Primary Curriculum Handbook 2019-20
Core Values, Mission & Aims
Welcome from the Head of Primary
The DBIS Learning Curriculum
Our Discovery Curriculum in Action Learning in Year Three
Learning in Year Four
Learning in Year Five
Learning in Year Six 14
Our Curriculum Adventures
Our Core Primary Curriculum Mathematics 18 English 19 Music and the Creative Arts
Mandarin 20 Learning Technology 21 Physical Education and Sport
Our Core Values, Mission and Aims
OUR CORE VALUES zz
We respect the needs and rights of each member of our community.
We show care, kindness and compassion to others.
We are supportive of each other.
We embrace diversity and celebrate individuality.
We are responsible and honest in our actions.
We promote a sense of personal identity and a global mindset.
OUR MISSION We provide an outstanding holistic international education to students in an inclusive and nurturing learning environment. We seek to inspire and empower students to succeed in fulfilling their individual potential as global citizens in a rapidly changing world.
OUR AIMS zz
To promote a culture of excellence in teaching and learning.
To provide a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the international nature of the DBIS student community.
To encourage internationalism, providing students with the skills, dispositions, and knowledge to participate in an increasingly interconnected world.
To ensure a supportive, happy and secure environment for learning.
To develop leadership skills and a sense of service to others through a range of extra-curricular opportunities locally and internationally.
To encourage the physical and emotional wellbeing of each individual.
To use innovative pedagogy and technology to enrich learning.
To work in partnership with parents, alumni and the local and wider community in the ongoing development of the school.
To foster a learning community where every student, teacher, staff member, parent and DBIS alumni has an ongoing passion for learning.
The DBIS Community - Revised in 2014 and 2017.
Our Primary School is a unique and special international community school that puts learning at the heart of everything we do. The schoolâ€™s philosophy is based around the holistic development of the whole child, ensuring that all students are given every opportunity to pursue their individual strengths and interests and develop their curiosity, independence, confidence and resilience when meeting new challenges. Our enquiry-based approach to learning is supported through our use of technology, the challenge we offer students and the support we give them to develop their independent and critical thinking skills. We passionately believe that learning does not just happen in the classroom, so DBIS offers an outstanding range of quality extracurricular activities, giving our students the opportunity to pursue their personal interests and talents. We also pride ourselves on the excellent pastoral care given to support students throughout their time in the Primary School, maintaining a focus on well-being and positivity, as they start to prepare for their secondary education and beyond. We truly value the cultural diversity of DBIS students and ensure the curriculum offers the opportunity to celebrate, understand and reflect upon the importance of internationalism. In addition to exciting themed Discovery Weeks, students throughout the Primary School regularly mark a range of different religious and cultural festivals, with our wider school community and external visitors playing an integral part in supporting these opportunities and making them exceptional learning experiences for us all. Due to the distinct nature of living in Hong Kong, DBIS students are extremely aware of their global footprint. Environmental awareness is interwoven into the ethos of the school, with students continually searching for opportunities to make their community a more sustainable environment.
Welcome to Our Primary School
We are extremely proud of the close relationships we develop between home and school as we work together with our parents to ensure our students are able to make the best possible progress according to their unique abilities. We value these relationships and are always looking for ways to strengthen them, so we encourage our community to regularly come in and talk to us about studentsâ€™ learning, their well being and general development, to ensure that every child in our school community has the opportunity to flourish. We hope the following pages give you an insight into our happy and exciting learning community.
