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    Discover YCIS Beijing’s Unique Primary Programme


    30 Aug, 2019

    10 : 00

    • Last week, the Yew Chung International School of Beijing Primary School Vice-Principals held workshops, “How Primary School Works”, for new and returning Primary School parents. The workshops were a great opportunity for parents to learn how the programme benefits their children as well as important aspects of their school life.

      With 12 years working experience at YCIS-Beijing, Jane Kang, Upper Primary Learning and Teaching Coordinator and one of the individuals who were part of the team that pioneered the coveted YCIS Beijing Learning Communities, spoke to us about the inspiration behind the approach and how the key elements of our Primary School Programme benefit our learners holistically.

      Learning CommunitiesIn Primary School, the introduction of our Learning Community model was piloted by Jane and her colleagues starting in Year 3, then it was gradually introduced to the rest of the year levels over a period of time. The concept centers on collaborative learning that models real life experiences, flexibility based on the students’ needs and most importantly exposure to 21st century skills.

      The method is authentic and allows for individual students to be tracked in order for their needs to be met. All students in the Primary School Learning Communities take the first several weeks of the school year to engage in a “Learning to Learn” unit where they learn about how they can approach their learning opportunities with the right mindset and how to work with different groups of their peers and teachers. In addition, the students will work through a variety of tasks that highlight our unique Dimensions of Learning.

      According to Jane,“We believe students can achieve their best in Learning Communities where they are actively engaged in self-directed, authentic and meaningful tasks. The learning has to be connected to the student.”

      Bilingual approach

      Many parents have an appreciation of the fact that we are a bilingual school that equally prioritises Chinese and English learning. Students receive instruction in both languages in addition to specific lessons for both languages.

      Dimensions of Learning“We focus on the Dimensions of Learning and how we can access those to enhance the individual experience within the community, but also to enhance the collaborative experience,”  she said. The five Dimensions of Learning are: Collaboration Innovation Self-regulation  Perseverance Critical Thinking

      Collaborative TeachingThis type of co-teaching entails teachers who collaboratively plan, teach, track learning and respond to it. “It is highly reflective and responsive process that teaching teams engage in, unlike traditional education from years past where teachers might plan a unit and deliver it without as much thought to the individual needs of students,” Jane Kang added. The ultimate goal of this method is to ensure the best student outcomes by the teaching teams; in our case, this includes our international and Chinese homeroom teachers, our language acquisition specialists and oftentimes other student support teachers. Flexibility is therefore a crucial part of our learning and teaching environment.

      In addition to our unique features in Primary School, our ultimate prized resources are our teachers. The YCIS Beijing Primary School also believes in nurturing the child holistically, be it athletically, artistically or academically.