- Social Studies
- Additional Languages
- Personal, Social & Physical Education (PSPE)
- Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
At Seisen, learning about and through arts is fundamental to the development to the whole child, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and social interactions.
Music, visual art and dance are offered in the elementary through specialist teachers, who plan units of inquiry in collaboration with homeroom teachers and the PYP Coordinator. The arts promote opportunities to reflect on aesthetic experiences, to engage the imagination, convey meaning, share culture, develop one’s sense of self and expand knowledge.
Within the Arts students at Seisen:
- develop enthusiasm and proficiency as musicians, visual artists and dancers
- acquire audience skills such as listening and viewing responsively
- interpret and present their own or others’ works to a range of audiences
- create and critique choreographed performances, compositions and artwork using a selection of tools and techniques
- express feelings, ideas, experiences and beliefs in a variety of ways
- improve coordination, flexibility, agility, strength and fine motor skills
Grade 6 students share progress on their clay mask project
Science teaching and learning takes place within the context of the units of inquiry. Students actively construct and challenge their understanding of the world by developing scientific knowledge, reasoning and critical thinking skills. Engaging in hands-on learning experiences and the scientific process encourage curiosity and helps students develop respect for themselves, other living things and the environment.
Teaching and learning in Science is based on the following strands:
- Living Things
- Earth and Space
- Materials and Matter
- Forces and Energy
Science skills within the PYP:
- observe carefully in order to gather data
- use a variety of instruments and tools to measure data accurately
- use scientific vocabulary to explain their observations and experiences
- identify or generate a question or problem to be explored
- plan and carry out systematic investigations, manipulating variables as necessary
Language plays a vital role in the construction of meaning in PYP classrooms. It empowers learners and provides an intellectual framework to support conceptual development and critical thinking. Language is the major connecting element across the curriculum and provides the vehicle for inquiry. At Seisen, supportive interactions between teachers and students and positive peer relationships encourage an atmosphere of risk-taking which supports language acquisition and the development of communication skills.
The study of language is based on 3 strands:
- Listening and Speaking
- Reading and Writing
- Viewing and Presenting
The learning process simultaneously involves:
- Learning language - listening to and using language in everyday context
- Learning about language - developing a deeper understanding of how language works
- Learning through language - using language as a tool to listen, think, discuss and reflect on information, ideas and issues
Strategies used to support language learning at Seisen include:
At Seisen, students learn how to become effective writers through daily Writing Workshops. This approach involves mini-lessons, where students develop and practice genre-based writing techniques, and independent practice to allow students to build writing stamina and apply the techniques learned. Teachers offer personalised feedback through individual and group conferences to help students improve and progress.
A love of reading is nurtured at Seisen through a variety of daily reading engagements based on modeled, shared, guided and independent practice. Thinking strategies of highly effective readers - clarifying and monitoring meaning, using background knowledge, creating mental images, questioning, determining importance, inferring and synthesizing are explicitly taught. The Media Centre works closely with the homerooms to provide online and print reading materials. Students are encouraged to visit the Media Centre regularly to check out books and can also access the online resources linked on the Media Centre page from home.
Daily Mathematics lessons provide opportunities for students to develop their understanding of five mathematical areas:
- Pattern and Function
- Shape and Space
- Data Handling
An inquiry-based approach, combined with direct instruction via mini-lessons, is used to allow students to construct meaning and build on their existing mathematical knowledge and skills. A variety of constructivist based resources are used to support teaching and learning in mathematics. This approach enables us to meet the needs of students at different developmental levels. Where appropriate, mathematical concepts may be connected to grade level units of inquiry, however, number concepts are taught year-round.
Social Studies teaching and learning takes place within the context of the units of inquiry. Through relating subject content to significant and universal concepts common to all societies, times and places, the social studies component of the curriculum becomes international.
Teaching and learning Social Studies is based on the following strands:
- human systems and economic activities
- social organization and culture
- continuity and change through time
- human and natural environments
- resources and the environment
Social studies within the PYP provides opportunities for students to:
- formulate and ask questions about the past, the future, places and societies
- use and analyze evidence from a variety of historical, geographical and societal sources
- orientate in relation to place and time
- identify roles, rights and responsibilities in society
- assess the accuracy, validity and possible bias of sources
At Seisen, we believe that acquisition of more than one language enriches personal development and helps facilitate the development of international-mindedness. All students have the opportunity to learn Japanese from grade one. Spanish is introduced from offered grade five. Students who are not yet proficient in English receive English as an Additional Language (EAL) support.
Teaching and learning in an additional languages is based on the following strands:
- Listening and Speaking
Learning in personal, social and physical education (PSPE) at Seisen focuses on the development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to personal health and well-being. PSPE is part of student’s everyday life. Positive behaviours and attitudes are explicitly taught and modelled by teachers within the school community. Respectful and pro-active peer relationships are nurtured. Learning experiences are designed to motivate students to be actively involved in their own learning and to achieve personal goals. Our Learner Profile is integral to learning in PSPE.
Teaching and learning in PSPE encompasses the following strands:
- Active Living
All our elementary homeroom and single subject teachers are responsible for teaching and learning in PSPE. Our elementary counselor works actively to support classroom teachers in the area of personal and social education. Specialist Physical Education Teachers teach the Active Living Strand of the curriculum.
Link to Tara's Blog
In an increasingly technological age, we recognise the importance of ICT across all subject areas at each grade level. Homeroom Teachers and our ICT Specialist work together to plan opportunities for students to investigate, create, communicate, collaborate, organize and become responsible digital citizens when using technology. Classrooms are well equipped with technology. We have a number of devices available for booking and offer 1-to1 Chromebooks in Grades 3-5. Students in Grade 6 bring their own devices, use them daily and keep an updated online portfolio of learning.
Hey Seisen! How do you use Artificial Intelligence in your elementary school classes?
I understand that the art of folding paper, Origami, is a Japanese tradition that is important in many celebrations. Maybe you could show us some examples.
"Working with Ms. Carnright, she and I explored with the girls the notion that our presence, both online and offline, should evoke pride and a positive response from others."
Young people have become significant users of the technology around them: moving icons and text with the simplest of finger swipes, professional style photos without an actual camera and Snapchat filters, to name a few.