Building a Strong Foundation
The Primary Years Programme (Grade 1-5) at Westminster International School enables students to evolve into devoted and proactive contributors of the ever-changing world. Through a stimulating and caring environment, our students grow into confident and self-assured individuals. Our inquiry-led and diverse curriculum challenges the students to develop divergent thinking and problem-solving skills. We consider shaping fine, well-mannered young people one of the most important functions of a school as it helps children become persons of integrity.
At Westminster, our aim is to help students achieve their full potential. Our teachers and staff work hand in hand with parents to meet students’ individual needs and identify their unique strengths. We have high expectations from our students and we constantly encourage them to give their best and take pride in their achievements. We work to give students a thorough grounding in basic skills; to develop a lively interest and curiosity about the world in which they live; to experience a wide curriculum that includes the creative arts and physical activities and to develop a love of learning that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Teacher Student Ratio
Our classes are small enough to ensure that each child gets the focus and attention they deserve. A standard student-teacher ratio of 1:17 at Primary school guarantees that children get the attention and support they need to reach their highest potentials. Each class is completely dependent on the pupils’ development stage, rather than their age.
CLASS 1: 6-7 Years
CLASS 2: 7-8 Years
CLASS 3: 8-9 Years
CLASS 4: 9-10 Years
CLASS 5: 10-11 Years
Primay Year’s curriculum ensures the continuity of learning and further strengthens the strong foundation laid by the Early Year’s programme. Our curriculum is defined by enriched activities and traditional subject areas to promote students’ spiritual, moral, social, intellectual and physical growth and development – it includes different approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. Through a well-designed curriculum framework, we are able to maintain the teacher-student relationship, which we consider a major contributor for a child’s progress.
A wide curriculum is followed with the mastering of English, Urdu and Mathematics being the core aim supported by the foundation studies in Science, History and Geography. The students also enjoy Art, IT, Drama, Music and Sports.
Our Curriculum has three broad aims; it should enable all young people to become:
- successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
- confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
- responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society
Areas of Learning
Developing language skills is one of the most important aspects of a child’s social and academic progress. Learning a language enables a child to communicate, express and understand feelings and develop and maintain relationships. It also helps enhance the ability to think, imagine and create.
Some of the strategies to support Language Development and Literacy include:
- building varied vocabulary
- increasing phonological awareness
- encouraging story comprehension skills
- supporting decoding skills
- Leveled Literacy intervention
Mathematics is a creative discipline and is at the core of a school’s curriculum. Having a solid Math foundation is imperative for a child’s success throughout the educational journey. Mathematics equips students with a unique powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. It introduces children to problem-solving skills, logical reasoning and mental rigor that are essential for everyday life. Mathematics is important in many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development and in public decision making.
Teaching Mathematics through hands on activities and games is an important tool for learning in Primary school. Our seasoned Math teachers provide repeated opportunities for students to play games which help generate the Mathematical ideas as students notice new patterns, relationships, and strategies. Working on interesting problems through play can be a trigger for flow of ideas which turn into solutions.
Historical, Geographical & Social Understanding
Historical, geographical and social understanding fires children’s curiosity and imagination about who we are, where we have come from, where we live and where we might be going next. It connects the past with the present and the future, helps children make sense of our place in the world and is central to their development as informed, active and responsible citizens. This area of learning encourages children to investigate the world around them, from the local to the global. It provokes and answers questions about the natural and human worlds, using different scales of enquiry to view them from different perspectives. It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills both inside and outside the classroom. History fires students’ curiosity about the past world. They consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, students develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people.
“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for”- Georgia O’Keeffe
Creating Art gives children an opportunity to interact with the world around them and allows them to express themselves and communicate better. Art helps to develop the right side of the brain which is empirical for cultivating important skills. This unrestricted exploration helps children form connections and enables them to express their thoughts and emotions, use their imagination, experiment and create. Art is a fundamental component of what makes us uniquely human-It matters as much as a language does.
