Middle School Handbook

Grades 6, 7 & 8

Table of Contents

  1. School Mission & Vision
  2. Message from the Director
  3. ISH Student Outcomes Secondary
  4. Who Can Help You?
  5. Introduction
  6. General Information
  7. Art
  8. Drama
  9. English as an Additional Language
  10. First Language English
  11. French: First Language
  12. French: Foreign Language
  13. Geography
  14. History
  15. Information Technology
  16. Learning Support
  17. Mathematics
  18. Music
  19. Physical Education
  20. Science
  21. Spanish: First Language
  22. Spanish: Foreign Language

 

At the International School of Havana we want to encourage, foster and develop students with these characteristics:

 

OUR MISSION


Learning to Make a Difference

THE VISION


 

At the International School of Havana we focus together on our core work of learning, creating a powerful, positive learning culture framed by a common learning language and shared principles. We discover how to learn and how to help others learn.  Acknowledging that everyone is different, we not only embrace and celebrate our differences, but also learn from our diversity. Every member of our community has something to offer that can make a difference, to ourselves, to each other, to our community and, ultimately, to the shared world beyond our school. At the International School of Havana we all learn with a common purpose.

We learn to make a difference!

SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY


The philosophy of the school is to create and provide a stimulating, happy, safe, secure and disciplined learning environment that is non-discriminatory as to ethnic origin, gender or religious belief within which students are encouraged to take intellectual risks without being at risk physically.

The school seeks to promote academic excellence by providing the best possible learning environment within an appropriately regulated community that contributes to and abides by its own rules.

The School offers a programme of study principally through the medium of the English language, while also recognising that Spanish and other languages are an important aspect of a student’s experience.

The School seeks to encourage every child to reach full potential by instilling a commitment to lifelong learning, providing a programme of learning support for those that need it and developing international mindedness and global citizenship.

The School further endeavours to foster respect for the different cultures, including that of the host country, which make up both the School and the wider community.

SCHOOL OBJECTIVES


To nurture the whole child within the academic curriculum and through Extra Curricular activities by addressing the emotional, moral, physical, intellectual, social, creative and cultural needs of the students.

To maximise the skills of learning in all students, including those with Special Educational Needs, in order to provide learning experiences enabling students to meet, or preferably exceed, the benchmark learning outcomes and attainment levels set by our curriculum.

To enhance the skills of teaching for all members of the academic staff through an ongoing programme of professional development based on sound, modern educational theory.

To actively encourage parents to become and remain involved in the education of their children through regular reporting of student progress, programmed parent-teacher consultations and the development of home-school collaborative strategies to maximise student achievement.

To promote a sense of care and responsibility in each child, for the School, host country and larger global ecological and educational environment through field- trips, projects, exchanges and other activities within the curriculum.

 Message from the Director


Welcome to the International School of Havana!

For some, this will be a return to ISH and for others, you will be joining the community for the first time. For all, I hope that this school year will be a most fulfilling experience for students, families and our entire community.

At the International School of Havana we focus together on our core work of creating a powerful, positive learning culture framed by a common language and shared principles. We discover how to learn and how to help others learn.

Acknowledging that everyone is different, we embrace and celebrate our differences, and learn from our diversity. Every member of our community has something to offer that can make a difference, to ourselves, to each other, to our community and, ultimately, to the shared world beyond our school. At the International School of Havana we all learn with a common purpose. We learn to make a difference!

This handbook is a guide for both students and parents to help you understand our educational goals as well as the expectations the school has for you as essential partners in learning. With a fundamental commitment to student-centred education, ISH offers a full and varied curricular and extra-curricular program, designed to provide a rigorous journey of learning for each and every student.

We recognize and value the individual talents, interests and innate sense of curiosity in each of us.  Our aim is to provide a challenging and supportive environment within which students will flourish.

It is my sincere belief that there is no more noble and important a profession than education. In this dynamic and often challenging global environment, we are called upon to foster the continual development of young people to become the leaders and caretakers of our planet; and in so doing, make it a better, more peaceful and sustainable place to live and thrive. This is a foundational purpose of teaching and all those who support it.

One of my favourite proverbs, originating from Nigeria, says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” I believe this fundamentally and hope to help contribute to the development of a caring and collaborative village, all of whose members join together in raising our children.  As such, it is our expectation that all parents will partner with the school and contribute positively towards our community of learners.

Within these pages, you will find much of what the school does and how we do it. Over the course of the year, through communications with teachers, administrators and other school personnel, we expect your essential learning about the school to be enhanced further. The quality of that learning, however, will depend largely on you and the level of engagement you invest in your learning about the school and its multiple offerings. Although this handbook covers a broad scope, its contents are not exhaustive and may over time, be revised.  When that happens, the school will communicate important happenings and changes in order to keep you informed.

On behalf of our faculty and staff, I welcome you and your child to our ‘village’ – whether returning or new to the school – and hope that each of you has a rewarding and enriching year ahead at the International School of Havana.

In partnership, Michael Lees Director

International School of Havana

ISH Student Outcomes Secondary School


At the end of the Secondary School experience an ideal ISH student will be:

An effective communicator that:

  • can read, write, speak and listen effectively
  • can enquire, search for, find, use and present information
  • can talk about his/her feelings and empathise with the feelings of others

A higher level thinker and learner that:

  • accepts and thinks about new and different ideas
  • is able to apply what he/she knows to the real world
  • plans and arranges his/her work and time well
  • thinks about problems and creates solutions by identifying different approaches and deciding which one(s) to use
  • is able to work alone or as part of a group or team
  • is proficient in the use of ICT
  • reflects upon what he/she has learned
  • asks and answers the, “what if” questions raised by his/her studies
  • uses all the available opportunities to learn wisely
  • takes responsibility for the quality of his/her work
  • uses opportunities to learn more profoundly in areas that interest him/her
  • is able to learn from and support the learning of his/her classmates
  • is able to understand big ideas and see a big picture in his/her learning
  • adopts the attitudes of a lifelong learner

A responsible and contributory citizen within the ISH multi-cultural society:

  • is self disciplined and obeys the school and class rules
  • is honest in his/her behaviour and work
  • can address his/her own needs for physical, mental and emotional health
  • understands, values and respects who he/she is and who others are
  • in our society
  • respects everyone’s needs, ideas and beliefs
  • acts in a way that is safe for him/herself and others
  • understands different cultures, including his/her own, through art, music, literature and drama
  • participates actively in all aspects of school life
  • understands the need to protect the environment and acts accordingly
  • understands and acts as a member of the global society

Equipment List for Secondary School Students

The ISH requires its students to come to school properly equipped to carry out all work required of them in their daily studies and homework.

Required equipment: (These items can be found in Cuba, but are not always available.)

