Primary Curriculum
JESS Dubai

Primary Curriculum

JESS Dubai
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The JESS Primary curriculum is taught at both JESS Jumeirah and JESS Arabian Ranches campuses. Both campuses provide an identical British education for boys and girls aged 3-11 years. There is a strong emphasis on multi-sensory, cross-curricular learning throughout the school, with a clear focus on skills and attitudes in the development of life-long learning.

Children entering JESS in Foundation One begin a 2-year programme following the Early Years Foundation Stage, a UK Early Years curriculum based on a practical, hands-on approach. Children are guided through 7 areas of learning, namely:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Physical development
  • Expressive arts and design
  • Understanding the world

On entry into Y1 children commence Key Stage One of the English National Curriculum.  This is also a 2-year programme leading to Key Stage Two when the children are in Y3-6.

The National Curriculum subjects are divided into core subjects: English, mathematics and science and foundation subjects: history, geography, art design technology, music and physical.

In addition, our pupils learn Arabic from Y1 as well as Social Studies and Moral Education from Y1-6. Information Technology is an integral part of the curriculum on offer at JESS and is used across all subject areas. Computing is also taught as a discrete subject by our IT specialist in our purpose built suite.

The Learning Support department within our school responds to the individual needs of particular children, offering support as well as an extension for children who require extra input.

Assessment

Assessment is an ongoing process and a feature of daily school life. It involves both pupils and teachers, informs future planning through target setting and allows for the celebration of effort and achievement.  

Standardised assessment is a feature of practice and the National Curriculum Standard Assessment tests are used in Y6.  These standardised assessment tests cover the core curriculum areas of English and mathematics.  In Dubai, all schools are also required to administer international standardised benchmark testing in the form of PISA, TIMMS and GL.  Teacher assessment is also used from F1-Y6 whereby staff assess pupil work on a regular basis against the criteria of the specified curriculum.  These ‘steps’ are identified in a mid-year interim report and on the end of year school report.

 

Foundation Stage

Overview

Children start Foundation One in the September after their third birthday.  The Early Years Foundation Stage is a two-year phase.

There are 4 classes in Jumeirah and 3 classes at Arabian Ranches in Foundation One and Foundation Two respectively.  Each year group has its own base where classes surround a well-equipped and spacious shared activity area.

Class size does not exceed 22, where possible.  Teaching assistants support the class teachers in the delivery of the curriculum and specialist teachers deliver the programme for Music, Computing, PE as well as an informal approach to Arabic.

The learning environments are well resourced and maintained providing the pupils with a range of multi-sensory activities.  There is a full-time teaching assistant in Foundation One central area who adds valuable support to a wide range of activities including group work and language development through role play. Display areas celebrates the children’s work across all curriculum areas.  All classrooms have interactive white boards to support the children's learning; these offer ways to support and consolidate day to day skills and allow access to the world outside through interactive websites.

The pupils have a dedicated play area featuring a range of activities, including wheeled vehicles, keeping them fully occupied at break times!  As well as the permanent playground features the staff provide a range of changing outdoor activities such as water, sand, mark making and small world play. Children in Foundation love visiting the Library each week and our youngest children enjoy cycling around the school grounds to get there!

The children get the opportunity to play outdoors for most of the year and eat their packed lunch indoors.  Foundation children spend an increased amount of curriculum time outdoors during the cooler months with art, physical, creative, mathematical and language tasks and resources available outside.

An after-school care club exists for those parents who wish to extend their child’s stay at school beyond the normal finish time of 12 noon.  This incurs an extra charge.

Foundation Curriculum

Children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, based around seven areas of learning.  The emphasis throughout the Foundation Stage is on engaging the children in first-hand learning experiences with a very strong emphasis on play and early communication skills. Role play is used as a way of developing the children's expressive language skills; these areas change regularly in classrooms and central areas.

Parents are provided with a comprehensive curriculum summary which outlines the expectations in all areas of learning.  Parents are actively encouraged to support their children's development through reading and home/school linked phonic and letter formation activities.

