The primary school grade 1 involves a process where students take their first steps into the school life, and experience first excitements following their preschool education. Students are provided with an appropriate environment to get used to the school culture, to strengthen their social relations, to feel safe, to assume responsibility and to get to know themselves and their environments.
In Grade 1 Turkish classes our students develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Reading and writing are taught through the sound based sentence method. Students participate in meaningful sentence formation activities where they make syllables from sounds, words from syllables, and sentences from words. They learn and use basic grammar rules. They get opportunities to develop reading and writing skills that take their learning styles and levels into account. Students are involved in the assessment process by reflecting on their learning through self, peer and teacher assessments.
In Mathematics classes, our students acquire basic Mathematics skills such as subtraction, addition, problem solving and measuring by using manipulatives. As required by the PYP, lessons are taught by following the construction of meaning about Mathematics, representation with symbols, and application steps according to the development, experiences and learning styles of students. We also include Math Their Way activities in our program.
The Social Studies program is studied by making connections with the PYP essential elements. Our students engage in activities that are designed to develop inquiring, observing, collecting data, recording data and questioning skills. Students make connections between their learning and daily lives. Through the GEMS (Great Explorations in Mathematics and Science) activities, they take their first step into the Science subject area by thinking like a scientist.
In grade 1, students use English to communicate about themselves and their lives, and to explore the social and natural world around. They develop speaking and listening skills, as well as building vocabulary. They are encouraged to view themselves as readers through learning about features of both fiction and non fiction texts and by engaging in author studies. They build foundational reading skills including learning sight words and developing decoding skills. Students are encouraged to develop confidence in writing to communicate about what they learn, from labelling pictures and diagrams to writing sentences.
In Grade 1 PE classes our students learn to change their clothes before and after physical activities; to warm up; to understand the importance of drinking water during physical activities; to avoid behaviors and actions that will put both themselves and others at risk; and to perform movements that require balance and object control by using different parts of the body. Through engaging in different physical activities, they play games with simple rules.
In Visual Arts classes our students learn, with the excitement of starting the primary school, what visual arts forms people use to express themselves. They study different art forms and artists, and transfer their learning to their own works. They enrich their imaginations during their art journey that involves study of topics ranging from texture examples in the nature to painting techniques and expression styles of artists. Field trips that are organized to art museums and galleries help students develop an artistic point of view.
In Grade 1 Music classes, our students develop basic music skills and learn composers. By understanding the similarities and differences between playing instruments and the sounds of instruments, they participate in-school events. By accompanying with regular rhythms, students develop their ability to play an instrument. They sing songs in groups, paying attention to pace and pitch. When developing solo singing skills, students dance by coming up with moves that are appropriate to the songs.
Students are introduced to the computer lab, which is a new learning setting for them, and learn the rules of this new setting. They learn the parts of a computer and their functions. They practice using a mouse. They learn how to protect their health while using a computer as well as how to sit properly in front of a computer. They learn the tools and functions that are available on the Paint program. They make drawings about a given topic. Study start experimenting with creating a text on the word processor program at beginner’s level.
In Grade 2 Turkish classes, our students develop reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Becoming aware of the riches of Turkish, they use it accurately and effectively. They develop communication skills through various language engagements. Students develop effective reading, comprehension, writing, listening and speaking skills. They express their feelings and thoughts in writing. They start developing the foundations of lifelong reading and research skills.
In Mathematics classes, our students are at the center of the learning process, and benefit from different learning and teaching strategies that are adjusted according to their needs. They are offered opportunities to use their Mathematics skills in authentic contexts. Learning processes are planned in a transdisciplinary way. Four operations, problem solving, measuring and prediction are some of the main topics explored in the program.
Social Studies is taught in line with the PYP key concepts. The program aims to help students learn through inquiring and applying their learning. Students find opportunities to develop social skills with an emphasis on developing the attributes of the IB Learner Profile. They are offered experiences that will help them develop self-management, social, thinking, communication and research skills. With the knowledge and skills acquired during classes, students develop learning experiences as individuals who can assume responsibility, take initiative independently and live in harmony with their environment.
In grade 2 English, students develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills and extend their vocabulary by inquiring into concepts of belonging, how communities are connected, and our role in protecting the environment. Students learn about features of non fiction and author their own non fiction books after carrying out research. They develop decoding skills in order to become more fluent readers, and join in activities such as readers theatre. They are encouraged to see themselves as authors and develop writing skills by composing a variety of texts from sketches, stories, descriptions and information paragraphs.
