The Elementary School curriculum covers the four core subject areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. In addition, students receive classes in Music, Art, Physical Education, Computer Science, Library Studies, Thai Language & Culture, and Chinese Language.
English Language Arts
In English Language Arts, we follow the U.S. Common Core State Standards standards. Students are encouraged to meet rigorous standards in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and listening and speaking. The curriculum used to teach and assess reading is Making Meaning by Collaborative Classroom and Reading A-Z. For spelling, we used Words Their Way by Pearson which features a highly individualized approach to spelling instruction and mastery. In writing, all teachers are trained on the 6+1 Traits of Writing framework for teaching and assessing writing skills.
In Elementary Mathematics we use MyMath by McGraw Hill, which is aligned with the U.S. Common Core State Standards. The MyMath curriculum includes engaging student textbooks that include a variety of activities, performance tasks, and built in assessments. This acclaimed curriculum encourages students from grade 1-5 not only to perform calculations, but also to discuss and understand the deeper principles behind them.
In Elementary Science, we follow the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our students follow three strands of inquiry through grades 1-5: Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. The curriculum we use to address the grade level NGSS standards is Mystery Science by Discovery Education. This highly engaging and interactive curriculum features a science investigation and/oor lab experiment in every lesson. In addition, our students are able to use the High School science laboratories regularly in order to prepare them for the challenging middle school experiment procedures.
In Elementary Social Studies, our areas of focus are history and geography, civics and government, and economics. Students study the social, political, religious, and geographic structures of ancient civilizations such as Ancient China, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Egypt.
Highlighting our Music Department, there are traditionally two large concert performances put on by the Elementary Music Department each year, featuring Kindergarten through grade 5 students.
Elementary music sees students learning the essentials of sound and tonality at an early age, as well as exposure to notation and playing and performing on multiple instruments. Students learn how to read music notation and play the piano fundamentally as they progress through Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. They also become adept at singing, solfege, and basic ear training. Students learn the ukulele in grade three, their first introduction to a string instrument, and ideas of song composition and structural comprehension advance. Students in grade 4 continue to hone their piano and ukulele skills while incorporating music from various historical periods and improving their rhythm reading through percussion play. The violin is finally introduced to Grade 5 students! This is not only a fun new instrument for students to learn and practice reading notation on, but it’s also a great transitional step in training them to play and collaborate in an ensemble, just like they will in their future academic and professional endeavors.
Highlighting our Art Department, there is an annual NIS Art Show, showcasing students’ work from kindergarten to grade 12. Work is on display for three days, and after the initial opening, classes visit the show and write “art reports” for their favorite work and artist.
The Elementary curriculum includes units on the elements and principles of art with students exploring line, color, texture, shape, form and value in a variety of projects from papier mache to claymation. Discovering new crafts such as paper making and this year we will be introducing screen printing and digital drawing. Students also learn about world art, famous artists, art movements throughout the world, sculpture and cross curricular projects. The elementary art curriculum is filled with variety and scope with amazing facilities. Elementary art is an integral and an important part of our students’ life and enjoyment at school.
In Chinese language, we have two types of courses. The first class is for Chinese native speakers. The other course is for Chinese non-native speakers. In Chinese native classes, students study with the latest version of Chinese textbooks to improve their speaking, reading, and writing skills. In Chinese non-native classes, the students study with the ‘Easy Steps To Chinese For Kids’ in order to learn vocabulary, practice conversation, read Pinyin, and write Chinese characters.
Elementary Physical Education at NIS, is a course that focuses on developing physical literacy in all students. The four essential elements of physical literacy that are at the forefront of all lessons are motivation and confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding, and engagement in physical activities for life. We use a combined curriculum of SHAPE America and the California model content standards for physical education. In the primary years, there is a heavy focus on developing fundamental movement skills (gross motor skills). Throughout all years, Social and Emotional Learning takes precedence as we continue to develop the skills to become lifelong learners and engage in physical activity for life.
Thai language and Culture
Highlighting our Thai Language and Culture Department, there are two main courses consisting of Thai Language and Culture for Native-Thai students and Thai as Additional Language for Non-Native students.
The curriculum for Native-Thai students focuses on reading in the different kinds of compositions for receiving thinking skills to apply in daily life. Writing words in accord with rules of Thai orthography. Listening, Viewing and Speaking to express opinions in both formal and informal situations. All Native-Thai students are required by law to participate in this course throughout their school years.
Otherwise Non-Native students our curriculum has designs on obtaining various skills including Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Essential Thai Reading. They will also be able to correctly understand and apply Thai culture in daily life.
Out of Classroom Learning Activities
We believe that learning does not only take place in the classroom. When students are able to see what they are learning as well as read and hear about it, the lessons are usually more effective. Therefore, the following may be used as an extension to your child’s classroom learning.