English Primary

The GSIS English Primary Department offers a distinct educational experience where every student is respected as an individual and learns to value and respect others. We believe that our safe, nurturing and supportive learning environment enables each student to develop a strong moral sense and spirit of co-operation and consideration for others. We nurture this through our five Guiding Principles of Respect, Intellectual Inquiry for Understanding, Positive Relationships, Courage and Optimism. We consider this a valuable part of a students' 21st Century educational experience and place it academic success of equal importance.

Our English Primary department has classes from Year One to Year Six with two classes in each year band. The curriculum taught at GSIS emphasises the enjoyment of learning and the mastery of skills; all content areas integrated across the curriculum subjects whenever appropriate.

Our teachers come from diverse countries- including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand- and that diversity in culture and teaching methods adds significantly to the richness of the education our students receive. Members of staff are encouraged to undertake professional development to keep abreast of the latest educational philosophies.

GSIS aims to:

  • Foster the development of every student, catering for different needs, abilities and aptitudes.
  • Develop each student’s full potential and encourage the pursuit of excellence.
  • Enable children to prosper from an all-round development in academic and social skills.
  • Ensure the attainment of a high level of competence in knowledge and skills including literacy, mathematics, etc
  • Cultivate good learning habits and a positive attitude towards life.
  • Foster curiosity and an interest in learning
  • Build the basic skills necessary for a lifetime of learning.
  • Develop habits of initiative and persistence
  • Help develop self-esteem

Entry to the English Primary Department is available at all levels.

Potential Year One students visit the school for standardised group assessments.

At all other levels, children are required to take standardised tests in English and Mathematics.

There is no school uniform although there is a dress code, which requires students to be tidy and to wear appropriate clothing. There is a PE uniform, which all students are required to wear for PE lessons and sporting events.

Parents are encouraged to take an active part in their child’s learning and to liase closely with the class teacher. Consultation meetings and Parent Information meetings give each parent an opportunity to discuss their child’s social/emotional and intellectual development.

Reading mother/fathers play a valuable and important role in school life.

Parents are also encouraged to help with homework monitoring and to be involved, when appropriate, in project work research, outings, camps and school sporting events.

Parents are kept up to date through newsletters written by the Head of Primary, which are regularly sent to parent through the LEO web page.

The GSIS curriculum reflects the understanding that all students are talented in their own individual ways. We aim to provide a broad and varied curriculum where these talents can be nurtured and thrive. The curriculum is drawn from best practices from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and reflects the internationalism of the teaching staff and the school at large. The Curriculum reflects and fosters the five guiding principles for the EPD.

  • Respect
  • Intellectual Inquiry for understanding
  • Relationships
  • Courage
  • Optimism
English

Language is at the core of children’s learning. The Year One’s language programme permeates all areas of the curriculum.

This consists of speaking and listening, reading, writing and interpreting symbols and visual texts.

Speaking and listening: Students are exposed to a range of activities designed to develop their listening and speaking skills. We aim for the children to express themselves clearly and be aware of modifying their speech in different situations (e.g. with peers, adults, oral story-telling or news giving)

Reading and Writing: Students read and respond to a range of fiction and non-fiction text and learn to write in a variety of text forms such as reports, narratives, poetry, fairy tales, letters, recipes and journals. Through these experiences, they develop spelling patterns and word knowledge, though they may also work on individualised spelling programmes.

We aim to instil in the students a love of reading and an appreciation of a wide variety of prose and poetry. We encourage the children to use a wide range of strategies to assist them in learning to read.

Mathematics

The Mathematics programme is designed to develop a sense of understanding of mathematical concepts using a range of methods including the use of practical, problem-solving activities and technology. Students are encouraged to explain and clarify their thinking; develop their confidence and to record their work in many different ways.

Students develop their sense of number by counting, grouping and modelling. They sort, compare and contrast shapes, numbers lengths and sizes. Students measure a variety of objects and distances. We aim for the children to make connections and transfer mathematical knowledge in different contexts.

General Studies

Our Community

Our Year Ones focus on developing a sense of community within the classroom, school and wider community. Some of these communities may include their home, sporting and recreational clubs or tutorial clubs. They explore their roles, responsibility and commitments to these organisations, developing a sense of how a community can function effectively and the notion of positive relationships.

Transport

Students explore how people move from place to place and the choices that need to be made with different modes of transport. They begin to understand that different modes of transport have different advantages and disadvantages. During this unit, students plan an excursion on as many different modes of transport as they can. This provides a rich opportunity for writing, discussing, classifying and identifying all the types of transport they have experienced and observed. They also explore how these modes of transport impact on our environment.

Materials

Students have the opportunity to explore various materials and are encouraged to identify, describe, classify and compare materials according to their properties. This unit develops their language and enriches their vocabulary as they attempt to describe what they see, smell and feel, and hear. Words such as flexible, rigid, porous, manufactured, natural are introduced.

Library

The Pok Fu Lam Campus library houses a wide range of good quality children’s fiction collection, an extensive reference library and a rich German collection. The Year One classes attend the library on a weekly basis. Students are encouraged to care for and borrow books on a regular basis. The small but exciting library will provide opportunities to enjoy books and inspire the love of reading. Full access to online databases and references is available in the library.

Learning Technology

Learning Technology is a digital tool which supports cognitive development, problem solving and thinking skills; it enables students to construct, represent and remix their own and others knowledge from the vast amounts of information available to them.

Learning Technology is represented by a combination of hardware and software solutions. In the EPD students are exposed to a range of hardware solutions such as laptops, video recorders, data-loggers, sound recorders and GPS. The majority of software solutions used will be Free and Open Source and browser based – examples can be seen in the Learning Technology room on LEO.

The main purpose of Learning Technology is to support learning skills such as enquiry, reflection and communication. It enhances our students’ learning capacity by making them more independent and creative learners. Learning Technology give students more choice and enables them to be more creative about how they represent and express their ideas and understandings. Particular emphasis is placed on developing Information and Digital Literacy skills.

Inquiring with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology for inquiry and research. They identify information needs, locate and access information. They organise, use and interpret information to improve their understanding.

Creating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to be creative in the way they extend and represent their thinking skills. They use Learning Technology to analyse problems and information needs, develop strategies and evaluate solutions. They make decisions about appropriate use of Learning Technology solutions. They use Learning Technology to generate ideas and plans and to monitor and reflect on their learning.

Communicating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to enhance communication. They learn to communicate and apply Learning Technology to present information, engage with diverse audiences and collaborate. They communicate face-to-face and remotely with individuals and networks. Students experience and share different views, construct new understanding and develop empathy with others.

Operating Learning Technology

Students gain an understanding of the systems they are operating. Skills in operating one system can be transferred and built upon when operating other systems. They learn to apply Learning Technology standards and conventions. They apply preventative strategies to protect systems and data and solve basic Learning Technology-related problems.

Year One Programme Outline

The children become familiar with basic operations and know where to find and save their work. They learn how to use technology purposefully, creating and manipulating shapes, adding and editing simple units of text and using Paint to create pictures. The development of their skills is linked to the activities they are doing in class. Particular emphasis is placed on encouraging children to use technology to review and revise their work. By the end of Year 1 they will begin to add and edit text, manipulate images and shapes and add sound files. The main programmes used are; Kidpix, Textease and 2Create-a-Story. Parents can support by installing Textease at home and giving their children opportunities to practise use of the mouse, text entry and editing and use of the tools in Paint to create digital pictures.

Music

Classroom Programme

All classes have two music lessons per week with a specialist music teacher. These lessons are a balance of LISTENING, COMPOSING, PERFORMING (singing, playing and moving) and cover a wide variety of musical styles. The focus is always on the concepts of music.