  • Pens: Black, Blue and Red
  • Pencils: Drawing and Design
  • Notebooks:
  • Dictionaries: English First Language/English translating dictionary
  • Calculators: A scientific calculator WITHOUT graphing or programmable functions to be bought from or approved by the school.
  • Physical Education clothes, shoes and washing equipment. A PE uniform can be bought from the school.
  • Any other items advised that are deemed as essential by the teaching staff

Suggested equipment: (These items can be found in Cuba, but are not always available.)

  • Coloured Pencils: Full range
  • Pencil Sharpener(s): At least one
  • Eraser(s): At least one
  • Ruler(s): To show both inches and centimetres
  • Drawing equipment: Set Squares & Set of Compasses & Protractor
  • Glue Stick(s): At least one
  • File Ring Binders or folders for students working with them
  • Organiser for Homework and Handouts

 The School will provide:

  • All necessary textbooks
  • A Homework Diary
  • A locker to store personal and school property

Students and parents are advised that for reasons of security all items should bear the student’s name.

The School expects that all the above items will be replaced immediately if they are lost or used and will do likewise for items that are provided for students.  In the case of items lost, a charge will be made for the issue of replacement items.

Introduction

This booklet should contain all the information you need to be fully aware of the nature of the programme of study that is offered at ISH for Grades 6, 7 and 8.

The General Information section contains an overview of the curriculum and where the Middle School fits with in our curriculum continuum.

There are specific course outlines for each of the subjects that are on offer within the programme.

Most subjects are compulsory except for Spanish, French and where EAL considerations and support make it impossible or impracticable. A special programme of intensive English as an Additional Language will be provided to complement the learning of those more difficult subjects. Students can make a choice between Spanish or French as their second or first language.

Mid-Year and End of Year formal reports show student’s performance against the standards for each course of study. Student led and other learning conversations throughout the year allow students to assess their own learning as well as sharing their work with their parents.

General Information

At the International school of Havana, our curriculum is built on strong, internationally-recognised standards from leading educational institutions.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is generally considered the most rigorous and challenging international qualification for 16 to 18 year-olds seeking matriculation to the world’s leading universities and colleges.  To graduate with an IB Diploma, students must successfully complete six courses of study: two courses of language studies, at least one of which must be a mother tongue course with literature studies; one course each of Social Studies, Maths and Science; and one more additional subject. They also complete the IB DP Core: a 4,000-word extended essay, the Theory of Knowledge course, and the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) project.

Students from Grades 9 and 10 are prepared for the rigour of the IB programme by studying the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education. Cambridge IGCSEs are the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to16 years-olds.

Cambridge Frameworks form the foundation of our curriculum in English, Maths, Science and Humanities from Grade 6 to Grade 10. For Maths and English, we use Cambridge Frameworks right down to Kindergarten. Cambridge Frameworks are used in more than 1300 schools in 110 countries.

For all areas of studies based on Cambridge Frameworks, students undertake the Checkpoint examinations in Grades 5 and 8. These examinations compare ISHavana students to over 100,000 other students from all over the word.

In the Lower School, Science and Humanities are enhanced by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Together with the Cambridge Frameworks, the IPC ensures students are ready for the move from the Primary to the Middle school.

Both the IPC and Cambridge Frameworks are designed to be compatible with the standards from the National Curriculum from England. In our Early Years Programme, we have used the Early Learning Goals of the National Curriculum for England, as well as the IPC, to ensure our youngest learners are ready for Primary school.

The Middle School Programme

The Middle School Programme is a 3-year educational course that is designed to prepare students to successfully take the Checkpoint examinations in  English, Mathematics and Science, at the end of Grade 8. Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (CAIE) in the United Kingdom is the external examining authority for the Checkpoint examinations.  Furthermore, Spanish second language learners are also prepared for the DELE exams from the institute of Cervantes in Madrid. The additional subjects taught within the curriculum are structured and sequenced to ensure that students are prepared to begin IGCSE courses in Grade 9.

The Checkpoint examinations are designed to give an indication of the likely success of students that go on to study the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) programme in Grades 9 and 10. It is also derived from an extensive study of curriculum content in international schools around the world.

The curriculum for students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 includes the following subjects:

Art & Design; Information Technology; English (including Language, Literature and Drama); English as an Additional Language; Geography; History; Mathematics; Music; Drama; Physical Education; Science; Spanish or French as a First or Foreign Language.

  Art


The Art, Craft and Design course encourages personal expression, imagination,

sensitivity, conceptual thinking, power of observation, analytical ability and practical attitudes. It aims for greater understanding of the role of the visual arts in the history of civilizations and wider cultural horizons for each individual. Breadth and depth of study combine so that a wide range of student aptitudes and abilities may be accommodated.

The curriculum is designed under three headings, Art, Craft and Design to help students develop their creativity, as well as to sharpen their powers of observation and their ability to communicate with other people through visual images created by drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, craft and design. In addition students will learn to understand and appreciate a wide variety of art works through analysis and reproduction in different media.

Students will begin to develop the ability to communicate about their immediate environment and will be encouraged to work individually, in groups and as a whole class.

Students will explore and use two and three-dimensional media working on a variety of scales. They will also learn to use various art tools, materials and techniques and will identify elements of design thus beginning to describe how the elements are used by artists.

Students will describe and demonstrate how the elements can be used to create works of art to communicate thoughts and feelings.

Students will share the elements of design to communicate for a variety of purposes and will be able to use the elements of design to produce works of art on a variety of themes. Students will begin to study the principles of design and will produce works that demonstrate their proficiency using a variety of tools, materials and techniques. They will show their knowledge of the elements and principles of design in solving artistic problems and in analysing works of art. Students will be expected to apply knowledge and skills learned in their study of the arts as they analyse art works representing various styles and different historical periods.

The Grade 6 Syllabus

Concentrates on:

  • Perspective, 1 vanishing point
  • Still life drawing
  • Drawing and painting techniques in pencils, acrylics, tempera, crayons
  • Multicultural textile designs
  • Ceramics, and stained glass
  • Printing
  • Stage design
  • Poster design
  • Design using computer software.

The Grade 7 Syllabus

Concentrates on:

  • Perspective, 1,2 vanishing points
  • Self portraits
  • Graphic Design, decorative letters and posters
  • Ceramics
  • Printing using stencils

The Grade 8 Syllabus

Concentrates on:

  • Perspective, one to three vanishing points
  • Ceramic
  • Graphic Design, Logos and CD covers
  • Printing using lino cuts

Assessment

Students are continually assessed throughout the year; they are required to keep a research notebook and portfolio with evidence of both their written and practical studies and investigations.

Students are required to self–assess each project and compare observations, opinions and areas of improvement with the teacher. Formal practical and written exams are given twice a year and include an assessment of the student’s work portfolio included in the final grade.

