2023–24 | DBIS Primary KS2 Curriculum Handbook

Page 1

Key Stage 1

Primary Key Stage 2 Curriculum


Year 3 to Year 6

Years 7 to 9

Years 10 & 11

Sixth Form


Our Core Values

• 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

• 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 extracurricular 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.

Welcome to Our Primary School 02 Our Key Stage 2 Curriculum 09 Our Discovery Curriculum In Action Further Curriculum Enhancement 26 35 The DBIS Learner Profile 06 Contents Our DBIS Learning Principles 04 Monitoring Progress 36 The Core Subjects The Foundation Subjects Mandarin 10 18 25 Our Curriculum Adventure 34

Welcome to Key Stage 2

Our Primary School is a unique and special international community school that puts our children at the heart of everything we do. The school’s philosophy is based around the holistic development of our children, ensuring that all students are given every opportunity to pursue their individual strengths and realise their potential. Discovery Bay International School’s Key Stage 2 consists of Years 3–6 and is the final of three parts of the children’s learning journey in our Primary School. Our children follow the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum of England, which is adapted and personalised to suit our international context and is delivered through a concept- and inquiry-based pedagogy. Our approach to learning is supported through our use of technology, the personalised challenge we offer all students and the support we give them to develop their independent and critical-thinking skills.

As in all sections of our Primary School, in Key Stage 2, we view students as having extraordinary potential for learning and the ability to form their own understandings of the world around them. Our focus is upon nurturing creative, resilient and independent learners who are excited and confident to experiment and explore through active learning. We pride ourselves on the excellent pastoral care given to support students throughout their time in the Primary School, maintaining a focus on wellbeing and positivity as they move through Key Stage 2 and into Secondary. The DBIS Learner Profile provides the foundations to support the children in becoming lifelong learners and critical thinkers. Supporting the development of different learning dispositions, behaviours and habits continues to be integral to our approach in Key Stage 2.

We continue also to value the role the environment (both physical and emotional) plays in ensuring students feel safe, valued and a sense of belonging in their school as this has a positive impact on their progress and attainment. Our environments are purposefully planned to ensure students are equipped with all the resources they need to learn and to enable them to follow personal lines of inquiry. Student voice and agency continue to play an important part in our Key Stage 2 learning environments, and this is reflected in the design of our classrooms and the learning walls that are present within them. We truly value the cultural diversity of our students and ensure the curriculum offers the opportunity to celebrate, understand and reflect upon the importance of internationalism. We encourage students to share their cultural backgrounds and information about celebrations and traditions that are important to their family, enabling all children to learn about and appreciate the rich community and diverse world in which they live. In Key Stage 2, our timetable moves towards a more subjectspecific format; however, it remains flexible enough to allow students the time and space to explore concepts and delve deeper into personal inquiries that emerge from their learning, especially within the Discovery curriculum.

We continue to identify the students’ strengths so that learning can be tailored to meet individual starting points, and we consider the knowledge, skills and understanding the children will need in order to successfully transition between year groups and eventually to Secondary School. Our students are supported to take risks, think critically and develop understandings through open-ended and guided inquiry, as well as through explicit teaching and activities. We passionately believe that learning does not just happen in the classroom, so we continue to offer an outstanding range of quality experiential and outdoor learning opportunities as well as an exciting and even greater range of extracurricular activities (ECAs), giving our students the opportunity to pursue their many and diverse personal interests and talents. 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.

We place great importance on positive relationships and interactions amongst all members of our Primary School community as these support our holistic and inclusive approach. Throughout our Primary School, we view parents as our children’s first teachers, and by working in partnership, we can ensure that all students continue to value and enjoy their time at DBIS, that they are sufficiently challenged and supported in their learning and that they realise their potential in an inclusive, nurturing environment.

I hope the following pages give you an insight into our outstanding learning experience in Key Stage 2.


Our DBIS Learning Principles

Our learning experience at DBIS is:

• Enriched through Discovery;

• Achieved through Personalisation;

• Stronger through Community.

Our curriculum is underpinned by our five Learning Principles, which have been developed to ensure all students have access to a learning experience in a through school which is driven by consistent values. Our commitment to these learning principles ensures our students have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and achieve optimal learning and development.

