5 benefits of an international primary school curriculum

Choosing a primary school for your child is a mammoth task. Primary school is a key step in your child’s education, and it helps to nurture and prepare them for their educational future. 

An international primary school is indeed a good choice, and here we’ve summarised some of the main benefits of the curriculum.

Our curriculum is designed around how children learn

At Alice Smith School we value the whole child and aim to educate based on this. Our students are exposed to all of the skills outlined in the National Curriculum for England and Wales. 

Our curriculum planning approach is called backward design or “understanding by design”, a concept developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Using this approach, we: 

  1. Identify what students should know and be able to do;
  2. Decide what assessment will best measure that learning; and
  3. Identify the sequence of lessons.

We feel this is a better way to nurture students’ learning, compared to a “traditional” approach to lesson design which involves course content and a sequence of lessons being identified with an assessment at the end. 

Teachers can identify areas of success, areas of development and steer the direction of learning as necessary through continuous assessments. By using this approach, students can take more ownership of their learning and can clearly see and reflect on their own progress. 

Teaching is catered to specific age groups

In Key Stage 1 at Alice Smith School, your child will experience free flow classrooms which enables them to select the teacher-planned activities that interest and stimulate them the most. This engagement means that they will develop skills more quickly than they would in a formal class setting.

Key Stage 2 focuses on goal-oriented learning which ensures lessons are purposeful. With a goal in mind, relevant skills are selected, and lessons are planned to support and challenge each student. Teachers and students work closely together to help them achieve their goals to the best of their ability. Well-planned, cross-curricular units encourage students to make sense of their learning by creating links between subjects and the real world. 

We focus on continual improvement

At the core of our teaching and curriculum, we focus on developing key  Learner Attributes in our students, enabling them to be successful lifelong learners. It is the development of these attributes that helps every learner reach their potential. 

We provide a wide range of opportunities in which we know students can acquire these learner skills, whilst also developing a deep knowledge and skill base. Continual assessment is integral to this approach so our teachers can adapt their planning and teaching activities to meet the needs of each learner. This, along with our broad curriculum that includes many subject areas during and after school, ensures every child can discover and develop their passions.

Learning that is rigorous yet flexible

Our class content is not fixed each year; this allows for a genuine connection with our ever-changing student body and current affairs around the world. Also, learning initiated by student questions is something we encourage, celebrate, track and record as part of a connected and authentic learning process. This flexibility provides your child with a well-balanced education to prepare them for their future.

We also offer a wide range of creative and stimulating extra-curriculars that children can take part in. This helps them explore their skills and passions outside of lessons, helping them become a truly well-rounded individual. 

Prepares children for Secondary education

With our approach to the English National Curriculum, students develop the academic knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them for Secondary school and beyond whilst also developing the personal qualities and characteristics to help them flourish in our increasingly connected and dynamic world. 

We run a transition programme that provides regular opportunities throughout the final primary school year for you and your child to learn about our Secondary Campus. It includes short lessons and introductions to a variety of programmes and subjects, opportunities to explore the campus and meet our student leaders. Alongside this, we organise events like sports days that involve the Primary and Secondary campuses and Key Stage 3 student leader visits to the Key Stage 2 students. 

Alice Smith School has so much to offer your child – you can read more about our Primary School in our Learning Guide, and you can book a tour or come along to one of our open days to see our campus for yourself. 

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