In the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), Maths is viewed as a vehicle to support inquiry, providing a global language through which we make sense of the world around us. It is intended that students become competent users of the language of Maths, and can begin to use it as a way of thinking, as opposed to seeing it as a series of facts and equations to be memorized.
The teaching at Quarry By School reflects this vision. Maths coverage is outlined on year group Maths Overviews. These have been developed in line with the ESF Maths Scope and Sequence and the ESF (Glenealy School) Mental Maths Progression document.
As per ESF guidelines, there is a minimum requirement for 5 hours of Maths per week. Maths is taught by class teachers and students learn through a range of practical activities, explorations and discussions. To ensure a balanced approach to Maths across the school, there is an expectations that children will take part in; daily Mental Maths practice, strategy lessons and problem solving tasks. Learning in Maths should be focused on number with a balance across the other four strands: data handling, shape and space, measurement, pattern and function.
The students frequently engage in investigations and problem solving tasks and are provided with the opportunity to apply their mathematical reasoning to a number of situations, linked to units of inquiry where appropriate.
Mental Maths at Quarry Bay is defined as:
– Revisiting areas that need consolidation
– Keeping learned concepts alert in the mind and skills sharp
– Rehearsing number facts
– Practising skills that will be needed in the main session
Quarry Bay Schools has outlined its Maths expectations in the table below:
– Rich learning engagements across all strands of Maths
– Students analysing questions and linking to key strategies
– Balance between conceptual and procedural/factual learning in Maths
– Visualiser – sharing students work instantly – motivating and allowing for peer learning
– Differentiation easier due to self assessment – choices on how to support their learning
– Planning easier and on the same page to achieve the same outcomes
– In-depth planning of engagements, key questions and opportunities for assessment
– Differentiation, e.g. through the use of enabling and extending prompts
– Whole class teaching/flexible grouping – changing daily
– Broad range of approaches e.g. PS, MB, NRICH, Paul S
– Show improved resilience in tackling problems
– Greater discussion of Maths between students
– Confident about verbally explaining their learning which has lead to a deeper understanding
At QBS we recognise that language is our major means of thinking and communication. It is fundamental to learning and permeates the whole curriculum. It is not just learning a language but also learning about language and learning through language that we nurture a love of literature and an appreciation of its richness. English is our medium of teaching and learning, but all languages are valued and children are encouraged to use their mother tongue.
Opportunities for speaking and listening, reading, writing and viewing and presenting are outlined on Language Overviews. These ensure the coverage across English strands are sequential throughout the school. These overviews are aligned with the ESF English Scope and Sequence.
Reading is an essential life skill that is at the heart of learning. Students in Years 1-3 are explicitly taught phonics and decoding strategies and all students across the school are taught comprehension using the Stephanie Harvey ‘A Comprehension Toolkit’.
QBS Reading Expectations
At QBS we aim to foster an enjoyment of reading. Our classrooms are language rich environments filled with a range of texts that are chosen by the children and the teachers.
Through a balanced reading programme, the children will have exposure to varied texts that are read to them, with them and by them.
The Reader’s Workshop is the explicit teaching of reading and reading strategies which should be run a minimum of four times per week in every class. The structure of these sessions is based on the Stephanie Harvey model of teaching comprehension strategies. The success of these sessions relies on:
– Teachers modelling the reading strategy
– A gradual release approach (where the children move from modelled strategies to independent practice over a number of sessions)
– The use of anchor charts to scaffold their learning
– Children have self-selected stacks of books to independently practice taught strategies to allow for a strong element of choice (leveled texts and class and library books)
– Formative assessment will inform the practice part of the session where the teacher will use a range of flexible groupings, one to one conferring, small group teaching and whole class practice
A language rich classroom should also allow children the opportunity for shared reading and independent reading time (DEAR), Learning Centre browsing and borrowing. All children should have a regular opportunity to experience quality modelled reading for pleasure or in the form of a ‘Read Aloud’, where the teacher is using a text to encourage discussion or highlight quality writing examples.
Read aloud – children are exposed to high quality analysis of text through interactive read alouds.
Students can :
– articulate comprehension strategies
– implement strategies within reading of real texts
– use comprehension strategies to inquire
Teaching & Assessment
– Use the gradual release model (balance of explicit teaching and independent reading)
– Have language rich reading environments
– Allow choice of texts (book stacks, free choice, ipick)
– Model from high quality, age appropriate, high interest texts
– Explicitly teach comprehension strategies (using Steph Harvey and other resources)
– Use anchor charts to support strategy teaching
– Use flexible groupings based on simple and effective formative assessment
Writing, Speaking & Listening, Viewing & Presenting
Language Overviews demonstrate a balance in experience and opportunity across Writing, Listening & Speaking Speaking & Listening and Viewing & Presenting. Success criteria for each text-type focus within these areas have been developed with reference to the ESF English Scope and Sequence documents and Write Ways.
Handwriting & Spelling
Handwriting and spelling are taught consistently across the school and mapped on Language Overviews in line with guidance in the school’s handwriting and spelling policy.
In the world of the 21st Century, it is increasingly acknowledged that a complete education includes the study of at least one additional language. Proficiency in another language brings great cultural and intellectual benefits as well as promoting cognitive growth and facilitating international understanding. Chinese is taught as our additional languages from Year 1 to Year 6.
