At the Primary School, we aim to make children confident and independent learners. We provide many opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned. Learning at HJIS is generally inquiry-based, where students are encouraged to identify pertinent questions and construct well-informed answers.
The Primary School is from Grade 1 through Grade 6, organized at two levels:
- Key Stage 1 (KS1) covers Grades 1 and 2; and,
- Key Stage 2 (KS2) covers Grades 3 through 6.
English Language Arts
In studying English Language Arts (ELA) students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.
Students learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts. The study of English helps students understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins.
The skills and knowledge covered by the ELA program are
- Speaking and Listening
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how language works.
Mathematics equips students with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development, and in public decision-making. Different cultures have contributed to the development and application of mathematics.
Today, the subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. Mathematics is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a student solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees hidden connections.
The knowledge, skills and understanding covered by the Mathematics program are
- Problem Solving
- Organizing and Using Data
- Shape, Space and Measures
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activity, exploration and discussion. They learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond. They develop a range of mental calculation skills and use these confidently in different settings. They learn about shape and space through practical activity which builds on their understanding of their immediate environment. They begin to grasp mathematical language, using it to talk about their methods and explain their reasoning when solving problems.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students use the number system more confidently. They move from counting reliably to calculating fluently with all four number operations. They always try to tackle a problem with mental methods before using any other approach.
Students explore features of shape and space and develop their measuring skills in a range of contexts. They discuss and present their methods and reasoning using a wider range of mathematical language, diagrams and charts.
Science stimulates and excites students’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, students understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life. Students recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its worldwide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based
issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
At HJIS Primary School, Science is taught in four strands:
- Scientific Enquiry
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.
During KS1, Science is integrated into Topic Exploration.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students learn about a wider range of living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to make links between ideas and to explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others.
They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, and communicate ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs.
The Social Studies program, which is taught during Key Stages 2 and 3, investigates people and their relationships with their social and physical environments. The knowledge, skills and values developed in social studies help students to learn about and appreciate the past, to understand the present, and to influence the future. Therefore, social studies has the unique responsibility of providing students with the opportunity to acquire global knowledge, skills and values enabling them to function effectively within society, as part of an interdependent world.
Social Studies is taught in the three strands of Geography, History and Citizenship.
In Citizenship, students build confidence, and learn about responsibility and making the most of their abilities. They also learn about playing an active role as citizens, developing a healthy and safer lifestyle, good relationships, and respecting the differences between people.
In Geography students learn about 'geographical enquiry and skills', 'knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes', and 'environmental change and sustainable development'.
In History students learn about placing events, people and changes into correct periods of time, events, people and changes in the past, and historical enquiry.
The Japanese curriculum is focused on communication through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so that students will become confident and competent Japanese users. We provide an environment where students are immersed in both Japanese language and culture.
- Japanese at Native Level (国語)
Our JNL program aims at teaching the students Japanese at the same level as their peers in public schools learn. Following the curriculum prescribed by the Monbusho (Japan Ministry of Education), we teach Japanese daily to maintain the verbal and literary proficiency of our students. In this accord, the students use the Japanese textbooks that Japanese public schools use. These activities help improve our students' overall Japanese skills. A Kanji test is held once a week in order to increase knowledge of Kanji vocabulary. The students regularly work as a group and use different ways to develop their skills such as presentations, poems, story makings. Also, it is important to expand their creativity and imagination as well as their Japanese skills.
- Japanese as an Additional Language (JAL)
Through the study of Japanese as an additional language, students begin to understand and appreciate Japan, its culture, people and communities – and as they do so, begin to think of themselves as citizens of Japan as well as of their own country. Students also learn about the basic structures of language. They explore the similarities and differences between Japanese and English or their mother tongue, and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. Their listening, reading and memory skills improve, and their speaking and writing become more accurate. The development of these skills, together with students’ knowledge and understanding of the structure of language, lay the foundations for future study of other languages.
- Key Stage 1
During KS1 students begin to understand basic instructions, speak using simple expressions, and read and write using Hiragana and Katakana. They start gaining familiarity with the sounds, the written form and grammar of the language. They improve their understanding of Japanese by listening to people talking with a controlled language. They are also exposed to the culture by using appropriate authentic materials.
- Key Stage 2
During KS2 students begin to understand, speak, read and write more comfortably in Japanese. They become more familiar with the sounds, Kanji and grammar of the language, and use this knowledge with some confidence to express themselves in controlled academic settings. They improve their understanding of the language by listening to people talking about different subjects and by reading a range of selected texts. They also increase their cultural awareness by communicating with people who speak Japanese and by using appropriate authentic materials in Japanese.
Information and Communication Technology
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) prepares students to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. Students use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning, with students being able to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect, and to consider its implications for home and work both now and in the future.
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students explore ICT and learn to use it confidently and with purpose to achieve specific outcomes. They start to use ICT to develop their ideas and record their creative work. They become familiar with hardware and software.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students use a wider range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. They develop their research skills and decide what information is appropriate for their work. They begin to question the plausibility and quality of information. They learn how to amend their work and present it in a way that suits its audience
Art gives us the opportunity to respond to the problems and seek the solution in different ways. The process of making art is very important for artists because they can discover their solutions through the experiences of using materials. The process of handling materials by adding colour, form, texture, and pattern stimulates the development of their creativity and imagination. Art education helps artists to expand their process of thinking and to connect with their visual sensory and emotion in their works. Artists’ discipline influences their own aesthetic values and their development of perceptions of the contemporary issues and problems in the world.
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students develop their creativity and imagination by exploring the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes. They learn about the role of art, craft and design in their environment. They begin to understand colour, shape and space and pattern and texture and use them to represent their ideas and feelings.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students develop their creativity and imagination through more complex activities. These help to build on their skills and improve their control of materials, tools and techniques. They increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art, craft and design in different times and cultures. They become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps students understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world. The teaching of music develops students’ ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgements about musical quality.
It encourages active involvement in different forms of amateur music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.
It also increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating short compositions, with increasing confidence, imagination and control. They explore and enjoy how sounds and silence can create different moods and effects.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students sing songs and play instruments with increasing confidence, skill, expression and awareness of their own contribution to a group or class performance. They improvise, and develop their own musical compositions, in response to a variety of different stimuli with increasing personal involvement, independence and creativity.
They explore their thoughts and feelings through responding physically, intellectually and emotionally to a variety of music from different times and cultures.
Physical Education (PE) develops students’ physical competence and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a range of activities. It promotes physical skilfulness, physical development and knowledge of the body in action. Physical education provides opportunities for students to be creative, competitive and to face up to different challenges as individuals and in groups and teams. It promotes positive attitudes towards active and healthy lifestyles.
Students learn how to think in different ways to suit a wide variety of creative, competitive and challenging activities. They learn how to plan, perform and evaluate actions, ideas and performances to improve their quality and effectiveness. Through this process students discover their aptitudes, abilities and preferences, and make choices about how to get involved in lifelong physical activity.
Key Stage 1
During KS1 students build on their natural enthusiasm for movement, using it to explore and learn about their world. They start to work and play with other students in pairs and small groups. By watching, listening and experimenting, they develop their skills in movement and coordination, and enjoy expressing and testing themselves in a variety of situations.
Key Stage 2
During KS2 students enjoy being active and using their creativity and imagination in physical activity. They learn new skills, find out how to use them in different ways, and link them to make actions, phrases and sequences of movement. They enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They develop an understanding of how to succeed in different activities and learn how to evaluate and recognize their own success.