POWIIS curriculum

English National Curriculum

The English National Curriculum has the potential to challenge and excite all students, whatever their interests or abilities and provides a solid framework from which to expand the skills, knowledge and understanding of all children.

The curriculum for primary school children is broken down into three distinct phases called Key Stages. These are:

  1. Early Years Foundation Stage- Nursery and Reception (ages 3-5)
  2. Key Stage 1- Year 1 and Year2 (ages 5-7)
  3. Key Stage 2- Years 3-6 (ages 7-11)

The Early Years – Nursery and Reception

Four guiding principles underpin the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) setting:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • The development of positive relationships between teachers, children and parents are essential.
  • Children learn and develop in stimulating environments which respond to their individual needs.
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

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

Our Nursery and Reception unit is a stimulating child-centred environment where every child can thrive. By building positive and caring relationships, our teachers will create a warm, welcoming and secure setting in which your children feel valued. A strong partnership between home and school is a priority. In the EYFS, the curriculum covers seven areas for learning and development. These areas are planned for on a weekly basis (although amendments are often made daily) with planning remaining flexible and responsive taking into account the children’s interests.

The Seven Areas of Learning and Development

Prime Areas

  • Communication and Language Development: speaking, listening, expressing oneself in a rich language environment.
  • Physical Development: active, interactive activities developing coordination, control and movement. Also the importance of a healthy diet.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development: developing a positive sense of self, forming positive relationships, developing respect, managing feelings and appropriate behaviours in groups

Specific Areas

  • Literacy Development: linking sounds to letters for early reading and writing, a wide range of reading materials in the environment.
  • Mathematics: developing skills in counting, using numbers, noticing patterns, describing shapes and measurements.
  • Understanding the World: making sense of the physical world, learn about the community, people and the environment.
  • Expressive Arts and Design: using and exploring a wide range of media, expression through art, music, movement, role-play and design.

Key Stage 1 – Year 1 and Year 2

The students from Year 1 onwards will follow the English National Curriculum with adapted content to ensure learning is meaningful and relevant for our context and our students. There is an emphasis on establishing a strong foundation in reading and mathematics which will enable students to access the rich and broad curriculum on offer. Children will build their skills and knowledge in science, geography, history through themed integrated curriculum units e.g. The Rainforest. Technology is woven into all aspects of the curriculum where and when appropriate. Lessons are taught by specialist teachers in music, art, Bahasa, Mandarin, physical education and swimming. Class teachers ensure philosophy and personal, social and emotional health education are a part of the children’s weekly programme.

Prince of Wales Island International School

Key Stage 2 – Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6

In the final four years of primary school, the English National Curriculum is adapted and enhanced to ensure students are inspired, engaged and challenged by relevant topics. A strong framework of skills, knowledge and understanding continues to underpin the children’s learning experience. Themed integrated units also feature in Key Stage 2, however, there is an increasing specialism in the sciences in Year 5 and Year 6. Technology is woven into all aspects of the curriculum where and when appropriate. Lessons are taught by specialist teachers in music, art, Bahasa, Mandarin, physical education and swimming. Class teachers ensure philosophy and personal, social and emotional health education are a part of the children’s weekly programme.

For further details regarding specific subjects please refer to the overview below.

Extra-curricular

The creation of a broad and rich ECA programme is an essential part of school life and ensures all students have the opportunity to develop their talents, build confidence and explore interests above and beyond the curriculum. At POWIIS Primary we aim to offer outstanding extra-curricular provision, which provides significant enrichment to your child’s educational experience. As well as building skills and having fun, an effective ECA programme helps students develop their social skills as they will often be interacting with teachers and students from outside their class or year group. When taking part in the ECA programme, we want our students to have fun, perhaps try something new, enjoy themselves, to build friendships and to work together.

