Primary Subject Groups
Visual Arts in the Primary section exemplify learning through inquiry because of the emphasis on, and the nature of, the creative process. Visual Arts provide a unique vehicle to enhance the understanding of the transdisciplinary themes by providing both students and teachers with a range of mediums with which to access the Units of Inquiry. Arts support the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, the development of conceptual understandings, the demonstration of positive attitudes, and the taking of action. Primary students are exposed to a broad range of experiences that allow them to explore, create and develop their own personal perspectives on Visual Art.
Ambrit’s music program supports the development of the whole person through technical skills and self-expression. Students gain a working knowledge of music theory and literacy through flutophone, recorder, and ukulele, and singing, and use these tools in composition, creative movement, and performance. Active listening and participation foster an appreciation for music of all cultures which lasts a lifetime. Many Ambrit students participate in extracurricular musical ensembles.
In the Primary section, we continue from the Early Childhood physical education program by furthering the concept of body control and spatial awareness, the body’s capacity for movement and how to move around and in between objects, while nurturing individual skills. We introduce warm up and stretching and emphasize it’s importance to avoid injury and improve performance. In advanced primary grades, we introduce students to the skills and tactics needed in games which include lacrosse, volleyball, hockey, baseball, basketball, American football, badminton, and handball. Students also participate in athletic activities which combine movements to create sequences and refine gymnastic and dance skills. Adventure challenges are also provided throughout the program to help students learn to solve problems and accomplish common goals.
Personal, Social and Health Education
Personal, Social, and Health Education (PSHE) is concerned with the development of knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to personal and social well-being in order to make healthy lifestyle choices.
PSHE is an integral part of the curriculum in all primary classes, however, students in Grade 3 have the unique opportunity to learn and expand their understanding of healthy ways to express their feelings and actions by taking part in the “Healthy Talk”’ mini sessions. Throughout these sessions, all students in Grade 3 work in small groups on the development of their emotional well-being under the guidance of the school counselor. In Grade 5, students participate as a whole class in guided discussion forums where they deepen their understanding of feelings, develop strategies to solve conflicts, work as a grade level community to create solutions to issues pertinent to their school life. They are also introduced to puberty and body changes.
The Ambrit Libraries are central resources for all students, staff, and parents of the school. Our mission is to support the curriculum and assist in all aspects of the teaching and learning process by:
- Encouraging a love of books and reading by providing an attractive and stimulating environment.
- Providing information services for students, not only to supplement and complement classroom learning but to encourage the development of individual interests.
- Teaching library and information skills throughout the school, to promote effective and independent use of the library.
The Library Programme has two components at the Primary level, an information skills programme and literature appreciation.
The information skills programme teaches students in Grades 2-5 to use a variety of research tools in the library including the electronic catalogue, encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, dictionaries and other reference sources to explore individual interests as well as prepare for class assignments. The programme is spiral in nature, with more challenging material added each year.
Primary students learn to appreciate literature as they are exposed to different genres of fiction, including works by authors from other cultures. They learn how to make good choices for their own reading material and regularly participate in author discussions and student led book talks. In weekly classes, the overall goal is to encourage a love of reading as well as the effective use of nonfiction materials, enabling students to approach research confidently. Primary students have a scheduled library lesson once a week but are encouraged to visit the library before and after school, as well as during their breaks. The majority of the library collection is in English but there is a growing collection of books in Italian and other languages.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Today’s children are growing up in a world increasingly dominated by technology and media. Ambrit’s ICT philosophy aims to empower students and enable them to become competent and responsible users of Technology through the integrated use of current hardware and software. To this end, ICT at Ambrit is treated as a means of achieving a desired result rather than as a subject whose skills are taught in isolation. Therefore, ICT lessons focus on the use of technology as a learning tool with the lessons being the result of close collaboration between the class or subject teacher and an ICT Integration Specialist.
To enhance the way students learn and interact with technology, teachers use the devices and other tools found in our Media Lab, as well as MacBook and iPads carts. Our Grade 5 students have additional access to technology in the first year of our 1:1 program that continues on throughout Middle School.