The delivery of the IPC is based on up-to-date neurological research about the brain and how we learn. Consequently the school aims to provide a ‘brain-friendly’ environment in which the learning process is optimised for all children.
Another unique element of the IPC is the concept ‘international-mindedness’ which underpins the entire curriculum; this global perspective promotes international awareness and understanding as a fundamental characteristic of every HSV pupil. The topic, personal and international goals of the IPC are organised into the following mileposts:
- Early Years: Foundation and IDR
- Milepost One: ID1 and ID2
- Milepost Two: ID3 and ID4
- Milepost Three: ID5 and ID6
Early Years Programme (Reception and Foundation)
The activities in the foundation and reception class are based upon the IPC Early Years Programme and the UK Early Learning Goals for Communication, Language and Mathematics. The IPC learning goals are divided into the following strands: independence and interdependence; communication; exploring and healthy living. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected through the specific IPC topics. The teachers provide a stimulating, fun environment where play forms a basis for learning. Learning takes place on the carpet or in a circle where song, rhyme, discussion, books and games are the order of the day. The children also work together in small groups with adult support and have the opportunity to direct their own learning through a range of learning activities on offer in the class. Much emphasis is placed on playing together and developing social skills and independence.
Mileposts One to Three
In ID1 the objectives from the Early Learning Goals are further developed and dovetail into the teaching objectives for Literacy, Numeracy and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). The frameworks of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies contain sets of yearly teaching programmes illustrating how literacy and numeracy skills can be developed from ID1 through to ID6.
The IPC learning goals are split into four age bands covering the primary years from IDR through ID6. Within each age band there are three strands of Learning Goals: subject goals, personal goals and international goals.
As the majority of the pupils have not had the same educational experiences, the class teacher will constantly review the learning of the pupils. This ensures that pupils will not be held back in their learning if the learning of certain objectives has already taken place; similarly, pupils who have missed previous objectives will gain access to the learning support that is needed to remedy the situation. Pupils will be supported in taking risks that allow them to become individual learners, they will be allowed to explore different ways of learning and learn to understand how they can maximise their own learning. Pupils will bring topic assignments home, at their own level, that allow them to find out more about their own family traditions and culture so that this can be shared with their teachers and peers.
The Literacy Curriculum covers the statutory requirements for spoken language, reading and writing, as set out by England’s National Curriculum. The school uses ‘The Power of Reading’ approach, advocated by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), to engage children, to promote reading for pleasure and to create enthusiastic writers. We greatly appreciate your support in this aim and expect you to assist us by reading regularly with your child.
The Mathematics Curriculum covers the statutory requirements for mathematics, as set out by England’s National Curriculum. It aims to ensure that all children develop fluency, are able to reason mathematically and can solve problems. The school uses ‘White Rose’ from the UK to deliver these aims. Each year group has its own objectives that are progressive. Children are given opportunities to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving within each objective. In all year groups, children have access to concrete materials, pictorial representations and abstract concepts.
Music, Expressive Art and Physical Education
The HSV places a major emphasis on the development of music, expression and physical education (gym). All pupils have a minimum of one lesson per week of music, handicraft and gym. From year two these lessons are given by specialist teachers.
For the older pupils at NSL, these lessons are given in half classes with the Dutch parallel class. Music and gym lessons are given in Dutch, thereby increasing the opportunities for learning and using the Dutch language.
Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
All classrooms have a computer linked to the school network. Computer skills are taught from the reception class onwards. A range of skills are taught that support learning throughout the curriculum. All classrooms have an interactive screen with Internet access to support learning. Every class has access to the use of iPads.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
The majority of students at the HSV (approx. 90%) speak or hear other languages at home and are therefore learning English as a second or third language. Children who are new to English receive additional support from the EAL team and their class teacher to enable them to both learn the English language and to access the curriculum.
Depending on a child’s level and individual needs, EAL support may take the form of short withdrawal sessions to focus on specific vocabulary, phonics, reading, reading comprehension or writing skills. English learners are also supported by an EAL specialist in the classroom to ensure that lesson content is understood and that students can participate at an age appropriate level, while still learning the language. The use of their first language to communicate and to enhance understanding of class content and tasks is facilitated using iPads and Google Translate.
At first, EAL beginners do not attend Dutch lessons but benefit from additional English lessons with their class teacher in a small group. This provides an opportunity to pre-teach vocabulary and class content, address specific grammar or other gaps and to work on conversation skills. A student’s progress in all areas of English – speaking, understanding, reading and writing – is monitored by both the class and EAL teachers using an EAL continuum. Once students have reached a level where they can access the curriculum with minimal support, they exit EAL support and begin Dutch lessons.
Maintaining the home language is actively encouraged for all our students and it is advisable not to switch to English at home. The school has a policy of ‘additive bilingualism’ where English is added to home languages rather than replacing them. Parents are welcome to discuss home language maintenance issues with the EAL specialist at their location.
Host Country, Culture and Language (HCCL)
We believe that it is important that children in an International School make connections with their host country. As a Dutch International Primary School, the HSV seeks to connect with the Dutch community by studying Dutch culture and language (https://www.dutchinternationalschools.nl/about-dis/our-education/). All children have the opportunity to experience Dutch celebrations and learn why and how these take place. Those children whose English is at a level which allows them to fully access the ID curriculum have Host Country Culture and Language (HCCL) lessons.
The focus of the HCCL lessons is to learn the Dutch language, whenever possible through a cultural context. We aim for children to feel at ease in daily situations where the Dutch language is required, both in and out of school. To achieve this we provide:
- a safe environment for children to explore and enjoy Dutch as an additional language
- interactive lessons that encourage the understanding and speaking of Dutch language
- differentiated lessons to accommodate the diverse needs of our pupils
Attention is paid to the following disciplines: listening, speaking, conversation (oral skills), reading and writing (written skills). Children have three Dutch lessons per week, each lasting between 30 and 60 minutes. Learning objectives and materials are linked to routines, culture, geography and the history of the Netherlands. Teaching of grammar and vocabulary are integrated. Translanguaging is used to give children a safe environment and enhance comprehension.
The European Framework of Reference for Languages is used to benchmark pupils’ progress in Dutch.
IDR to ID2
Children learn to communicate (listening and speaking) through singing, listening to stories, playing language games, performing, watching Dutch School television Schooltv, celebrating Dutch holidays and linking lessons to the IPC topics.
ID3 to ID6
Children continue to focus on developing their oral language skills in a range of activities similar to those mentioned above. More complex topics are addressed, and presentations and discussions take place in order to improve their listening and speaking skills.
When ready, children learn how to read Dutch texts, and are encouraged to read Dutch language books matched to their level. They learn how to write simple sentences in Dutch, leading to short paragraphs.
To support our activities we often organise additional excursions together with the class teacher. These excursions vary depending on the topic and accessibility from our location.
Social & Emotional Curriculum
The IPC goals and circle time are an important part of our social and emotional curriculum. The personal goals embody the skills that we want to develop in our pupils.
|To try different ways of doing things
To think about what we want to say and how we say it
To be able to learn and play together
To be able to demonstrate kindness to others
To do the right thing and make the right choices
To keep going even when things get tricky
To accept others have different opinions than me
To find out more and show an interest