Susan Walter Head of Primary
The Learning Curriculum We are extremely proud of the innovative and exciting curriculum we offer here at DBIS. Whilst our curriculum is guided and directed by the English National Curriculum, it also reflects our unique international setting and celebrates our community’s diversity. We are particularly proud of the breadth of our provision and the many opportunities we provide for children to achieve. DBIS students learn about Hong Kong’s unique culture and heritage and we have ensured that both local and global dimensions are included throughout our cross-curricular, concept based Discovery Units across the school. The DBIS Primary Curriculum places significant focus on the holistic development of our students through the development of their key learner skills and through our Learning to Learn and Learning for Life programmes. Our bespoke Discovery Units are concept driven units of learning that create links between curriculum subjects and the real world. Learning is initiated through student questions which are answered as the students are supported in their lines of guided and independent enquiry. Through experiential and motivating learning activities and experiences, the students are supported in developing their learner skills as they encounter real life problems to solve. As our students take more ownership of their learning and deepen their conceptual understandings in purposeful contexts, they become better able to make connections to previous learning and can actively transfer their learning and skills in different contexts. The opening of our new Discovery Lab has given real momentum to the development of a STEAM based approach to learning through our Discovery Units, focussing specifically on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. English and Maths remain at the centre of our curriculum. Our Primary Curriculum sets out in some detail what must be taught in each of these subjects, and they will continue to take up a significant part of your child’s learning week. Alongside the core subjects, we provide exceptional learning opportunities across our Mandarin, Music, Learning Technology and Physical Education curricula, all of which are taught by specialist teachers. More detail of our curriculum content is contained later in this guide.
Monitoring Progress Teachers at DBIS quickly develop genuine and positive relationships with the children in their classes. Planned learning across the school is goal focussed, with identified skills, knowledge and understandings selected to ensure that each student is challenged and supported to achieve to the very best of their ability. Great emphasis is placed on the value of both teacher and student assessment to ensure that students can actively celebrate their learning successes, have an accurate understanding of their progress and achievements and are clear about their next steps targets in learning. The studentâ€™s own reflections on their learning are actively shared with parents through their personal SeeSaw portfolios. These student portfolios provide a window into the childrenâ€™s learning journeys and we are pleased to be able to share them with families. Our assessment focus is based around whether pupils are working towards, working at, working above or working significantly above the expected outcomes for their year group. Primary students complete formal assessments during Terms 1, 2 and 3 with the purpose of preassessing the students current level of understanding, and also to support and inform teacher judgement regarding progress and attainment, which is then shared with parents through the schoolâ€™s reporting programme. There is a noticeable focus on developing resilience and self initiated challenge in all our students, and we maintain high expectations for this across all curriculum areas. When students are exceeding expectations they will be further challenged in their learning by being given more in-depth and investigative work to allow a greater depth of understanding of concepts and ideas in new and different contexts.
Our Discovery Curriculum in Action Year 3 Discovery Units
LEARNING TO LEARN Are you excited to have access to your own Chromebook? How do you think it will impact your learning? What process will you go through to make the best use of it? In this unit, students explore how their attitude can best support their learning and be the best classmates they can be. Students build on the great learning they did in Year 2 in developing their Growth Mindset approach to learning and the importance of learning from mistakes.
SIGNIFICANT PEOPLE - HOW DID THEY CHANGE THE WORLD? What it means to be significant and how this can impact and change society? Students explore how someone becomes significant, answering questions like; How do peopleâ€™s qualities and actions determine the effect they can have? How does their place in time and history determine the impact they can have on the world? The children are invited to take a journey into the lives and times of significant people and explore how they changed the world through their actions and beliefs.