Drama


Drama in Grades 6 to 8 is valued for the contribution it can make for the development of literacy as well as for being a practical forum for creativity.

The course content deals with fundamental questions of language, interpretation and meaning which are central to the general aims and concerns for teaching Grades 6, 7 and 8 at ISH.

The breadth and balance of the drama curriculum will ensure that students are taught how to create, perform and respond to drama by working with a variety of stimuli from different sources and traditions. Drama lessons will offer students opportunities to develop insights into a given content, while acquiring or honing formal dramatic skills.

The three activities that constitute Drama at ISH.are making, performing and responding.

Making drama is the ability to generate and shape dramatic forms in order to express ideas.

Performing drama is the ability to engage and communicate with an audience in a dramatic production

Responding to drama is the ability to express understanding, discernment and appreciation of drama in all its forms

Grades 6, 7 and 8 work in Drama will be in four main areas: role, narrative, language (verbal and non-verbal), and the dramatic art form. In each area they will be using drama to explore ideas, to learn about dramatic forms and to learn to respond appreciatively to the work of others.

Units of Study

Grade 6

  • Introducing Drama Part A
  • Working with Visual and Written Stimuli
  • Mime Part A
  • Story drama
  • Imitative and Expressive Movement
  • Working with the Voice Part A

Grade 7

  • Introducing Drama Part B
  • Story telling and Role Play
  • Creating Meaning through Signs
  • Imitative and Expressive Movement
  • Mime Part B
  • Working with the Voice Part B

Grade 8

  • Introducing Drama Part C
  • Working with Text (Shakespeare)
  • Physical Theatre (Stage Fighting Technique, Expressive Movement)
  • Working with the Voice Part C
  • Improvisation

Units of Study

Grade 6 to 8 drama is assessed within two main categories:

  • making and presenting drama;
  • appreciating and appraising it.
  • Particular attention is paid to how well pupils:
  • use imagination, with belief and feeling;
  • create drama with conviction and concentration;
  • respond sensitively to their own work and that of others;
  • use a range of dramatic skills, techniques, forms and conventions to express ideas and feelings effectively;
  • grasp and use dramatic concepts effectively, recalling, recording, and evaluating their own work and that of others.
  • Students’ progress in making, performing and responding to drama will be monitored and recorded regularly and reported on twice each year.

English as an Additional Language


Description

In the EAL Programme the student will first acquire “Survival English”, necessary for starting the process of fully functioning in a school where the medium of instruction is English. During this stage, learning activities are mainly related to the student’s life, cultural matters and the environment, and focus on the development of literacy skills. Then, instruction is aimed at improving written and oral fluency/accuracy, as well as the students’ understanding of the patterns of organization in a text, and the grammatical functions of words. The students also learn to use reading strategies, such as activating background knowledge, making inferences, monitoring comprehension and identifying main ideas to improve comprehension. At all times the students are provided with adapted and authentic materials to assist them with comprehending vocabulary and ideas contained in texts from the mainstream classroom.

Aims of the Programme

  • enable students to understand and use the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes
  • enable students to use the language appropriately
  • encourage, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives of people from other cultures
  • develop students’ awareness of the role of language in relation to other areas of knowledge
  • provide the opportunity for enjoyment, creativity and intellectual stimulation through knowledge of a language
  • provide students with a basis for further study, work and leisure through language
  • develop students’ awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they are familiar.

Assessment

Students from grades 6 to 8 will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Speak fluently with few hesitations.
  • Use adequate and varied vocabulary.
  • Contribute to classroom conversations.
  • Express and support ideas.
  • Speak with clarity and linguistic confidence.
  • Read age appropriate material independently.
  • Monitor and self-correct for meaning.
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions.
  • Use multiple reading strategies flexibly.
  • Have a good command of spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
  • Use standard word order with modifiers, coordinators and effective transitions.
  • Purposefully choose adequate and varied vocabulary.
  • Develop central ideas clearly within an organized and elaborated text.
  • Write in a variety of forms.

There will be different modalities for assessing students` performance: in-class participation, project work, oral presentation, quizzes, text handling, written assignments, among others.

Topics Studied

General topics from Grade 6 to Grade 8

  • Communication and media
  • Global issues
  • Social relationships
  • Cultural diversity
  • Customs and traditions
  • Health & Fitness
  • Leisure & Routines
  • Science and technology

Special requirements

  • Bilingual dictionaries
  • English-English dictionary
  • English Thesaurus

First Language English


In Grades 6 – 8 at ISH, the English department has developed a syllabus which balances development of writing in a variety of text types and understanding the different forms of Literature leading towards IGCSE study in Grades 9/10 and a Cambridge Checkpoint exam at the end of Grade 8.

Assessment throughout the course is formative, but also through larger formal writing assignments, which always have a first draft and a chance to improve with structured editing process and feedback, as well as occasional exams.

Language is taught through literature in order to recognize the inter-relatedness between these two areas.  The overall emphasis of our English programme is to encourage increasing sophistication of expression, together with developing the skills of listening, reading, writing, speaking and performing within a variety of situations.

The Grade 6 syllabus

Concentrates on the following units:

Language Skills: Spelling and grammar development, vocabulary, sentence construction and punctuation, paragraphing and cohesion.

Novel and Prose Fiction: Students will read Holes and Wonder, as well a variety of short prose fiction and learn to respond critically and empathetically, studying such features as character, setting and theme.

Drama: Students will read myths and legends and transform these into short dramatic pieces considering features as staging, development of character and audience.

Poetry: Students will learn different poetic forms and devices and use these to create their own collection of poetry, based on specific styles in inspirations.

The Grade 7 Syllabus

Concentrates on the following units:

Language skills: Spelling and grammar development, vocabulary, sentence construction and punctuation, paragraphing and cohesion. Students are encouraged to begin linking paragraphs into more substantive pieces of work.

Novel and Prose Fiction: Students will read Unique and a variety of short prose fiction and learn to respond critically and empathetically, studying such features as character, setting and theme at a more advanced level.

Gothic Drama: Students will read ‘Dracula’ and learn to respond critically and empathetically, studying such features as staging, development of character and theme at a more advanced level.

Global Poetry: Students will read a range of different types of poetry and learn to analyse and create such poetic devices as rhythm and rhyme, figures of speech and poetic imagery at a more advanced level.

Grade 8 Syllabus

Concentrates on the following units:

Language skills: Vocabulary development, sentence construction and punctuation, paragraphing and cohesion. Students are expected to master all the language skills necessary for the production of substantive pieces of work, in preparation for the IGCSE programme.

Novel and Prose Fiction: Students will read a Of Mice and Men and a variety of short stories and learn to respond critically and empathetically, studying such features as character, setting and theme.