The DBIS Learning Principles are:

Relational Connected

At the heart of best practice and the development of the whole child lie strong and meaningful relationships. At DBIS we nurture positive environments where our students are safe and feel a sense of belonging and happiness.

The DBIS learning experience enables our students to make connections, transfer skills and develop a local and global perspective. Our students develop a strong sense of selfesteem and self-awareness, which enables them to lead sustainable and fulfilling lives.


Intentional learning at DBIS is the mindset of seeing every experience as an opportunity to learn. Learning opportunities are designed and facilitated to ensure that all students develop a love of learning and approach challenges positively with creativity and independence.



The DBIS learning experience raises aspirations and creates personal pride in achievement. A greater meaning to learning is given through the cultivation of students’ natural inquiring minds. They are encouraged to be curious and motivated to learn by exploring and expanding their experiences and broadening their interests.


Every DBIS learner is valued as an individual. We celebrate students’ strengths in order to identify realistic and challenging expectations that are uniquely tailored to each individual’s learning journey and meet their specific needs.


The DBIS Learner Profile

The DBIS Learner Profile is a set of personal learner attributes that are at the heart of our curriculum and the international education we provide for all our students. We actively support our students to grow as learners and global citizens who are able to actively engage with and achieve success in their education and cope with the ever-changing world.


As DBIS students, you will be supported in actively developing these learner attributes in many ways. They are a guide for your holistic and personal development, and by identifying and acting in ways that develop these attributes, you will become more skilful, empathetic and well-rounded young people. Through considered reflection, you will be genuinely prepared for the wider world that awaits you.


The DBIS Learner Profile is a guide to support the holistic development of all learners across the three phases of the school. They are common goals that transcend individual curriculum areas and unite us in a shared belief of what all DBIS students can and should become. We embed meaningful learning opportunities throughout the curriculum in order to support this.


The DBIS Learner Profile demonstrates to you our aspirations for your children. The creation of opportunities to develop these attributes are all around us, and we want to work with you, in partnership, to support your children in the development of these attributes that we truly value.



Dedicated students who channel their curiosity and develop their intrinsic motivation to learn. As they take risks and learn from mistakes, they grow as resilient, lifelong learners who adapt to their learning environment, establishing mutual respect in pursuit of collective and individual excellence.


Reflective students who value their sense of self and are aware of their emotions and the impact they have on others. They understand the importance of physical, social and emotional balance to achieve personal wellbeing and know when to draw on the support of others.


Empowered students who build trust to activate and lead others to take action and make a positive difference in the world. They lead with kindness, integrity, honesty and with a strong sense of equality and respect for all, nurturing an inclusive and respectful approach to leadership at all levels.


Internationally minded students who act proactively to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment. They are courageous change agents who understand the importance of their role and are proud of the positive contribution and impact they have both locally and globally through service.


Purposeful students who work together towards a shared goal and promote a collaborative learning culture which is inclusive and celebrates diversity in the perspectives of others. They are confident when working independently but recognise they can be stronger when collaborating together.


Articulate students who process, organise and coherently express their thoughts and opinions and actively listen and reflect on the views of others. They carefully consider purpose, audience and style when communicating, interpreting and expressing their ideas.


Adaptive students who think deeply and critically about their learning and apply logic and innovation to identify and solve authentic problems. They set goals, plan and prioritise their approach and keep solution focused as they explore and iterate to discover creative solutions and different strategies.


Inquisitive students who think creatively and imaginatively, asking great questions in order to inquire and make connections to further their understanding and satisfy their curiosity. They investigate their own lines of inquiry and demonstrate their learning in innovative and creative ways.


Our Key Stage 2 Curriculum

We are extremely proud of the innovative Key Stage 2 curriculum we offer here at DBIS. Our curriculum is guided and directed by the English National Curriculum but also reflects our unique international setting and celebrates our community’s diversity. We are particularly proud of the breadth of our provision and the holistic approach we take to ensure all our students achieve their full potential in all areas of learning and development.

Through experiential and motivating learning activities and experiences, the students are supported in developing skills as they encounter real-life problems to solve. As our students develop even greater independence in their learning and deepen their conceptual understandings in purposeful contexts, they are able to make connections to previous learning and can actively transfer their learning and skills in different contexts. Our Discovery lab continues to give real momentum to the STEAM-based approach adopted in learning across many of our Discovery units, focusing specifically on S cience, T echnology, E ngineering, A rt and M athematics.