The programme aims to extend the child’s musical experience, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world. At the same time opportunity is given for children to draw on their own musical experience and knowledge and use their skills to enhance their learning.

Year 1

  • Focus is on concepts of beat, simple rhythm and pitch recognition.
  • Children use tuned and untuned percussion to consolidate the concepts, create their own simple music patterns and tell a story through improvisation.
  • Songs and listening works are chosen to reflect or relate to General Studies topics.

Physical Education

The Year One physical Education Programme focuses on leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Students explore small equipment, basic gymnastics, dance, swimming and running and jumping activities. They have the opportunity to develop teamwork and sport-specific skills through a variety of activities.

Language

Year Two offers a variety of opportunities for students to build upon their Literacy Skills. They write for a variety of purposes and audiences. A range of text types is integrated with the General Studies units of work. The Star of the Week activity allows students to express their feelings and thoughts with confidence, in front of an audience. This activity further develops students’ speaking, listening and writing skills.

A comprehensive approach to reading allows students to develop a love of literature. The reading programme is comprised of guided reading, group reading and individualised reading. This programme provides opportunities to expand vocabulary and knowledge, to improve comprehension, to develop phonemic awareness, to independently choose suitable reading materials and to use reference material. Reading is closely monitored and student progress is assessed regularly.

Students develop independent writing skills through a variety of text types. They write personal and fictional stories, poems, instruction and description. Students learn to come to appreciate writing as a means of personal expression and communication.

Mathematics

The Year Two programme continues to focus on counting and the properties of number using a range of resources. These include the use of manipulatives and ICT programmes such as Mathletics. Students learn to use different strategies in addition, and subtraction to 100 and understand the relationship between the two operations. They also read and write numbers up to 1000, count forwards and backwards in 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s. Problem solving tasks and strategies are explored and discussed. Students are exposed to mathematical names for common 2D and 3D shapes and fractions. Measurement and data handling are an integral part of the curriculum. Calendar work and telling time to the hour, quarter hour and half hour using analogue and digital forms are also addressed. Students organise and plot information using bar graphs, tallies and venn diagrams. They use a variety of measuring tools such as rulers, tape measures, clocks, scales and metre sticks to develop their measuring skills.

General Studies

Forces and Movements

This unit introduces the concept of forces to students. They explore moving things and classify forces as either a push or pull. They are able to express actions such as stretching, squeezing, twisting and turning as a push or pull force. Through investigations they explore the force of friction and have the opportunity to plan experiments to clarify their understanding of friction. This is a very practical unit and involves much hands-on experimentation. As part of this unit students have the chance to plan, design and evaluate a moving toy.

Lifestyles Diet

This unit introduces students to the food groups and they have the opportunity to classify food into categories and investigate the properties of the different food groups and the benefits of each. They come to understand that keeping healthy includes eating a variety of foods, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and following basic rules of hygiene. Students are introduced to the digestive system. They describe the major structure and function of major organs in the digestive system.

Properties of Liquids and Solids

This unit provides students with the opportunity to experiment with liquids and solids. They make and record their observations and question their findings. Students experiment with heating and cooling of liquids. They are introduced to the Scientific Inquiry Process and are encouraged to question and make predictions. Students discuss their findings and share their conclusions, using appropriate scientific vocabulary.

Life Cycles

During this unit students gain a greater appreciation of nature and at the same time learn about scientific concepts such as metamorphosis. They use a range of media to research a variety of mini beasts. Students observe and compare the physical and behavioural characteristics of a variety of animals, including insects. This unit involves field study and exposure to live specimens.

Culture & Celebrations

This unit provides opportunities for students to explore the customs and traditions associated with different cultures and their celebrations around the world. Students share and explore expressions of culture through customs, celebrations, traditions and language. Community participation is an essential element of this unit.

Families Past

This unit provides an opportunity for students to learn about their family and their personal history. They share their information with their classmates and reflect on the similarities and differences between their own and other families.

Music

The German Swiss International School Hong Kong offers a comprehensive and varied music programme.

Classroom Programme

Every class has two music lessons per week with a specialist music teacher. These lessons are a balance of LISTENING, COMPOSING, PERFORMING (singing, playing and moving) and cover a wide variety of musical styles. The focus is always on the concepts of music.

The programme aims to extend the child’s musical experience, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world. At the same time opportunity is given for children to draw on their own musical experience and knowledge and use their skills to enhance their learning.

The Year Two Programme

  • Focus is on concepts of beat, rhythm and pitch.
  • Children use tuned and untuned percussion to consolidate the concepts, create their own music to tell a story and reflect mood, using improvisation and simple notation.
  • Introduction to all sections of the orchestra.
  • Songs and listening works are chosen to reflect or relate to General Studies topics.
  • Recorder lessons commence in the second half of the year.

Library

The Pok Fu Lam Campus library houses a wide range of good quality children’s fiction collection, an extensive reference library and a rich German collection. The Year One classes attend the library on a weekly basis. Students are encouraged to care for and borrow books on a regular basis. The small but exciting library will provide opportunities to enjoy books and inspire the love of reading. Full access to online databases and references is available in the library.

Learning Technology

Learning Technology is a digital tool which supports cognitive development, problem solving and thinking skills; It enables students to construct, represent and remix their own and others knowledge from the vast amounts of information available to them.

Learning Technology is represented by a combination of hardware and software solutions. In the EPD students are exposed to a range of hardware solutions such as laptops, video recorders, data-loggers, sound recorders and GPS. The majority of software solutions used will be Free and Open Source and browser based – examples can be seen in the Learning Technology room on LEO.

The main purpose of Learning Technology is to support learning skills such as enquiry, reflection and communication. It enhances our students’ learning capacity by making them more independent and creative learners. Learning Technology give students more choice and enables them to be more creative about how they represent and express their ideas and understandings. Particular emphasis is placed on developing Information and Digital Literacy skills.

Inquiring with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology for inquiry and research. They identify information needs, locate and access information. They organise, use and interpret information to improve their understanding.

Creating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to be creative in the way they extend and represent their thinking skills. They use Learning Technology to analyse problems and information needs, develop strategies and evaluate solutions. They make decisions about appropriate use of Learning Technology solutions They use Learning Technology to generate ideas and plans and to monitor and reflect on their learning.

Communicating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to enhance communication. They learn to communicate and apply Learning Technology to present information, engage with diverse audiences and collaborate. They communicate face-to-face and remotely with individuals and networks. Students experience and share alternate views, construct new understanding and develop empathy with others.

Operating Learning Technology

Students gain an understanding of the systems they are operating. Skills in operating one system can be transferred and built upon when operating other systems. They learn to apply Learning Technology standards and conventions. They apply preventative strategies to protect systems and data and solve basic Learning Technology-related problems.

Year Two Programme Outline

In Year Two the children learn how to use a wider variety of word processing features and incorporate these into their writing. The key development is to extend their representation of events and ideas with the addition of images, graphics and sound. They use cameras to take photos and use these to write descriptions of events or activities. Additional features of textease are introduced such as – creating more complex shapes and graphics; simple animations so they can improve the presentation of their work and create more interactive stories. This is also supported by using 2Create-a-Story. Data representation using tally and bar charts is introduced. They also learn how to use Google Earth to locate places of interest and digital sound recorders to record and edit dialogues.

Physical Education

The Year Two Physical Education Programmed focuses on leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Students explore small equipment, basic gymnastics, dance, swimming and running and jumping activities. They have the opportunities to develop teamwork and sport-specific skills through netball, basketball, handball, hockey and volleyball. They have the opportunity to exhibit their athletic skills at Sports Day where they compete in long jump, mini hurdles, high jump, sprint, relay, throwing and jogging.