In Grade 2 PE lessons, our students learn their responsibilities toward their bodies before and after exercise; understand the importance of regular exercise for their health; and perform-individually or in pairs-balance movements that require body coordination (running, jumping, throwing etc.); play games by controlling objects and move safely between objects and people. Through active participation in games, they spend their free time on sports activities.
In Visual Arts, units vary depending on the grade level. Students embark on a journey where they will have opportunities to try different techniques. For example, they wonder and investigate the lifestyle of Aboriginal people. Exercising empathy, they understand how early humans made paintings and what natural materials they used. Starting off with lines, sketches and shapes, students create a visual texture bank. They examine and re-interpret surrealist artworks. They explore the features of sculptures according to where they are displayed, and express their feelings by creating three-dimensional artwork.
In Grade 2 Music classes, students develop singing skills. While accompanying to songs with small percussion instruments, they compose their own rhythms by using the rhythm patterns they learn in class. They listen to songs from different genres, and create moves that will go along with them. They also learn the places of the notes on the staff and learn their values. Listening to works of composers from selected music periods, they further develop their listening skills.
Students learn the parts of a computer, and the functions of the parts. They practice using a mouse. They learn how to protect their health while using a computer. Using the Paint program, they make drawings related to their topics of study. They create texts by using a word processor program and edit their texts.
In Grade 3 Turkish program, students develop reading and writing skills, as well as enrich their vocabulary. They also develop the ability to retell and recount accurately what they see, hear and read. By paying attention to stress, intonation and punctuation marks, they acquire the skill of reading fluently and of comprehending what they read. They study different writing genres, and make connections with what they read. They write creative pieces of writing that have an appropriate page layout and follow the writing rules. They learn grammar and vocabulary in context, by making connections with daily life. Through participation in various listening and speaking activities related to units and daily life, they also learn to express themselves, make inferences and solve problems.
In Mathematics, they explore topics (patterns, number sense, four operations, problem solving, measuring, estimates and predictions, graphs, geometry) through inquiry and through connections with real life. Using a lot of visual and audio materials, they learn Mathematical content and concepts through exploration.
The main goal of the Science program is to help students develop a range of skills, including observing, recording observations, checking predictions and estimates against observations, inquiring and critical thinking. As in all grade levels, Grade 3 students are also expected to act and work as real scientists, and follow the steps of the scientific research process by doing the GEMS (Great Explorations in Mathematics and Science) activities. Students study the targeted Science topics and concepts in depth by establishing cause and effect relationships.
In grade 3 English, students develop communications skills while inquiring into units about a range of issues that are connected to their own lives, to other individuals and communities, and to the natural world around us and how we impact it. Students learn more about being researchers in English. They learn different ways of sharing what they have learned through writing informational texts and paragraphs, narratives, drama sketches and by using digital tools and platforms creatively for presentations. Students learn conventions and develop accuracy when using present and past tenses, modal verbs, question forms and comparatives and superlatives. Students learn to visualize texts and to make connections in order to read for meaning.
In Grade 3 PE classes, our students learn to do the warm up exercises under a leader, understand the changes that happen on our bodies during exercise, and to use tools and equipment of different sports safely. They learn to perform locomotor movements and balance movements in different directions, at different paces and with varying forces, as well as get to know essential tools and equipment of different sports, and to control their bodies while moving during physical activities. By participating in games actively, they find out the ways for leading a healthy life.
In Visual Arts, students study how artists reflect their times in their artwork. They understand how use of visual formation elements changes from artist to artist. They realize that historical sites, structures and artefacts as well as works that are exhibited in a museum have different stories.
In Grade 3 Music lessons, students continue to increase their knowledge of notation, and develop vocal skills and percussion skills. They learn that instruments are classified in different groups. They also learn the essential elements of music, including pace (tempo), pitch and dynamics. Listening to pieces of classical music from different musical periods, they further develop their listening skills. They think about the forms of music, and use the attitude “creativity” to write lyrics and movements for a given piece of music. They expand their song repertoire by learning international and traditional songs.
From Grade 3 on, students develop and manage their portfolio folders on the cloud. They can distinguish between desktop publishing, spreadsheets and presentation files, and create a simple document with transdisciplinary content. They are introduced to the cloud system and create products in the cloud and work collaboratively on these products. They can create their own posters by using the desktop programs and share it through the cloud system. Once a month, they engage in coding activities. Among the topics explored in the program are conducting effective search on the Internet, digital citizenship, designing learning activities with the web 2.0 tools.