Our Primary curriculum sets out in detail what will be taught in each of the different subject areas. As is the case in Key Stage 1, students in Key Stage 2 will develop confidence in different subject areas through a range of learning experiences. The students may focus specifically on one subject area or develop confidence and capabilities in a range of areas at the same time when engaged in their lessons. Our Discovery units are specifically planned to ensure critical content in all subject areas is covered through a concept-based approach which allows the students to form deeper understandings and make links between subjects and learning. The units help our students develop an international mindset alongside their awareness of their own self, encouraging them to become lifelong learners.

Alongside the core subjects, we continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities in Mandarin, Music, Learning Technologie (LT) and Physical Education (PE), which are all taught by specialist teachers.


The Core Subjects

There are three core subjects. These are:

• English

• Mathematics

• Science


At DBIS, we follow the English National Curriculum for the teaching and learning of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The overarching aim of our English curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping our students with a strong command of the spoken and written word. Furthermore, we aim to develop in our students a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We work to ensure that all students read easily, fluently and with good understanding. In addition, we support and encourage our students to develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information. We aim for them to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and the spoken language through exposure to a rich and varied literary catalogue. Our students learn to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences, using discussion in order to learn. We support our students to elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas clearly and to develop competence in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


Common exception words are split into year groups, with an expectation that students should be able to read and spell the relevant words by the time they reach the end of each academic year. As you would expect, Year 1 and 2 children start to learn simpler words, which may still contain the odd irregular phonic sound or pattern, before progressing to trickier words in Key Stage 2.

By the time a child reaches Years 5 and 6, they should be adept at reading and spelling even more complex words. Students in Key Stage 2 are given ample opportunity to learn these words in school, and they consolidate them at home through having them as weekly spellings; the students are actively encouraged to use these words to enrich their writing.


Year 3 & 4 Common Exception Words

We aim for our children to be confident in spelling the following words by the end of Year 4:

accident(ally) disappear interest pressure actual(ly) early island probably address earth knowledge promise answer eight/eighth learn purpose appear enough length quarter arrive exercise library question believe experience material recent bicycle experiment medicine regular breath extreme mention reign breathe famous minute remember build favourite natural sentence busy/business February naughty separate calendar forward(s) notice special caught fruit occasion(ally) straight centre grammar often strange century group opposite strength certain guard ordinary suppose circle guide particular surprise complete heard peculiar therefore consider heart perhaps though/although continue height popular thought decide history position through describe imagine possess(ion) various different increase possible weight difficult important potatoes woman/women


Year 5 & 6 Common Exception Words

We aim for our children to be confident in spelling the following words by the end of Year 6:

accommodate correspond identity queue accompany criticise immediate(ly) recognise according curiosity individual recommend achieve definite interfere relevant aggressive desperate interrupt restaurant amateur determined language rhyme ancient develop leisure rhythm apparent dictionary lightning sacrifice appreciate disastrous marvellous secretary attached embarrass mischievous shoulder available environment muscle signature average equip (–ped, – ment) necessary sincere(ly) awkward especially neighbour soldier bargain exaggerate nuisance stomach bruise excellent occupy sufficient category existence occur suggest cemetery explanation opportunity symbol committee familiar parliament system communicate foreign persuade temperature community forty physical thorough competition frequently prejudice twelfth conscience government privilege variety conscious guarantee profession vegetable controversy harass programme vehicle convenience hindrance pronunciation yacht

As an international community, we will not correct children who choose to use the American English of spellings where there is a difference e.g. neighbor.



In Key Stage 2, we continue to focus carefully on ensuring the children have perfected the tripod grip or a grip which enables comfort, flow and legibility for handwriting. In Key Stage 1, the children will have been taught cursive handwriting, and by the end of Year 2, we expect most children to have progressed to writing in pen. In Key Stage 2, we focus on ensuring the children consolidate a cursive style which enables good writing stamina and legible handwriting, which may show evidence of a personal style.



In Key Stage 2, we aim to ensure that all our students become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics. The principal focus in Years 3 and 4 is the development of fluency with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This supports the development of efficient written and mental mathematical methods and completing calculations with increasingly large whole numbers.

