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Multiage Learning at HIS Niseko
The multiage program at HIS Niseko is built on a foundation of understanding the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of children. We understand that the whole child must be nurtured. This is done by providing an environment that is student centered, experiential, stimulating, creative, and flexible. Activities are designed to offer children opportunities to explore, experiment, and discover with hands-on materials. The multiage learning environment, climate, and activities encourage students to develop the confidence, skills, and attitudes that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Children are active learners with innate curiosity. Our multi-age learning program ensures that objectives are relevant to students and set in a caring, supportive atmosphere. This includes language development, self-expression, inquiry, and creativity approached through, literature, songs, dance, poetry, and games.
The rich English language environment so beneficial to native English speakers is developed through thematic units, reading/writing workshops, drama, PE, art, music, stories, and play and is the same environment especially critical for second language learners. Vocabulary and grammar are developed in natural and authentic ways as students engage in the varied experiences of the classroom.
While providing developmentally appropriate activities, HIS teachers understand that every child is on a unique path of growth and possesses multiple intelligences with their own distinctive personality and learning style. Therefore, objectives and outcome goals are child specific while aligning with appropriate age-level school standards. Children are given the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop according to their own path, each in their own time and unique way through differentiated learning opportunities.
While many children in the multiage classroom may seem to be engaged in a similar activity, the teachers understand that each student may be learning different concepts from the experience. A positive self-image and the development of core knowledge, skills, and understanding are the result of the chance to grow and be nurtured at individual developmental levels in supportive and stimulating multiage environments.
Our classrooms support an environment of differentiation and create a learning community that encourages interdependence, as well as independence, while developing the character traits of caring and helpfulness to create a physically and emotionally safe learning environment for all. Positive and caring learning experiences ensure that the children are happy and eager to come to school.
IPC (International Primary Curriculum) at HIS Niseko
The cornerstone of our collaborative instruction is delivered through the International Primary Curriculum or the IPC. The IPC is a challenging, standards-based curriculum created specifically for international schools. Focused explicitly on developing children’s learning, its structure is based on subject, personal, and international learning goals and thematic units that help children acquire knowledge, skills, and understanding in an active, engaging classroom environment.
Helping children develop academically, socially, and emotionally through a focus on theme learning is the core goal of this curriculum. The curriculum takes into account the most recent research on the brain and how children learn.
IPC has been designed with the particular focus of helping children develop an international attitude in addition to an awareness of their own identity. Children are encouraged to develop the skills they need to take an active part in the world.
The thematic units of the IPC focus on science, geography, history, and international and societal learning targets with elements of technology, language, math, music, art, and physical education as part of the integrated instruction. All subjects, in addition to being integrated into a unit, have clearly defined goals for knowledge, skills, and understanding, which the children are expected to meet at the end of each milepost.
The three-, four-, and five-year-olds at HIS Niseko use the Early Years Program. It is a separate part of the IPC and leads into the study of the elementary mileposts. For the elementary years, there are three mileposts. Kindergarten and grade one focus on Milepost One learning. The second and third grades focus on Milepost Two learning, and the fourth to sixth grade students focus on Milepost Three learning.
For more information, check out the International Primary Curriculum at: http://www.internationalprimarycurriculum.com
At HIS Niseko we enjoy the continuity from Kindergarten to Grade 6 that Singapore Math has given us. Students in younger grades build a foundation that is carried on to higher mileposts, and is carried to Sapporo campus whenever those connections allow.