At Ambrit, children spend most of their day in self-contained homeroom classes. Inside this supportive environment, the homeroom teacher works together with an English as Another Language (EAL) teacher and an ICT Integration Specialist to facilitate learning through Units of Inquiry and in Language and Mathematics. Grade 1 classes have an additional teaching assistant to support learning in this first year of Primary. Personal, Social, and Health Education (PSHE) topics are presented by the school counsellor and the homeroom teacher.
Units of Inquiry
Learning in the Primary Years Program (PYP) is underpinned by six transdisciplinary themes, each selected for their importance in the real world. Young learners explore these themes using concepts, knowledge, and skills from different subject areas, helping them to see the relevance of and connections between these subjects. All Science and Social Studies is taught through the Units of Inquiry and elements of Personal and Social and Health Education, Physical Education, Art, Music, Mathematics and Language are utilised as they are relevant.
All units are centered around a Central Idea with Lines of Inquiry that structure the scope of the unit. Teachers use carefully designed provocations and questions to spur student engagement and involve students in formulating their own questions and ideas for activities. Teachers ensure that students develop specific understandings, knowledge, and skills and support them to take meaningful action.
The English language program at Ambrit focuses on a balanced approach to literacy, enabling students to use their language skills in purposeful, meaningful ways. The program challenges students to read, write, listen, and speak effectively in order to communicate with others. Based on the PYP Language scope and sequence, a strong language connection is embedded in all areas of the curriculum, especially the units of inquiry. Direct reading instruction provides students with developmental strategies for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Writing units are genre-based in order for students to develop a range of writing skills. The classroom activities are rich in listening and speaking opportunities where children present and learn from each other.
The Ambrit mathematics program requires students to persevere and reason as they engage in rich, authentic tasks where they make sense of and apply mathematical concepts. Based on the PYP Math scope and sequence, the Ambrit Math curriculum has five strands; Data Handling, Number, Shape and Space, Measurement and Pattern and Function. Each strand is divided into four developmental phases with conceptual understandings and specific knowledge and skills at each grade level or phase of learning. Some mathematical concepts are integrated into the units of inquiry while others are taught in a stand-alone manner.
The EAL program at Ambrit aims to assist students whose first language is not English, in becoming competent users of the English language so they can participate fully in the social and academic life of the school. English language learning is not intended as a replacement for the student’s home language(s) but as an additional language. Through differentiated support options, the EAL support teachers collaborate with class teachers to facilitate the integration of all English language learners into mainstream classrooms.
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 the desired result rather than as a subject whose skills are taught in isolation. 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.
Students have access to our Media Lab with Mac desktop computers, sets of iPads in each classroom and additional Chromebook/Macbook carts.
Personal, Social, and Physical Education (PSPE) is concerned with the development of knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to personal and social well-being in order to make healthy life choices. The three strands of PSPE are identity, interactions and active living which are integrated into units of inquiry and supported by all teachers.