The students in Years 3 and 4 engage with problem solving, including with fractions and decimals. They build upon their learning in Key Stage 1, developing mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties and confidently describe the relationships between them. In addition, the students develop increasing accuracy when using measuring instruments and make connections between measure and number. By the end of Year 4, we expect the students to have memorised multiplication tables up to and including the 12 times table, as well as the corresponding division facts.

In Years 5 and 6, the students extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This develops the connections the students make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, we aim for the students to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. The students are also introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. They develop confidence in classifying shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and learn vocabulary to describe them. By the end of Year 6, we aim for the students to be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems throughout Key Stage 2, our students 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 inquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.



Our Key Stage 2 Science curriculum provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science. They build upon their learning in Key Stage 1 and continue to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. The students are encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, to predict how things will behave, and to analyse causes. Science is integrated into our inquiry-based Discovery units, through which the children not only develop their knowledge and understanding but also develop scientific inquiry skills in preparation for their transition to Secondary School.

DBIS students are given regular opportunities to explore and talk about their ideas, ask their own questions about scientific phenomena and analyse functions, relationships and interactions systematically. Throughout Key Stage 2, our students encounter numerous abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates, whilst recognising that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They explore appropriate ways to answer Science questions using different types of scientific inquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. They then draw conclusions based on their data and observations, using evidence to justify their ideas and their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.


The Foundation Subjects

There are seven foundation subjects; these are:

• Art & Design

• Design & Technology

• Geography

• History

• Physical Education

• Music

• Learning Technologies

The critical content in the core and foundation subjects is covered through our Discovery units to enable students to make links between different subject areas. As a result, our students experience a variety of single-subject lessons as well as lots of transdisciplinary learning where content from multiple subjects is covered within the same lesson.

The critical content for Key Stage 2 in each subject area is outlined below:


The students are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. They record their observations and use these to review and revisit ideas to improve their mastery of Art and Design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials such as pencil, charcoal, paint and clay. In addition, the students learn about significant artists, architects and designers in history.



Through a variety of creative and practical activities, our students learn the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. When designing and making, the students in Key Stage 2 are taught to:


• Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups

• Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design


• Select from and use a wide range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, including cutting, shaping, joining and finishing, accurately

• Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to the materials’ and components’ functional properties and aesthetic qualities


• Investigate and analyse a range of existing products

• Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work

• Understand how key events and individuals in Design & Technology have helped shape the world

Technical Knowledge

• Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures

• Understand and use mechanical systems in their products, including gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages

• Understand and use electrical systems such as series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors in their products

• Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products

Cooking & Nutrition

• Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet

• Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes, using a range of cooking techniques

• Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed



We have worked very hard to design a curriculum which reflects our children’s place in Hong Kong, expands their horizons and makes them carefully consider key themes and debates. We seek to broaden our students’ real-life experiences both in- and outside of the classroom through educational visits, guest visitors, experimentation, exploration and discovery. This way, the children acquire a range of knowledge and skills in both Geography and History, which they can then apply to other subjects and in a variety of situations. Furthermore, it is our aim that through geographical and historical learning, the children will become accountable, global citizens, understanding their role in protecting our world and environment and knowing how they can create positive change and development as they grow.


In Geography, our students extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include countries within Southeast Asia and other continents. This includes learning about the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Students develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

The students in Key Stage 2 are taught to:

Locational Knowledge

• Locate the world’s countries, using maps and concentrating on environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities

• Identify human and physical characteristics of Hong Kong, including key topographical features (such as hills, mountains and islands), and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time

• Identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, the equator, the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, the prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night)

Place Knowledge

• Understand geographical similarities and differences by studying the human and physical geography of Hong Kong, home countries and other parts of the world


Human & Physical Geography

• Describe and understand key aspects of:

• Physical geography, including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle

• Human geography, including types of settlement and land use, economic activity such as trade links, and the distribution of natural resources, including energy, food, minerals and water

Geographical Skills & Fieldwork

• Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied

• Use the eight points of a compass, four- and six-figure grid references, symbols, and keys

• Engage with fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area, using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies



In Key Stage 2 History, our students continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study through their Discovery units. They are encouraged to make connections and notice contrasts and trends over time and to develop the appropriate use of historical terms. The students consider and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They begin to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information, and they are supported to consider how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.



