Years 1 - 2 (ages 5 - 6)

At Yew Chung International Schools, our Primary School campuses are places of energy and life, where there is evident enjoyment displayed by the students towards learning and where there is a wealth of opportunities made available to the students for their learning. Our YCIS Curriculum provides not only a strong academic education but also emphasises an all rounded education – from cross-cultural experiences and international education with an additional emphasis on learning about Chinese culture, to extensive music, arts and sports activities to an education designed to help develop a moral compass.

YCIS student during art class

Every teacher in Year 1 and 2 ensures that each child is treated the same: with the upmost care and respect. We provide a curriculum that is both challenging and stimulating, ensuring that children enjoy their learning, as well as feel part of an ever-growing educational environment. Through Character Education, the children acquire the skills of how to become global citizens, as well as learn how to take more ownership of their learning. Our year levels provide auditory, visual and practical education, ensuring that every learner is catered for. Our learning and teaching environment provides the students with a sense of well-being and a confidence in being able to communicate in two languages. Students are provided with a plethora of resources, enabling a stimulating atmosphere, where exploration and imagination are greatly encouraged.

 
Group of YCIS students on the outdoor playground

Our bilingual teaching and learning programme in the early Primary helps students develop the skills they need in English and Chinese in order to become proficient speakers. In each classroom, students immerse themselves in both languages as Western and Chinese Co-teachers instruct and provide feedback.

Students are supported throughout the programme by differentiated classes. YCIS provides services to students who qualify for our English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme and level-based Chinese classes. We want to build our students up to be confident risk-takers.

 
YCIS student running on the playground

As our students transition up to us from our own ECE community or other external childhood centres, we align ourselves with the importance placed on play-based learning. The units in our Topic curriculum lend themselves extensively to practical, hands-on activities, where exploring, designing and making are all part of our students’ development process. A great opportunity for play-based learning also presents itself during our study of narratives, which are made more accessible and enjoyable through numerous role-play activities. In Year One, our students have three dedicated Gross Motor Skills per week, where physical development is supported through the provision of age-appropriate equipment, whilst giving autonomy to our students. We further extend development and learning through play and by the creation an “Exploration & Discovery” unit on the Year One floor!

 
Students playing on the outdoor playground

Year 1 & 2 teams work together to collaborate, design and implement lessons that are engaging, interactive and promote critical thinking. We draw upon student interest to create units of study that follow the standards based on the National Curriculum in England. We find it important that students enjoy learning while exploring and retaining necessary foundational skills. Co-teaching allows us to use flexible grouping not only within the class, but also across the year level. This allows us time to pull students to work in small groups on individual skills that need to be mastered or enriched. We are also able to provide choices and a differentiated environment where students feel safe and valued.

 
YCIS students playing the violin

Teachers at YCIS Beijing are always seeking out new and creative ways to enhance student engagement and achievement. Through the use of collaboration, our year groups are able to have the depth and breadth we need to meet our student needs.

The school provides teachers opportunities to regularly discuss student performance, the development of lessons, and reflect upon best practices. During these times, teachers take into consideration the needs and interests of our students as well as the needs of families. We enjoy getting parents involved, whether as a guest speaker, to read a book or put on an activity. Enhancing education through collaboration is our main focus.

 
Teacher and student during art class

The Arts (visual arts, classroom music and violin) are a core component of the YCIS education programme. These help develop skills that are relevant to all students. Through exploring design principles and the elements of art, and by playing, singing, composing, performing, listening and responding to art and music, students are provided with the opportunity to create, learn and solve problems. The Arts programme supports academic achievement. Arts activities stimulate the brain, helping language and mathematical development. Through song, students learn to distinguish between similar speech sounds, which helps with language. Learning rhythms, decoding notes and symbols, and looking at patterns in music, helps develop mathematical skills. The violin programme is undertaken by all students in Years 1 and 2, providing an opportunity to develop core musicianship skills. Students develop a sense of pitch, rhythm and tempo, along with the ability to play and perform with others. Through learning the violin, the foundation is set for studying any musical instrument. These programmes promote self-esteem, motivation, creativity, aesthetic awareness, emotional expression, social harmony, an appreciation of diversity and cultural exposure.