Language

Students are encouraged to write for many purposes. They use the conventions of written language as they work through the writing process of planning, drafting, editing and publishing. They write in varied text forms such as reports, recounts, narratives, poetry, biographies, fairy tales, and journal letters.

The students are exposed to and read picture books, folk tales, novels, poetry, biographies and factual books. Guided reading helps to make connections to text and characters in the books they read. Students use a range of techniques to deliver talks and presentations on a variety of subjects.

Mathematics

The Year Three Mathematics curriculum helps students build on their understanding of number sense. They develop confidence in thinking and communicating mathematical strategies effectively. They further develop their problem solving skills and strategies to help them arrive at an answer efficiently and accurately. They consolidate their understanding of representing numbers and patterns in the number system. Students recognise and use commutative and associative properties of addition and multiplication, add and subtract whole numbers, explore fractions with like denominators and decimal to hundredths. They multiply and divide two-digit and three-digit numbers. They estimate and measure length, volume, capacity and perimeters. Students also explore and classify geometric shapes and angles, as well as describe the faces, edges and vertices of 3D shapes using equipment and diagrams. Students learn to express time in both analogue and digital forms, and read ‘past’ and ‘to’ the hour. Students collect, display and compare survey data using Venn diagrams and bar charts.

General Studies

Strong and Stable Structures

During this unit students explore various structures in their environment and the supporting framework of these structures such as trusses, arches and domes. Students have the opportunity to construct displays and experiment with suitable materials and shapes to make a structure that is both strong and stable. They use appropriate Science and Technology vocabulary including: experiment, explore, purpose, rigid, flexible, solid, stability, balance, and load in all oral and written communication. Various forms of forces are examined and what accommodations are made when designing a structure (weather, climate, terrain, etc.).

Light

During this unit students have the opportunity to explore how light travels from its source to our eyes. They investigate the characteristics and properties of light including how light travels in a straight line. They also investigate direction changes in light such as reflection and refraction. They inquire into how blocking of light leads to the formation of shadows. Students also inquire into how objects are seen by studying the parts of the eye such as pupillens and retina. Students plan, design and conduct hands on experiments throughout this unit.

Growth and changes in Plants

During this unit students plant their own gardens and observe, record and gather data on how different plants grow. Students investigate the different uses of plants such as food, homes, medicine and building materials. They identify significant parts of plants including the root, stem, flower, stamen, pistil, leaf, seed and fruit. Students assess ways in which plants have an impact on society and the environment and how human activity impacts on plants and plant habitats.

Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

During this unit students have the opportunity to explore the basic structure and function of the respiratory system. They inquire into how oxygen is obtained and made available to the rest of the body. Additionally, they explain how the respiratory system removes the waste product carbon dioxide from the body. Students become familiar with and use the scientific vocabulary of trachea, bronchus, bronchiole, alveoli and lungs. They also understand the factors that affect our breathing and how they can promote healthy living.

Students learn about the key components of the circulatory system such as arteries, veins, heart, blood vessels, and lungs. They demonstrate their knowledge of how blood travels through our body using computer-generated programmes to present their conclusions.

Ancient Civilisation: Egypt

This unit explores the geographical and social structures of Ancient Egypt. Students have the opportunity to explore Egyptian religious beliefs, including gods and goddesses they worshipped and their ceremonial burial system. Whilst inquiring into the various aspects of Ancient Egypt, students come to understand that the past cultures have a strong influence on our lives today. Students study the evolution of language; farming techniques past and present; engineering feats such as the pyramids at Giza, as well as food preparation. Students examine ancient Egyptian artefacts that have survived and what can be learned from them about ancient Egyptian society. Students are required to locate and use relevant information from a variety of sources to gather their knowledge. They organise and prepare this information for a formal presentation.

Biographies of Significant People

This unit explores the lives of significant people in Asia and how these people have influenced the lives of others and world events. Students explore what motivates or inspires people to change the world and the importance of voice and leadership. Students explore how and what we can learn from the lives of famous people because of their achievements.

Music

The German Swiss International School of Hong Kong offers a comprehensive and varied music programme, which is two-fold:

1. Classroom Programme

Every class in the English Primary Department has two music lessons per week with a specialist music teacher. These lessons are a balance of LISTENING, COMPOSING, PERFORMING (singing, playing and moving) and cover a wide variety of musical styles. The focus is always on the concepts of music.

The programme aims to extend the child’s musical experience, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world. At the same time opportunity is given for children to draw on their own musical experience and knowledge and use these skills to enhance their learning.

Year 3

  • Focus is on concepts of beat, rhythm and pitch and the introduction to the pentatonic scale and simple harmony.
  • Children use tuned and untuned percussion to consolidate the concepts and create their own music, using improvisation and simple notation.
  • Music of other cultures
  • Songs and listening works are chosen to reflect or relate to General Studies topics

2. Extra Curricular Activities

There are three performance groups that function as Extra Curricular Activities (ECA).

  • Orchestra – Open to any child from Years 3 – 6 . This does not require an audition but the children must play an orchestral instrument and be of an advanced enough level to cope with the music. The Orchestra meets once a week.
  • Junior Choir – open to any child from Years 3 and 4. This does not require any audition. The choir rehearses once a week.
  • Recorder Ensemble – Open to any child from Years 3-6. There are two ensembles, advance and beginner. These do not require an audition but children will be guided into the appropriate level.

All the Music ECA groups work towards a programme of public performances. They are featured in some or all of the concerts throughout the year: Christmas Concerts, Spring Concert, Assemblies, and Special Celebrations etc.

Library

The library programme aims to deepen understanding and appreciation of literature and to develop information literacy skills. Learning is more powerful when skills are contextualised and not taught in isolation. The library programme is taught by a Teacher Librarian, in collaboration with class teachers, to target specific learning outcomes related to units of work being studied in class. Students learn new ways to think about, and critically analyse texts and develop a range of transferable skills, strategies and understandings.

Briefly, the aim of the Information Literacy programme is to develop skills to enable students to locate information for a purpose, use a variety of strategies to record and think about the information, and then share their new knowledge. Information Literacy is often taught cooperatively with the ICT teacher, to integrate 21st Century skills and learning technologies.

The Literature Skills programme exposes students to a wide range of carefully selected, high quality texts across a variety of genres, to broaden their experience with literature. Students develop abilities to distinguish between realism and fantasy and discuss elements of plot, setting, character, theme, emotions and the relationship between text and illustrations.

Weekly timetabled sessions in the Library Information Resource Centre, can incorporate shared reading, teaching new research skills and a focused task to complete. There is also time for browsing and home borrowing.

Learning Technology

Learning Technology is a digital tool which supports cognitive development, problem solving and thinking skills; it enables students to construct, represent and remix their own and others knowledge from the vast amounts of information available to them.

Learning Technology is represented by a combination of hardware and software solutions. In the EPD students are exposed to a range of hardware solutions such as laptops, video recorders, data-loggers, sound recorders and GPS. The majority of software solutions used will be Free and Open Source and browser based – examples can be seen in the Learning Technology room on LEO.

The main purpose of Learning Technology is to support learning skills such as enquiry, reflection and communication. It enhances our students’ learning capacity by making them more independent and creative learners. Learning Technology give students more choice and enable them to be more creative about how they represent and express their ideas and understandings. Particular emphasis is placed on developing Information and Digital Literacy skills.

Inquiring with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology for inquiry and research. They identify information needs, locate and access information. They organise, use and interpret information to improve their understanding.

