ACG International School Vietnam provides world-class facilities and an international curriculum, IB PYP, at Primary level.
What is learnt in the primary years provides an important basis for future achievement. In keeping with our philosophies, emphasis is placed on providing a curriculum and learning environment that actively encourages enjoyment and personal success.
Individual attention is maximised in each classroom. Specialist teachers allow students to enjoy experiences that provide an important base for academic development. There is a strong emphasis on the value of academic work, while attitudes and values that are deemed important are also affirmed.
The Primary School curriculum is driven by well-known international curricula (the IB Primary Years Programme). It combines both theme and skills-based learning and is designed to suit the international environment. The programme provides a strong framework for Mathematics, English and Science skills. It provides guidance for curriculum development and allows teachers to assess children's learning as they progress. Other areas of Humanities, IT, Language and Creative Skills are fostered. The ACG International School Vietnam Primary Programme is enhanced by the use of materials from the curricula of the USA and Australia.
The curriculum provides teachers with direction for their teaching and learning programmes. It identifies essential learning areas and skills and identifies required achievement aims and objectives for students. It sets assessment procedures and provides an emphasis in the important areas of technology and second language learning as well as the traditional core learning areas.
The Primary School provides an excellent base for future development. It is a stimulating and productive environment where the teamwork between teachers and students develops a positive work ethic and a love of learning.
Language Art - English
Language is at the heart of learning and is developed across the curriculum, as well as in specific language-oriented sessions. Language is fundamental to the curriculum as a basic tool of communication and also provides access to literature. It is a key means of understanding our own culture and learning about the cultures of others.
We encourage children to plan and develop their writing through the writing process across a wide variety of written styles:
Pre-writing: plan before you write.
Drafting: students write an initial draft.
Editing: students improve their work through editing by themselves, with a partner, or with teacher help.
Proofreading: students correct as much of their own spelling and punctuation as they can.
Publishing: often students produce and display their final version in some form.
Units of Inquiry (theme units) provide an ideal context for children to use non-fiction books to find meaningful information. There are a wide variety of reading activities and readers' workshops, according to the age of the student.
Discussion plays a major role in our Primary classrooms. We encourage students to articulate their ideas clearly and listen critically and respectfully to others. Through lively classroom discourse, children develop a wide variety of thinking skills and oral abilities, as well as developing their ideas in the issues that they are discussing.
All students learn Vietnamese in one of two formats.
Host Countries Studies. Two lessons per week are provided in all Year Levels. The curriculum focuses equally on language development and cultural experiences.
Vietnamese National Studies (for Vietnamese students only). Two lessons per week are provided in all Year levels. The curriculum focuses equally on Vietnamese Language (Reading, Writing and Speaking) and Cultural / Social Studies.
Chinese Mandarin (all Primary students). Two lessons per week are provided in all Primary Year Levels (not the Kindergarten). The curriculum focuses equally on Chinese Mandarin language development and learning about the country and culture of China.
Students who are learning English for the first time will not be offered a foreign-language. This allows the students to solely focus on English.
We aim to develop a love of Mathematics in students and a confidence in thinking mathematically. We apply Mathematics to practical situations, whether investigating the shapes in the classroom, using data handling ideas in their Unit of Inquiry, or using numbers and measurement to describe the class. Mathematics developed as a powerful way to understand the world and for children it should remain practical, as well as be interesting and fun.
Children explore numbers and their patterns and relationships. They learn how to explain their mathematical thinking, so they regularly discuss and write about their mathematical ideas. As children explain their ideas, they clarify them, develop them and also show their misconceptions so that these may be addressed. We regularly ask children to explain their strategies with words and pictures, and encourage them to develop a wide variety of strategies to draw on.
Science and Technology
Our Science programme is taught mainly through the Programme of Inquiry, and has four main areas of study: Living Things, Earth and Space, Materials and Forces and Energy.
Through this, students learn to think scientifically, including observing, hypothesising, designing simple experiments to test their hypothesis, as well as acquiring scientific concepts and knowledge.
Music and Drama
Our Music programme aims to relate to other subject areas as much as possible to provide a holistic musical experience for the student. Each Year Level will have at least two Units of Inquiry linked with each specialist subject. However, where they can, all other opportunities will also be used for students in different subjects to fully explore their musical talents.
The role of the Arts in the School is much more than purely making decorative pictures but a vital part of students' creative and expressive development. Art is seen as a form of thinking, a way of understanding and ultimately a very sophisticated form of expression and communication.
We want our students to become creative and thoughtful adults who can combine seeing and feeling with thinking and intellect. Art activities are integrated with the units to give students a variety of ways to express and develop their thoughts, enabling them to see and think sensitively and selectively.
Personal, Social and Physical Education (PSPE)
In Personal Education students inquire into issues of self-concept, health and safety and explore ways of becoming successful learners.
In Social Education students inquire into cultural norms or values and ways to effectively interact with others and with the environment.
In Physical Education the emphasis in the lower years is on body control and basic forms of movement like jumping, swinging, and rolling. For older students, more specific sports skills are taught: throwing and catching, kicking and ball control, getting used to handling rackets and sticks. Once students are ready, simplified forms of regular sports including soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and tennis are taught. All students from Years 1 to Year 6 will be part of regular swimming lessons.
Social Studies (Involving the Programme of Inquiry)
History: Personal History - the self and the immediate environment; and Significant People - individuals who have had an impact on the present because of their actions or situations; individuals who have become important because of what we can learn about the past from studying them.
Geography: Place - the distinctive features that give a place its identity; the influences of essential features on humans and our responses to them; The Built Environment - how people use place and the kinds of buildings and structures they construct; and the Natural Environment - the ways in which societies with different technologies, economic systems and cultural values have perceived and used the resources of the Earth.
Society: Study of Self - The study of people and their relation to society, identity, needs, roles, rights and responsibility. Systems - social arrangements and controls, and institutions. Communities - groups united by common interests, goals or values. Culture - traditions, customs, institutions, values and beliefs, expectations, languages and artefacts of one's own and other societies.
Information Communication Technology
We seek to develop in students the ability to use information tools to gather information, to process that information into knowledge and to effectively communicate that knowledge to various audiences.
Students learn a comprehensive range of ICT related skills through activities that support other areas of the curriculum and are designed to enrich their learning through the appropriate use of information technology.
Learning support programmes
English Language Support (ELS)
The ELS programme aims to help students develop the language skills needed to participate actively in the mainstream classroom. Students starting school with little or no English will receive an intensive, 'survival' language programme. As students reach standards of English with the competence appropriate to their year level, the ELS programme is modified accordingly. Progress in the mainstream classroom is continually monitored with EAL support being available for as long as required.
ELS teaching, especially in the initial stages, places emphasis on task-based activities designed to encourage oral communication. Such activities include information gap tasks, problem solving, role-plays, songs, and drama. We aim to provide a comfortable environment in which a child can develop skills and gain confidence enabling them to express themselves in English important roles.
If parents have any questions regarding the programme, they are welcome to consult ELS staff, who can provide information with regard to homework, ways of supporting and facilitating language acquisition, and any other language-related concerns.
Student support programme
The role of this programme is to provide support to students with low level learning needs, so that their success in regular classroom settings can be enhanced. A range of services is available, including academic assessment, consultation, monitoring, referrals (to paediatricians, speech / language therapists, psychologists, tutors, etc). Eligibility for learning support services is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. However, students with high level learning disabilities may not be enrolled if the School does not have the staff expertise.
Our school also utilises the Student Support Programme to support Gifted and Talented students.