Footprints Primary Program consists of a diverse curriculum underpinned by Cambridge Primary’s framework of objectives and Footprints’ school wide learner outcomes. Core subject coverage includes English, Mathematics, Science, Global Perspectives and Personal Social Health and specialist subject coverage includes Art, Music and PE. Our qualified teacher cohort applies best practice in instruction, grows professionally through continuous professional development and provides learning environments that maximise achievement academically, socially and emotionally.
Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) Primary Mathematics
The Footprints Primary program follows the Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (CAIE) Mathematics Curriculum. The Mathematics Curriculum framework is now in its second year and explores four key content areas (or strands) of Number, Geometry and Measure, Statistics and Probability and Thinking and Working Mathematically (which is integrated into the other three strands). Underpinning the subject is a framework of objectives. The learning objectives detail what the learner should know as well as do in each year of the program (From Grade 1 to Grade 5) and underpin each of the four strands (Number, Measure and Geometry, Statistics and Probability and Thinking Mathematically) Each strand in turn is broken down into sub-strands or units of work (for example ‘counting and sequences’) to effectively sequence learning so students are continually building on prior knowledge. so they can effectively apply mathematical skill acquisition and knowledge when solving mathematical problems.
Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) Cambridge Primary English
Learning objectives within the CAIE Primary English curriculum which is divided into three main areas called ‘strands’ which run through every Grade. Strands within the Cambridge English Curriculum include Reading, Writing and Speaking, and listening.
Like mathematics, the English Curriculum Framework is in its second year and has been designed to provide a balanced coverage of the fundamental skills and knowledge of English at this level. Although the Curriculum Framework is divided into three strands, they are taught in conjunction with each other. Within the Reading and Writing strands, learning objectives are grouped into the following ‘sub-strands’:
- Develop broad reading skills
- Demonstrate understanding of explicit meaning in texts
- Demonstrate understanding of implicit meaning in texts
- Explain, comment on, and analyses the way writers use stylistic and other features of language and structure in texts
- Recognize conventions and evaluate viewpoint, purpose, themes, and ideas in texts.
- Develop broad writing skills
- Select and develop content and use register and language appropriate to genre, purpose, and audience
- Structure and organise ideas coherently using sections or paragraphs
- Use a range of sentence structures and punctuation accurately to convey meaning and create particular effects
- Use accurate spelling. It may be appropriate to introduce this framework at slightly different ages to suit your own particular circumstances.
Speaking and Listening
- Making yourself understood
Learners develop oral skills in presenting information clearly; they organise and adapt their talk for different purposes and audiences.
- Showing understanding
Learners develop skills in listening and responding to others.
- Group work and discussion
Learners develop skills in collaborating and communicating within a group.
Learners develop confidence and proficiency in reading aloud, performing drama, and giving presentations to an audience.
- Reflection and evaluation
Learners develop skills in talking about the talk, and in evaluating their own and others’ performances.
Units covered in the CAIE Primary English curriculum are taught through the lens of a factual, imaginative, or persuasive genre. Throughout the unit, students apply pre-writing skills to build a deep understanding of the genre of focus covered in the unit that will facilitate them being able to produce a piece of writing of the same genre covered in the unit.
In addition to English classes, students are also given an opportunity to further develop writing mechanics during review sessions conducted before English lessons or from 7:45am. Writing mechanics sessions are focused on during caught ya’ where the focus is on sentence structure. During ‘caught ya’ sessions, students practise accurately applying the correct use of language, grammar, and punctuation during short editing sessions led by the teacher.
Once a term, for a week, students participate in ‘Talk for Writing’ which is an approach to writing instruction developed by Pie Corbett from the UK. The Talk for Writing approach facilitates students being able to write independently for a variety of audiences using a published story as the foundation for their writing. . A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, creating movements to match the text and creating story maps that help them internalise the story, before writing it.
Alongside the CAIE English curriculum sits the FIS Primary reading program. Our reading program differs depending on the Grade of the student.
Students in Grade 1 and 2 participate in a differentiated reading program underpinned by the series of levelled readers produced by Reading A to Z website. After being assessed using the Reading A to Z running record, students are organised into three differentiated groups according to their reading level and receive targeted reading and comprehension instruction to facilitate growth in their reading acquisition.
In Grades 3 to 5, the whole-class read a fiction or nonfiction chapter book aligned with the Grades expected reading level (at that time of the year). During the program challenging language is defined and discussed, students are encouraged to read out loud to the class and with their peers, read independently, answer targeted questions that align with targeted comprehension skills and engage in discussion with their peers about the story. Teachers have high expectations of what students read and scaffold for students who need it.
In Grades 1 and 2, in addition to the differentiated reading program students also work through stages of the Twinkl phonics program. In the beginning of the year every student’s phonemic awareness is assessed to identify the stage within which the program will begin. Then, in conjunction with the differentiated reading program, students receive targeted phonics instruction that facilitate effective word attack skills used to build fluency and comprehension of read texts.
Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) Global Perspectives
The CAIE Primary Global Perspectives programme develops students’ ability to apply transferable 21st-century skills or the Global Perspectives Strands of research, analysis, evaluation, reflection, collaboration, and communication when learning about contextually relevant social studies themes. While completing Global Perspectives challenges, students are asked to work collaboratively on different projects throughout the year, with each project allowing students to focus on a different set of transferable skills. In addition to giving students an opportunity to apply transferable skills when learning about social studies themes, Global Perspectives also aims to strengthen links with other curriculum areas like English as a first or second language, mathematics, science, and ICTand our School Wide Learner Outcomes (SLOs) which complement the Global Perspective strands.
Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) Science
The FIS Primary Program follows the CAIE Science curriculum. The Primary Science curriculum explores four key content areas (or strands) of: Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Thinking and Working Scientifically (which is integrated into the other three strands).The Primary Cambridge Science curriculum focuses on stimulating an enquiry-based style of learning by breaking down both skills-based and enquiry-based objectives into units and reinforcing understanding through a variety of activities (including opportunities for students to create and conduct hands-on experiments). Within the teaching of the curriculum, there is also dedicated support for students to accurately apply scientific language.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
Our PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education) curriculum uses the UK ‘Jigsaw’ curriculum. Footprints International School believes in the development of children not just academically but also Socially, Emotionally and Spiritually. As a result, all Primary students take part in PSHE classes. Teachers plan their PSHE lessons using the Jigsaw framework which connects Personal, Social and Health Education, with emotional literacy, social skills, and spiritual development.
Our music curriculum is also underpinned by the CAIE Primary music framework of objectives. It facilitates creativity and builds confidence musically for students. It helps learners to express themselves and shows them the importance of communication as they learn to connect with other musicians and with audiences. Learners explore music as performers, composers, and informed listeners. They make, understand, and appreciate music from different cultures, times, and places, helping them to develop leadership and collaboration skills as well as self-confidence.
Cambridge Primary Music learners:
- cultivate a joy of music through participating in meaningful and enjoyable experiences
- develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to contribute as musicians
- collaborate with others in purposeful and expressive ways through singing and playing instruments
- nurture their individual and collective creativity
- use their growing knowledge to explore and generate music that is unique, relevant, and valuable.
Art and Design
Our art curriculum is also underpinned by the Cambridge Primary Art & Design framework. It gives learners a platform to express themselves, sparking imagination, creativity and developing transferable skills. Students explore and push boundaries to become reflective, critical, and decisive thinkers. They learn how to articulate personal responses to their experiences. Students develop creative skills that will help with many aspects of their future learning and development. They will:
- learn to see themselves as artists and become increasingly reflective and independent
- develop the skills needed to express creative ideas and to communicate visually
- understand their place and the place of others in a creative, innovative, and interconnected world.
Students develop their ICT skills through integrated activities aligned with our core-curriculum. Students attend weekly sessions that require them to use IT devices to complete projects requiring research, collaboration, analysis, evaluation, and communication.
Our Physical Education (PE) curriculum is underpinned by the CAIE Primary PE framework of objectives. The Primary PE curriculum covers 3 units of study that facilitate opportunities for creative movement, games based development and living a healthy lifestyle.
Physical education is a vital part of a balanced school curriculum. Regular exercise improves physical and mental health and there is growing evidence that it improves academic performance across the curriculum. Establishing good patterns of exercise in primary school provides learners with the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle. This subject is about learning to move and moving to learn. Learners develop skills through a wide variety of age-appropriate physical activities, including games, gymnastics, and dance. As individuals and team members, they will:
- increase confidence, moving with increasing control, fluency, and variety
- improve their understanding of concepts, rules, tactics, strategies, and compositional ideas
- participate in respectful and responsible ways, engaging appropriately and safely
- improve knowledge and understanding of how physical education can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle
- develop transferable skills promoting physical, cognitive, and social development and become independent, critical, and reflective movers and thinkers.
Assessments conducted in the primary program include daily assessments used to inform instruction day on day (formative) and assessments used to inform student achievement (summative). Strategies used to inform instruction (formative) include Q&A on whiteboards, exit ticket questions, marked bookwork, self-assessment, mini-projects, unit assessments (also used summatively), reading running records (details below, also used summatively), assessed writing pieces (also used summatively) and NWEA MAP assessments (conducted twice a year).
Summative assessments vary depending on the Grade. All grades conduct summative reading assessments 3 times a year, which include:
- Testing reading fluency and comprehension skills using the reading A to Z running records.
- Assessing writing acquisition by having students complete an expository, imaginative and persuasive piece of writing.
- Assessing student achievement in mathematics for all grades by completing end of unit assessments and CAIE progression tests for Grade 3 to 5.Assessing student achievement in Science for all grades by completing end of unit assessments and CAIE progression tests for Grade 3 to 5.