Primary School

CURRICULUM

Our classrooms are stimulating, child-centred places of learning. We encourage students to express their own ideas and responses in a variety of ways, with confidence and enthusiasm. The Section’s teaching goes beyond the simple acquisition of language skills. We encourage an environment of sharing and cultural exchange: students are welcome to talk about their different backgrounds and to learn from the experience of others with tolerance and kindness.

The Primary curriculum is based on the national curricula of Great Britain and of the United States and makes use of British and American teaching methods and materials. This allows for a variety of approaches, styles and wider exposure to language and vocabulary in general.

Moreover it has been adapted to fit into a six-hour a week school programme and to be appropriate to an international school environment where students have a wide range of educational backgrounds and experiences. It is flexible enough to accommodate second language English students alongside native and near-native speakers.

Students progress through materials and skills in a controlled and structured way and are expected to have acquired previous year’s skills before moving on. There is inevitably a degree of overlap between year groups and a range of ability and language needs within each teaching group. In any one lesson there is often a range of language and learning skills at play and many activities develop or consolidate a variety of skills.

Students are expected to develop their English skills at home and are given regular homework to consolidate work done in class. It is absolutely essential that children have regular exposure to English out of school and complete homework assignments thoroughly.

Anglophone teachers work in close partnership with French colleagues to facilitate student integration and to avoid overlap in activities and skills.

Throughout primary, children learn to become responsible for their own work. They are encouraged to organise work into class and homework books or folders, to complete assignments on time and to a good standard and to take pride in their work.

In order to achieve these aims, a variety of skills and activities are introduced and reinforced throughout primary. These include:

  • Listening skills (stories, presentations, instructions, audio and video)
  • Talking skills (discussions, answering questions, presentations)
  • Research skills (encyclopedias, information books, internet)
  • Pair/group work
  • Problem solving activities
  • Individual project or research work

At various stages in primary, lessons or units of work have a more cultural, geographical, historical or scientific nature to develop a wider range of language and learning skills and approaches. For example: In collaboration with the French CM2 teachers, we have studied the Second World War by reading Anne Frank’s diary, watching films, going on a field trip to the D-Day beaches and publishing a book of letters and poems on the war that was presented to President Macron.

Upon entry, children are assessed to determine their knowledge of the alphabet, phonic awareness and initial reading skills. Based on this assessment, a teaching programme is developed to revise letter/sound relationships and basic phonic skills. Over the next two years, students will develop their reading skills through the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme and extend their skills through supplementary materials. Initial writing skills will be consolidated and developed. Emphasis is placed on written expression and developing writing confidence as opposed to producing perfectly correct work. As a means of developing reading and writing skills and to extend other learning skills, concepts and vocabulary, students will study a variety of projects and go on a day trip. Computers and tablets, alongside traditional creative tools, form an integral part of the curriculum for learning and communication. A variety of educational software, covering a range of topics and skills (science, history, geography, language and culture) will be used throughout the year.
By the time they arrive in CE2, student will have mastered the basic skills of reading and writing. They are now ready to concentrate on developing their creativity and independence. During the course of CE2, students will leave behind the structured reading scheme and make greater use of the class libraries to extend their individual reading skills. Over the next two year they will work individually and in class on their understanding of character, plot, setting and novel construction. Children’s authors like Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, Caroline Lawrence and Michael Morpurgo will be studied at school. In addition to stories and poems, a wide variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction will be used to develop students’ reading comprehension. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, information books, CD-Roms and internet are widely used. At the same time students will continue to develop their story-writing skills, paying particular attention to detail, organisation and style. They will be given regular writing assignments. Children are encouraged to reread their work to correct spelling and punctuation and to improve and develop their ideas. Students will keep their own A-Z wordbooks based on spelling lists studied in class. They will extend their range of spelling strategies and overall awareness of word and language structure and patterns and develop their ability to edit, correct and improve their writing. Students will also be given standardised reading tests and writing evaluations to monitor progress. Computers and tablets will be used to develop reading, writing, research and thinking skills. They’ll also learn simple word processing skills. When students leave us at the end of CM2, we wish them to be confident and keen readers and writers.

School reports/report cards

In the Anglophone Section, Primary school reports are sent home twice a year, in December and in June/July. Parents are given the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher in the January parent-teacher meetings. If there is anything parents would like to discuss with teachers during the course of the academic year, they are more than welcome to make an appointment through the Section office. If parents would like to discuss work and progress with their child’s French teacher, one of the Section teachers could act as interpreter if necessary.