Chinese teaching and learning offers opportunities within reading, writing, speaking and listening. Chinese is integrated into mainstream units of inquiry wherever possible. Mandarin sessions offer opportunities for children to inquire into the language and through the language, with a focus on developing the children’s understanding of Chinese culture across the world. This is outlined on the Chinese Curriculum Overview.
Between 60-70% of children across the school are near native Chinese speakers with the remaining 30% of children being non-native speakers. Mandarin provision caters for native and non-native speakers through class allocation and a differentiated curriculum. Further differentiation within individual classes ensures the achievement of children of all abilities.
Four full time Mandarin teachers take responsibility for one class per year group. They are supported by a part-time Mandarin teacher across the learning week. Each class is further supported by a Mandarin Educational Assistant.
The structure of current Mandarin provision is outlined below:
Year 1: 2 x 40 minute sessions, 2 x 50 minute sessions per week
Year 2-3: 3 x 40 minute sessions, 2 x 50 minute sessions per week
Years 4-6: 2 x 60 minute sessions, 2 x 50 minute sessions per week
Arts are viewed by the PYP as a form of expression that is inherent in all cultures. They are a powerful means to assist in the development of the whole child, and are important for interpreting and understanding the world. Arts in the PYP promote imagination, communication, creativity, social development and original thinking. Through the arts, students gain confidence and competence in self-expression and collaborative learning, in both formal and informal settings.
At Quarry Bay School the arts are identified as Expressive Arts (drama, music and dance) and the Visual Arts. However, the transdisciplinary nature of the arts makes them an essential resource throughout the curriculum: through the arts we learn to communicate, have exposure to other cultures and other times, and find out more about ourselves. The creative process is seen as a driving force in learning through inquiry.
Learners of the arts are both active and reflective. As well as being actively involved in creating and performing, students reflect on their work and on the work of others. Curriculum Overviews outline the experiences for students in each year group in creating within the Expressive and Visual Arts. It is an expectation that opportunities for reflecting on the arts are planned for within arts provision.
Expressive Arts is a specialist lesson at Quarry Bay School although the learning is integrated in units wherever possible. Learning within Expressive Arts is consistent with conceptual understandings and learning outcomes as outlined in the ESF Scope and Sequence.
Visual Arts is integrated into units wherever possible and lessons are delivered by class teachers, with support from the Art Coordinator. The QBS Progression of Art Skills provides guidance to ensure there is clear progression in the development of arts skills across the school.
In the PYP, Science is viewed as the exploration of the behaviours of, and the interrelationships among, the natural, physical and material worlds. Our understanding of science is constantly changing and evolving. The inclusion of science within the curriculum leads learners to an appreciation and awareness of the world as it is viewed from a scientific perspective. It encourages curiosity, develops an understanding of the world, and enables the individual to develop a sense of responsibility regarding the impact of their actions on themselves, others and their world.
Inquiry is central to scientific investigation and understanding. Students actively construct and challenge their understanding of the world around them by combining scientific knowledge with reasoning and thinking skills.
Science coverage is mapped across the school and in line with guidance in the ESF Science Scope and Sequence. Opportunities for students to learn across the four key areas: Living Things, Materials and Matter, Earth and Space and Forces and Energy, have been considered when developing curriculum maps. As Science is relevant to the transdisciplinary themes, Science learning at Quarry Bay School takes place within the transdisciplinary units of the programme of inquiry wherever possible.
In the PYP, social studies is viewed as the study of people in relation to their past, their present and their future, their environment and their society. Social studies encourages curiosity and develops an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Through social studies, students develop an understanding of their personal and cultural identities. They develop the skills and knowledge needed to participate actively in their classroom, their school, their community and the world: to understand themselves in relation to their communities.
The aim of social studies within the PYP is to promote intercultural understanding and respect for individuals and their values and traditions.
The school’s Programme of Inquiry supports a focus on Social Studies across year groups in the school.
In the PYP, personal, social and physical education (PSPE) is concerned with the individual’s well-being through the promotion and development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to this well-being. Well-being is intrinsically linked to all aspects of a student’s experience at school and beyond. It encompasses physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social health and development, and contributes to an understanding of self, to developing and maintaining relationships with others, and to participation in an active, healthy lifestyle.
PSPE is integral to teaching and learning in the PYP and is embodied in the IB learner profile that permeates the programme and represents the qualities of internationally minded students and effective lifelong learners.
At Quarry Bay School, student well-being is achieved through the learning and teaching of conceptual understandings and outcomes within the PSPE scope and sequence. The PSPE programme includes learning based on interactions, identity and active living. As an ESF school, QBS in 2019-2021 are beginning to introduce a RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) curriculum to support PSPE. This curriculum focuses on relationships, gender, values and sexuality, staying safe and the human body. Well-being is further supported through the promotion of supportive practices and programs such as positive education and mindfulness. Well-being provision across the school is mapped on Curriculum Overviews.
Physical Education is taught twice a week; one session with a specialist teacher and the other session is class teacher led. Class teachers are up-skilled and supported by the PE team through ongoing professional development to ensure effective lessons are delivered consistently across the school.
Physical Education at Quarry Bay School develops a combination of transferable skills promoting physical, intellectual, emotional and social development; encourages present and future choices that contribute to long-term healthy living; and supports the cultural significance of physical activities for individuals and communities. There are specific opportunities for learning about movement and through movement in a range of contexts. Students of all abilities are challenged to improve their movement skills, and are supported and encouraged to enjoy physical activity and see it as part of a healthy and active lifestyle with connections to other areas of the curriculum and community where appropriate.