Our specialist PE teachers deliver a broad and balanced curriculum which gives all students in Key Stage 2 the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activities. Our mission is to inspire a sense of pride in our school community. All our students are given the opportunity to develop and sustain a healthy, active lifestyle and to become lifelong sporting learners. We strive to raise levels of participation in and commitment to sport across the Primary School. Students are encouraged to work together in order to develop a variety of skills, including teamwork, resilience and sportsmanship. We challenge them to perform at their very best, and we celebrate their achievements whilst harnessing the value of sport and PE in promoting wellbeing for all members of our community.

Our students benefit from extensive onsite facilities, including a modern gymnasium, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a multi-purpose court and an all-weather pitch. This enables us to provide a PE programme of the highest quality. Over the course of a school year, DBIS Primary students take part in the following activities:

• Invasion Games

• Athletics

• Net Games

• Striking & Fielding

• Gymnastics & Dance

• Health-Related Fitness

• Swimming & Personal Survival

We are also extremely proud of our extensive programme of before- and after-school sports ECAs. These are available to all our children, including those who wish to specifically train to represent the school in various local and international sports tournaments.



We are proud of our thriving Creative Arts department, through 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 our students to express themselves and develop in confidence and skill. Our team of Creative Arts specialists in Music, Drama and Art aim to deliver a diverse programme both in and out of the classroom in order to enrich and inspire the students. Supported by a committed group of peripatetic teachers, the Music department offers numerous ECAs and an array of public performance opportunities. These include large-scale community events as well as whole-school concerts, shows and celebrations. We also create a number of opportunities for particularly talented performers to participate in international Music and Drama festivals through our ongoing membership with the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA).

In addition to their specialist lessons, our students engage with Creative Arts mornings, which focus specifically on developing confidence and competence in Music, Art, Dance and Drama.


We aim to enable our students to understand and apply a range of technological and computing skills to 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 underpinned by the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards. Throughout Key Stage 2, our students develop a set of skills which can be applied to other aspects of learning. To complement their technological and Discovery learning, the students are immersed in a variety of creative and practical Design & Technology activities, where they learn the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making.

Digital Citizenship is a key component of the LT curriculum. We aim to ensure that our students are able to use technologies critically and safely, developing into confident users in a range of contexts, with a clear understanding of the benefits and associated risks. In specialist lessons, our students develop computational thinking skills through the use of a range of programming platforms and robotics.

Whilst LT is taught as a discrete subject by our specialist teachers, we empower our students to utilise their technology skills 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.



We believe that the learning of a foreign language provides valuable educational, social and cultural experiences for all students. DBIS 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 in students of the multilingual and multicultural world, promoting an international dimension to student learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of other members of the school community.

We aim for our students to gain confidence and competence in speaking Mandarin. In addition, as they learn in Mandarin, our students have opportunities to consolidate the knowledge, skills and concepts they are developing in other areas of the curriculum and across our Discovery units.

Mandarin lessons at DBIS are interactive and engaging, with students developing skills in the key elements of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our specialist Mandarin teachers are expertly supported by our educational assistants, allowing for even greater differentiation and the possibility to challenge and extend our native and most able learners as well as to support those with specific learning needs. The students are separated into pathways, depending on their progress, attainment and previous exposure to Mandarin. This ensures the lessons are further tailored to meet the students’ individual learning needs.


Our Discovery Curriculum In Action YEAR 3

Year 3 Discovery Units


How will we create our class community? How can we ensure everyone feels welcome, included and challenged? What strategies help us learn best?

In this unit, the students work together to decide what community means to them and how their classroom will represent this. Together they explore how their attitude can best support their learning and how they can be the best classmates possible. The students build on the great learning they did in Year 2 to develop a growth mindset. They will recognise the importance of challenging themselves and learning from mistakes.



Community, Belonging, Growth Mindset, Process, Learning, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Technology, Systems, Balance, Responsibility


Learner Skills, Inquiry, Metacognition


What does it mean to be significant, and how can this impact and change society?

In this unit, the students explore how someone becomes significant, answering questions such as: ‘How do people’s qualities and actions determine the effect they can have?’ and ‘How does their place in time and history determine the impact they can have on the world?’ They are invited to take a journey into the lives and times of significant people and explore how those people changed the world through their actions and beliefs.



