- Language Arts
- Specialist Subjects
- Language Acquisition
- Learning Support
- PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
- International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
Our mathematics curriculum supports a mastery approach to learning. ‘Maths mastery’ is achieved through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time. The aim is for students to be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of a topic, rather than simply memorising key facts and procedures.
We believe that a mathematical concept or skill has been fully mastered when a student;
● can represent it in multiple ways
● has the mathematical language to reason and communicate related ideas
● can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations
The ISH approach is to give children the opportunity to build competency by using manipulatives – physical objects such as coins, puzzles, blocks to aid their understanding, before progressing onto pictorial representations and then finally working confidently with a more abstract approach to key concepts.
A broad and balanced programme designed to harness your child's natural energy, encouraging a love of physical education and sport for life-long engagement. Our PE team at ISH support children’s ability to perform with increasing competence and confidence in a range of physical activities to suit diverse needs. We actively promote an understanding of how the body works in action - challenging children to think, select and apply their new skills in a physical setting. Importantly PE also promotes a positive attitude towards a healthy lifestyle, thereby building a strong base for children to make informed choices about physical activities throughout their life.
At ISH we know that music can have a hugely positive effect on a child's learning and can engage their brains on a number of levels. That is why we provide your child with the opportunity to listen, compose and perform in order to develop their inner musicality and creativity. Simply Playing a musical instrument or listening attentively to music can have a positive impact on a children’s learning as a whole.
Dutch at ISH in Primary
Whilst living in the Netherlands, the teaching of Dutch to all Primary students is an important aspect of the curriculum to help the child’s understanding of the language so that they can connect with their host country. Knowing the language of the host country also supports the development of International Mindedness. International Mindedness at ISH means Valuing me, you and others. We believe that all languages and cultures have an equal status, including the host country language and culture. Children in all age groups learn Dutch from a native speaking teacher and also learn about the history, culture and geography of The Netherlands.
The content of our unique, ISH Dutch curriculum is driven by the communication needs of the students. This is achieved through real experiences. In the words of Eowyn Crisfield, an expert in the field of language development:
The ultimate goals of host country language teaching are communication within the environment, and cultural connections to the host country. Neither of these are going to happen by memorising vocabulary, doing dictation, and completing worksheets. Understanding the host culture and having interactions with friends, neighbours, shopkeepers, requires real, living language experience. This is the root of developing international mindedness and global citizenship.
(Eowyn Crisfield, April 2018)
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
The ISH curriculum is delivered in English to children of many nations, languages and cultures. We are very proud that our children come to us as multilingual learners with important experiences in other languages. The role of our EAL teachers is to aid children in learning English, while supporting the development of their mother tongue and our host language, Dutch. This approach not only value where our children come from, they also accelerate their access to the school curriculum.
The ISH provides a full EAL programme to support English learners. In addition, all classroom teachers and assistants are trained in ways to help children participate in the school curriculum. We offer an environment in which children feel nurtured and comfortable whilst learning the language and skills they need to access the curriculum and build friendships.
As a truly international school the ISH is committed to the development of every child’s Mother Tongue. This is normally the language their parents have used to communicate with them since they were born, to tell them their first stories, to comfort them when they were afraid or hurt and is often the same language spoken by their grandparents. Research has proven that a strong Mother Tongue contributes to the successful acquisition of new languages. It also provides children with access to their own culture and family background, giving status and value to their multi-lingual and cultural identity.
Within the curriculum the teachers ensure that on a weekly basis there are opportunities for children to use their Mother Tongue either individually or in groups. Children participate in a variety of meaningful learning opportunities, which include researching, preparing presentations and sharing their thoughts through speaking and listening activities. This learning takes place predominantly through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) but increasingly teachers are identifying opportunities in other curriculum areas. Wherever possible the children are supported by their peers who share the same Mother Tongue. Secondary students also support the programme and we actively encourage parents and members of the wider ISH community to become involved.
We recognise that although our programme within the curriculum provides the children with an opportunity to use their Mother Tongue, there is limited scope for them to further develop their language skills. For this reason we also have an after school Mother Tongue programme. During this programme the children concentrate on the expansion of their ‘Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency’ (CALP) and the development of their reading and writing skills. These skills are transferable between languages and are necessary for children to move beyond the social to the academic. We offer this programme in as many languages as possible although this is dependent on the availability of qualified tutors.
All children learn in different ways and at different rates. As a result it is sometimes necessary to provide additional support to individuals and groups of children to help them successfully access their learning.
Support in the classroom is provided by the class teacher and their teaching assistant through a differentiated programme. In some cases the production of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are produced in conjunction with our Learning Support (LS) Team. Our LS team uses the “response-to-intervention” approach, which seeks to prevent severe difficulties through early intervention, monitoring progress and increasingly intense intervention for children who continue to experience difficulty. We also engage the services of outside school professionals, agencies and Dutch institutions to support individuals and groups of children.
The LS team consists of learning support teachers and a psychologist. We are a mainstream school and as a result are limited in the number of children and types of support we can provide for.
PSHE education is central to helping your child(ren) stay healthy and safe and to equip them with the personal and social skills to negotiate some of life’s challenges, opportunities and risks. There is also growing evidence to suggest that the skills and attributes acquired through PSHE education have a significant impact on pupils’ academic achievement, employability and future life chances. At ISH we encourage pupils to have a mature and respectful appreciation for difference and diversity. Through discussions about what it means to be a global citizen, children engage critically with stereotypes and prejudices and develop an understanding of how we can celebrate our own heritage and home cultures whilst also embracing the diverse culture of our communities. As a fully inclusive school, outlined below are the key values we actively promote:
We encourage children to become involved in school decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to.
We support and encourage pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence and understand they have freedom to have their own feelings, thoughts, beliefs and religion.
Our PSHE curriculum embodies values of mutual respect through units of learning relating directly to valuing difference. Respect is modelled by all staff in the way we interact with children, families and is embedded within our Community Profile particularly being Caring, Open Minded and Principled.
We welcome pupils, families and visitors from all countries and faiths who share their language and culture with our children. We challenge racist, prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour and encourage our pupils to be non-judgemental.
The Rule of Law
We ensure that our school rules and expectations are clear and fair. We have a clearly structured behaviour policy which all stakeholders understand and follow.
Health and Wellbeing
Physical wellbeing and Mental Health including healthy lifestyles, accident prevention, communication skills, healthy relationships, digital safety, emotional health and resilience and many other areas.
Healthy Relationships is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of loving and caring relationships. Sex Education is compulsory in all Dutch schools and is addressed sensitively using age-appropriate units.
International Primary Curriculum
The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a comprehensive, child-centered curriculum for 5 -11 year-olds, with a clear process of learning. It nurtures a love of learning and through experiential practices encourages key skills, competencies, and habits of minds. It also focuses on developing knowledge, skills and understanding of subjects set within cross-curricular, thematic units that are creative and challenging for children.
What this looks like in practice?
In one of our years children study a unit called ’Plant and Insects’, where they develop the knowledge, skills and understanding linked to the key concepts of ‘growth’ and ‘change’. Through exploration and study of a variety of plants and insects in the local environment around us, they develop an understanding of the features, life cycles and habitats of plants and insects. In addition, they plant a variety of vegetables and flowers in the school garden, to observe growth and change first hand and to watch the close relationship between the plants and insects in our world.
In keeping with the overall philosophy and vision at ISH, the IPC curriculum is designed to support your child’s sense of their own nationality and a strong respect for the nationalities and cultures of others.
Subject areas covered by the IPC:
- ICT & Computing
ISH Digital Citizens