Access to Learning

All Children Have the Capacity to Learn

Access to Learning at the FIS

All children have the potential and capacity to learn. Children have different strengths, encounter different challenges, work at different paces, have different languages, cultural and educational backgrounds and they may favour different approaches to learning. A totally homogenous group of students does not exist and any attempt to group students as such will always be imperfect. This recognition of children as individuals is one of the great strengths of international schools. Learning about diversity, as well as what we have in common, amongst our community, contributes to international mindedness and inter-culturalism. To learn to listen, debate, collaborate and achieve with others, even when they do not necessarily believe and act as we do, provides opportunity for our students to “exhibit integrity and a desire to make a positive impact in the world” (FIS Vision).

At the FIS, our classes are comprised of students of different backgrounds and abilities, enriching the learning environment. The positive impact is felt in academic as well as social and emotional learning. Curriculum, in its written and taught form, supports learning for all through differentiation. That is a teacher responding to the needs of the individuals within the class to support effective learning for all. Teachers proactively and collaboratively plan varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it, and/or how they will demonstrate their learning.

(Adopted June 2014)

FIS Curriculum

At the FIS we define Curriculum as thoughtful, developmentally appropriate, intended learning. Learning incorporates understandings, knowledge, skills and beliefs. Our Curriculum is informed by the needs and interests of students and by the values of society and the school mission.

In practice this means we design and create experiences, inside and outside of class, that will allow children to learn in ways that are meaningful and sustainable. To such an effect having Standards that are addressed over and over again, yet with differing levels of complexity and depth over time, we ensure students don’t just ‘cover’ or ‘do’ a concept but really gain meaning that can be transferred and applied throughout their schooling and life beyond.

FIS Subject Standards

To support meaningful learning, the FIS has developed subject standards. These standards are whole school standards meaning whether a child is in EY3 or grade 7 or even grade 12, they may still be accessing and gaining understanding of the same standard. Obviously as students move through the grades, their understanding and ability to apply, along with teachers’ chosen illustrative material in class, becomes more complex. A simplified example is the ability to read is the same whether it be a six year old or an 18 year old. However, the reading material will differ, the connections made will differ, what one is able to infer and how they respond will differ. Yet the fundamental is an ability to read.

FIS Standards were developed over a considerable period of time. They were derived from understanding and comparing of different national curricula across the world, trends in education such as a focus on 21st century learning, as well as in reference to external expectations by FIS adopted programs such as IPC, IGCSE, IB DP. These FIS Standards are periodically reviewed and refined, as part of a whole school curriculum review cycle. Standards are however a top tier within the curriculum of a school. Grade level learning objectives of foci, topics/units and learning activities change more frequently to adapt to learners at the FIS.

Below we have listed the most current Standards adopted by the FIS:

Note: The IB Learner profile, IPC Personal Goals and Advisory programs all support the social/emotional development of children however these are not approached in the same way as subject standards.