CAN WE SAVE THE WORLD? Does our world need saving? Why? What can WE do to save our world? In this unit, Year 3 students learn about the Worldâ€™s resources and how they can be used sustainably. They examine how conservation can contribute to a sustainable future. They use Lantau Island as a case study to discover more about the plethora of plant and animal life right here on our doorstep and debate about how and why we should protect it.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts INTERACTIONS - Growth Mindset, Process, Learning, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Technology, Systems, Balance, Responsibility SUBJECT DRIVERS: Learner Skills, Enquiry, Metacognition
PERSPECTIVE - Significance, Society, Beliefs, Values, Time, Choices, Actions, Creativity, Experimentation, Process SUBJECT DRIVERS: History, Art
SUSTAINABILITY / CHANGE - Resources, Environment, Consequences, Communities, Classification, Living Things, Attributes, Survival, Adaptation, Environment, Conservation, Evidence, Repetition, Shape, Pattern, Colour SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science Living things and their habitats, Plants, Geography, Art
Year 3 Discovery Units
HOW ACTIVE IS OUR PLANET? Do you remember Typhoon Mangkhut? Have you thought about why and how it happened? How did it affect you and our global community? What technology during this experience? In this unit, students learn about the earthâ€™s processes and how they can affect people and places. They explore case studies to see how different communities manage and adapt to these processes and debate whether or not they have become too reliant on technological innovations to manage natural disasters.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts CHANGE/CAUSE & EFFECT - Landforms, Change, Forces of Nature, Processes, Communities, Technological Innovation, Impact, Change, Materials, Shape, Pattern, Tone, Colour SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science - Rocks, States of Matter, Geography, History, Art
Year 4 Discovery Units
LEARNING TO LEARN What do you think has an impact on your learning? What process will you go through to make the best use of it? In this unit, students in Year 4 explore how their attitude, positive or negative, can affect their learning. As they continue to build on their previous learning about Growth Mindset thinking, they set goals for their learning over the coming year and further explore the importance of learning from mistakes.
BODY & MIND Have you ever wondered how your body works? What do the different organs in your body do? How do they work together? In this Discovery unit, students explore and find out how their different body systems interconnect, how they work and the functions they perform. Through their enquiry, they also discover how to maintain a healthy balance between body and mind and how the choices they make can affect their health.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION How do famous artists create their masterpieces? Students explore how artists create art as a form of expression that is interpreted by an audience. They discover how artists create their artwork and how they can use specific techniques to create their own masterpiece. The children learn how to express ideas in new ways and how to manage their time so that they can create their own art collection to show at the Year 4 gallery.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts RELATIONSHIPS - Community, Growth Mindset, Process, Technology, Balance, Responsibility. SUBJECT DRIVERS: Learner Skills, Enquiry, Metacognition
INTERDEPENDENCE - Functions, Systems, Nutrition, Diet, Health, Exercise, Choices, Balance, Lifestyle, Technology, Responsibility SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science Animals including humans, PSHE
EXPRESSION - Audience, Techniques, Elements, Ideas, Creativity, Experimentation, Perspective, Interpretation SUBJECT DRIVERS: History, Art
Year 4 Discovery Units
YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS Have you ever wanted to make a little extra pocket money? Are you full of innovative ideas that could be used to design and create goods or services that could be sold? Could you use these ideas to create, develop and launch a new, innovative product or service that would appeal to an audience? How could people be influenced to create a demand for such an innovative product or service? So many questions to be answered as the students explore entrepreneurship; using a design process to create new or develop existing ideas that will appeal to a particular audience or target market. They consider the manufacturing process and cost implications of mass production, understand how goods and services can be marketed to create demand, before exploring other factors that can influence a successful new product or service launch.
MIGHTY CIVILIZATIONS Have you ever wondered why we measure time the way we do? Have you thought about how different alphabets and languages have developed? Have you questioned how people without modern machinery were able to build pyramids, roads and other amazing structures? In this unit, students explore ancient civilisations of their choice, and use different forms of evidence to find out about their location, their inventions, their communication system and their political structures. They complete this learning by identifying the influence these civilisations still have on the world today.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts PROCESS - Innovation, Creativity, Product, Ideas, Features, Design Process, Needs, Consumer, Enquiry, Investigation, Understanding, Construction, Circuit, Electricity, Device, Force, Impact, Object, Materials SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science Electricity, Forces & Magnetism, Technology, Design Technology, Art
DEVELOPMENT - Civilization, Location, Structure, Hierarchy, Society, Roles, Power, Beliefs, Values, Innovation, Progress, Influence SUBJECT DRIVERS: History, Geography, Art/DT
Year 5 Discovery Units
LEARNING TO LEARN How does our brain help us to learn? What is Positive Psychology? Students start to recognise that learning is a process that is influenced by a variety of factors including growth mindset. They explore the connection between growth mindset, attitude and learning, and study the idea of Positive Psychology and how this can be embedded at the start of the academic year to have a constructive and optimistic impact for their learning over the rest of the year.
