In addition to the vision, mission and goals of KCIS, Character, Bilingualism, Critical Thinking, and Performance have been identified as most relevant to children in the Elementary School. The achievement of these outcomes by all students is the goal that core curriculum subjects should facilitate.
The core curriculum subjects, their content, and the teaching, learning and assessment strategies are the means to achieve the outcomes of Character, Bilingualism, Critical Thinking and Performance. Students’ achievement of outcomes builds a foundation of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are the platform for success within society.
KCIS has high aspirations for its students: that they develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, practice and attitudes necessary to become 21st Century citizens who not only participate in, but who also shape the future; that they become international leaders.
The curriculum of the International Department encompasses these high aspirations and consists of three components: Language Arts, Projects and Assignments and English Village.
Through its text selection, the KCIS Elementary school Language Arts Curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards are a common set of literacy standards used to guide assessment and instruction in most States in the United States.
- Language Arts
Language Arts exposes students to the standards, demands and practice of an English core reading program; standards, demands and practice that are critical to international competiveness.
- Projects and Assignments
Projects and assignment work extend the texts that students are exposed to at KCIS, prompt them beyond the books and provide opportunities for personal response to, and evaluation of, different genres. Projects and assignment work also provide for performance which improves students’ confidence in English.
- English Village
The lessons provided by English Village offer opportunities for performance, and set students within situations that they will encounter in real life both locally and internationally. English Village equips students with an awareness of international environments, and the skills necessary for success within them.
Everyday transactions across the components of Language Arts, Projects and Assignments and English Village expedite students’ improvement and achievements in reading, writing, listening and speaking, and language. These four skills are strongly inter-related: no single skill can be taught in isolation. These are also closely interwoven: they emerge simultaneously in any one activity. The content and expectations of these four skills include:
Phonics & Spelling
Presentation of knowledge & ideas
Writing Purposes/ Text Types
Knowledge of Language
- Immersion Model
Besides Literature and Language Arts, PE, Music, and Art will all be taught in English. Students will receive about 50% of their classes in English. Because of the amount of English classes, it really is not necessary for students to attend a Cram School after the regular school day. By having more classes in English, students should feel more confident and be more motivated in their English learning skills.
English Ability Grouping
Students will take a placement test before they enroll in our school. Based on their English ability, students will be grouped accordingly. At the end of the school year, students will be reallocated based on their English abilities at that time. All textbooks and materials will be suited for the English ability of each student. Through our ability grouping, we endeavor to ensure that the individual needs of our students are met.
||At this level, the Pearson series Reading Street forms the basis of the Language Arts Curriculum. Students who have been extensively exposed to English, and whose English is on a first language or near first language level fall into this category. Cognitively, they should comprehend the text within the book without too much explanation. Comprehension skills and their application to the text should form the focus of this level.
||The mainstream level makes use of the My Sidewalks series from Pearson in its curriculum, apart from grade 1 who would also use Reading Street Readiness. The rationale of this series is to build students’ English abilities using material which is more approachable to students who have had intermediate exposure to the language in their prior education.
||The transition is geared toward students who have not been exposed to much English. The curriculum is centered on the Cornerstone series from Pearson, which is an ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL) specific series. This series is designed to help students get on level in English speaking territories as naturally as possible.
- Small Class Sizes
According to research, students’ ability to learn is increased when class sizes are lower, with an average of 18-20 students per class. With this in mind, we try to keep our student numbers as low as possible so as to allow teachers time to focus on the individual needs of the students within their care. English classes each have a Foreign English teacher (FET), and a Chinese English teacher (CET). The students see their FET’s and CET’s at different times during the school day. FET’s and CET’s focus on different aspects of language acquisition, but collaborate in the design of lessons and the care of the students.