This area of learning makes a key contribution to children’s personal, social and emotional development and to their growth as confident individuals. Participating in a range of art forms – including art and design, drama, music and movement – helps children become responsive, critical and appreciative. It enables them to:
- experience the inspiration and power of the arts
- recognise and nurture their creative and aesthetic talents
- deepen the understanding of culture
Physical Education (PE) helps develop motor skills, knowledge, physical fitness, competence and confidence. Physical education provides opportunities for pupils to be creative, competitive and to face up to different challenges as individuals and in groups and teams. To enjoy healthy, active and fulfilling lives, children must learn to respond positively to challenges, be enterprising and handle risk and to develop self-confidence and physical capabilities. This area of learning lays the foundations for long-term well-being and contributes to children’s mental, social, emotional, economic and physical development.
At Westminster, we have a high-quality PE curriculum to enable all students to enjoy and succeed in a wide range of physical activities. It includes football, cricket, volleyball, basketball, badminton, table tennis and karate. Through targeted intervention, our coaches are able to encourage the less sporty students to participate in fun, multi-sports activities as well as learn about healthy lifestyles. We have certified athletic coaches running these programmes successfully for many years. To cater to more athletic students, we offer after school Sports Clubs for exclusive professional training with our coaches.
Scientific & Technological Understanding
Children live in an age of fast-moving science and technology. This area of learning is fundamental to exploring, understanding and influencing the natural and manmade worlds in which we live. It offers a wealth of experiences and ideas that encourage children’s natural curiosity and creativity, inspiring awe and wonder. Science supports the development of technology and advances in technology lead to new scientific discoveries, shaping how we live safe and healthy lives in our rapidly changing society. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modeling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) an essential skill for life. ICT capability encompasses not only the mastery of technical skills and techniques, but also the understanding to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly in learning, everyday life and employment. ICT capability is fundamental to participation and engagement in modern society.
The nucleus of our science curriculum is hands-on practicals and integrated experiments that promote scientific excitement and engagement. As our students progress through school, they develop more complex skills through exploration and discovery. We strongly believe that focusing on real-world applications develop life-long skills in students such as curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration.
Citizenship And Religious Education
Education for citizenship equips young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in public life. Citizenship encourages them to take an interest in topical and controversial issues and to engage in discussion and debate. Students learn about their rights, responsibilities, duties and freedoms and about laws, justice and democracy. Religious education deals with the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, belief in God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development and enhances awareness and understanding of religion and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression.
Reading Programme at Westminster
Cultivating a lifelong love of reading
We strongly believe that reading is the key for lifelong learning. It fires up a child’s imagination and stimulates creativity. In order to instill the love for reading, we have a unique open library which is a dynamic place where students come to learn and explore. Our reading coordinators inspire students to learn beyond the classroom and help facilitate diverse life skills, curiosity, innovation and critical thinking.
Our teachers employ the appropriate strategies for each grade level and vary instruction to make the reading lessons interesting and enjoyable. These strategies include shared storytelling, role play, simulations, demonstrations, reading aloud, shared reading, independent reading with leveled texts, learning logs and journals, literature response groups, use of charts and organisers, use of dictionary and group research projects. The teachers ensure that the environment is rich in print by making use of word walls, labels and vocabulary lists that are tied to the content being studied in class. Students are provided with plenty of high-interest reading material and are asked questions that promote higher order thinking. The overall aim is to make students enthusiastic about reading stories, poetry, drama and non-fiction and media texts.
Evaluation & Assessments
Our rich and well-developed curriculum challenges the students to consistently exceed standards and expectations. The goal is to inspire each child to think and to learn, and to give life to learning. Assessment and evaluation at Westminster reflect a partnership between families and school in which parents and teachers work hand in hand with children to help them make continuous progress towards their fullest potential academically, socially, culturally, emotionally and physically. To regularly monitor progress, students are assessed frequently through an effective system of monthly, mid-year and end of school year tests and examinations.