Significance, Society, Beliefs, Values, Time, Choices, Actions, Creativity, Experimentation, Process


History, Art


Year 3 Discovery Units


Have you ever wondered how people lived thousands of years ago? Have you questioned how people without modern machinery were able to build pyramids, roads and other amazing structures?

In this unit, the students explore ancient civilisations and use different forms of evidence to find out about the civilisations’ locations, inventions, communication systems and political structures, and to identify the influence they still have on the world today. Come with us and travel through the tunnel of time!



Civilisation, Location, Structure, Hierarchy, Society, Roles, Power, Beliefs, Values, Innovation, Progress, Influence


History, Geography, Art, Design & Technology


How do performers design? How can light and sound be used to create mood and atmosphere?

In this unit, the students explore the concepts of light and sound. Their creative and scientific minds need to gel harmoniously to learn about the science of light and sound before manipulating this to create a circus performance, puppet show or storytelling of their own design.



Production, Components, Experimentation, Light, Sound, Mood, Effect, Reflection, Audience


Science, Music, Drama, English


Have you ever wondered about the planet we live on? How do mountains form? Why do natural disasters occur? How do people and communities cope and adapt to the ever-changing world we live in?

In this unit, the students inquire into the Earth’s processes and how those processes affect global communities. They explore case studies to see how the communities manage and adapt to those processes, and they debate whether we have become too reliant on technological innovations to mitigate the effects of the ever-present danger posed by natural disasters.



Landforms, Change, Forces of Nature, Processes, Communities, Technological Innovation, Impact, Change, Materials, Shape, Pattern, Tone, Colour


Science – Rocks, States of Matter, Geography, History, Art



Year 4 Discovery Units


How will we create our class community? How can we ensure everyone feels welcome, included and safe? What does community mean to us? 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, the students work together to decide what community means to them and how their classroom will represent this. They then explore how their attitude 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.


Have you ever wondered how your body works? What do the different organs in your body do? How do they work together?

In this unit, the students explore and find out how their different body systems interconnect as well as how those systems work and the functions they perform. Through their inquiry, they also discover how to maintain a healthy balance between body and mind and how the choices they make can affect their health.



Community, Process, Growth Mindset, Technology, Balance, Responsibility


Learner Skills, Inquiry, Metacognition



Community, Process, Growth Mindset, Technology, Balance, Responsibility


Science – Animals (including humans), Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE)


Year 4 Discovery Units


How do famous artists create their masterpieces?

In this unit, the 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 themselves can use specific techniques to create their own masterpiece. They 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.


Does our world need saving? Why? What can WE do to save our world?

In this unit, the students learn about resources and how those resources can be used sustainably. They examine how conservation can contribute to a sustainable future. Lantau Island is used as a case study. The students discover more about the plethora of plant and animal life right on our doorstep and debate how and why we should protect it.



Audience, Techniques, Elements, Ideas, Creativity, Experimentation, Perspective, Interpretation



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?

In this unit, there are 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, and explore other factors that can influence a successful new product or service launch.



Resources, Environment, Consequences, Communities, Classification, Living Things, Attributes, Survival, Colour, Adaptation, Environment, Conservation, Evidence, Repetition, Shape, Pattern


Science – Living Things & Their Habitats, Plants, Geography, Art INNOVATION


Creativity, Product, Ideas, Features, Design Process, Needs, Consumer, Inquiry, Investigation, Understanding, Construction, Circuit, Electricity, Device, Force, Impact, Object, Materials


Science – Electricity, Forces & Magnetism, Technology, Art Design & Technology



Year 5 Discovery Units


How will we create our class community? How can we ensure everyone feels welcome, included and safe? What does community mean to us? How does our brain help us to learn? What is positive psychology?

In this unit, the students work together to decide what community means to them and how their classroom will represent this. They start to recognise that learning is a process that is influenced by a variety of factors, including a growth mindset. They explore the connection between growth mindset, attitude and learning, and they 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.


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, the students explore different sources of energy, how those sources 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 they consider the impact of energy production and how its use has led to the development of alternative energy sources.



