ISCAT aims to provide our students with a range of concrete experiences, which help them to make sense of the world around them, and explain their relationship with it, through Language, Mathematics and Science.
The most effective proven way of providing these experiences is by creating ‘units of enquiry’, commonly known as ‘topics’ or ‘themes’, which give children the opportunity to explore a given learning area in depth, to carry out practical experiments and thus connect what they already know with new information. This experience is what is known as the ‘constructivist’ approach to learning: doing + reflecting = understanding. Hence children’s learning is driven by understanding concepts rather than focusing exclusively on content and memorization.
Throughout Primary, from Year 1 to Year 6, we follow a Science programme, which stimulates our understanding in four keys areas: Forces and Energy, Materials and Matter, Earth and Space and Living Things. We enjoy our weekly experiments where we learn to work in a ‘scientific’ way: collecting and organizing data, understanding the principles of the ‘fair test’ and making connections.
The basic principles of Physics and Mathematics underpin our growing understanding that the world around us can be explained through Science and Mathematics, and we can use real-life examples and familiar experiences to demonstrate this.
The principles of constructivism underpin our practice throughout the school: we learn by doing and making connections between new experiences and previous knowledge. Every child comes with a different set of experiences, differing abilities and areas of interest, and a different personality. The programme of learning honours these differences by providing learning activities which are sufficiently open-ended to allow every child to participate and find their appropriate challenge. We pride ourselves on setting the right challenge for every individual, thereby promoting self-motivation and independence in learning for all learners.
Our values programme offers children the opportunity to learn and grow socially and emotionally through our weekly assemblies, which target social education. Children acquire both interpersonal and intrapersonal techniques for dealing with everyday issues and for solving problems, thereby developing not only skills which develop emotional intelligence, but also the ability to speak comfortably before a large group, articulate feelings and demonstrate civic responsibility.