Creating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to be creative in the way they extend and represent their thinking skills. They use Learning Technology to analyse problems and information needs, develop strategies and evaluate solutions. They make decisions about appropriate use of Learning Technology solutions They use Learning Technology to generate ideas and plans and to monitor and reflect on their learning.

Communicating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to enhance communication. They learn to communicate and apply Learning Technology to present information, engage with diverse audiences and collaborate. They communicate face-to-face and remotely with individuals and networks. Students experience and share alternate views, construct new understanding and develop empathy with others.

Operating Learning Technology

Students gain an understanding of the systems they are operating. Skills in operating one system can be transferred and built upon when operating other systems. They learn to apply Learning Technology standards and conventions. They apply preventative strategies to protect systems and data and solve basic Learning Technology-related problems.

Year Three Programme Outline

The children learn how to access and manage files in their own cyber locker. Their use of technology is directly linked to class based learning activities – usually from General Studies. They learn how to use additional tools from Textease such as borders, text types, colours, tables, columns to create well designed displays or stories. They learn how to represent data as graphs and charts as well as learn how conduct simple searches on the Internet. They make more use of sound – learning how to edit and publish multiple sound tracks ( linked to Ancient Egypt Topic) and publish podcasts; they also learn how to use animations to represent their understanding of Body Systems ( using 2Animate) and integrate these with video presentations. By the end of the year they have begun to create simple portfolios on LEO, adding text and graphics. After camp they learn how to use Photostory to learn how to create a multi-media account of their experiences.

Physical Education

The Year Three Physical Education Programme focuses on leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Students explores basic gymnastics, dance, swimming, running and jumping activities. They have the opportunity to develop teamwork and sport-specific skills through netball, basketball, handball, and hockey and volleyball cricket and rounders. There are matches with other schools in swimming, hockey and football.

Various types of assessment are used such as peer assessment and also the use of dartfish technology, which allows them to perform and then watch their own performance on a screen. ASA swimming distance badges are taken in mid November. They have the opportunity to exhibit their athletic skills at Sports Day where they compete in long jump, mini hurdles, high jump, sprint, relay, throwing and jogging.

Language

Year Four offers a variety of opportunities for students to build on their literacy skills. Students experiment with the writing process and practise self and peer editing. They write a variety of text types including poetry, letters, descriptive passages, journals, narrative, recount, biographies and reports. Emphasis is placed on conveying a clear message and the use of creative self-expression. Students discuss and analyse reading a range of different novels and texts. They identify structural features of different text types and analyse an author’s interpretation of character, setting, themes and plot development. Students participate in complex discussions, group meetings and presentations.

Mathematics

In Mathematics students continue to develop their number sense and numeration skills. They add and subtract whole numbers to three digits and numbers to one decimal place. Students solve equations and word problems using the four operations. They identify and compare fractions and mixed numbers and add and subtract simple fractions. In measurement they estimate, measure and calculate distances, perimeter, area, volume and capacity. Students construct 3D shapes and investigate different nets of a cube. They identify, draw and name regular and irregular polygons. Students investigate the concepts of calendar and time. Data handling skills are incorporated into the General Studies topics and ICT. Students have the opportunity to work both independently and in groups to solve mathematical problems.

General Studies

Immigration

This unit provides opportunities for students to explore how people’s lives change as a result of relocation. Students examine the many reasons why people relocate. They explore the challenges that these group of people face in their new home. Students also examine the contribution that migrants have made in a variety of places around the world including Hong Kong. They have the opportunity to interview family and community members as a way of finding out about the personal journey of individuals who have migrated. They take on the role of a historian as they collect data about immigration within their family and communities.

Ancient Civilisation - The Romans and the Celts

This unit explores the political, social, cultural and geographical aspects of Ancient Romans and the Celtic people. Students investigate, compare and contrast the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children during this era. Students explore the validity of invasion with particular focus on the consequences of the Roman invasion and settlement of Celtic Britain. Students also conduct a short comparative study of modern and ancient Rome.

Skeletal & Nervous System

This unit explores the structure of the skeletal system. Students investigate how the muscles, bones and joints work together. They investigate how ligaments, tendons and cartilage are part of the muscular skeletal system and are vital for the body to move and grow.

The inquiry into the nervous system provides students with the opportunity to explore some of the functions of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. They investigate how thought, movement, sensation and emotion are controlled by the nervous system. Through the LEAP programme students investigate the effects of drugs and stress on their nervous system. They discuss various strategies for dealing with stress.

Circuits and Conductors

This unit provides students with the opportunity to further develop their scientific investigative skills. They are encouraged to design their own experiments using batteries, wire, light, bulbs, filaments, switches and fuses to create simple circuits. Students use the evidence obtained during their experiments to support their explanations and conclusions. They explore open and closed circuits. Students experiment with various materials to determine if they are conductors or insulators and describe the properties of a conductor and an insulator.

Habitats

This unit provides students with the opportunity to investigate and identify various habitats. They explore various living systems and discuss how these interact and depend on each other. Students investigate how changes in the environment impact on different habitats.

Forces

This unit provides students with the opportunity to investigate forces. They explore the effect of different forces including magnetism, gravitational forces and friction. They learn about the Earth’s magnetic field and magnetic poles. Students are encouraged to experiment with the different forces to further build their understanding. They construct a pendulum to demonstrate how a moving object depends on gravity and always falls back toward its centre of gravity.

Music

The German Swiss International School Hong Kong offers a comprehensive and varied music programme, which is two-fold:

1. Classroom Programme

Every class has two music lessons per week with a specialist music teacher. These lessons are a balance of LISTENING, COMPOSING, PERFORMING (singing, playing and moving) and cover a wide variety of musical styles. The focus is always on the concepts of music.

The programme aims to extend the child’s musical experience, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world. At the same time opportunity is given for children to draw on their own musical experience and knowledge and use their skills to enhance their learning.

Year 4

  • Focus is on concepts of beat, rhythm and pitch, harmony and structure.
  • Children use tuned and untuned percussion as well as the instruments they learn privately to consolidate the concepts and create their own music using the Pentatonic Scale
  • Music of other cultures
  • Unusual musical instruments

Songs and listening works are chosen to reflect or relate to General Studies topics.

2. Extra Curricular Activities

There are three performance groups that function as Extra Curricular Activities. All are open to all children from the English stream.

  • Junior Choir – Open to any child from Year 3- 4. This does not require an audition and meets once a week.
  • Recorder Ensembles – there are two ensembles, advanced and intermediate. They are open to all children from Years 3 – 6. These do not require an audition and meet once a week.
  • Orchestra – Open to any child from Years 3 – 6. This does not require an audition but the children must play an orchestral instrument and be of an advanced enough level to cope with the music. The Orchestra meets once a week.

All the Music ECA groups work towards a programme of public performances. They are featured in some or all of the concerts throughout the year: Christmas Concerts, Spring Concert, Assemblies, and Special Celebrations etc.

Library

The library programme aims to deepen understanding and appreciation of literature and to develop information literacy skills. Learning is more powerful when skills are contextualised and not taught in isolation. The library programme is taught by a Teacher Librarian, in collaboration with class teachers, to target specific learning outcomes related to units of work being studied in class. Students learn new ways to think about, critically analyse texts and develop a range of transferable skills, strategies and understandings.

Briefly, the aim of the Information Literacy programme is to develop skills to enable students to locate information for a purpose, use a variety of strategies to record and think about the information, and then share their new knowledge. Information Literacy is often taught cooperatively with the ICT teacher, to integrate 21st Century skills and learning technologies.

The Literature Skills programme exposes students to a wide range of carefully selected, high quality texts across a variety of genres, to broaden their experience with literature. Students develop abilities to distinguish between realism and fantasy and discuss elements of plot, setting, character, theme, emotions and the relationship between text and illustrations.