Process, Learning, Growth Mindset, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Psychology, Potential, Technology, Systems


Learner Skills, Inquiry, Metacognition



Energy, Process, Power, Environments, Communities, Sources, Opportunities, Health, Education, Art, Socio-Economic Change


Science – Electricity, Art, Geography, Design & Technology


Year 5 Discovery Units


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 or 1,000 years ago, or even what it will look like in 100 years’ time?

In this unit, the students explore how their current home, Hong Kong, has changed over time and the impact this has had on its geography, its people and its history. They consider how these changes can be viewed from different local perspectives.



Trade, Time, Needs, Location, Progress, Design, Structures, Purpose, Population, Land, Weather, System, Community


Geography, History


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, the 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.



Gravity, Planetary Bodies, Solar System, Constellations, Technology, Navigation, Curiosity, Space Exploration, Survival, Environment, Adaptation, Sustainability


Geography, History


Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Anti-Racism

How can we make sure everyone feels included and valued in our school community? What can we do to promote understanding and respect for different cultures and backgrounds? What are some practical steps we can take to create a more inclusive and equitable world? How can we use our voices to create positive change in our own communities and beyond?

In this unit, the students develop an understanding and appreciation of different cultures, religions and backgrounds, as well as an understanding of the impact of discrimination and prejudice on individuals and communities. They develop critical thinking skills that are essential for navigating a complex and diverse world. Engaged and informed, the students explore ways to contribute positively to our community.



Foundation, Progress, Language, Meaning, Understanding, Reflection, Creativity, Beliefs, Values, Relationships, Performance


Art, Science, Relationships & Sexual Education (RSE), History, Drama



Year 6 Discovery Units


How will we create our class community? How can we ensure everyone feels welcome, included and safe? What does community mean to us? 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?

In this unit, the students work together to decide what community means to them and how their classroom will represent this. As they 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 and how they can use their learner and inquiry skills to help achieve their end-of-year learning goals and successfully prepare for their transition into Secondary School.


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?

In this unit, the students explore how populations of species are organised in our world. They investigate how these incredibly diverse systems support living things, and they explore the interdependence each being has on one another and on the physical environments in which they live. They consider the role each being plays in these incredible systems of diversity, and they ask what responsibility we as humans owe these systems.


Values, Reflections, Choices, Actions, Growth Mindset, Process, Learning, Responsibility, Understanding, Balance, Safety, Consequences


Learner Skills, Inquiry, Metacognition


Location, Climate, Population, Form, Shape, Ecosystem, Balance, Equilibrium, Disturbances, Responsibility, Interdependence, Energy, Living Things, Food, Growth, Reproduction, Adaptation, Evolution, Survival, Choices, Actions, Sustainability


Science – Living Things & Their Habitats, Animals (including humans), Evolution & Inheritance, Art, Geography, Design & Technology


Year 6 Discovery Units


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 hadn’t moved or perhaps did move to another place?

In this unit, the students explore the many factors that motivate people to migrate as well as the challenges migrants may face.



Push/Pull, Migration, Change, Power, Conflict, Location, Infrastructure, Resources, Immigration, Networks, Charities, Economy, Processes, Resources, Consumption, Story, Journey, Drawing


Geography, History, Art, Science – Properties & Changes of Materials


How could your learning transform the world?

In this unit, the 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, they are challenged to reflect on ideas that exist already and they are encouraged to transform current thinking through a process of designing, developing and evaluating. This is an exciting opportunity for them to showcase their investigative skills along with essential communication and collaboration skills to a wider audience at the DBIS STEAM Fair.



Investigation, Problems, Solutions, Reflection, Design Process, Decomposition, Perseverance, Communication, Representation, Understanding, Success


Science – All Areas, Student Agency


This is going to be an exciting but emotional journey as we say goodbye to Primary and hello to Secondary.

When learning through this unit, the students are only weeks away from completing their Primary School years. It is the end of an era for them all, but it is the start of a new, exciting chapter too. They probably have a huge range of emotions and feelings and, no doubt, some wonderful memories of the last eight years of this incredible journey of learning and personal development. In this unit, they reflect on their time in the Primary years and how those years have helped make them the people they are today. They explore what can help them to be fully prepared for the next stage in their schooling and their lives.