Drama Introduction to Shakespeare: Students will study and perform Midsummer Night’s Dream and learn to respond critically and empathetically, studying such features as staging, development of character and theme.

Music and Poetry: Students will read a range of different poetry and song lyrics and analyse poetic devices.

French: First Language


The study of French as a First Language is an option for all native French-speaking students in Grades 6, 7 and 8. To ensure continuity of skill development and knowledge acquisition, students enrolled in this course are required to spend at least two years in it to maximize their learning experience.

The general and specific learning objectives for Grades 6, 7 and 8 derive from and lay the foundations for the IGCSE course in Grades 9 and 10.

The main aims of the subject in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are:

  • To develop in the students the language abilities needed to function successfully in a First Language French academic, social and professional context.
  • To foster in students positive and enthusiastic attitudes towards their mother tongue and the culture of the francophone world.
  • To help students have an aesthetic awareness of and derive enjoyment from works of literature in French.

The four language skills of speaking, writing, reading and listening are developed. Emphasis is placed upon reading and writing. As French is not the School’s language of instruction, for mother tongue French speaking students, the French First Language class is often the only opportunity to practice reading and writing in their mother tongue whilst there is an opportunity to speak and listen at home.

The subject content includes the teaching of concepts, skills and grammar, spelling and writing conventions and vocabulary. Concepts covered range from textual ones such as literary reports to grammatical and lexical ones such as compound sentences.

The syllabus is based on the scope and sequence proposed by Grammaire et expression 6ème et Analyse de textes (Hatier). Though teachers plan their units of study around the suggested sequence, actual target activities and reading materials are complemented by a number of other texts.

Literature is not taught as a separate subject but within most units of study. In some units the core topic is the study of a literary form.

Literary forms covered in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are:

  • The legend
  • The fable and the parable
  • The epic poem
  • The short story
  • The novel
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Essay
  • Science fiction and fantasy

Grade 6 syllabus includes units on :

  • The syllable structure
  • Collective nouns
  • Varieties of language: figurative and non-figurative
  • Character description: different types of descriptive language
  • Science fiction and fantasy
  • Oral presentation skills and debate 

Grade 7 syllabus includes units on:

  • Different registers of language
  • Prose: Identifying traits of Narrative, Essay, and Drama
  • Traditional poetry
  • Story writing
  • Summary writing for academic purposes
  • Dialog writing
  • Formal letter writing
  • Character description
  • Using appropriate imagery
  • Interpreting publicity

Grade 8 syllabus includes units on:

  • The communication process: elements involved and types of communication situations (register, style , purpose)
  • Media indicators; identifying fact from opinion
  • Non-fiction: The brief news, the report, the interview, publicity.
  • The work of literature (fiction) as opposed to non-fiction texts
  • Narrative: The short story, Identifying theme(s), plot, scenery, character traits, style, structure, different types of narrator
  • Drama
  • Poetry: composition and figures of speech
  • Personal writing
  • Summary writing
  • Expressing opinion: essay writing, newspaper articles
  • Identify discourse indicators and use cohesive markers appropriately
  • G 6-8 Grammar/Vocabulary/Spelling and Writing Conventions:
  • The structure of the word: word formation patterns, structure of meaning, meaning relationships between words (synonyms, opposites, polysemic words, homonyms)
  • The noun group and the verb group
  • The sentence: types of sentences, analysis of sentence structure, use of advanced sentence patterns
  • Cohesive markers: discourse indicators and connectors
  • Grammar rules such as subject-verb agreement, noun-determiner, noun-modifier agreement and verb tense agreement
  • Word class: nouns, determiners, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, prepositions and conjunctions
  • Verbal tenses, irregular verbs in all tenses, passive voice
  • Spelling rules and patterns
  • Punctuation: period, comma, semi colon, colon, dash, parenthesis, etc.

ASSESSMENT

The assessment objectives in French reflect the skills involved in the main areas of language.

Student’s skills are continually assessed formatively through Coursework, book reports, homework and projects against the Specific Learning Objectives and they are also assessed summatively through Unit Tests, Mid-Year and End of Year Examinations.

French: Foreign Language


All students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 study French as a Foreign Language as an alternative academic language, if they are not native speakers of French. To ensure continuity of skill development and knowledge acquisition, students enrolled in this course are required to spend at least two years in it to maximize their learning experience.

The general and specific learning objectives for Grades 6, 7 and 8 derive from the European Common Framework of Reference for Languages and lay the foundations for the IGCSE course in Grades 9 and 10.

We believe that the study strategies and linguistic skills needed to perform well at the IGCSE exam should be introduced and practiced at the earliest possible stage in the secondary school, that is, beginning in Grade 6.

The main aims of the subject in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are:

to develop the ability to use the language effectively for purposes of practical communication in all the countries where the language is spoken;

to encourage positive attitudes towards foreign language learning as well as a sympathetic approach to other civilizations and cultures.

The study of French as Foreign Language provides for enjoyment and intellectual stimulation and also contributes to other areas of study by encouraging more general learning skills such as analysis, memorization and drawing of inference.

We believe it is essential that students make the most of the unique opportunity provided them through the possibility to learn an additional language and diverse cultures.

We also believe that parents are a main source of encouragement for the practice of the language in real-life situations and should foster, at all times, positive attitudes towards language learning as well as towards the francophone cultures.

French as a Foreign Language Teaching Approach in order to successfully address the school’s published Mission, Philosophy and Objectives statements:

In Grade 6 all second language learners will be taught in one class and in Grades 7& 8 learners will be taught in a combined grade class divided into two groups per level: beginners and intermediate-advanced.

UNITS OF STUDY

The core text, Adosphère , is a starting point complemented by many other language related activities including projects, group work, and an assortment of texts and other resources such as flash card sets, language games, photocopiable material (books, visual prompts, etc), CD-ROMs, audiovisual materials and other internet based resources.

Units of study have been planned, by and large, around the proposed sequence in the course books. However, actual target activities as well as language content are not restricted to what is proposed by the textbooks.

Specific objectives have been created for each unit of study and a variety of assessment tools are used.

 

6 /7/8 Beginners

 

 

6/7/8 Intermediate

 

 

6/7/8 Advanced

 

Alphabet, personal information, physical description, clothes, numbers, family members, countries, nationalities, colors, adjectives to describe people, animals, jobs, furniture, rooms, daily routine, house chores, the school, sports and free time; means of transportation, places in the city, the post office, the travel agency, hotel rooms and facilities, likes and dislikes.

Imperatives, reflexive verbs, simple present tense, noun-adjective agreement, place adverbials, stem changing verbs, present continuous and comparatives, subject pronouns, definite and indefinite articles, verb ‘to be,’ structure of questions; express cause.