FULL POWER What is energy? How do we use energy? How has it changed over time? Is there enough energy for our future? Do all communities use the same types of energy sources? In this unit, students explore different sources of energy, how they have changed over time and the impact of our use of energy sources on the environment and communities. They examine how the energy use of a community can impact other places in the world, and consider the impact of energy production and how its use has led to the development of alternative energy sources.
OUR HONG KONG What do you know about the place in which we live? Have you ever stopped to wonder what Hong Kong looked like 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, or even what it will look like in 100 years time? Students living here explore how their current home, Hong Kong, has changed over time and the impact that this has had on its geography, its people and its history. They consider the history and geography of Hong Kong and how this has both changed over time and can be viewed from different perspectives.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts INTERACTIONS - Process, Learning, Growth Mindset, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Psychology, Potential, Technology, Systems SUBJECT DRIVERS: Learner Skills, Enquiry, Metacognition
TRANSFORMATION - Energy, Process, Power, Environments, Communities, Sources, Opportunities, Health, Education, Socio-Economic, Art SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science (Electricity), Art, Geography, Design Technology
CHANGE/PERSPECTIVE Trade, Time, Needs, Location, Progress, Design, Structures, Purpose, Population, Land, Weather, System, Community SUBJECT DRIVERS: Geography, History
Year 5 Discovery Units
INTERSTELLAR: OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE What is our place in the universe? What inspires space exploration? How might humans need to adapt to survive living on a new planet? In this unit, students explore the concept of space exploration, how curiosity and needs have driven space exploration, and how humans might survive in a settlement on a new planet. They explore how adaptation and sustainability, along with technological advances in space exploration over time have led to new discoveries.
THE SHOW - AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHINE How can we communicate meaning through performance? What does this involve? What are the elements that make up a great performance? Throughout this unit, the students study and consider how relationships play an integral role in the creation and success of a theatrical production. They look at the role of language and meaning in productions and how the separate elements of a performance can come together to create the overall effect and desired impact on an audience. Students also consider how they are interdependent as they reflect throughout the whole process of creating the show, and consider how feedback and experimentation leads to evaluation and improvement.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts EXPLORATION - Gravity, Planetary Bodies, Solar System, Constellations, Technology, Navigation, Curiosity, Space Exploration, Survival, Environment, Adaptation, Sustainability SUBJECT DRIVERS: Geography, History
RELATIONSHIPS - Foundation, Progress, Language, Performance, Production, Meaning, Understanding, Reflection, Creativity, Experimentation, Production, Improvement SUBJECT DRIVERS: Design Technology, Art, Science Light and sound
Year 6 Discovery Units
LEARNING TO LEARN How are you going to rise to the challenges that Year 6 will present to you? Will your choices reflect the values of DBIS? How will you be an effective learner, a positive role model and a responsible leader? As our Year 6 students start their last year in primary, they explore the answers to the questions posed above. They consider the DBIS values, what it means to be a great learner here and how they can use their learner and enquiry skills to help achieve their end of year learning goals and successfully prepare for their transition into secondary school.
