Lower School Section
The Lower School curriculum revolves around a core of Literacy (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), Mathematics, Science, and Humanities. Additionally, specialists teach Languages and Cultures, Islamic Studies, Information Technology, Library Skills, Art, Music, and Physical Education.
Wherever possible, topics are cross-curricular and drama is incorporated. We use a team teaching approach to differentiate instruction for students who require additional learning support, English as an Additional Language classes, or enrichment. Children’s progress is frequently assessed, and the results provide the basis for further instructional decisions.
Literacy – Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
The Language Arts programme focuses on students acquiring the skills to read, write, speak and listen well, and to examine and process information using these interrelated skills. The programme is based on the US Common Core standards, benchmarks and grade level expectations.
An assessment that measures each student’s reading levels, strategies and skills is used by all teachers from Kindergarten through to the 5th Grade. While Scholastic running records are used to identify the reading levels of each student, the Bonnie Campbell Hill (BCH) Reading Continuum, which is US and internationally recognised, serves as a helpful tool for teachers to track an individual’s reading progress, and is recorded and reported to parents.
The information collected from these assessments drives teacher's whole-class, small-group and individual reading instruction through the year.
The Lower School’s Mathematics curriculum is based on the school’s adoption of the enVision Math by Scott Foresman, Addison Wesley for grades 1-5. It enables elementary grades to learn more mathematical content and become life-long mathematical thinkers. This is a spiraling curriculum, as concepts are more fully understood after repeated exposures. The programme goals are organised by the following content strands, which extend across all grade levels:
Numeration and Order
Operations and Computation
Patterns, Functions and Sequences
Algebra and Uses of Variables
Geometry and Spatial Sense
Measures and Measurement
Data and Chance
In Lower School, students participate in 5 main Programmes of Inquiry, with varied activities within each programme. The programmes, each of which encompasses a unit of study, are followed in order for unit 1 and 2. For the remaining units, teachers may decide which order best suits their classroom needs. The sixth Programme is focused on continuously throughout the year. The Programmes are as follows:
WHO WE ARE:An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
WHERE WE ARE IN PLACE AND TIME:An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
HOW WE ORGANISE OURSELVES:An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organisations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
HOW THE WORLD WORKS:An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES:An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
SHARING THE PLANET:An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Qatari History is taught one class per week, as a focused lesson that follows the mandatory Supreme Education Council curriculum standards. It is also taught as a school-wide, cross-curricular unit in December. This unit gives students the experience of being able to interact with students in other grade levels.
Teachers focus on Qatari culture and explore many different aspects of the State of Qatar. Students discover what is was like in the past, to its political boundaries. In learning about Qatari Culture, students are then prepared to learn about the cultures and identities of other countries in our Cultural Awareness Day celebration, that concludes the unit.
Students in Lower School are invited to take part in watching a Cultural Talent show and tour the booths at the International Fair. These booths showcase the cultural aspects of countries represented in our school. Each student in Lower School is given a “passport” where they are able to record memorable facts and details they have learned at each country booth. While visiting booths, students see examples of artifacts, sample traditional dishes and hear traditional music. The overall goal of this unit is to encourage students to transfer their knowledge of one specific culture, to further understanding of other cultures around the world, thereby creating more globally aware citizens.
Science builds upon the children’s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness. Students develop scientific literacy and acquire scientific knowledge essential to understanding, so that they may become independent learners.
The Science programme is based on the school’s adopted National Science Education Standards (NSES):
Science as Inquiry
Physical Science (Physical and Chemical)
Earth and Space Science
Environment, Technology and Society.
Science in the 1st to 5th Grades is based on a balance of Earth, Life, Physical and Environmental Science. The curriculum provides students with experiences and training in observing, predicting, recording, experimenting, evaluating and communicating results. The programme emphasises a hands-on approach, with opportunities to interact, as directly as possible, with the natural world. This approach allows children to practice problem-solving skills, develop positive science attitudes, learn new science content and increase their scientific literacy. Each grade level participates in one science fair during the year.
There is a dedicated science laboratory and a qualified science teacher, with weekly science lessons built into the schedule. The lessons in the science lab will then be followed up by further science lessons in the classroom. Some of the lessons take place outdoors and make use of the campus. The science units are thematically related to the classroom-based units of inquiry. Whenever possible, the units, or lessons within the units, are an integrated part of the trans disciplinary unit of inquiry.