 

Food and drinks, food containers, dishes, recipes, celebrations and customs in Francophone countries; jobs and professions, plans for the future, social relations; media, preferences (music, film, video, games, etc); physical description, fashion; environmental issues; technology: advancements and influence on life; sports; numbers; shopping; weather forecast; health.

Imperatives(formal and informal), past and future tenses, place adverbials, comparatives, verbal periphrasis, expression of cause and consequence, conditional types 1 and 2, instructions, advice, prepositions EN, DE, AVEC, À, POUR, quantifiers, object pronouns, affirmative and negative sentences, definite, indefinite, contracted and partitive articles, relative pronouns.

 

Social life: family, friends, relationships; education and future work: future studies, vocation, careers; Personal life: health, sports, leisure, likes (reading, opinions, picture description); global issues: hunger, poverty, housing, racism, addictions, environmental conservation; media: television, radio, press, internet; multicultural world: religions, customs, celebrations, music, film, languages; technology: advancements and influence on life.

The past and future tenses, conditional, subjunctive, imperative relative pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, comparative structures, direct and indirect object pronouns, simple and compound sentences, passive voice.

 

 

ASSESSMENT

So far, there are three described levels of proficiency according to which students will be assessed: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Students in all three offered levels are basically exposed to the same content (topics and grammar points) but are expected to perform at different levels of proficiency within the same unit of study and are given differentiated tasks. Both students’ productive and receptive skills are assessed.

Productive skills assessed in writing and speaking are:

Communication (the ability to get meaning across and fulfil effectively different communicative tasks)

Quality of language or accuracy (Control of grammar and syntax)

Fluency (to have a fluent speech with very few hesitations using appropriate intonation patterns and pronunciation)

Cohesiveness and cohesion of written work.

Receptive skills assessed in listening and reading and responding to stimuli are:

ability to understand literal meaning of level-appropriate material

ability to infer meaning using strictly linguistic and general context clues

ability to respond appropriately to spoken and written French.

Unit tests, quizzes and group and individual projects aim to assess the student’s fulfillment of a number of communicative tasks in all four skills.

Geography


The Geography programme is designed to provide students with a wide range of geographical skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the I.G.C.S.E. Geography. Investigative, analytical and interpretative skills are important elements needed by the social scientist and receive equal emphasis with course content. Examples drawn from the host country and from other areas worldwide are also used wherever relevant.

The program covers four main strands: physical geography, human geography, environmental geography, and skills.

The Grade 6 Syllabus

Concentrates on the following units with focus on the areas of North America, Asia, and Cuba:

  • Origin and formation of the Earth, soil and rocks, plate tectonics, the water cycle.
  • Pollution and human activity, soil erosion.
  • Use of resources and alternative sources of energy
  • Use of maps, bar and line graphs, cycle diagrams, volcanoes and earthquake diagrams, river survey.

The Grade 7 Syllabus

Concentrates on the following units with focus on the areas of the Caribbean, South America, Australia& Oceania and Africa:

  • Levels of economic development of countries (MEDCs, LEDCs, NICs)
  • Water crisis and pollution
  • Extreme environments
  • Interpreting data, drawing and interpreting maps (topological and OS), diagrams (sketches, flow, Venn and graphs (bar, line, pie charts).

The Grade 8 Syllabus

Concentrates on the following units with focus on the areas of Europe, Africa, Antarctica, and Cuba:

  • Mountain regions
  • Global issues: Trade, aids and superpowers
  • Tourism trends
  • Natural Hazards, namely hurricanes
  • The use of maps, OS maps, graphs (pie charts, line and bar graph, triangle graphs, pictograms) description of patterns and trends, using research instruments.

Assessment

The assessment objectives in Geography reflect the skills involved in the main areas of the geographer’s work. Student’s skills are continually assessed formatively through weekly coursework, homework and projects against the Specific Learning Outcomes and they are also assessed summatively through the Mid-Year and End of Year Examinations. Results of both coursework and examinations are formally reported to parents twice a year.

History


The History programme is designed to provide students with a wide range of skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the IGCSE course and other future study. Investigative, analytical and interpretative skills receive equal emphasis with course content. The syllabus content is varied with emphasis on different areas of world history as is appropriate in an international school. The History of the host country is also used as a source of example wherever relevant.

Grade 6

General Theme: Discoveries and Mysteries

THE TIME UNIT: Why Did People Begin To Measure And Record Time?

THE MYSTERY UNIT: What Was The Purpose Of Stonehenge?

THE DISCOVERY UNIT: What Impact Did The Ancient Greeks Have On Map Making And Other Discoveries?

THE BIG CHANGE UNIT: What Brought About The Dark Ages In Europe?

Traditional Vs Alternative Interpretations

THE HUMAN ENDEAVOUR UNIT: What New Ways Of Doing Things Came From The Golden Age Of Islam?

THE CUBA UNIT: How Were The Caribbean Islands Populated?

PERSONAL RESEARCH AND PRESENTATION PROJECT: The Various European Explorations Of New Ideas And Land

Grade 7

THE MYSTERY UNIT:How Was Polynesia Populated – Heyerdahl’s Theory

Why Is Easter Island Special?

THE TIME UNIT: How Did Time Measurement Develop In And After The Middle Ages

What Was The Longitude Problem And How did time measurement help to solve it?

THE BIG CHANGE UNIT: How Did Sicknesses And The Plague Contribute To Developments In Medicine?

THE HUMAN ENDEAVOUR UNIT: What Impact Did The Viking’s Voyages, Terror, Trade And Conquest Have?

THE DISCOVERY UNIT: Why Did Europeans Explore By Sea?

The Impact Of Portuguese And Spanish Exploration On The Americas

Traditional Interpretation Vs. Chinese Exploration 1421 To 1432

THE CUBA UNIT: What Effects Did Spanish Colonisation Have On Cuba (The Slave Trade And The Columbian Exchange)?

PERSONAL RESEARCH AND PRESENTATION PROJECT – Aspects Of The Middle Ages

Grade 8

THE TIME UNIT: How Have Concepts Of Time Developed?

Different Calendars

Einstein’s Big Idea: Relative Time

THE CUBA UNIT: Why Did Cubans Fight For Independence (19th C. To 1959)

THE HUMAN ENDEAVOUR UNIT: How Did Gandhi Bring About Peaceful Independence For India (1919 -1948)?

THE BIG CHANGE UNIT: What Impact Did 20th Century Civil Rights And Human Rights Movements Have Around The World?

THE DISCOVERY UNIT:Space Race And Space Exploration (1945 -1980)

THE MYSTERY UNIT: What Really Happened To?