In Grade 4 Turkish program, our students are expected to use the techniques of the basic skills they notice regarding the accurate and proper of use Turkish language. Students develop oral communication skills (listening and speaking), written communication skills (reading and writing) and visual communication skills (viewing and presenting). When learning the writing rules, they study in detail the topics related to the use of language. Students’ note taking, reading and listening techniques and visual presentation skills are further developed in this grade level.
In Mathematics, the goal is to help students start using Mathematics as a way of thinking. Their competency in making connections between Mathematical operations and problems is further developed. Students learn fractions and decimal fractions in addition to whole numbers. In this grade level they learn to calculate the perimeter of geometrical shapes. The curriculum widely uses both Math a Way of Thinking activities and the GEMS activities.
The Science program aims at helping students develop a love of knowing and understanding, value everything around them, develop logical and critical thinking skills and adopt scientific values. At the heart of scientific investigation and understanding lies inquiry.
In grade 4, students use English to inquire into science and social science topics, through questioning, research, discussion and reflection. Students use English to explore different perspectives on issues, such as the advantages and disadvantages of technology, the use of renewable or non renewable energy sources, and how our choices impact our health. They develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing, and build vocabulary while working together on the topics. They learn reading strategies to help them find answers to questions in non fiction texts, and read a range of chapter books for meaning. Students write magazine articles, stories, letters, brochures, poems and experiments using the scientific method, focusing on the writing process from planning to publishing. They look at how all languages have patterns and conventions and apply this understanding when reviewing their own work, developing increasing accuracy in grammar and spelling. Students take the Cambridge Young Learners Flyers Test which assesses language use in speaking, listening, reading and writing.
In Social Studies, the unit topics are designed and structured to help students grow as individuals who are active and productive in social life, and aware of their rights and responsibilities. The focus is on helping students develop inquiry skills and learn and use techniques to access information.
Learning is assessed regularly throughout the learning process. Students get feedback about their progress. Their progress is also reported in writing. Observation reports, e-portfolios, self and peer assessments are among the assessment tools used.
In our school Grade 4 is the final year of the PYP. For this reason, students carry out a PYP Exhibition as a culminating project. The PYP Exhibition is an important event for a PYP school. The exhibition as a culminating activity is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their development of the attributes of the learner profile during their PYP experience. The topic of the exhibition unit is chosen by students. Similarly, planning of the unit and the learning activities as well as their implementations are done by Grade 4 students.
In Grade 4 PE classes, our students learn to do warm up exercises in a certain order; to understand what they need to do in order to keep healthy (rest, balanced eating and exercise); to take safety measures to protect themselves and others during activities; to perform locomotor movements at different paces and levels; to develop jumping, throwing and running skills; to develop fundamental gymnastics skills such as agility, coordination and balance and to control objects by adjusting their speed and force. Furthermore, they set realistic goals and strategies in order to improve their personal health.
In Visual Arts classes, our students understand that each culture has it unique features, and inquire into how this is reflected in artists and their works. They learn that objects in a museum are classified according to their features. They also learn that there are different types of museums. They express their experiences during field trips that we organize to museums through two or three dimensional artworks. Following visits to museums, they create posters and brochures to share their experiences.
In one of the two periods of Music per week, students learn different rhythm patterns. Working individually or in groups, they compose their own rhythms. Thus, they expand their knowledge of rhythm, which is the first stage in composing music. They learn songs and marches about special days and weeks, and give performances during the year as the class choir. In order to further develop their notation reading ability, they sing solfege pieces that consist of different rhythms. They learn basic features of sounds and conduct various experiments about it.
Grade 4 Information Technologies course is designed to be offered both in the computer lab and in the classrooms through the 1:1 iPad program. Our classes are planned around the goal of helping students keep abreast of today’s technologies and use them effectively. Students learn about the cloud system and develop products on the cloud system. They learn to search the Internet effectively, learn to tell if a website is reliable, learn to write an email and develop an understanding of digital citizenship. Once a month they engage in coding activities. They learn how to use many of the web 2.0 tools as well as the desktop publishing tools. In the iPad lessons, students learn to use a range of educational iOS applications, and work on various learning activities. As part of the 1:1 learning program, students in Grade 4 attend an orientation program on use of iPads for academic purposes at the beginning of the school year.