At Haut-Lac International Bilingual School, we are proud of our primary school curriculum. Similar to the Infant section philosophy, the Primary section lessons use a curriculum organised around themes of knowledge. It is based on the idea that children best acquire knowledge when it is presented in the context of a coherent whole (as opposed to a more traditional details-first, big-picture-later approach). In our experience, young students absorb information better when they can see the relevance of an idea in the real world.
You may choose to enrol your child in the bilingual section where English and French are spoken in the same proportions, or in the English section where he/she will have one daily French lesson.
As illustrated below, our lesson plan and curriculum is structured around eight big-picture knowledge areas.
- Science and technology
- History and geography
- Music, dance, art, and drama
- Physical education
- Health and social education
- English and French
Each theme addresses the development of age-appropriate skills in that area. At its core, the goal of the programme is to build up permanent, transferrable, life-long learning skills – more so than accumulating a collection of facts, letters, and numbers. We encourage our young students to investigate, be curious, observe, and apply their new skills in a playful, fun, and focused environment.
The primary school is divided into five age groups:
- P1 – 6 years old by August 31
- P2 – 7 years old by August 31
- P3 – 8 years old by August 31
- P4 – 9 years old by August 31
- P5 – 10 years old by August 31
Depending on your child’s age and readiness, we will recommend a comfortable starting class level that will offer him or her opportunities to grow. The following pages offer additional details on the specific class themes that may be used in different year groups. Below is the summary of what is taught, by area, across Primary school age-based curriculums.
Science and technology
Use of computers is encouraged as students learn to search for information and acquire basic proficiency with technology. Our teachers introduce basic chemistry experiments, physics concepts, and applied maths. Students learn about different types of energy, reflect on experiments, and refine their observational skills.
History and geography
Discussions on historical and current events as relevant to the age group are introduced. Students get some hands-on experience with observing and documenting geology, terrains, and climates. We use maps and interactive exercises to teach them about continents, countries, early explorers, pirates, historical figures, and ethnic cultures.
Realistic situations are used to teach maths so that students can grasp complex concepts within relevant contexts. Previous knowledge is consolidated, and division and multiplication are reinforced. Students learn to work with fractions, develop an estimation skillset, and begin to use more complex algorithms. They are encouraged to develop logical reasoning skills as they solve problems and equations.
Music, dance, art, and drama
The importance of self-expression through the arts is emphasised as your child enters the primary school. Our beautiful new facilities allow plenty of space for drama performances, dance, and music. Children continue to create their own artwork in a variety of mediums, as well as learn about famous artists.
Coordination, control, and mastery of physical movement are encouraged through gymnastics, swimming, and team games. Extracurricular sporting activities are also available. Beyond encouraging movement and learning about the capabilities of their bodies, we inspire our students to follow game rules and demonstrate good sportsmanship.
Health and social education
Students continue to learn about customs, cultural norms, laws and rules. We model and teach responsibility and collaboration. Students are encouraged to explore and name their feelings, and practice compassion towards others. Health education, including the basics of hygiene and self-care, is introduced. Together, we explore the body’s main systems and their functions. Teachers introduce key concepts related to health maintenance and disease prevention.
English and French
In addition to organic exposure to the two languages, our bilingual school offers formal instruction in English and French vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Reading is encouraged, with a focus on comprehension and basic literary forms (point of view, simile, metaphor, etc.) Students practice the basics of composition by writing book reports and essays on a range of topics.