Primary School
Primary Level Education at Miras International School 

The Primary School Programme is designed for students aged 2 to 10 (11) years and is based on the basic regulations of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) and the Kazakhstani educational standards for primary level education. The basis of learning and teaching at Primary Level Education is an inquiry activity, in the process of which a child conceives the world around him/her through looking for answers to questions and acquires new experiences by using gained knowledge in real life public welfare and the surrounding world.

Primary Level Education at Miras International School includes:

  • Pre-School education – Kindergarten (2-5 years), Pre-School (5- 6 years);
  • Primary School education – Grades 1-5.

 

A prominent feature of Primary Level Education at Miras International School is an inquiry approach to learning embedded in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

The inquiry is based on six key questions – transdisciplinary themes, around which a structured cognitive activity of younger students is organized within the framework of the Programme of Inquiry:

  • Who we are?
  • How we express ourselves?
  • How we organize ourselves?
  • Where we are in pleace and time?
  • How the world works?
  • Sharing the planet.
Pre-School upbringing and education

According to the International Baccalaureate recommendations for Primary Level Education, the curriculum for pre-school upbringing and education is structured and divided into six educational areas: ‘Languages’, ‘Mathematics’, ‘Social studies’, ‘Art’, ‘Personal and social development’, which entail all strands of organized educational activity that are the part of the State Compulsory Educational Standards of pre-school education of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Each educational area includes a cycle of subjects that contribute to the inclusion of pre-school student to panhuman values, all-round development, formation and development of social and general educational skills.

The learning activity of children during the day is planned in blocks corresponding to the following educational areas:

‘Language’ educational area is represented by Kazakh, English and Russian, which corresponds to multilingualism – the basis of the educational model of the school and pre-school and is focused on early development of language competence and communication skills of the students. The area includes learning objectives on development of speech, fiction, fundamentals of literacy and drama.

‘Mathematics’ educational area entails the following types of educational activity: formation of elementary mathematical representations, development of sensorics and constructing.

‘Social studies’ educational area is aimed at formation of ideas on diversity of cultural and historical specifics of different public and social groups in preschoolers; acquaintance with customs and rituals of the Kazakh people and peoples who live on the territory of Kazakhstan; promoting tolerance and general behavioral norms in society.

‘Science’ educational area is aimed at the acquaintance of the children with natural phenomena and special features of animate and inanimate nature through organized search-and-cognitive activity, which in its turn, is focused on formation of basic skills of natural inquiry in the preschoolers. 

‘Art’ educational area is represented by the following list of educational disciplines: Music, Choreography, V-Art (painting, sculpting, applique) and is aimed at formation of creative skills and aesthetic perception of the world in the preschoolers. 

‘Personal and social development’ educational area is represented by the educational programmes on physical education, self-cognition and PSPE (personal, social, physical education), which is implemented through all types of organized curricular and extracurricular activity of the preschoolers within the whole framework of child’s attendance of the Pre-school.

Curriculum implementation is carried out through organized search-and-cognitive activity of the children within the framework of the Programme of Inquiry, which is based off six transdisciplinary themes.

The classes at Pre-school for all the training courses are organized in compliance with integrated educational programmes, based on the recommendations of subject guides for Primary Level of education (IB PYP) and Kazakhstani programmes on upbringing and education designed for students of pre-school age.

Primary School (Grade with Russian and English languages of instruction)

A distinctive feature of the Primary school educational programme is the research approach to learning inherent in the International Baccalaureate programme for the initial stage of education. In accordance with the transdisciplinary research programme, throughout all the years of study in primary school, through the study of various problems (research topics) within the framework of each of the key questions, a natural cognitive process is built based on the natural curiosity of a younger student. During each school year, Primary school students explore one topic under each question. As a rule, the research topic raises questions from a variety of subject areas and passes the main idea through all lessons, therefore such an organization of educational and cognitive activities is possible only if a group of teachers working in this class work together and is reflected in the curriculum in all subjects.

Distinctive features of the Primary school educational programme:
  • The ‘Language and literature’ educational area is represented by the Kazakh, English, Russian and French languages, which corresponds to the principle of multilingualism – the basis of educational model of the school and pre-school, and is focused on early development of language competence and communication skills of the students, which has a special importance within the framework of an international school and community.
  • Special attention is paid to language learning. The English programme is based on the Units of the Programme of Inquiry, which contributes to vocabulary extension and language skills development during search-and-cognitive activity of the Primary School students. Daily English classes and gradual build-up of the use of English in teaching other subjects, enable the formation of linguistic skills in students sufficient for transition to education with English as the language of instruction in higher stages of tuition.
  • One of preferable strands is Mathematics and the integration of the STEAM approach within implementation of educational programme of the school, supported by the content of the educational programmes and introduction of project activity with the focus on STEAM.
  • ‘Science’ educational area is represented by the ‘Science’ integrated course, which embraces initial fundamentals of all scientific natural disciplines (Chemistry, Physics, Biology) and is the core of the Programme of Inquiry in Grades 1-5.
  • The subjects of the ‘Social studies’ educational area (World cognition, History of Kazakhstan, World History) are consolidated as a unified integrated course and added with learning aims of the International Baccalaureate in this subject. owing to need to create a sufficiently theoretical and practical basis for research activity for the students within the POI framework.
  • ‘Technology and Art’ educational area is represented by the following educational disciplines: Music, Choreography, V-Art, ICT (entails the content part of the ‘Informatics’ course). The combination of these disciplines into a single group is due to the transdisciplinary approach to the study of these disciplines during implementation of the POI. Studies in Computer technologies is provided from the Grade 1; computers skills are developed across all the subjects of the curriculum. 
  • ‘Personal, social and physical education’ (PSPE) is a required component of the International Baccalaureate Programme for the elementary education stage and includes ‘Physical Education’ and ‘Self-cognition’ learning disciplines, which are added with the PSPE.  The programme is aimed at the formation of value-based qualities, general educational abilities and skills and is implemented across all lessons of the curriculum as well as homeroom hours carried out by homeroom teachers. 

A special feature of the Primary School educational programme is the focus on the development of approaches to learning skills in students, which include:

Communication skills

Exchanging information - listening, interpreting and speaking

Literacy - reading, writing and using language to gather and communicate information

ICT – communicating using technology to gather, investigate and share information

Social skills

Interpersonal relationships, social and emotional intelligence

Developing positive interpersonal relationships and collaboration

Thinking skills

Critical thinking - analysing and evaluating issues and ideas, and making decisions

Creative thinking - generating novel ideas and considering new perspectives

Information transfer - using skills and knowledge in multiple contexts

Reflection and metacognition - using thinking skills to reflect on the process of learning

Research skills  

Information literacy – formulating and planning, data gathering and recording, synthesizing and interpreting, evaluating and communicating

Media literacy - Interacting with media to use and create ideas and information

Ethical use of media/informationunderstanding and applying social and ethical technology  

Self-management skills

Organization – managing time and tasks effectively  

States of mind – using strategies that manage state of mind

The culmination and the final stage of education in Primary School is an exhibition of individual and group projects of the students, during which students are provided with the opportunity to demonstrate personal knowledge and abilities and skills acquired in the Primary School in all academic subjects, actively demonstrating International Baccalaureate Learner Profile’s attributes.