Weekly timetabled sessions in the Library Information Resource Centre, can incorporate shared reading, teaching new skills and a focused task to complete. There is also time for browsing and home borrowing.

Learning Technology

Learning Technology is a digital tool which supports cognitive development, problem solving and thinking skills; it enables students to construct, represent and remix their own and others knowledge from the vast amounts of information available to them.

Learning Technology is represented by a combination of hardware and software solutions. In the EPD students are exposed to a range of hardware solutions such as laptops, video recorders, data-loggers, sound recorders and GPS. The majority of software solutions used will be Free and Open Source and browser based – examples can be seen in the Learning Technology room on LEO.

The main purpose of Learning Technology is to support learning skills such as enquiry, reflection and communication. It enhance our students’ learning capacity by making them more independent and creative learners. Learning Technology give students more choice and enables them to be more creative about how they represent and express their ideas and understandings. Particular emphasis is placed on developing Information and Digital Literacy skills.

Inquiring with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology for inquiry and research. They identify information needs, locate and access information. They organise, use and interpret information to improve their understanding.

Creating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to be creative in the way they extend and represent their thinking skills. They use Learning Technology to analyse problems and information needs, develop strategies and evaluate solutions. They make decisions about appropriate use of Learning Technology solutions They use Learning Technology to generate ideas and plans and to monitor and reflect on their learning.

Communicating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to enhance communication. They learn to communicate and apply Learning Technology to present information, engage with diverse audiences and collaborate. They communicate face-to-face and remotely with individuals and networks. Students experience and share alternate views, construct new understanding and develop empathy with others.

Operating Learning Technology

Students gain an understanding of the systems they are operating. Skills in operating one system can be transferred and built upon when operating other systems. They learn to apply Learning Technology standards and conventions. They apply preventative strategies to protect systems and data and solve basic Learning Technology-related problems.

Year Four Programme Outline

By Year 4 children have a good understanding of when and how to use a wide range of multi-media tools in Textease ( or Word, where necessary) to represent their ideas, descriptions and stories. They are also regular users of their Home Page on LEO and use this to publish their work. They are introduced to more advanced animation techniques – linked to their study of habitats and learn how to publish these on their Home Pages. They begin to use Wikis to learn how to work collaboratively ( Romans Topic) as well as use social bookmarking to share websites. The basics of ‘Smart Searching’ are introduced. Data representation develops through the use of line graphs linked to their class work. They are also introduced to simple spreadsheets, to undertake basic numeracy operations – adding subtracting etc. They are regular users of Photostory, Audacity and Google Earth. They are taught how to be more critical users of the Internet for information. They can manipulate images in Photoshop and use these to create posters or collages.

Physical Education

The Year Four Physical Education Programme takes an exciting leap forward exposing the students to Sports Day and a Swimming Gala where times are recorded, medals presented and school records maintained. Students further develop teamwork and sport-specific skills through netball, basketball, hockey, football, cricket and rounders. There are competitions with other schools in swimming, hockey and football. Swimming, cross-country and athletics also make up part of the curriculum. Students’ perform a dance and gymnastics presentation at the end of these units.

Language

Students continue to develop an understanding of the way in which language operates. Through various text types and genres students learn to create their own text and enjoy text produced by others. In close partnership and collaboration with the teacher librarian students develop functional and critical literacy skills. Students are exposed to and read a wide range of text with purpose, understanding and critical awareness. Oral clarity is stressed during the Reader Theatre sessions where students communicate a story through oral interpretation.

In writing students use strategies such as note taking, planning, drafting, conferencing, revising, editing, proof reading and publishing to shape and present their work. They have the opportunity to explore various text types including recounts, information reports, narratives, expositions and explanations. When writing, students are encouraged to take into account their purpose and audience.

Mathematics

In Mathematics students continue to work on general problem solving techniques. They recognise the value of working with others to discuss, classify and solve mathematical problems. They read and calculate distances on a map using formal unit kilometres. They explore fractions and are introduced to decimals, comparing and ordering decimals to two decimal places. Students express tenths and hundredth as a percentage. Students identify and classify, solid shapes and construct nets to represent these shapes. They construct and interpret data, tables, charts and graphs.

As part of the Measurement unit students construct a treasure map to develop their understanding of measurement, directions, use of mathematical language, compass skills, symbols and legends. Students have further opportunities to develop and apply these skills when using GPS in ICT, field trips and the annual Year 5 Cheung Chau Camp.

Integrated Subjects

Ancient Greece

This unit explores the political, social, cultural and geographical aspects of Ancient Greece. Students discover and discuss how Greek mythology has influenced their lives. They analyse the similarities and differences between life in Athens and Sparta. This unit is integrated with English where students read and respond to stories about their favourite Greek myth. They research and write a biography of an ancient Greek scholar.
Healthy Eating

Students examine aspects of a healthy life style such as diet, exercise and hygiene. They conduct an in-depth investigation of the components of a healthy diet and classify foods into different food groups. They have the opportunity to assess a lifestyle and suggest changes to improve the health of that case study. They recognise that the decisions they make may affect the quality of their lifestyle. They measure the energy that food provides us with and explore the relationship between exercise and heart rate. They have the opportunity to measure their pulse and graph their results.

Water Everywhere

This unit provides opportunity for students to appreciate and develop an understanding of a precious and finite resource. Through investigations and observations students explore how water is used, where water comes from and how to use it responsibly. Students locate, identify and investigate various bodies of water within our local community. They also inquire into the water cycle.

Changing State

During this unit students explore how and when materials change their properties. Students identify and explain the changes of state in matter and give examples. They classify matter into solid, liquid or gas. They conduct their own experiments with different material by heating and cooling them and observe and record the outcome. They have opportunities to explore what happens when things are melted, dissolved or evaporate. Students explain the physical and chemical changes in everyday materials.

Sun, Earth and Moon

This unit provides opportunities for students to explore the relationships between the Sun, Earth and Moon. They explore how the Earth spins as it goes around the sun and the moon travels with the Earth and in orbit around it. They describe the shape, size and position of the Sun, Earth and Moon. They appreciate the scale of the distances between the Earth, Sun and Moon. Students integrate technology to inquire into this unit and a particular favourite is the NASA Kids website.

Sound

Students explore how sound is produced from different instruments and how it is transmitted. They explore how sound travels in waves and what is meant by wavelength. They design and produce their own musical instrument. They also investigate the names and function of the parts of the ear.

Music

The German Swiss International School Hong Kong offers a comprehensive and varied music programme which is two-fold:

1. Classroom Programme

Every class has two music lessons per week with a specialist music teacher. These lessons are a balance of LISTENING, COMPOSING, PERFORMING (singing, playing and moving) and cover a wide variety of musical styles. The focus is always on the concepts of music.

The programme aims to extend the child’s musical experience, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world. At the same time opportunity is given for children to draw on their own musical experience and knowledge and use these skills to enhance their learning.

Year 5

  • Focus is on concepts of beat, rhythm and pitch, harmony and structure.
  • Children use tuned and untuned percussion as well as the instruments they learn privately to consolidate the concepts and create their own music.
  • World Music
  • Chord construction using Chords I, IV and V – using the Twelve Bar Blues to consolidate.
  • Songs and listening works are chosen to reflect or relate to General Studies topics.

2. Extra Curricular Activities

There are three performance groups that function as Extra Curricular Activities. All are open to the children from the English stream..

  • Senior Choir – Open to any child from Years 5 – 6. This does not require an audition and meets once a week.
  • Recorder Ensembles – There are two ensembles: advanced and intermediate. They are open to all children from Years 3 – 6. These do not require an audition and meet once a week.
  • Orchestra – Open to any child from Years 3 – 6. This does not require an audition but the children must play an orchestral instrument and be of an advanced enough level to cope with the music. The Orchestra meets once a week.

