Our Early Learning Program nurtures young minds and prepares students for the academically challenging BASIS Curriculum. Our program focuses not only on subject matter, but also on behavioral expectations, collaborative learning skills, critical thinking and organizational and study skills paramount to success in life.
This calls for two teachers in each classroom, one, a content expert, and one, a learning expert. These professionals work collaboratively to find the best way to deliver lessons, ensure student engagement, and create an environment in which students will understand and retain information. Students will also be tracked throughout the year to ensure struggling students are brought up to level, and middle and high achievers are challenged to push themselves further.
In kindergarten, there are four courses: PE, fine arts, basic knowledge acquisition (BKA), and mathematics. Science topics are covered in an integrated manner during BKA. BKA also consists of social studies and English/language arts topics. During this time, students will read and write about social studies and science, perform experiments, learn about diverse cultures, while developing vocabulary and language skills in English and in Mandarin as well.
Courses are taught in integrated blocks. In grades 1-4, students take humanities, math and science, Mandarin, PE, and fine arts. Humanities class is taught each day for 90 minutes and consists of English/language arts, geography, and social studies topics. At each grade level, humanities students will be exposed to a broad world view instead of focusing only on a narrow local scale. All the while they will develop and improve reading and writing skills.
The goal of our integrative disciplinary approach is to reinforce the logical connections that exist between different courses. Research shows that integration of disciplines can increase topic retention and comprehension and improve critical thinking skills. Further, course integration can strengthen areas where students struggle by allowing them to draw on their areas of strength.
Aside from the five integrated course blocks, students in grades 1-4 also have a quiet reading block called The Literacy Center (TLC). Students meet for TLC five days a week for 25 minutes. During this time, students read books from home or from our classroom libraries and answer comprehension questions regarding the story. Students also work on projects based on their readings and share what they have read about with classmates.