Past, Transition, Independence, Self-Management, Responsibility, Wellbeing, Communication, Empathy, Adaptability, Relationships


Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE)


Our Curriculum Adventures

Experiential learning is central to learning in our Primary School, and your child’s learning will have been enriched with experiential opportunities throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1. Our teachers actively look for opportunities to take learning outside the classroom and build on the Beach and Forest School experiences the students had previously; 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 Forest School programme continues to support this area of learning throughout Key Stage 2, and these experiences give the students a unique opportunity to investigate the natural world, collaborate, construct, build and further develop their awareness of sustainability and our ecologically diverse environment.


Residential camps and trips are an integral part of our learning curriculum, and as such, all children are expected to participate. Residentials provide exciting opportunities for students to learn and grow in a way that other experiences cannot. They help them create memories that they will treasure for life. Residential camps take place in Hong Kong – Year 3 for one night, Year 4 over two nights and Year 5 over three nights – with Year 5 students getting the opportunity to put up their tents and camp next to one of the many beautiful Lantau beaches. Year 6 travel to the camping ground of Cheung Chau for four nights. During these camps, the students are exposed to challenges that many will not have experienced before. They develop real-life problem-solving skills, and many will return home proud of their achievements after overcoming fears and attempting activities they never thought possible.

Further Curriculum Enhancement


All staff are responsible for differentiating the curriculum for children identified on our challenge register and will monitor their progress. Our teachers review and monitor the progress made by children and the efficacy of resources and other curriculum material.


Monitoring Progress

At DBIS, we prioritise developing genuine and positive relationships with the students to ensure we have a secure and deep understanding of them as individuals and as learners. We focus on identifying students’ strengths and using these to determine their personal targets so that they can progress successfully along their learning journey. Engagements with the students, reviews of their independent learning and our knowledge of each student individually inform the planning process to ensure 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 the next steps in their learning journey.


Throughout their time in Key Stage 2, our students share significant elements of their learning through the Google Classroom or Seesaw platforms. This helps them celebrate their learning and share it with close family members. Though they are online, these digital platforms remain secure between the school, the student and the student’s family and give the students the opportunity to share their own reflections on their learning with family at home whilst providing their parents with a genuine window into the classroom.

As is the case in Key Stage 1, the students are expected to independently document different aspects of their learning on Seesaw. Their teachers use a variety of assessment techniques; therefore, parents should expect to see less photographs uploaded by teachers of the students engaged with their learning and more of specific pieces of work, uploaded by the students themselves, which demonstrate their understanding of a particular task or experience.



Our assessment focus is based around whether students are working towards, working at, working at greater depth than or working significantly beyond the expected outcomes for their year group. Key Stage 2 students complete formal assessments during Terms 1, 2 and 3 with the purpose of assessing their current level of understanding. These assessments are used to support and inform teacher judgments regarding progress and attainment. The resulting data is then used to inform overall attainment levels, which are shared with parents through the school’s reporting programme. We 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 engaging with more in-depth and investigative work to allow a greater depth of understanding of concepts and ideas in new and different contexts.

At the end of each academic year, Key Stage 2 students complete a set of external, standardised assessments to measure their attainment in English and Mathematics. These externally validated assessments are used to help inform the judgements teachers make about progress and attainment outcomes for every student and to support baseline assessments, which lay the foundation for learning as the students move into their Secondary School education. We place great importance and value on our teachers’ assessments of each student as they are the ones who know your children’s capabilities best. Summative assessments are used to inform these judgements.

We believe that parents are our children’s first teachers. We will therefore continually engage with you regarding your child’s learning journey. In addition, there will be different points in the year at which we will formally meet with you or report on your child’s learning and development.



Two Parent–Teacher Conferences (PTCs) take place during the year: August and March

Parents are always welcome to make appointments outside of these formal PTCs at mutually convenient times throughout the year to discuss any aspect of their child’s learning and development.


One short report including data that details your child’s attainment in each subject area will be communicated at the end of Term 1.

One long report detailing your child’s attainment and progress in all areas of the curriculum will be issued at the end of Term 3.

Should your child leave DBIS part way through the year, you can request an interim report which shares your child’s learning and development to date.


We are extremely proud of everything the Primary Key Stage 2 curriculum has to offer all our students, and we warmly welcome you to our unique school community.

Should you have any questions, or if you would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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