All the Music ECA groups work towards a programme of public performances. They are featured in some or all of the concerts throughout the year: Christmas Concerts, Spring Concert, Assemblies, and Special Celebrations.

Library

The library programme aims to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of literature and to equip our students with information literacy skills for the 21st Century. Learning is more powerful when skills are contextualised and not taught in isolation. Both strands offer opportunities for collaborating with class teachers, to target specific outcomes related to units of work being studied in class. Students learn new ways to think about, critically analyse texts and develop a range of transferable skills, strategies and understandings.

Information Literacy is often taught cooperatively with the ICT teacher, to integrate 21st Century skills and learning technologies.

Briefly, the aim of the Information Literacy programme is enabling and empowering students to:

Plan an investigation, locate information from a range of sources, including digital media, critically analyse the information and form conclusions supported by evidence, present new knowledge and reflect on their learning process.

The Literature Skills programme exposes students to a wide range of high quality texts across a variety of genres, to broaden their experience with literature. They develop language and abilities to distinguish between realism and fantasy and discuss elements of plot, setting, character, theme, voice and the relationship between text and illustrations.

Each weekly session builds on skills mastered from previous years and complements the development of literacy, by incorporating reading, writing, viewing and listening with a focused task to complete. There is also time for browsing and home borrowing.

Learning Technology

Learning Technology is a digital tool which supports cognitive development, problem solving and thinking skills; it enables students to construct, represent and remix their own and others knowledge from the vast amounts of information available to them.

Learning Technology is represented by a combination of hardware and software solutions. In the EPD students are exposed to a range of hardware solutions such as laptops, video recorders, data-loggers, sound recorders and GPS. The majority of software solutions used will be Free and Open Source and browser based – examples can be seen in the Learning Technology room on LEO.

The main purpose of Learning Technology is to support learning skills such as enquiry, reflection and communication. It enhance our students’ learning capacity by making them more independent and creative learners. Learning Technology give students more choice and enables them to be more creative about how they represent and express their ideas and understandings. Particular emphasis is placed on developing Information and Digital Literacy skills.

Inquiring with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology for inquiry and research. They identify information needs, locate and access information. They organise, use and interpret information to improve their understanding.

Creating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to be creative in the way they extend and represent their thinking skills. They use Learning Technology to analyse problems and information needs, develop strategies and evaluate solutions. They make decisions about appropriate use of Learning Technology solutions. They use Learning Technology to generate ideas and plans and to monitor and reflect on their learning.

Communicating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to enhance communication. They learn to communicate and apply Learning Technology to present information, engage with diverse audiences and collaborate. They communicate face-to-face and remotely with individuals and networks. They experience and share alternate views, construct new understanding and develop empathy with others.

Operating Learning Technology

Students gain an understanding of the systems they are operating. Skills in operating one system can be transferred and built upon when operating other systems. They learn to apply Learning Technology standards and conventions. They apply preventative strategies to protect systems and data and solve basic Learning Technology-related problems.

Year Five Programme Outline

By Year 5 the emphasis is far more on using learning technology to support, enhance and extend the students’ learning capacity. For example they are expected to make choices about which application to use to support their problem solving strategies, as well the publication of a task. They use concept maps to represent their thinking and planning; image and video publication tools to develop their digital literacy and collaborative learning tools like Wikis and Google Docs to support collaborative learning and knowledge building (Topic on Ancient Greeks). More sophisticated use is made of digital portfolios on LEO by introducing children to Web 2.0 applications so they can add sound, images and video to their Home Pages. They also learn how to support each other and their teacher in getting the best out of learning technologies – such as managing the class home page. These activities are used to reinforce cyber-safety awareness. A major project is the Sights and Sounds of Hong Kong, which develop a wide variety of digital literacy skills. Data logging is introduced to support work in science and simple programming skills are introduced using Turtle in Textease and Scratch.

Physical Education

Year Five is a challenging and exciting year where the students participate in a wide range of individual and team based sports: athletics, swimming, dance, gymnastics, hockey, netball, basketball, football, rounders, initiative games, badminton, volleyball and cricket. Biathlon is developed further in this year. Dance and gymnastics culminate in small group projects that are performed in front of the year group. Students are engaged in aerobic workouts at the start of lessons to encourage them to stay in good physical health.

Students develop a greater understanding of techniques, tactics and rules and are encouraged to assist and teach their peers. They learn to improve reaction times in team games and to think and make decisions quickly and effectively.

School records are in place for both swimming and athletics. The school curriculum is also boosted by the many different school coaching sessions available to all students and the vast number and type of inter-school competitions organised for them. These sports include: athletics, baseball, football, netball, cross-country, swimming, hockey, baseball, cricket and rounders.

Language

The language programme in Year Six creates a supportive classroom environment that nurtures a community of writers, readers and presenters.

The language programme offers many opportunities for students to experiment with language and to write for a range of purposes including:

  • Writing to persuade an audience and present their ideas and opinions with well-developed arguments that include specific details and examples.
  • Planning and writing detailed and organised expository texts such as reports, review, arguments, narratives and personal recounts.
  • Using language to arouse a range of responses including humour or caution.
  • Writing to entertain an audience with text that contains interesting and effective language and voice to ensure that the audience’s interest is maintained. This area is emphasised in the poetry unit.

In reading, students are encouraged to discuss how the ideas of the text and the author combine to create an interpretation of the text. This is done through a range of reading resources including novel studies. These novel studies are designed to synthesise information from texts with varying perspectives, to draw conclusions and analyse the use of literary devices such as rhetoric, wit, irony and cynicism.

Speaking and Listening offers a range of opportunities to speak confidently and appropriately in a variety of situations. These include activities such as reporting formally to an audience, exploring ideas in a group, debating issues and interviewing peers.

Mathematics

The Mathematics programme in Year six strives to encourage students to investigate, interpret and reason about patterns in number, space, measurement and data. Students explain and justify their conclusions in a variety of activities. Students interpret diagrams that represent fractions and mixed number, rewrite mixed number as improper fractions and vice versa. They continue to explore shape and space by classifying, representing and manipulating geometric shapes. They are provided with a range of opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of number and number sense that includes a range of computation. The students manipulate a range of measurement tools to develop their understanding of such concepts as length, volume, mass and time.

Integrated Studies

Conflict and WW2

This unit provides the students with the opportunity to explore the nature of conflict and how it can radically change society. Students investigate the need for non-violent conflict as a means for evoking change. They explore Hong Kong’s’ involvement in World War II and the impact the war had on Hong Kong. They note the difficult circumstances in which people were forced to live and what life was like for ordinary people in Hong Kong during WWII. They also investigate the role and impact of Canadian and Indian forces stationed in Hong Kong to protect the colony.

Continent Study

This unit provides the students with the opportunity to explore each continent and present their findings. Their presentation includes aspects of food, housing, language, culture, belief systems and religion. Students also explore different viewpoints and perspectives on the same information. During the “One hundred Voices” project, students use technology to research and present what they have found out about what it is like to be a child somewhere else in the world.

Flight

During this unit students are provided with the opportunity to explore the concept of Flight. They plan, predict, record, and observe their own investigation in lift and thrust. They inquire into how both gravity and air resistance are important to flight. They design and make their own parachute to demonstrate how gravity pulls the parachute down towards the centre of the earth while air resists its movements.

