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.
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, learning how language functions.
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 parts of speech and skills, using reference books. Work is carried out at the word, sentence, and text level with emphasis on paragraph structure and development.
Students learn to 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 have the 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 wide 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 explaining 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 attempt a variety of approaches and strategies when solving a problem or explaining a concept.
In key stage 2 students continue to follow the study units of the English 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 concepts using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things, and to their personal health. They begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in a variety of 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, communicating ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs.
Students use a wide range of IT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects, while learning about the variable functions of computers. 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 the 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 and advanced instruction for those students who are fluent.
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 a political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspective. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in an 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 and how the lessons learned can apply to the present and future.
Students investigate a variety of people, places, and environments at different scales, beginning to make links between various 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. During the enquiry process, they ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and information technology.
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, crafts, and design in various times and cultures. They become more confident in using visual and tactile elements as well as materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel, think, and imagine.
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 by responding physically, intellectually, and emotionally to a variety of music from different times and cultures.
Students enjoy being active, 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, learning how to evaluate and recognise their own success. They learn why physical activity is important for their health. The physical education curriculum includes a variety of sports such as football, gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, and other activities.