Opportunities to enrich the curriculum are developed through trips and visitors.  Parents are invited into school to attend school production that are appropriate to the children's age.  The children have great fun preparing for these through songs, actions, dance and some speaking parts.

Similarly, visitors with special skills and experience are invited into class to further enrich the curriculum.

Key Stage One

Overview

At the end of the Foundation Stage pupils enter Key Stage One.  Key Stage One is a two-year phase, covering the 5 – 7 years age range.  Each year group has its own base, where classes surround a well-equipped and spacious shared activity area.  Class size does not exceed 22, where possible.  Teaching assistants support the class teachers in the delivery of the curriculum and specialist teachers deliver the programmes for Computing, Arabic, Islamic Studies, Music, Library and PE.

The learning environments are well resourced and maintained providing the pupils with a range of multi-sensory activities.   All classrooms have interactive whiteboards or TVs to support the children's learning. Display areas celebrate the children's work across all curriculum areas.

The pupils have a dedicated play area featuring a range of high-quality climbing equipment, a fall safe surface and many other activities that keep them fully occupied at break time.  As well as the playground the staff provide a range of changing outdoor activities such as quiet reading areas, mark making and dressing up.  There are two breaks during the school day.  During the break times, the children get the opportunity to play and to eat their packed lunch.    

Key Stage One Curriculum

A smooth transition takes place between Foundation and Key Stage One.  The structure of the curriculum is as follows: English, Mathematics, Science, Arabic and Islamic Studies (for Muslim pupils) are the core subjects in addition to the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Design Technology and Art. In addition, pupils receive UAE Social Studies and Moral Education.

Subject specialists deliver computing, music and physical education programmes.  Links across the curriculum are made wherever possible and all activities are planned and delivered to maximise first-hand experience and respond to differing learning styles. Role play continues to be used as a way of developing expressive language skills; role play areas change regularly in classrooms and central areas.

Wherever possible children are taken out of school for activities that support and enrich the curriculum. For example, the Y1 pupils may visit a local science museum where they get the opportunity to engage in many ‘hands on’ practical activities.  Y2 pupils may visit a local desert wildlife park as part of their study of animals in the local environment.  Parents are invited into school to see an annual assembly.  The children have great fun preparing for this through songs, actions, dancing and some speaking parts.  Similarly, visitors with special skills and experience are invited into class to further enrich the curriculum

Key Stage Two

Overview

Having completed Key Stage One pupils commence Key Stage Two, a four-year phase from Y3-6, (7-11 years old).  Each year group has its own base where classes surround a well-equipped and spacious shared activity area.  Class size does not exceed 22, where possible. Specialist teachers deliver the programme for Arabic, Islamic Studies, Music, Computing, Library and PE.  

The learning environments are well resourced and maintained providing the pupils with a range of multi-sensory activities.  Display areas celebrate the children’s work across all curriculum areas.  All classrooms have interactive whiteboards or TVs to support the children's learning.

The pupils have a dedicated play area featuring a range of climbing facilities, as well as a playing field providing opportunities to participate in team games.  There are two breaks during the school day. The children get the opportunity to play outdoors (in cooler weather) and eat their packed lunch indoors.  

Curriculum

A smooth transition takes place between Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.  The structure of the curriculum is now as follows: English, Mathematics, Arabic, Islamic Studies (for Muslim pupils only) and Science are the core subjects studied in addition to History, Geography, Design and Technology and Art.  In addition, pupils receive UAE Social Studies and Moral Education.

Subject specialists deliver the Computing, Library, Music and Physical Education programmes.  Links across the curriculum are made wherever possible and all activities are planned and delivered to maximise first-hand experience and respond to differing learning styles.

Wherever possible the pupils are taken out of school for activities that support and enrich the curriculum.  For example, Y4-6 pupils go on a residential trip where they get the opportunity to engage in many ‘hands on’ outdoor activities.  Similarly, local artists and visitors with special skills and experience are invited into class.

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