Growing Up Healthy and the Changes in our Lives

During this unit students explore the variety of changes their bodies and minds undergo through the various stages of puberty. They identify and discuss the reproductive systems in both men and women. Students recognise and discuss the physical, emotional and interpersonal changes associated with adolescence. They have opportunities to discuss problem-solving models they can use to form better relationships with friends, peers and family. As part of our LEAP programme students discuss associated problems with alcohol and how to make responsible decisions.

Micro-organisms

This unit is designed to nurture curiosity and captivate students’ interest in Science by providing opportunity for hands on activities. During this unit student summarise, represent and plan their observations. They also plan and conduct investigations. They explore the role of micro-organisms in the discovery and development of the antibiotic penicillin. This unit provides opportunity for students to understand how micro-organisms can be both harmful and beneficial to us, eg how bacteria and yeast are vital to the production of food and drinks like yoghurt and bread, beer and wine.

Global Warming

During this unit students have the opportunity to explore the global warming debate and discuss why our planet is slowly getting warmer. They inquire into the causes of the greenhouse effect and its impact on our climate and global weather patterns. Students identify the human activities that have lead to global warming and explore ways in which both individuals and governments can contribute to finding a solution.

Interdependence and Adaptation

During this unit students build upon their previous knowledge of habitats introduced in Year Four. They inquire into the roles and interaction of producers, consumers and decomposers within an eco system. They describe the structural adaptation that allows plants and animals to survive in specific habitats and investigate adaptation and methods of survival. Students inquire into how animals adapt to their environment in ways they live and how they can be identified by means of a key. They consider the threats posed by industry to a fragile ecosystem.

Music

The German Swiss International School Hong Kong offers a comprehensive and varied music programme which is two-fold:

1. Classroom Programme

Every class has two music lessons per week with a specialist music teacher. These lessons are a balance of LISTENING, COMPOSING, PERFORMING (singing, playing and moving) and cover a wide variety of musical styles. The focus is always on the concepts of music.

The programme aims to extend the child’s musical experience, knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world. At the same time opportunity is given for children to draw on their own musical experience and knowledge and use these skills to enhance their learning.

Year 6

  • Focus is on concepts of beat, rhythm and pitch, harmony and structure.
  • Children use tuned and untuned percussion as well as the instruments they learn privately to consolidate the concepts and create their own music.
  • Introduction of Chords II, III and VI.
  • Word setting leading to song writing – linked with the class poetry unit.
  • Songs and listening works are chosen to reflect or relate to General Studies.

2. Extra Curricular Activities
There are three performance groups that function as Extra Curricular Activities. All are open to the children from the English stream.

  • Senior Choir – Open to any child from Years 5 – 6. This does not require an audition and meets once a week.
  • Recorder Ensembles – There are two ensembles: advanced and intermediate. They are open to all children from Years 3 – 6. These do not require an audition and meet once a week.
  • Orchestra – Open to any child from Years 3 – 6. This does not require an audition but the children must play an orchestral instrument and be of an advanced enough level to cope with the music. The Orchestra meets once a week.

All the Music ECA groups work towards a programme of public performances. They are featured in some or all of the concerts throughout the year: Christmas Concerts, Spring Concert, Assemblies, and Special Celebrations.

Library

The library programme aims to: develop a deep understanding and appreciation of literature and to equip our students with information literacy skills for the 21st Century. Learning is more powerful when skills are contextualised and not taught in isolation. Both strands offer opportunities for collaborating with class teachers, to target specific outcomes related to units of work being studied in class. Students learn new ways to think about, critically analyse texts and develop a range of transferable skills, strategies and understandings. Information Literacy is often taught cooperatively with the ICT teacher, to integrate 21st Century skills and learning technologies.

Briefly, the aim of the Information Literacy program is enabling and empowering students to:

Plan an investigation, locate information from a range of sources, including digital media, critically analyse the information and form conclusions supported by evidence, present new knowledge and reflect on their learning process.

The Literature Skills programme exposes students to a wide range of high quality texts across a variety of genres, to broaden their experience with literature. They develop language and abilities to distinguish between realism and fantasy and discuss elements of plot, setting, character, theme, voice and the relationship between text and illustrations.

Each weekly session builds on skills mastered from previous years and complements the development of literacy, by incorporating reading, writing, viewing and listening with a focused task to complete. There is also time for browsing and home borrowing.

Learning Technology

Learning Technology is a digital tool which supports cognitive development, problem solving and thinking skills; it enables students to construct, represent and remix their own and others knowledge from the vast amounts of information available to them.

Learning Technology is represented by a combination of hardware and software solutions. In the EPD students are exposed to a range of hardware solutions such as laptops, video recorders, data-loggers, sound recorders and GPS. The majority of software solutions used will be Free and Open Source and browser based – examples can be seen in the Learning Technology room on LEO.

The main purpose of Learning Technology is to support learning skills such as enquiry, reflection and communication. It enhances our students’ learning capacity by making them more independent and creative learners. Learning Technology give students more choice and enables them to be more creative about how they represent and express their ideas and understandings. Particular emphasis is placed on developing Information and Digital Literacy skills.

Inquiring with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology for inquiry and research. They identify information needs, locate and access information. They organise, use and interpret information to improve their understanding.

Creating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to be creative in the way they extend and represent their thinking skills. They use Learning Technology to analyse problems and information needs, develop strategies and evaluate solutions. They make decisions about appropriate use of Learning Technology solutions. They use Learning Technology to generate ideas and plans and to monitor and reflect on their learning.

Communicating with Learning Technology

Students use Learning Technology to enhance communication. They learn to communicate and apply Learning Technology to present information, engage with diverse audiences and collaborate. They communicate face-to-face and remotely with individuals and networks. Students experience and share alternate views, construct new understanding and develop empathy with others.

Operating Learning Technology

Students gain an understanding of the systems they are operating. Skills in operating one system can be transferred and built upon when operating other systems. They learn to apply Learning Technology standards and conventions. They apply preventative strategies to protect systems and data and solve basic Learning Technology-related problems.

Year Six Programme Outline

In Year 6 the issues of Cyber-safety and Smart Searching (Global Warming) are revisited – with the emphasis on become a good digital citizen. Digital Portfolios are upgraded to reflect their achievements during the year ready for transition into Year 7. They learn how to use additional features in Word and Excel to support communication and data manipulation. Increasingly their use of learning technology is integrated into schemes of work; for example in Science children create a presentation about Animal Eyes and Ears for an audience of Year 1 children, choosing the application themselves from Photostory, MovieMaker, Animoto or Prezi. One of their major projects – 100 Voices – is built around teamwork and use of Web 2.0 applications to support information finding, communication and collaboration skills. By the end of Year 6, students should be confident in a range of media – text, sound, video and images and be able to create presentations to meet the needs of different audiences. They are also able to use learning technologies to review and reflect on their work.

Physical Education

In Year Six the students participate in a wide spectrum of sports, developing their ability to understand, perform, teach and evaluate them. They are also encouraged to referee where appropriate. Sports covered in Year Six are: athletics, swimming, dance, gymnastics, hockey, netball, basketball, football, rounders, initiative games, badminton, volleyball and cricket. Year Six dance and gymnastics culminate in small group performances in front of their year group. Year Six students also have the experience of leadership through responsibilities such as sports team captains, inter-house sports team captains, house captains and Sports Council members.

The sports programme is also backed up by a wide variety of school coaching sessions and a vast number of inter-school sports sessions. These sports include: athletics, baseball, football, netball, cross-country, swimming, hockey, baseball, cricket and rounders.

German in the English Primary Department is taught by native speakers and is used almost exclusively as the language of instruction. The students are totally immersed in the language during these classes.

Our German programme is aligned to the “European Framework of Reference for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment”

The aim is for all students to reach at least A1 level before the end of Primary.

