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Grades 3, 4 & 5

The homeroom teachers are responsible for the transdisciplinary teaching of mathematics, language skills, IT, science and social studies in which children are encouraged to be active participants in the learning process. Students engage in six "Units of Inquiry" each year which have themes of global significance, develop the student profile, develop transdisciplinary skills connecting school, home and the world, and have significant, age-appropriate curriculum content. French, Art, Library, Music and Physical Education are taught by subject teachers. Students in Grade 5 benefit from a course discovering the language, history and culture of Flanders.

General summary of academic subjects

Language and Literary Skills are approached holistically. Whole language skills are integrated into all areas of the curriculum. The communication strands of listening, speaking, writing, reading and viewing are presented in an interrelated and interactive approach. The classroom extends beyond the classroom walls, with teacher collaboration to provide rich activities in the areas of drama, technology, discussion, library research, cultural celebrations, assemblies, music and poetry.

The students will learn and appreciate the effective use of language as a valuable life skill, building on the richness of their own cultural experiences.

In Mathematics, the program develops a conceptual understanding of the interrelated ideas, concepts, principles and skills of mathematics, with emphasis on efficient computational skills. Teaching methods include whole class instruction, team work, cooperative learning groups and partner investigations. Problem-solving skills and strategies relating to real life experiences are particularly emphasized. There is a practical approach throughout, using mathematical manipulatives. The program aims to meet the requirements of all levels of students. There is provision within the organizational structure to provide instruction in small groups where this will best meet the needs of students.

In IT, students will gain proficiency in their computer skills during the IT lessons, both in the computer lab and through the use of individual laptops in the classrooms. These skills enable them to work with the computer as a tool for word processing, page layout, multimedia presentations, graphic design and as an information resource. Close integration with the Units of Inquiry support the IT lessons and encourage students to utilize technology within all aspects of life.

Social Studies and Science are taught through Units of Inquiry by encouraging hands-on experience and investigations. In social studies the disciplines of people’s relationships to their past, environment and society are explored.

The international aspect of our school enriches our studies by bringing an awareness of, and understanding and respect for, other cultures. Environmental issues on a local and global scale are looked at from different perspectives. Links with other subjects enhance the program and research skills are developed.

Science is seen as the exploration of behavior and the inter-relationships among the natural, physical and material worlds using the rational process of scientific inquiry. Students acquire scientific knowledge, understanding and skills using both first-hand experience and secondary sources to obtain information. Appropriate scientific vocabulary is used to describe and explain the behavior of living things, materials and processes. A wide range of methods including diagrams, drawings, graphs, tables and charts to record and present information are developed in a systematic manner. Health education is interwoven and developed through the whole Elementary School dealing with physical, emotional and social issues.

The Religious Education program builds on the basic Christian teachings and exploration of world religion as part of a school-wide "Discover Religion" program.

French offers a continuous program for the beginner through to the advanced level student, including the native French speaker. Students are grouped in similar ability groupings. All groupings are sufficiently flexible to allow the children to advance to a more challenging class or change to a class which would better meet his/her needs. French is taught as a whole, living language where emphasis is placed initially on speaking and communicating in the host country. As the students progress, they acquire not only a facility in oral expression but proficiency in reading and writing French. The French Department makes use of the host country’s resources, cultural and environmental points of interest. The school library houses a collection of French books. Students are strongly encouraged to interact with the Belgian community to foster international understanding and to practice their French.

Art students are exposed to a variety of media, textures, color and techniques in their dedicated Art studio in the Greene Gallery art building. These are linked with the thematic approach of the classroom. Children are encouraged to be aware of and appreciate their own art and the works of other artists. 

Physical Education is designed to promote all-round physical fitness and psychomotor development. Lessons are held in the Sports Hall, Arena or on the sports field. Swimming lessons are held in the local swimming pool for Grades 3 and 5. Units include gymnastics, track and field, basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, co-ed soccer, tennis, kickball and recreational games.

Library is an integral part of the school program. Each student visits the library during a scheduled class period every week and is encouraged to use the library for research and reading at other times as well. The program is designed to support the curriculum, to foster a love of reading, and to provide the basis for an appreciation of literature.

Music skills are developed along the three basic strands of theory, listening and performing. Listening involves the appreciation of music of all genres and on different levels. Students study standard and instrumental music. Performance includes singing and creating music. Students are also required to own a recorder, which is used as a tool for learning and understanding musical notation, patterns and sequences. All children are involved in productions and concerts and may participate in extra-curricular activities. Individual instrumental lessons with private tutors are available and can be arranged in the school at extra cost.

The PYP Exhibition

The Grade 5 program culminates with the PYP Exhibition. This is a dynamic individual project.

"Classes de Plein Air"

During late spring, all Grade 3, 4 and 5 students take part in an off-campus learning experience. This is a culmination and re-enforcement of the year’s course work during which they develop practical skills, independence and cooperative living. These are in addition to day field trips throughout the year.

For course descriptions and information brochures, please visit the Downloads section.