Teaching and Learning in Primary School
We offer a six-year Primary School programme at Odense International School, which is comprised of year levels 1–3 in Key Stage 1 and year levels 4–6 in Key Stage 2.
Each year level has curriculum targets which refer to the sets of skills and knowledge a student is aiming to develop. You can find detailed information about the Cambridge International Curriculum by visiting Cambridge’s Primary website.
At Odense International School, we also observe social and emotional competencies in order to provide a holistic view of a child’s development and progress at school.
In Key Stage 1, students are mostly observed for their skills. In Key Stage 2, students are also observed, but are also introduced to assignments, quizzes, and some testing.
We do not grade in Primary School at OIS but have developed a year-end student report which highlights how the child is making progress with key targets for their core subjects at the end of the academic year. This report also includes Service Learning projects, Student Reflections, and a Personal Development report from the class teacher.
Parents thus have an idea of classroom work, standards of achievement and how their child’s skills are developing.
In Key Stage 1, children study the core subjects of English, Mathematics, and Science. They also study art, physical education, music & drama, and Danish as either a First, Second, or Foreign language. In year level 3, design & technology is added to the curriculum.
All instruction at OIS is in English.
In our English literacy classes, the focus is on story-based units. We will learn about traditional and fairytale stories, stories from a range of cultures and stories with familiar settings and in fantasy worlds. We will also learn about poetry, information texts such as dictionaries, and how to make and use labels, lists and instructions to help the children with everyday tasks.
In Mathematics we study units that cover addition and subtraction and counting. We also cover time, 2D and 3D shapes, length, weight, capacity, money, and data handling.
The units in science include ourselves, light and dark, pushes and pulls, health and growth, sorting and using materials and growing plants. We also study sound and hearing, and plants and animals in the local environment.
Our cross curricular projects combine aspects of the core subjects with other subjects, such as art, design, history, geography, personal and social education and information and communication technologies (ICT).
Main projects could be ‘The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen’ or ‘Jungle Animals’, and include trips to the Hans Christian Andersen museum and Odense Zoo to support the work done in class.
Some of our smaller projects may include themes such as ‘Who We Are’, ‘Where in the World is Barnaby Bear?' and ‘Holidays’ such as Halloween, Eid, Diwali, Christmas and Easter.
Key Stage 2 is the stage of education that a child begins when they turn eight years old. It is an exciting stage when children begin to build more advanced skills and independence in all subject areas.
Through opportunities to use cooperative learning and by giving students responsibility for tasks, which benefit the class and school community, we support the development of social and interpersonal skills, too.
During this three-year period, there is a focus on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, along with various cross-curricular projects that will help the children to develop their learning styles, their natural curiosity and to explore the world around them.
The children will also have weekly art and physical education lessons with teachers who specialize in those subject areas. In the final year of Key Stage 2, our students are introduced to a new language subject, French.
Key Stage 2 aims to prepare students for secondary school. Assessment is carried out informally through feedback from the teacher and peer editing, as well as formally through integrated progress checkers and checkpoint exams at the end of the Key Stage.
At the end of the school year, students receive a Progress Report containing the learning targets in the core subjects, as well as information on Service Learning projects, Student Reflections and a personal development assessment, written by the class teacher.
The core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science are each divided into different units throughout the year. Each unit is based on a particular topic within that subject, and aims to be interactive and fun for the pupils while helping them to meet specific learning targets.
Below is a guide to examples of units and working methods covered in Key Stage 2.
In English there is a balance between fiction and non-fiction texts at this stage. Students are taught to read and write basic types of texts, such as informative, explanatory, descriptive and narrative texts.
Our classroom texts reflect a range of topics and originate from cultures all over the world. For example, students have read Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and learned how to describe characters and write a book review. They also learn about the importance of water. In this connection, students studied news reports and learned how to structure and produce an article.
In Mathematics we aim to encourage and consolidate mathematical skills through practical discoveries, relatable examples and theory.
Units studied include counting and calculating with one, two and three digit numbers. Students consolidate skills for addition and subtraction to 100 and learn to multiply and divide numbers. Another unit studied includes ‘Money’.
Students are also introduced to fractions through shapes and numbers. Other units include ‘Shape’, covering 2D and 3D shapes, ‘Measure’ which covers length, perimeter and area as well as capacity and time. Students are encouraged to explain and reason both orally and on paper.
Science is a practical subject at Odense International School with plenty of opportunities to carry out supervised experiments. The teacher encourages independent thinking and reasoning and supports and helps to structure student discoveries. Units studied include ‘The Human Body, ‘Plant Life’, ‘Oceans’, ‘Space’ and the ‘Rainforests’.
Our cross-curricular projects combine aspects of the core subjects with other subjects, such as art, design, history, geography and ICT.
Such projects could be 'The Vikings', 'World War 1', ‘The Rainforest’, ‘The Importance of Water’, ‘Life in the Sea’, or ‘The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen’. In some cases the student will combine theory from the classroom with practice or discoveries on field trips. We have paid visits to Odense Zoo, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the World War 1 museum Mosede Fort, and the Fjord & Bælt Aquarium in Kerteminde.