The primary years are the time for curiosity, experimentation, research and questioning. The skills for mathematics, Amharic and beginning Amharic, English and beginning English, social studies, civics, ICT, science, art, music, and physical education are integrated through thematic units within the International Primary Curriculum (IPC).
The IPC promotes inquiry-based, experiential, and cross-curricular learning. Each IPC theme covers a wide range of curriculum subjects and shows students the important links between them. As well as these academic aims, the IPC includes ‘personal goals’ and ‘international goals’ which provide a social, moral and international education. This holistic approach to education emphasizes the importance of educating the whole child, and recognizes the value of both academic and social education.
Most children love to learn and when they like their teachers and they are actively engaged in the learning experiences, they learn more. They also remember what they’ve learned and they’re better able to access it whenever needed, rather than memorizing only for an examination. Our aim is to facilitate such exciting and interesting learning experiences that students integrate the new knowledge and skills into their lives, rather than forgetting it after the exam. Learning through experience leads to meaningful understanding. Without understanding, there is no learning.
Assessment and evaluation (Grading) in the Primary Division is holistic. We’re concerned about the whole child rather than one-dimensional grades. We do not use the letters A, B, C, D, and F in the lower grades. We employ the use of rubrics in assessing younger students: Beginning (1), Developing (2), Mastering (3). Students at the beginning stages of learning particular skills would be given a 1. Students who have grasped a better understanding and are doing well would be given a 2 for Developing. Students who are confidently understanding and performing the skills easily will be assessed as mastering which is a 3. However, mastering means they are still learning and it is not to be confused with “mastered.” There is still more to learn.