Three Languages in primary school – a trilingual primary school curriculum
The International Trilingual School of Warsaw primary school puts two important challenges ahead of our students: acquiring school skills that will enable them to continue their education in the middle school (in case of education in international schools) or high school (in the case of education in the Polish educational system).
In ITSW school, subjects are taught on the basis of a common curriculum for three languages resulting from a comparison of educational standards of six major curricula (British National Curriculum, American Common Core, Program de l’Education Nationale Française, Finnish Program, IB Program, and Polish core curriculum ).
The first stage of education (grades 1-3) is the so-called integrated education cycle where the majority of subjects are taught by one teacher for each language part (in the trilingual class there are therefore three different teachers).
In the second stage of education (grades 4-8), humanities such as languages, history (social studies) and arts and sports are taught in three languages, while exact subjects (mathematics, nature, biology, physics, chemistry) are taught bilingually. Individual subjects implement common topics of teaching.
The curriculum teaching is based on the following values:
- Prepare the child to continue his/her education at the next stage in any chosen school out of six taught curricula.
- Teaching three languages at such a level that the child can continue education in any educational system where the language of instruction is spoken
- Identification of specific skills, expectations and educational goals.
- Building an approach to learning that is characterized by initiative, challenges, and openness to others and their difference, combined with a strong sense of belonging to the school community.
- Introduction of cultural elements related to the language of instruction.
- Creation of learning conditions in which the child is willing to learn and the school from which he/she reluctantly leaves after the end of the classes.
- Creation of optimal conditions for all children to learn all life-long.
- To provide all students with a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum.
- equipping students with knowledge of the world, which in the twenty-first century will allow them to develop their scientific and professional careers, and private life.
- Ensuring equal opportunities for all students regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and social background.
Main curriculum areas at the ITSW primary school
The language program encourages students to read, write, listen and speak to the extent that they can communicate effectively in three different languages. The role of reading is crucial in all elements of the program. Learning to read is based on the level of the student’s skills. In addition, shared reading and group reading activities form the basis of the reading literacy program.
The elements of the writing program are divided thematically so that the students develop a variety of writing skills.
The ITSW program in the area of mathematics requires that students engage in rich, embedded tasks in which they understand and apply mathematical concepts. Each level of teaching has critical areas, which are approached in many ways during the school year, as students acquire skills, proficiency, certainty, and self-denial in solving mathematical problems in specific areas.
Science (biology, geography, chemistry, and physics) and social sciences/history
Program modules related to science (biology, geography, chemistry, physics) and social sciences/history are constructed in a way that stimulates the child’s natural curiosity. Teachers start their work by transferring the knowledge base, and then the interests and curiosity of students help to guide the further stage of teaching. Several modules combine concepts from areas of both science (biology, geography, chemistry, and physics) and social sciences, as well as art, music, and technology. Units of inquiry research modules in the areas of natural and social sciences educate students in the ability to create teaching and find solutions. All modules are built around the concept of “enduring understanding” or “big idea”.
Other classes as part of the curriculum
Students also attend PE classes (including swimming lessons), music, art, library, IT, modern languages (Spanish or French). For a detailed description of the activities offered, please go to the link under the name Class / Guide to the curriculum.
Graduates of our primary school pass seamlessly to any selected Polish or international school. At the same time, they maintain a natural curiosity and respect for school as a friendly place in which they like to study. What’s more, they are still fluent in three languages to the extent of native speakers. Students have many opportunities to present their knowledge through conferences organized by themselves, performances, presentations, meetings and demonstrations that take place throughout the school year. This approach allows students to be prepared to function in the adult world, developing their critical thinking skills, leadership skills, and interpersonal skills.