Key Stage 2 consists of Years 3 to 6 in the British system or Grades 2 to 5 in the U.S. and Chilean educational systems. In addition to a varied and stimulating curriculum, students have the opportunity to participate in many extracurricular activities. As in all stages of their education here at The International Preparatory School, assemblies and house activities continue to be important to the learning experience. The following subjects are included in the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Listening and speaking skills continue to be emphasized through oral reports and sharing personal, national and international news. Performing for a wider audience takes place in the context of assemblies and participation in other school events, which contribute to developing the children's' self-confidence and speaking skills.
Reading skills are reinforced and expanded using a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction. Cross curricular links are made through reading and discussion of appropriate texts. The students learn to discuss characters, story development, plot, setting, etc. They are also encouraged to read for personal growth. They explore the use of language in literary and nonliterary texts and learn how language works.
The students learn to write in a variety of contexts. While doing so they reinforce and expand the basic skills of handwriting, spelling and punctuation, their knowledge of the parts of speech and skills with reference books. Work in carried out at the word, sentence and text level with emphasis on paragraph structure and development.
Students use the number system more confidently. As they progress through the key stage the students move from counting reliably to calculating fluently with all four number operations. Oral explanations and mental maths remain an important part of their learning experience. Teaching throughout the key stage provides new learning, consolidation through practice and opportunity to use and apply mathematics to solve problems and pursue enquiries. 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.
As the children advance through the key stage they develop their ability to talk more in depth about mathematical concepts and to explain their solutions, decisions and reasoning. When they leave Key Stage 2 the students should have more confidence in their work in mathematics. They should be able to try different approaches and strategies when solving a problem or explaining a concept.
In Key Stage 2 students continue to follow the study units of the British National Curriculum which include life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Students build on what they learned in Key Stage 1 to expand their knowledge of 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.
Design and Technology
Students work on their own and as part of a team on a range of designing and making activities. They think about what products are used for and the needs of the people who use them. They plan what has to be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people's designs. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum and use computers in a range of ways.
Students use a wider range of IT 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. Each child learns to use a variety of software including word processors, spreadsheets, databases, multimedia applications and internet. The children are encouraged to use their IT skills to enhance their work in other areas.
Students continue to develop their ability to understand and speak Spanish. They also read and write the language according to their ability level and background knowledge. There is introductory instruction given to students who enter with no knowledge of the language.
Students learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways. Educational visits to historical buildings and museums help to develop the children's understanding of the past.
Students investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and IT.
Art and Design
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.
In Key Stage 2 the children widen their range of musical activities, which can include performing, composing and evaluating. 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.