    1. What Happened At Pearl Harbour?
    2. Why Was Coventry Destroyed?
    3. Personal Research And Presentation Project – Revolutions As Cause And Effect

Assessment

The assessment objectives in History reflect the skills involved in the main areas of the historian’s work. Student’s skills are continually assessed formatively through Coursework, homework and projects against the Specific Learning Outcomes and they are also assessed summatively through Unit Tests, Mid-Year and End of Year Examinations.

Results of both coursework and exams are formally reported to parents twice a year.

Information Technology


The syllabus in Computers is constructed so that students should become knowledgeable as to the nature of information processing and the broad range of its applications.

The syllabus aims to create an interest in and enjoyment of the use of computers and to develop the students’ use of the computer to solve problems and to understand the role of the computer and its various uses in modern society.

Basic techniques and knowledge of commonly used computing applications is a central part of the course.

Students in grades 6 and 7 will develop their ICT skills through a modular approach. Each student will work at their own pace. Only modules finished during the reporting period will be shown in the corresponding report card.

The Grade 6 and 7 Syllabi

Concentrates on:

  • the use of the Windows Operating System;
  • develop of typing skills using Typing Master;
  • word processing using the MS Word;
  • creating web pages with MS Word;
  • the use of basic and advanced features in presentation software;
  • photo editing using Paint Dot Net;
  • the use of basic and intermediate spreadsheets features using MS Excel;
  • use of the Internet including searching techniques using Google;
  • vector based design using CorelDraw;
  • an introduction to web page design using HTML.

The Grade 8 Syllabus

Concentrates on:

  • develop of typing skills using Typing Master;
  • the design and use of flat-file databases using MS Access
  • 3D graphic design using Google SketchUp;
  • an introduction to creating and designing web sites using Macromedia Dreamweaver;
  • an introduction to producing computer software using C# programming language.

Assessment

Students are assessed both formatively and summatively. Students are assessed through daily Coursework and Classwork practices and projects against Specific Learning Outcomes. In grades 6 and 7 they are also assessed through module tests. In grade 8 they are also assessed through mid-year and final practical exams. Students in grades 6 and 7 do not have exams.

Results of both coursework and exams are formally reported to parents twice a year.

Learning Support


Learning Support is available for those students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 that are identified under the school’s referral system or for those students that present evidence, at admission, of a diagnosed and documented Special Educational Need.

The School defines several areas of special need including, children with language difficulties (referred to the ESL Programme outlined above); children with exceptional ability and children with learning difficulties.

Teachers will normally refer cases that come to their attention to the Learning Support Department for evaluation. Where appropriate, an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) will be created for students with Special Needs for learning support.

Teachers can refer students to the Learning Support Department if they have or appear to have/be:

  • Achieving below grade level expectations;
  • Achieving above grade level expectations;
  • Specific language difficulties, i.e. Reading, writing, spelling, comprehension, mathematics.

Once students are referred, the Learning Support begins a process of consultation. This process can, but does not always include the following:

  • Recommendations and or support with study/homework/organizational habits.
  • Recommendations, adjustments and or differentiation at the classroom level.
  • Educational assessments (achievement, cognitive, self esteem and behavioural).
  • Direct interventions for specific difficulties, in the Learning Support Department
  • In class assistance through the Learning Support Department.
  • Intensive withdrawal classes to develop basic skills and strategies for specific periods of time.
  • Consultations with teachers, students and parents.
  • Test taking and exam preparation extracurricular classes.
  • Individual Education Plans and the process that goes along with these plans.

The purpose of learning support assistance is to ensure that student’s needs and strengths are identified and addressed as early as possible.

The aim is to give support and strategies to the student, school and home components. The role is to provide a support network that will allow students to become more independent learners with better skills for lifelong learning.

Mathematics


The Mathematics programme prepares students on the basis of the content and attainment targets of Key-Stage 3 of the National Curriculum of England and Wales and to correspond to the external assessment of the Cambridge Checkpoint Examination.

The course is intended to develop creativity, positive attitudes towards Mathematics, and increasingly make connections between Math and other disciplines.

The programme aims to:

  • promote student identification, interpretation, and use of Mathematical models and principles
  • provide a sound basis in the principles, concepts, and methods of the discipline
  • develop Mathematical abilities and skills that encourage students’ effective communication and interpretation in the universal language of Mathematics
  • stimulate, creativity, enjoyment, curiosity, and interest in Mathematics and its methods of enquiry,
  • promote an awareness that Mathematics, Science, Arts, are interwoven branches of human knowledge;

Grade 6 Syllabus

Contains units on:

  • Basic operations of whole numbers,
  • Simple exercises with fractions, decimals,
  • Solving simple (up to three-step) word problems,
  • Introduction to Pre-Algebra,
  • Spatial visualization of simple solid figures and nets,
  • The relations between fractions and ratio,
  • Measurements of time, length with different unit systems,
  • Percentages,
  • Elementary Geometry,
  • Working with graphs and tables
  • Data organization in all areas.

Grade 7 Syllabus

Contains units on:

  • Basic operations of whole numbers, fractions, decimals,
  • Arithmetical problems,
  • Introduction to Algebra,
  • Introduction to Geometry,
  • Rate, Ratio and Percentage,
  • Symmetry and Nets of solid figures,
  • Similarity and Congruence,
  • Interpreting and producing tables and graphs,
  • Data organization in all areas.

Grade 8 syllabus

Contains units on:

  • Working with indices,
  • Literal and quadratic equations,
  • Simultaneous linear equations,
  • Inequalities,
  • Geometry (loci, Pythagoras theorem, statistics),
  • Statistics,
  • Probability,
  • Introduction to transformations (reflection, rotation, translation, enlargement)
  • Trigonometry,
  • Introduction to Polynomials.

Assessment

Students are assessed both formatively and summatively.

The assessment objectives in Mathematics reflect the skills involved in the four main areas of the syllabus, which are:

  • Using and Applying Mathematics
  • Number and Algebra
  • Shape, Space and Measures
  • Handling Data.

Students are assessed through daily Coursework and projects against Specific Learning Outcomes and they are also assessed through Mid-Year and End of Year Examinations.

Results of both coursework and exams are formally reported to parents twice a year.

Classwork and coursework assessed includes: Math writing exercises, projects and oral presentations, Open-Book Unit Evaluations, Self-Checked tests, Closed -Book Unit Evaluations, Cumulative Reviews.

Mid-Year and Final Examinations make up the summative assessment components.

Music


In Grades 6, 7 and 8 the principal goals of the Music programme are to:

instil a life-long appreciation of Music

Teach basic musical principles and notation including amongst others; Clefs, music expression, rhythm patterns, music terminology as well as music notation in order to create and play music through an instrument.

Compose using the Sibelius software.

One of the main objectives in grade 6 is to develop vocal techniques according to their age and abilities, individual and in choir.

