A Warm Welcome for OWIS Primary Students Every Morning
Our Primary Grades comprise Grades 1 to 5. Each morning your child will arrive, ready to learn, to be warmly greeted by their class teachers. Once they have unpacked their bags, they organise themselves and prepare for the day. Our students collectively call out the day, date and timetable as they learn to make better sense of the calendar and their world. This teaches them to take ownership of their time and experiences and also ensures that they feel prepared for the day. We start the day with quiet reading and reflect upon the day’s global news as well as student announcements and events; all while creating a positive mindset for the day ahead.
Inquiry-Based Learning Through Provocations and Other Techniques
As the students progress through the day, they are tuned in by various stimulating provocations and hands-on activities that enable them to create driving questions to delve deeper into their inquiries. Each week, students will inquire into aunit of inquiry through the framework of our Inquiry Cycle with the guidance of their teachers.
Our students challenge themselves and others by discussing their inquiries with their peers about what they have learnt by looking through various key concepts and lines of inquiry. They are supported to bounce ideas off each other, ask questions and seek answers. They are encouraged to use their experiences and those of others to learn more about their topics. As each unit progresses, students are able to create their own opportunities to learn what they are passionate about through various thought-provoking activities that help develop the student’s IB PYP concepts, skills, attitudes and knowledge.
Students are able to learn through a range of techniques, from reading and researching to practical skills and play scenarios. Students are able to complement and further their knowledge at home within their current UOI. The Learning at Home project runs for 3-6 weeks and links to the UOI’s central idea, concepts and lines of inquiry while incorporating STEAM elements. We encourage students to involve their families and widen their knowledge outside of the classroom. We also offer support to parents and families should they need it.
To empower students to be technologically prepared, iPads are integrated into lessons and all students have access to G Suite and Google Classroom. We allow them to use technology within the classrooms so they develop these skills which are a key aspect of the modern world, and also learn to use it safely.
Building Confident Communicators
Strong communication skills are a main focus here at OWIS and we work to help our students develop these skills from the start of school. Our students are provided with many opportunities to present their ideas and work both collaboratively and individually. We aim to increase the confidence of our students by providing a warm and supportive classroom experience. We encourage them to be gently pushed outside of their comfort zone and experience new opportunities and skills, such as presenting their work to the class. Each student receives individualised, structured feedback that enables them to improve in different areas of their learning. We use positive language and advice to ensure that students feel that they are making progress and are encouraged to ask for help when they do need it. We help them learn to be able to analyse their strengths and their weaknesses and develop themselves into the best person they can be.
Primary Students Learn Best Through Hands-On Learning
We believe the key to successful education lies in our students’ experiential learning. For example, in Maths, students will inquire into the concept of measurement by filling buckets to learn about capacity. This hands-on approach teaches them that there is more to learning than textbooks and that knowledge is all around them in daily life. Throughout the week, students will participate in a range of learning engagements including English, Maths, Mandarin, P.E. PSPE, Music and Art. Our educators work on promoting mindfulness and kindness throughout the school to help develop a happy learning community.
The Week Isn’t Complete Without Extra-Curricular Activities
Our educational philosophy encourages the integration of a variety of physical and extra-curricular activities, including clubs for dancing, coding, swimming, chess, a school newspaper and band. We encourage the students to try different sports and hobbies, some of which they may never have experienced prior to coming to OWIS.
At OWIS, our Primary School remains dedicated to providing students with an optimal learning environment. With a rigorous yet age-appropriate curriculum, students are challenged to reach new educational heights and nurture their passion for lifelong learning.
Radek P., father of a primary student says, “We really like the IB-PYP curriculum offered and the fact that the school encourages creativity in students. My daughter’s feedback from the first day was extremely positive, and she said that her teacher is great!”
Come and see for yourself what makes OWIS’s primary grades special for your children.
(This blog was originally written in collaboration with Ms Erin Smith, former Senior Coordinator – Primary School & IB PYP, OWIS Nanyang.)