WHY DO PEOPLE MIGRATE? What makes people want to move from one place to another? What is their motivation for migration is it their choice or has it been forced upon them? Have you ever moved from one place to another? Have you ever considered how different your life would be if you hadnâ€™t moved or perhaps did move to another place? In this unit, students explore the many factors that motivate people to migrate as well as the challenges they may face.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts IDENTITY - Values, Reflections, Choices, Actions, Growth Mindset, Process, Learning, Responsibility, Understanding, Balance, Safety, Consequences SUBJECT DRIVERS: Learner Skills, Enquiry, Metacognition
ORIGINS/TRANSITION - Push/ Pull, Migration, Change, Power, Conflict, Location, Infrastructure, Resources, Immigration, Networks, Charities, Economy, Processes, Resources, Consumption, Story, Journey, Drawing SUBJECT DRIVERS: Geography, History, Art, Science - Properties changing materials
Year 6 Discovery Units
ECOSYSTEMS - HOW DO THEY SUPPORT LIFE? What do a tide pool on the Atlantic coast and a rainforest in South America have in common? Despite being very different in size and location, both are examples of Ecosystems. But what is an Ecosystem? How is an Ecosystem different from a Community? Students explore how populations of species are organized in our world. They investigate how these incredibly diverse systems support living things; exploring the interdependence they have on one another and the physical environment in which they live. What role do they play in these incredible systems of diversity? What responsibility as humans do we owe these systems?
STEAM FAIR How could your learning transform the world? In this unit, students have the opportunity to think like a scientist, an engineer and a mathematician. They have the opportunity to bring their critical and creative thinking to an issue that might need a solution or innovation and are challenged to reflect on ideas that exist already and transform current thinking through a process of designing, developing and evaluating. This is an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their investigative skills along with essential communication and collaboration skills to a wider audience at the DBIS STEAM Fair.
Conceptual Lens & Key Concepts SYSTEMS/STRUCTURE - Location, Climate, Population, Form, Shape, Ecosystem, Balance, Equilibrium, Disturbances, Interdependence, Living Things, Food, Energy, Growth, Reproduction, Adaptation, Evolution, Survival, Responsibility, Choices, Actions, Sustainability SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science Living things and their habitats, Animals including humans, Evolution and inheritance, Art, Geography, Design Technology
INNOVATION - Investigation, Problems, Solutions, Reflection, Design Process, Decomposition, Perseverance, Communication, Representation, Understanding, Success SUBJECT DRIVERS: Science - all areas - student agency
Experiential learning is an integral part in learning at Discovery Bay International School. Our teachers actively look for opportunities to take the learning outside the classroom, and our location is perfect for this. Local trips to the beaches and hills of Discovery Bay support student learning and help them to appreciate all that makes our community special. Our growing Beach and Forest School programmes will continue to support this area of learning over the coming year. Residential learning experiences are an integral part of our learning curriculum at DBIS, and as such, all children are expected to take part. Residential trips provide exciting opportunities for students to learn and grow in a way that other experiences can not, and create memories that the children treasure for life. In Year 3, our children start with an overnight stay here in Hong Kong where they enjoy a range of exciting activities including high ropes, archery and team building games. Year 4 and 5 residential camps also take place in Hong Kong over 2 nights, with Year 5 children getting the
Our Curriculum Adventures
opportunity to put up their tents and camp next to the beach. During these camps, students are exposed to challenges that many will not have experienced before. They develop real-life problem solving skills, and many will return home after overcoming fears and attempting activities they never thought possible. Their sense of pride in their own achievements is always palpable. In Year 6, our international residential camp will take place in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Students will spend a week in the Fang Valley, in the far north of Thailand (near Chiang Rai), situated amongst the forested mountains and adjacent to a large river, surrounded by mountains, and with fascinating local geography, history and culture. This is perfectly suited to the development of outdoor activities and academic fieldwork that the students will be experiencing.
Our Core Primary Curriculum Mathematics At DBIS, we follow the English National Curriculum for the teaching and learning of Maths.
By the end of Year 6, we aim to ensure that all our students become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics. Through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They are able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. They can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
English At DBIS, we follow the English National Curriculum for the teaching and learning of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening.
