To meet the educational needs of our pupils, Harbour International uses the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) combined with elements of the British curriculum to ensure and maintain a high standard of education.
International Primary Curriculum
The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a specially designed curriculum for international primary schools. The teachers use this programme to develop pupils' knowledge, skills and understanding across a wide variety of subjects. Personal development and international understanding are at the heart of the curriculum. IPC lays out a clear process of learning and specific goals for every subject. Every unit starts with an “Entry Point”. The entry point is an activity for children that begins each unit of work and provides an exciting introduction to the work that is to follow. At the end of every unit the children celebrate their learning in the “Exit Point”.
More information about the IPC and how it is used in our school can be found here.
In September 2020 we began using the mathematics scheme ‘Maths No Problem’. The scheme is based on the world-renowned Singapore approach to Maths and was the first scheme to be recognised by the Department of Education in England. The scheme ensures that there is a strong conceptual understanding of maths as opposed to rote learning of facts. Maths No Problem utilises research from educational psychologists Jerome Bruner and Richard Skemp. Learning begins with concrete resources. After plentiful hands-on experience, this moves to pictorial representations such as a diagram of a problem and finally to abstract representations, for example, 3 + 4 = 7. This is called the CPA approach.
You can watch some videos of Dr. Yeap explaining some of the methods and strategies of Maths No Problem here.
English is taught based on the English national curriculum. The children are taught reading through small guided reading sessions using Oxford Reading Tree levelled reading books. Spelling and grammar are taught weekly and these components are then applied during writing sessions. The curriculum takes into account each individual child and their level of learning, with teachers differentiating to ensure that all children are assigned work that is suited to them. The children also have access to our library at least once a week where they can take home two books that interest them.
As a school we aim to engage children in a love of reading and inspire them as writers, through the exploration of high-quality texts within lessons. Teachers carefully plan and deliver lessons using teaching methods that ensure all children make good progress in their writing, vocabulary building and comprehension, embedding their learning over time.
The approach we have been trialling is based on 50 years of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s research. Their “Power” of Reading explores the impact high-quality literature has on children’s engagement and attainment as readers and the link between reading and children’s writing development.
By linking these texts with IPC (International Primary Curriculum) topics, we aim to embed the vocabulary in meaningful contexts and ensure that children see the cross-curricular links in their learning, including the skills taught in Literacy lessons.
We use Nelson Handwriting to practice letter formation, leading to neat cursive script.
Phonics, reading and Spelling
We currently use Nelson spelling scheme for spelling from Group 3.
As a result of our review of Phonics teaching, we are currently using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document from the UK to support our Phonics teaching within Group 1-3, to ensure consistency of approach. Unlike a scheme, this approach allows us to carefully customise it to meet the specific context of our school. It was used as a trial with such great success by our Group 0/1 teachers last year that we are extending the trial to Group 2 and Group 3.
We aim for our children to quickly feel successful as readers, through fully decodable reading books that match the letters and sounds taught. As children progress through the phonics phases, they use their growing knowledge of the sounds and matching letters to spell with increasing accuracy. They later become aware of spelling patterns and rules.
We use Oxford Reading Tree books to match the level and interest of the children.
All the above aspects of our Language and Literacy curriculum are connected and teaching is differentiated for the needs of the children.
English as Another Language (EAL)
Our EAL teachers work with non-English speaking children from groups 3-8 to support their learning of English as Another Language. The children are supported by the EAL teachers in small groups and in the classroom to help them acquire the English language skills necessary to access the full curriculum.
Dutch as Another Language (DAL)
Dutch language and culture is taught in groups 2-8 to pupils who have a sufficient command of the English language. Our pupils are given as many opportunities as possible to learn as much as possible about the Dutch language and culture through trips and visits outside of school.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT or information and communication technology covers a wide range of learning for the children. Groups 1 and 2 are introduced to many different kinds of technology like timers and walkie-talkies. Students also start working with chromebooks for a variety of activities. We look at digital books and start simple coding and sequencing. In groups 1 and 2 students are also introduced to the safe use of the internet to find information and pictures as well as ways to collaborate on projects.
Groups 3 and 4 students learn about use of email, spreadsheets and databases. They “collect” images from the web and present them using presentation software. Students in these groups expand their knowledge of coding and start to use more advanced concepts. We also explore safe internet use and what to do if they encounter cyberbullying.
Students in groups 5 and 6 start learning about different types of technology and its applications. They create wikis and websites and are introduced to different computer languages and security features. Group 5 and 6 students use their knowledge of coding to create interactive toys and games. They work with 3-D design.
In groups 7 and 8, students explore more deeply what technology is and what it does. They learn a variety of computer languages as well as applications for these. They create apps and interactive games and animations. They also explore data, what it’s used for and how it’s collected.
To support this learning, students use many different gadgets. We have Dash robots, raspberry pi units, and Beebots as well as chromebooks and iPads. Various software is used for the different activities including Blockly, Scratch, code.org, Tinkercad, musiclab, Google photos as well as the education suite from Google.
Twice a week, our students take part in Physical Education lessons delivered by a qualified teacher.
Students in groups 1 to 3 work on their basic motor skills, getting to know their bodies and how to control them. By playing games, they learn how to run, climb, jump, throw, catch, etc.
Students in groups 4 to 7 enjoy a more sport-oriented approach. They learn a broad variety of both team and individual sports during the year, from basketball, badminton, or volleyball to BMX, kin-Ball, or roller-skating, among others.
Our P.E. goals are:
to educate our students in IPC values through fun and physical activity.
to make sure that all our students enjoy physical activity and find the sport they like.
to boost our students' self-confidence.
to promote a healthy lifestyle.
to develop and improve both motor and social skills.
Children in group 4 will attend weekly swimming lessons at the local pool.
This year, we are trialling Jigsaw as a teaching resource to deliver Personal, Social, Emotional, Health and Well-being education, to further support our school aim of giving children the tools to have the best possible life as global citizens.
You can find out more about this program via the website: www.jigsawpshe.com/home