FIS delivers a holistic, skills-based, thematic curriculum developed according to the most effective and current international standards. With recent research and curriculum development efforts, FIS has collaboratively implemented a solid Benchmark Assessment System for Literacy – namely Reading, and Writing, and Oral Language; as well as Numeracy (Mathematics); I.C.T. (Information Communication Technology), H.O.T.s (Higher Order Thinking Skills – critical thinking)
The Elementary Program is based on the FIS Benchmarks core skills subject areas. This provides our teachers with a standardized set of internationally aligned expectations for each Grade Level to ensure that our students meet the desired level of academic performance to succeed in life.
The Sciences, Social Studies, History and Geography strands of study are covered through a thematic approach allowing an adaptable, child-centered, cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning. In this way, many areas of the curriculum are connected together and integrated within a theme. It allows learning to be more natural and less fragmented. It allows literacy to grow progressively, with vocabulary linked and with spelling and sentence writing being frequently, yet smoothly, reinforced whilst covering other subjects.
The result of working through the thematic approach is that children: will have fun; will be more actively involved; will develop learning skills more quickly as each one is connected to and reinforced by the other; will be more confident and better motivated; and will present fewer discipline problems.
FOSCO has created a curriculum framework that outlines specific, measurable outcomes. The benchmarks (standards) included in the framework are chosen according to internationally recognized standards of learning.
Benchmark-based assessments determine whether students have achieved the expected standard.
Teachers think about the individual needs of each student and give opportunities for each student to achieve at a variety of levels.
Students are measured against fixed benchmarks rather than against other students.
Helping learners to improve their learning and performance in education, work and life.
Six Key Skills
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (E.S.L.)
As an international school we accommodate the needs of student’s whose first language is not English by providing a ‘pull-out’ ESL Program for children needing additional assistance in mastering the English Language. After assessments have been administered by their class teachers, ESL recommendations will be made, and parents will be notified in writing. There is an additional fee per semester for this course, and it is not compulsory.
A specialist ESL teacher will work with these students in small groups of 3 or 4, delivering tutoring aimed at accelerating their adaption into our English emersion environment. For more information, please contact the Director of Studies.
We provide a comprehensive Vietnamese program. The program is compulsory for Vietnamese born students, and optional for foreign students who are fairly competent in the language. This program, as outlined by the Vietnamese Department of Education, covers various areas of study including language, writing, and history and literature studies. FIS employs outside specialist teachers in each subject area who come to the premises to teach these classes 4 times per week for each class. Foreign studies opting not to enroll in the Vietnamese program will engage in small group review, tutoring and/or customized additional literacy lesson time with their class teacher.
COMPUTERS AND RESEARCH
We have established a fully equipped I.C.T. (Information, Communication and Technology) room with computers for the children to use to develop computer skills, and to research and gather information. Elementary children spend at least one dedicated hour every week in a specialized I.C.T. class, with time to access the Internet as well as additional time for computer instruction under a teacher’s guidance. The school library is also available for children to research topics and to borrow books. In addition, all classrooms are equipped with two, three, or four computers for small group projects and quick in-class reference. FIS has also recently included the Mimio Smart board technology and digital projectors in classrooms to further integrate multi-media and interactive media into everyday lessons.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Children that require extra help with their literacy learning skills may be invited to join the ‘Literacy Club’. It is a program that runs Monday to Thursday, from 3:15 to 4:00 pm. It is coordinated by our ESL teacher and makes use of computers and fun activities to help develop their English language skills. It is offered free-of-charge and can be recommended for a variety of reasons. This year our Literacy Club is enrolled in using the Raz-Kids reading program (Learning A to Z). Raz-Kids provides differentiated reading instruction with hundreds of animated leveled books. Students can: Listen to books for modeled fluency; Read books with pronunciation and vocabulary support; and even record their reading.
Additional after school clubs and extracurricular activities are arranged each semester depending on student interest and teacher/venue availability. The clubs offered recently include: Mathletics Club, Kidzart Club, FIS Glee Club, Football Club, Eco-Aid Club and Culture Club. There is a nominal fee for enrolment in each of these after school program clubs, to cover only the materials required for student-take-home projects.
Homework for the Elementary school children is sent home daily in the take-home folder. Elementary school teachers will advise parents what regular homework needs to be completed and how best to support your child. Parent support of students doing homework is appreciated and has been shown to be of benefit to the student. If homework is too difficult, contact should be made with your class teacher who will modify homework expectations for you. It is advisable that Tutors do not do homework for children.
International recommendations state that for Elementary School pupils a minimum of 30 minutes of homework should be completed on the evening of each school day. Children who can develop the perseverance to complete homework tasks each day are learning valuable skills which will be advantageous to them during secondary education and throughout later life.
At FIS, our classroom management and discipline policies are all based strongly on positive reinforcement and student motivation. Recognition is given to children’s progress throughout the school. We have weekly and monthly awards for achievement and merit as well as regular “in-class” and “school-wide” contests and events are scheduled throughout the year. Students are awarded accordingly to reinforce continual encouragement and recognition of effort, attitude, enthusiasm, knowledge and skill. At FIS we have a weekly assembly, attended by the entire school, for the awarding and receiving of “Super Star of the Week” certificates. These weekly goals are curriculum-linked and collaboratively designated by the teaching team.
REPORTS / ASSESSMENT
Curriculum appropriate assessments are administered regularly to evaluate a student’s readiness, monitor progress and identify learning difficulties. We use a variety of formal and informal assessment tools to evaluate written, oral and practical skills. Comprehensive written reports are completed twice yearly at the end of the school semester for every class. We also send home Progress Reports periodically to keep our parents informed about monthly goals and milestones that their child achieves.
Opportunity is made to meet informally with the individual class teachers through appointment or attendance of school events; and formally through participation in our parent-teacher conferences held biannually. We recognize the importance of regular communication with our parents and encourage parents to participate in school activities. We welcome any suggestions or feedback from parents and classroom teachers are always happy to meet and discuss your child’s learning and welfare. Parent Teacher Conferences and Parent Information sessions are held twice a year.
Educational field trips are organized by the school as and when academic demands deem appropriate and with written permission from the parents. Students travel outside of the school campus to visit places of interest once or twice per year. Then during the Summer Program, more fun activities and field trips are planned with a more social or physical experience in mind.
SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAM
After a two-week vacation in June, we open our Summer School Program from the beginning of July to the end of August. The Summer Program covers all classes and is open to children up to 11 years of age. We offer an exciting variety of indoor and outdoor activities depending on availability of teaching staff and venues. Classes will continue daily to review and consolidate concepts taught over the past year.
In the morning Academic Achievement Classes, children work with Lead Teachers to practice math and language arts. The morning session of the FOSCO Summer School helps children get a head start on the grade that they will attend in September which will benefit both advanced and developing students.
The afternoon session of the K-6 summer program, the “Edu-Action” Program, offers an enriching supplement to the morning session. Children participate in hands-on activities centered on our summer themes. Reading, writing, logic and critical thinking skills are incorporated throughout the classes of Drama, Music, Science, and Art. Lead Teachers keep topics interesting and fresh so that students stay highly motivated.
The Kindergarten and Early Childhood class activities follow a similar model and include classroom projects (centered on a theme), field-trips, swimming, and other outdoor activities to keep interest high among the children. We also use this opportunity to prepare the 4 year old class for the transition into our Elementary School section in the new school year.
Research shows that students who attend summer school are better-equipped to meet the academic challenges of the upcoming school year and are more confident in their own abilities.