All levels have three main target areas:

(1) Understanding: Listening, Reading
(2) Speaking
(3) Writing

Description of the A1 Level

A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Quoted from: “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages”, Council of Europe, 2011

Lower Primary (Y02 and Y03)
Students at this level use the narrative approach to learning German. “Bärenspaß 1” is the text used and the book is based on observations made when studying the acquisition of a mother tongue. This approach uses the exceptional readiness of this age to listen and imitate. The repeated telling of and listening to stories gives students the chance to get used to hearing German. This intensive listening phase is followed by the acquisition of selected speech structures. These structures take the everyday world of the students into account.

Using German as much as possible in the classroom as the main language of instruction gives the students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language in each lesson. In addition, worksheets, vocabulary and grammar structures are introduced in order to build a foundation for the students’ language learning. The aim is to work towards the ‘Bärenspaß-Diplom’ (Diploma), which marks the completion of ‘Bärenspaß 1’.

In addition to the language books, there is an interactive support on the webpage called „Deutsch im Netz“. Here, the students can listen to all the stories from ‘Bärenspaß 1’ in German. It also gives the students the opportunity to practise the different exercises online.

Upper Primary (Y04 – Y06)
After the ‘Bärenspaß-Diplom’ in Year 4 is finished the students are introduced to ‘Bärenspaß 2 – Aufbaustufe’. This consists of a textbook and a workbook. In Year 4 and Year 5 the students are introduced to the main grammatical structures of the German language. The focus is on the different word classes / word types (= nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. = Wortarten), parts of speech and sentence structures. Therefore the students work with the new workbook and get formally introduced to the vocabulary.

The main focus in Year 6 is to ensure that the students are well prepared for the transition into the Secondary. To this end, a new textbook is introduced in year 6 called “Ping Pong 1”. This series is continued in the secondary. To supplement the book, worksheets are used to extend vocabulary, introduce new grammar structures and complete comprehension tasks.

The Groups
Each class is divided into two language groups. Differentiation takes place in all classes, so that the abilities and challenges of individual students are taken into consideration.

Students new to GSIS
All students new to the programme in Year 3 and 4 are integrated into the regular language classes.

For the students new in Year 5 and 6 there are additional “Extra German” lessons, which are compulsory.

Assessment
Assessments given in Year 2 and Year 3 are based on exercises and tasks introduced in the regular classes and “Deutsch im Netz”. The students will be assessed in the of areas listening, comprehension, and speaking.

In Year 4 and onwards the assessments will be conducted on completion of each chapter. This main test focus is on the areas listening and understanding (“Hörverstehen”), reading (“Leseverstehen”), grammar (“Grammatik”) and writing (“Schreiben”).

In addition, the students have regular vocabulary tests and short tests focusing on particular grammar points. These assessments will be held periodically depending on the students’ progress. As a general rule, students will be informed of short tests and vocabulary tests 5 – 7 days in advance and for the main tests two weeks in advance.

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Children are taught music twice a week from Year One to Year Six. The emphasis is on learning through enjoyment. The programme is a balance of listening, performing and composing and aims to develop a firm grasp of the concepts of music: Rhythm, Pitch, Harmony and Dynamics. The classes are well equipped with many percussion instruments, including a full set of Orff tuned percussion and music-related games. Recorder is introduced in Year Two. In Year Three students are invited to join the Music Extra Curricular Activities: Choir, Orchestra, Recorder Ensemble.

Performance opportunities are given to all children in the form of class concerts, assembly class performances, soloist concerts, Spring Concert and Christmas Concert.

Excellent sporting facilities comprise a large fully equipped sports hall, two outdoors games areas, an undercover playground at the Wan Chai Campus.

Lower primary students enjoy a playground area , sand pit and a roof top soccer field in the Pok Fu Lam campus.

Students participate in the annual school Sports Day, gym spectacular and swimming gala.

Upper primary students (Y03-Y06) have the opportunity to represent their school in a variety of sports: swimming, athletics, football, hockey, rounders, baseball, cricket, netball, biathlon and cross-country.

There are many performances and productions within the English Primary Department each year and the children also have the benefit of seeing visiting artists.

The annual Christmas Concert and Primary Spring Concert provide opportunities for students to gain confidence in performing in front of an audience. Opportunities are embedded for students to showcase their talents and interests in this way.

Students are all encouraged to participate in drama, music and art. Where possible, these are integrated into the units of study so that students see connections between music, mathematics, art, science, language and technology.

One day a year is set aside for the German celebration of “Fasching” when the children and staff dress up and enjoy a Mardi Gras.

All classes enjoy at least one educational outing and one ‘Wandertag’ or ‘walk’ each year.

The educational support team are teachers who have taken further courses in this field and have many years’ experience both in the classroom and in the special needs areas of primary school education.

The educational support team is characterised by innovation, best practice and a commitment to all learners to develop their confidence in areas that show particular weakness. We provide a rich, inclusive, curriculum to help meet the learning needs of all students, from those requiring support at times, to those at the other end of the learning continuum, whose learning requires enrichment.

In consultation with the student’s homeroom teacher and parents, the most appropriate method of intervention is discussed. Educational support is available to all children from Year One to Year Six. This support is delivered in a flexible manner to suit individual children or small groups. Students may be withdrawn from the class for extra tuition, or support may be given in the classroom.

The work of all those in the education support team has a clear focus on explicit, systematic teaching that is underpinned by an expectation that all students will make progress given sufficient time and support.

With the support and partnership of parents, interventions for learners who are underachieving at any level are designed to accelerate a student’s learning beyond what he or she can achieve alone. All the interventions offered are evidence based and research informed. Each is designed to provide rigorous, relevant and purposeful learning opportunities, supported by explicit and scaffolded teaching.

We use both classroom evidence and standardised data to determine when and how often a student may need support.

A school counsellor supplements the established system of pastoral care. The counsellor provides a sympathetic and supportive point of contact for students to discuss any problems.

Counselling at GSIS is designed to serve and assist the unique needs of international students and their families. While addressing the academic, social, and emotional needs of students, the counsellor also acts as a bridge between the Deputy Head of Primary, teachers and parents, working to create an environment where every student will have the tools needed to fulfill our school mission.

The counsellor works with students on a range of issues, including communication and relationship building skills with peers, parents, and teachers; time management and study skills; stress management; anxiety reduction; transitions; self-esteem; and management of peer pressure.

The counsellor maintains an up-to-date list of outside professionals in the area for students who may benefit from referral.

At GSIS, we are committed to embracing and developing teacher talent and leadership.

Educators at GSIS are encouraged to undertake regular professional development to keep abreast of the latest educational philosophies as well as being highly professional and capable 21st Century educators who 'stretch' students' understandings of the world around them so that they develop into globally responsible citizens.

Workshops and conferences are conducted either in-house or hosted by other international schools or educational institutions.

Here is a list of workshops and conferences our educators have had the privilege of attending:

  • Hawker Brownlow Leadership Conference - Melbourne, Australia
  • 21st Century Learning Conference - Hong Kong
  • Exploring the Reggio Emilia Approach - Singapore
  • International Brain and Mind Expo - Hong Kong
  • Orff Schulwerk Approach weekend workshop (Jim Santi Owens) - Hong Kong
  • MLATS workshop (Mathematics Learning & Teaching for Success) - Hong Kong
  • EARCOS Weekend Workshops (East Asian Regional Council of Schools)
  • Nelson Reading and Writing Workshop - Hong Kong

GSIS participates in the Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP). This is a ‘healthy living’ programme designed promote the importance of maintaining a healthy life style. In the upper primary classes it includes discussions about drugs and cigarettes and dealing with peer pressure.