Aims The overarching aim for our English curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We aim to ensure that all pupils read easily, fluently and with good understanding, and develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. They will acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language, and appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage. They will write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences, and use discussion in order to learn. They should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas and be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Music and the Creative Arts We are proud of our thriving creative arts department in which students are encouraged to develop into confident communicators and performers in a supportive atmosphere. We provide a wide-ranging, holistic approach to the Creative Arts and offer a number of opportunities for students to express themselves and develop in confidence and skill. Our team of Creative Arts specialists aim to deliver a diverse programme both in and out of the classroom
in order to enrich and inspire our students. Supported by a committed group of peripatetic teachers, the Music department offers numerous extra-curricular activities and an array of public performance opportunities. These include large scale community events as well as whole school concerts, in addition to a number of opportunities for students to participate in international music festivals through our ongoing membership with FOBISIA.
Mandarin We believe that the learning of a foreign language in Primary School provides valuable educational, social and cultural experiences for all our students. Students develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between Mandarin and English. We believe that learning another language raises awareness of the multilingual and multicultural world, promoting an international dimension to student learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and that of the geographical area they live in. We aim for our students to gain confidence and competence in speaking Mandarin. As they learn in Mandarin, our students have opportunities to consolidate the knowledge, skills and concepts they are developing in other areas of the Primary Curriculum and across our Discovery Units. Mandarin lessons are interactive and engaging with students developing skills in the key elements of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our teachers are expertly supported by our Education Assistants, allowing for even greater differentiation and the possibility to challenge and extend our most able learners, as well as support those with specific learning needs. Students are separated into three pathways, depending on their progress, attainment and previous exposure to Mandarin, to ensure the lessons are further differentiated to meet their individual learning needs.
Ye a r 6 s t u d e n t s m a y t a k e a n e x t e r n a l qualification in recognition of their attainment over the course of their Primary years, in preparation for the transition to Secondary.
We a i m t o e n a b l e o u r s t u d e n t s t o understand and apply a range of Learning Te c h n o l o g y a n d c o m p u t i n g s k i l l s t o effectively communicate, investigate and create in ways that help them make informed and sensible choices to benefit and extend their learning. Our specialist lessons are made up of progressive units of study that ensure students develop skills throughout the Primary School, which can be applied to other aspects of learning. Digital Citizenship is a key component of the Learning Technologies curriculum. We aim to ensure that our students are able to use technologies critically and safely, ensuring that they are confident users in a range of contexts with a clear understanding of the benefits and associated risks. At DBIS we actively incorporate computing, coding and programming skills into the schoolâ€™s provision. Whilst Learning Technology is taught as a discrete subject by our specialist teachers, we aim to ensure that our students utilise their technology skills in order to enhance their learning in other subject areas. As a result, our specialist teachers work closely with the classroom teachers to ensure that students are able to explore and access their learning through a variety of technologies.
Physical Education and Sport Our students benefit from extensive onsite facilities including a gymnasium, a heated outdoor pool, a multi-purpose court and an all weather pitch, enabling us to provide a Physical Education (PE) programme of the highest quality. Our specialist PE teachers deliver a progressive curriculum that gives our students the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activities in an atmosphere of enjoyment and personal and social development. Through a mixture of individual and team based activities, students learn about co-operating, strategising, planning and evaluating performance. Students are helped to make informed choices about following balanced and healthy lifestyles. Over the course of a school year, our children have the opportunity to develop their ability in a range of disciplines, which include: zz
Athletics adventure based learning activities (including trust building, cooperative acts and problem solving)
Health related exercise and fitness
Swimming (including stroke development, water skills and personal survival)
Body management and movement skills (including educational gymnastics and creative dance)
We are extremely proud of everything the DBIS Primary Curriculum has to offer all our students, and warmly welcome you to our unique school community. 22
Should you have any questions at all, or would like any further information, please donâ€™t hesitate to contact me, Susan Walter, at email@example.com or Anna Lees at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stuart Bridge Head of School
Susan Walter Head of Primary
Anna Lees Deputy Head of Primary
Benjamin Loran Deputy Head, Whole School
Olly Hanson Acting Assistant Head of Primary
Primary Leadership Team