A well-designed ECA programme should provide opportunities for children to:

  • Develop their social awareness, group responsibility and empathy
  • Extend their talents and skills individually or as part of a team
  • Explore interests and take part in activities irrespective of their ability or previous experience*

*There are a few exceptions here- e.g. Orchestra

Prince of Wales Island International School

Overview of specific subjects for Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2

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. Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds (Phonics) and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. As children re-read stories, their fluency increases, and they begin to read with a storyteller’s voice. Parents are encouraged to help with their child’s reading progress by sharing a book at home on a regular basis or listening top stories read aloud. 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. Students 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 students to have the opportunity to study a variety of novels, poetry and plays. Children’s composition (ideas, vocabulary and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they read. We encourage our students 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. Whilst building the essential literacy knowledge and skills, we also encourage and foster a genuine passion for the spoken and written word. In support of the rich and varied curriculum, there are regular sessions with visiting authors, writing workshops, opportunities to be involved in public speaking assemblies, poetry recitals, book clubs and debating groups all aimed at inspiring a love of language. The ability to communicate effectively, infer accurately and respond with sensitivity is vital to a child’s development and subsequent contribution to society.

Drama

The opportunity to express ourselves, to act, to take on the challenge of someone else’s character, to move others and to work with others as part of a team are all important aspects of the dramatic experience. We will provide the children with the opportunity to perform, to dance, to debate and to recite in various forms throughout the primary years. From role play and early years performances, to our Y5 and Y6 Production, the children will be encouraged to find their public voice, to collaborate and to find belief and confidence in their preparation.

Mathematics

‘Children delight in using mathematics to solve a problem, especially when it leads them to an unexpected discovery or new connection. Mathematics offers children a powerful way of communicating. They learn to explore and explain their ideas using symbols, diagrams and spoken and written language. Across the curriculum it reinforces many of the concepts, skills and thinking essential in everyday life.’

National Curriculum

At POWIIS Primary, we believe mathematics is more than just a subject – it is a way of thinking. Our students 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. Students are introduced to mathematics through practical, mental and written activities differentiated according to their age and ability. We recognise it is essential that children make sense of what they are taught to develop a sound understanding of mathematical concepts. The aim is that mathematics intrigues, inspires and explains.

Information and Design 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 Design Department at POWIIS is well equipped with a broad selection of tools enabling students 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. Students 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 students 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 students can utilise their skills to produce a range of specific projects.

Science

Science teaching aims to stimulate and excite students’ 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 there is understanding as opposed to just a memorisation of facts, to enable students 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 students 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

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 students 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 students 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 students. We are fortunate to have technological resources which help to bring history alive. The students 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.

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 students are given the opportunity to explore, enjoy, discuss and respond to a variety of art, craft and design forms. As the students move through the school, a specialist art teacher, who works in a large well equipped art room, develops their skills. Each student 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 students 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 students to continue their appreciation and enjoyment of the arts both into their next school and beyond.

Physical Education and Swimming

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 students having designated PE lessons each week with games involving running, jumping, hopping, stopping and changing direction. Initially the emphasis is on control movements, balls and their body in various spaces. As they move through primary the students are introduced to a variety of sports including football, basketball, cricket, athletics, t ball and dance. The students are encouraged to participate in school competitions developing the building blocks of fair play which are: integrity, respect, care, friendship, equality and team spirit.

Children also enjoy a weekly swimming session where water confidence, water safety, body position, kicking technique and stroke technique is taught.

Music

At POWIIS Primary all children participate in an extensive music programme, and they are encouraged to perform at their own level in relaxed morning concerts, class assemblies as well as at larger more formal occasions. Specialist music teachers teach music throughout the school and they encourage all students to try different instruments. In Year 4, 5 and 6 students are provided with a choice of violin, cello or guitar as part of our instrumental music programme. 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 student’s education at POWIIS Primary. Individual music lessons will also be available during the school day, however, there are additional costs involved with this provision. We will also be bringing together choirs for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 students.

Personal, Social and Health Education

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. With children’s mental health of increasing concern, 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. PSHE is taught through discussion, circle time, drama and assemblies and covers diverse topics from healthy eating to friendship. Also included are aspects of citizenship and philosophy.