In grade 6 students are encouraged to learn how to play an instrument such as saxophone, flute, clarinet and trumpet( instrument programme implemented by the school) however they could also tale instruments lessons thought extracurricular activities such as guitar, piano and drum set.

The History of Music is integrated throughout the programme in order to provide historical and social context, especially at the higher levels. A wide selection of Music is used from around the world.

Resources

Musical Instruments

CDs, Operas, Musicals, Movies related to musicians’ life, Documentaries, Concerts and others.

Music Softwares.

Assessment

Musical Theory

Practical application of theory in song and through playing an instrument.

Students in grades 6 to 8 are taught to and will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Recognize the importance of learning music starting by their own environment
  • Learn how to listen more attentively
  • Use the main music symbols to read, write and create music
  • Recognize and become familiar with folk and popular music of different countries
  • Listening to identify musical principles studied in class
  • Sing a variety of songs from different countries using the different musical effects
  • Create music with similar forms using different means
  • Share and discuss other musical styles
  • Watch movies with an appropriate sound track content and grade level
  • Practice the music theory studied in other grades through exercises, music scores and musical creations.

Grade 6 Syllabus

  • Recognize music as an important form of communication
  • Recognize the different kinds of human voices
  • Recognize the instrument families of the orchestra
  • Recognize an opera and main characteristics.
  • Recognize main composers in different music periods.
  • Read correctly familiar and unfamiliar music that contains whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eighth notes and corresponding rests in measures in simple meters.
  • Put into practice the knowledge learned by playing a musical instrument provided by the school.

Grade 7 Syllabus

  • Recognize and differentiate the music listened from various cultures
  • Recognize the main characteristics of the music of each culture
  • Recognize the rhythm patterns characteristic of music styles
  • Memorize and repeat melodies and rhythmic patterns
  • Sing a variety of songs from different countries using the different musical effects
  • Demonstrate understanding of the markings and Italian terms for dynamics, tempo, articulation and phrasing in the music they sing
  • Reproduce the melodies and the rhythmic patterns by clapping or using the tuned and untuned percussion instruments
  • Sing expressively, giving particular attention to using suitable dynamics, tempi and phrasing
  • Read music accurately from the staff, using knowledge of notation
  • Put into practice the knowledge learned by playing a musical instrument provided by the school.

Grade 8 Syllabus

  • Identify the names of the notes of the clef .
  • Sing with expression and proper technique
  • Use musical terminology correctly
  • Read, write and perform musical notation accurately and fluently
  • Identify meters and the corresponding time signatures in the pieces they play or create
  • Communicate their understanding and knowledge of music in appropriate ways.
  • Put into practice the knowledge learned by playing a musical instrument provided by the school.

Students will be assessed formatively and summatively through a Mid-Year Examination and an End of Year examination.

Physical Education


The School is very conscious of the limited space for Physical Education teaching and activities. However, the Physical Education programme makes the most of the limited facilities available.

At present we are also using the facilities at Club Havana thus enabling the students to take part in activities beyond the school´s boundaries. This enables students to take part in activities and sports which might not be otherwise available to them. The programme is expanding and includes the use of local parks and fields for sports such as baseball and soccer. We want our students to reach their full potential, as well as display positive attitudes towards exercise and physical fitness.

Science


The Science programme approximately corresponds to Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum of England and Wales.

The programme sets out to stimulate and excite pupil’s curiosity about phenomena in the world around them, and to make them aware that Science links direct practical experience with ideas through the regular practice of scientific method.

The course concentrates upon analysis of experimental evidence and modelling.

The Science programme covers a wide variety of assignments, assessment methods, and class activities, for students to learn to question and discuss Science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.

Grade 6 Syllabus

Biology

  • Cells
  • Environmental and feeding relationships
  • Variation and Classification
  • Reproduction
  • Sex Education 1

Chemistry

  • Acids and alkalis
  • Simple chemical reactions
  • Particle: model of solid, liquid and gases
  • Solutions

Physics

  • Energy sources
  • Electrical circuits
  • Forces and their effects
  • Solar systemand beyond

Grade 7 Syllabus

Biology

  • Food and digestion
  • Respiration
  • Microbes and diseases
  • Ecological relationships
  • Sex Education 2

Chemistry

  • Atoms and Elements
  • Compounds and Mixtures
  • Rocks and weathering
  • The rock cycle

Physics

  • Heating and cooling
  • Magnets and electromagnets
  • Light
  • Sound and hearing

Grade 8 syllabus

Biology

  • Inheritance and selection
  • Fit and healthy
  • Plant and photosynthesis
  • Plants for food
  • Sex Education 3

Chemistry

  • Reactions of metals and metal compounds
  • Patterns of reactivity
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Using chemistry

Physics

  • Energy and electricity
  • Gravity and space
  • Speeding up
  • Pressure and moments

Assessment

Students are assessed both formatively through daily coursework and projects against Specific Learning Outcomes. They are also assessed summatively through Unit Tests, Mid-Year and End of Year Examinations.

The assessment objectives in Science reflect the four main areas of the syllabus, which are:

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Life Process and Living Things
  • Materials and their Properties
  • Physical Processes

Results of both coursework and exams are formally reported to parents twice a year.

Classwork and coursework assessed includes: laboratory reports, Science writing exercises, projects and oral presentations, open-book unit evaluations, self-checked tests, closed-book unit evaluations, and cumulative reviews.

Spanish: First Language


The study of Spanish as a First Language is required of all native Spanish-speaking students in Grades 6, 7 and 8.

The general and specific learning objectives for Grades 6, 7 and 8 derive from and lay the foundations for the IGCSE course in Grades 9 and 10.

The main aims of the subject in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are:

  • To develop in the students the language abilities needed to function successfully in a First Language Spanish academic, social and professional context.
  • To foster in students positive and enthusiastic attitudes towards their mother tongue and the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • To help students have an aesthetic awareness of and derive enjoyment from works of literature in Spanish.

The four language skills of speaking, writing, reading and listening are taught. Emphasis is placed upon reading and writing. As Spanish is not the School’s language of instruction, for mother tongue Spanish speaking students, the Spanish First Language class is often the only opportunity to practice reading and writing in their mother tongue whilst there is an opportunity to speak and listen at home.

The subject content includes the teaching of concepts, skills and grammar, spelling and writing conventions and vocabulary. Concepts covered range from textual ones such as literary reports to grammatical and lexical ones such as compound sentences.

The syllabus is based on the scope and sequence proposed by the Casals Spanish course book series Lengua Castellana y Literatura ESO 1-2-3. Though teachers plan their units of study around the suggested sequence, actual target activities and reading materials are complemented by a number of other texts.

Literature is not taught as a separate subject but within most units of study. In some units the core topic is the study of a literary form.

