and ball skills. Pupils are introduced to a variety of sports including football, netball, cricket, athletics, t ball, swimming, and dance. These sports are continued and further developed as the pupils move through the school. The pupils are encouraged to participate in school competitions developing the building blocks of fair play which are: integrity, respect, care, friendship, equality and team spirit.


At POWIIS Primary all children participate in an extensive music programme, and they are encouraged to perform at their own level in class assemblies as well as at larger occasions. Specialist music teachers teach music throughout the school and they encourage all pupils to try different instruments as there is a firm belief that there is the correct instrument for every child. It is recognised that the use of music can both enrich learning in other subjects and consolidate musical skills, knowledge and understanding and it is therefore embedded in every pupil’s education at POWIIS Primary.

Modern Foreign Languages

There are incredible psychological benefits of learning another language. Research shows that exposing a child to a second language while young allows him or her to optimize his or her learning potential helping to shape the brain at its most flexible stage. At POWIIS Primary, Mandarin is introduced at nursery age and is taught throughout the primary phase. As one of the fastest growing languages in the world, students will enjoy daily Mandarin lessons, initially focussing on speaking and listening activities before being introduced to more formal reading and writing elements. French will be learnt in a less structured manner through topic work, storybooks and songs as well as during after-school activities. Learning additional languages increases critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of the mind in young children. In addition, research suggests that children who grow up learning additional languages develop empathy for others and a curiosity for different cultures and ideas; and are better prepared to take their place in a global society. All Malaysian Nationals will be taught Bahasa Melayu which is the national language of Malaysia. The POWIIS Primary curriculum follows an adapted version of the Malaysian Government Syllabus for Year 1 to Year 6. Malaysian Studies is also incorporated into these lessons.

Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship

Our programme which runs across in all year groups, aims to help students become aware of themselves and of others through developing the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need through life. We deal with some of the real issues affecting children and give them the opportunity to discuss their different experiences, viewpoints and attitudes and to listen and respond appropriately to others. PSHC is taught through discussion, circle time, drama and assemblies and covers diverse topics from healthy eating to friendship.


There are two libraries one serving the younger pupils and another for the older pupils. Both are stimulating environments where pupils can immerse themselves in other worlds, and develop their own interests through research. All pupils have library lessons when they may borrow up to two books at any one time and return them within two weeks.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Providing opportunities, and the environment, for children to explore, play and learn.

Our Nursery and Reception classes are stimulating child-centred environments, where every child has the opportunity to flourish within a warm, welcoming, caring and secure setting. We are housed in a new purpose built area within the Primary School which allows the children to benefit from a wide range of outstanding facilities. The children have their own designated play area where the opportunities for outdoor fun and learning are boundless. The curriculum for these two vital years is based on the English Foundation Stage, which provides a diverse and secure foundation for each individual child. The Seven Areas for Learning and Development are planned for on a weekly basis and a balance of teacher-led and child-initiated learning opportunities are provided. The children within the Early Years Foundation Stage are exposed to a variety of teaching methods, supporting each individual’s preferred learning style. Planning is mainly topic based covering a range of themes and the children input regularly into this.

Overview of Early Years Foundation Stage

THE Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years of age. Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. The seven areas of Learning and Development are split into Prime Areas and Specific Areas.

Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • The Prime areas are strengthened and applied by the specific areas.

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Overview of Early Years Foundation Stage

Prime Areas

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development

This area focuses on how children play, share, work and co-operate with others in a group and outside the family. Our aim is for them to develop a sense of their own self-confidence, self-awareness and identity, and to have respect for others.

Physical Development

This area focuses on developing physical control and awareness of space and how to use manipulative skills in indoor and outdoor environments. Your child will be encouraged to move in a variety of ways and to respond to a variety of stimuli. We aim, with the help and support of parents, to foster a positive attitude towards a healthy and active way of life. Children are encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle and diet and take care of themselves.

Communication and Language

Communication and Language are central to everything we do in school. It is our aim to support each child to develop a wide variety of communication skills by providing a stimulating environment. During your child’s day, they will have the opportunity to listen to and respond to stories, learn nursery rhymes and recognise rhyming words. Communication and language focusses on how carefully children listen and pay attention; how they understand and interpret language and how they speak.

Specific Areas


Our philosophy is to approach reading in a very individual way. Great emphasis is given to the phonetic approach and children are taught to recognise letter names and their sounds. Children are encouraged to recognise familiar words and extend their vocabulary, to explore the meanings and sounds of new words. Our department uses a wide range of reading material and books, we aim to foster a love and respect of books. To foster early writing skills, children are encouraged to make marks, learn how to hold a pencil effectively and to form letters correctly. There will be many opportunities to write for a range of purposes, and to encourage independent writing. The children progress at their own pace and adults support where needed.


This area covers the important aspects of mathematical understanding and provides the foundation for Numeracy. Early numeracy will be developed firstly through ‘hands on’ practical activities, which enable the children to explore and make mathematical discoveries, and then in the written form. Children will have the opportunity to develop their own mathematical ideas and learn how to solve practical problems for themselves. We aim to introduce mathematical language and a variety of activities, which will stimulate and arouse children’s interest in this subject. Numbers are displayed in the classrooms and children are encouraged to investigate the shapes and measuring equipment.

Understanding The World

An important aspect of children’s education is their knowledge and understanding of the environment in which they live, their families, the wider community, technology and past and present events in their own lives. We encourage children to explore and recognise features of living things, objects and events in the natural and man-made world. We look closely at similarities, differences and how things change. Technology is used where appropriate to support their learning.

Expressive Arts and Design

In this area children are encouraged to express their feelings and ideas in a creative way through art, music, dance, stories and in play. They have opportunities to explore using media and materials and develop their own imaginations. In Art and Design Technology they will be given the opportunity to handle a wide range of tools and use a variety of materials safely, increasing their confidence and skills.


Nurturing young minds through exploration after the school day.


Music will play an integral part of life at POWIIS Primary. From Nursery through to Year 6 all pupils will be given the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of classroom and extra-curricular music activities. Experience, fulfilment and enjoyment for all are our top priorities in addition to aspiring to the highest of standards.


We will actively encourage pupils to participate at the best level they can and aim to equip every pupil with confidence and enthusiasm to enjoy sport and an active lifestyle both in school and beyond.


The clubs and activities programme will aim to foster pupil’s confidence, independence and breadth of interest both as individuals as well as within the framework of a team. Great emphasis will be placed on developing the whole child making sure there is a balance in their extra-curricular activities. At POWIIS Primary we aim to offer outstanding extra-curricular provision providing significant enrichment to pupil’s educational experience.