Overview of individual subjects

Science

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.

Geography

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.

History

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

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.

Mathematics

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.

Art

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.

Music

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.

Languages

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 French and Mandarin are introduced from Nursery in the form of songs and role plays which are then further developed as the pupils move into the main school. At this age, young children have time to learn through play-like activities. Language lessons are informal and pupil’s minds are not yet cluttered with facts to be stored and tested. The more formal nuances of the languages are introduced at Year 3. Again, research suggests that children who grow up learning additional languages develop empathy for others and a curiosity for different cultures and ideas; 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.

Library

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.