Literary forms covered in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are:

  • The legend
  • The fable and the parable
  • The epic poem
  • The short story
  • The novel
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Essay
  • Science fiction and fantasy

Grade 6 Syllabus

Includes units on:

  • Communication process and elements
  • Myth and legends
  • Fiction vs non-fiction texts
  • Character description: different types of descriptive language
  • Narrative traits
  • Narrative writing
  • Story writing
  • Dialogue writing
  • Argumentative essay writing
  • Poetry. Literary resources
  • Oral presentation skills and debate 

Grade 7 Syllabus

Includes units on

  • Different registers of language
  • Prose: Identifying traits of Narrative, Essay, and Drama
  • Traditional Castilian poetry
  • Story writing
  • Summary writing for academic purposes
  • Dialog writing
  • Formal letter writing
  • Character description
  • Using appropriate imagery
  • Interpreting publicity

Grade 8 Syllabus

Includes units on

  • The communication process: elements involved and types of communication situations (register, style, purpose)
  • Media indicators; identifying fact from opinion
  • Non-fiction: The brief news, the report, the interview, publicity.
  • The work of literature (fiction) as opposed to non-fiction texts
  • Narrative: The short story, Identifying theme(s), plot, scenery, character traits, style, structure, different types of narrator
  • Poetry: composition and figures of speech
  • Drama: La Celestina : Characters, structure, purpose. Theme and language
  • Personal writing
  • Summary writing
  • Expressing opinion: essay writing, newspaper articles
  • Identify discourse indicators and use cohesive markers appropriately

G 6-8 Grammar/Vocabulary/Spelling &Writing Conventions

  • The structure of the word: word formation patterns, structure of meaning, meaning relationships between words (synonyms, opposites, polisemic words, homonyms)
  • The noun group and the verb group
  • The sentence: types of sentences, analysis of sentence structure, use of advanced sentence patterns
  • Cohesive markers: discourse indicators and connectors
  • Grammar rules such as subject-verb agreement, noun-determiner, noun-modifier agreement and verb tense agreement
  • Word class: nouns, determiners, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, prepositions and conjunctions
  • Verbal tenses, irregular verbs in all tenses, passive voice
  • Spelling rules and patterns
  • Punctuation: period, comma, semi colon, colon, dash, parenthesis, etc.

Assessment

The assessment objectives in Spanish reflect the skills involved in the main areas of language.

Student’s skills are continually assessed formatively through Coursework, book reports, homework and projects against the Specific Learning Outcomes and they are also assessed summatively through Unit Tests.

Spanish: Foreign Language


All students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 study Spanish as a Foreign Language if they are not native speakers of Spanish.

The general and specific learning objectives for Grades 6, 7 and 8 derive from and lay the foundations for the IGCSE course in Grades 9 and 10.

We believe that the study strategies and linguistic skills needed to perform well at the IGCSE exam should be introduced and practised at the earliest possible stage in the secondary school, that is, beginning in Grade 6.

The main aims of the subject in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are:

  • to develop the ability to use the language effectively for purposes of practical communication within the country of residence and in all the countries where the language is spoken;
  • to encourage positive attitudes towards foreign language learning as well as a sympathetic approach to other civilizations and cultures.

The study of Spanish as a Foreign Language provides for enjoyment and intellectual stimulation and also contributes to other areas of study by encouraging more general learning skills such as analysis, memorization and drawing of inference.

We believe it is essential that students make the most of the unique opportunity provided them through living in a Spanish-speaking country.

We also believe that parents are a main source of encouragement for the practice of the language in real-life situations and should foster, at all times, positive attitudes towards language learning as well as towards the host country culture.

Spanish as a Foreign Language teaching approach:

In Grade 6 all foreign language learners will be taught in one class and in Grades 7& 8 learners will be taught in a combined grade class divided into two groups per level: beginners and intermediate-advanced.

Units of Study

The core texts, Pasaporte/Las Claves del Nuevo DELE/Ponte al Dia! and Descubre are a starting point complemented by other activities including projects, group work, and an assortment of texts and other resources such as Flash cards sets, Language games, Photocopiable material (books, visual prompts, etc), CD-ROM’s and Audio-tapes.

Units of study have been planned, by and large, around the proposed sequence in the course books. However, actual target activities as well as language content are not restricted to what is proposed by the textbooks.

Specific objectives have been created for each unit of study and a variety of assessment tools are used

6/7/8 Beginners

6/7/8 Intermediate

6/7/8 Advanced

Personal information, numbers, alphabet, colours, family members, countries, nationalities, some jobs, adjectives to describe people, animals, houses, furniture, rooms, daily routine, house chores, the school, sports, free time and likes/dislikes.

Basic verbs in simple present tense: llamarse, ser, estar, tener. Regular, reflexive and radical or stem changing verbs in simple present tense, noun-adjective agreement, place adverbs, TENER QUE+infinitive, verbs, present continuous and comparatives.

Review of previous content. Means of transportation, places in the city, the Travel Agency, hotel rooms and facilities, Clothing items, Food and drinks, food containers, dishes, Celebrations and customs in Latin-American countries, and professions.

Place adverbs, comparatives, prepositions CON, DE, quantifiers, verbs used when preparing food and when eating, object pronouns, the use of SE to express impersonal actions, the use of QUERER and future tense with “voy a…”. The preterite tense with regular verbs, Imperatives

Review of previous content. Health, diseases and treatment, Education, Means of communication and Technology, The environment and Global Issues.

The preterite tense, Irregular verbs, stem-changing verbs, , imperative, quantifiers, superlatives, the simple future tense, the subjunctive after QUERER,PEDIR y NECESITAR and Perfect tenses.

Assessment

There are three described levels of proficiency according to which students will be assessed: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Students in all three levels are generally exposed to the same content (topics and grammar points) but are expected to perform at different levels of proficiency within the same unit of study and are given differentiated tasks.

Both students’ productive and receptive skills are assessed.

Productive skills assessed are in writing and speaking for:

  • Communication (the ability to get meaning across and fulfil effectively different communicative tasks)
  • Quality of language or accuracy (Control of grammar and syntax)
  • Fluency (to have a fluent speech with very few hesitations using appropriate intonation patterns and pronunciation)
  • Cohesiveness and cohesion of written work.

Receptive skills assessed are in listening and reading and responding to stimuli.

  • ability to understand literal meaning of level-appropriate material
  • ability to infer meaning using strictly linguistic and general context clues
  • ability to respond appropriately to spoken and written Spanish.

Unit tests, quizzes and other types of summative and formative assessment aim to assess the student’s fulfilment of a number of communicative tasks in all four skills.

We recommend that Grade 8 Spanish Foreign Language students sit for DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) examinations A1, A2 or B1 in May.