Curriculum

At Ghaf Primary School, we offer a unique blend of English National Curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum and a Life Skills programme aimed at maintaining high standards whilst meeting the needs of each student by means of a child-centred approach. In this way, the students are directed towards achieving their full potential, going on international perspective yet retaining cultural identity and language.

The approach to education is an all-round one: to develop the students’ character, moral/religious values, self-reliance, self-esteem, social skills, creative skills and their ability to think critically and analytically leading to independent learning. The scope of the school curriculum therefore, is very broad and varied, aimed at developing the skills and interests of the students over a whole variety of areas

The National Curriculum of England

The National Curriculum comprises of three core subjects and other foundation subjects.

The core subjects are English, Mathematics and Science. The foundation subjects are ICT (Information Communication Technology), Technology (including Design), Geography, History, Art and Physical Education. The following chart shows the comparison of the year group descriptions with each key stage of the National Curriculum:
Age Year Group Key Stage KHDA Phase
3 – 4 years FS1 EYFS Phase 1
4 – 5 years FS2
5 – 6 years Year 1 One Phase 2
6 – 7 years Year 2
7 – 8 years Year 3 Two
8 – 9 years Year 4
9 – 10 years Year 5
10 – 11 years Year 6

Foundation Stage 1 and 2

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development:

  • Personal, social and emotional
  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Mathematical development
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like the curriculum in primary but it is suitable for very young children

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

Key Stage 1 - 2 Program of Study

ENGLISH

Students will be taught to communicate effectively, speak with confidence, listen with growing attention and concentration and extend their vocabulary. They will be taught to read and write with fluency, accuracy, understanding and enjoyment. English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. In studying English, students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will communicate with others confidently and effectively.

MATHEMATICS

Mathematics is an integral part of our lives and our aim is to provide our students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of mathematical concept, in a creative and applicable way. We have adopted the changes in the New National Curriculum and have designed our lessons to incorporate the mastery of specific skills. As a result, our curriculum coverage comprises of delivering Mathematics through a model that involves reflection, reasoning and a deeper understanding of methodology. The aim is for students to become confident at using efficient mathematical processes and to use these to solve logical problems through exploration.

We follow the new guidelines that suggest:

‘Students who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content’. National Curriculum for England

SCIENCE

Science is taught by encouraging students to become more aware of scientific concepts and through encouraging them to acquire knowledge relating to specific disciplines of biology, physics and chemistry. Students develop an awareness of the links between Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Finance though cross-curricular learning and by building their learning on tangible links. There is an expectation that students will be able to learn and develop scientifically and be able to relate these disciplines to their surroundings. Lessons are taught with a view to consolidating the students’ scientific skills, designed to merge their skills with their knowledge and further develop their critical thinking skills. Moreover, the aim is to develop a cross curricular learning process where students are provided with opportunities to explore and investigate theories and test ideas. Acquiring scientific language is an important consideration in the teaching if Science.

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of ICT an essential skill for life. ICT capability encompasses not only the mastery of technical skills and techniques, but also the understanding to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly in learning, everyday life and employment. ICT capability is fundamental to participation and engagement in modern society. ICT can be used to find, develop, analyse and present information, as well as to model situations and solve problems .Computing programming is also offered.

HUMANITIES

The study of Humanities stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on students ' own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global. Students will be given opportunities to investigate the physical and human features of their surroundings. They will undertake studies that focus on geographical and historical questions that are based on direct experience, practical activities and field work in the locality of the School. They will also learn geographical and historical vocabulary.

DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY

In Design and Technology students combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team. Students will be taught to develop their design and technology capability through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make products.

ART

In Art (includes craft and design), students explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas and meanings. They work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity. They learn to appreciate and value images and artifacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. Students reflect critically on their own and other peoples’ work, judging quality, value and meaning. They learn to think and act as artists, crafts people and designers, working creatively and intelligently. Students understanding and enjoyment of art, craft and design will be developed through activities that bring together requirements from both Investigating and Making.

PE

PE develops students ' competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. A high quality PE curriculum enables all students to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. When they are performing, they think about what they are doing, analyse the situation and make decisions. They also reflect on their own and others’ performances and find ways to improve them. Students are given the opportunity to represent the school in a variety of different sports.

STEAM

As part of the National Agenda target to promote innovation GPS has invested in STEAM lab GPS has a dedicated STEAM. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths will be at the forefront of teaching and learning. Students have a wealth of learning resources to explore; from experimenting with materials and creating rafts with different sails in Year 1, to using robotically programmed Lego in Year 4 using tablets.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

Ministry of Education requirements for Social Science is to provide students with in-depth knowledge, skills and understanding in UAE history, geography and civics, which emphasise the links and relationships between diverse groups, people, science and society. Students will contribute, as responsible citizens and residents of the UAE, to the building of a cohesive society that is inclusive of all, while preserving the UAE culture, heritage and traditions.

GPS aims to meet the needs of all children in its care by personalizing learning and providing outstanding care and provision; we aim for all our children to receive high quality teaching. Social Studies outcomes will be incorporated across the curriculum from Foundation Stage to Year 6. The main language of instruction will be English, however Arabic may be used when linking Social Studies and Arabic lessons. GPS views Social Science as a crucial part of UAE education that teaches students how to be well informed, critically thinking citizens of their world.

The following 6 areas will be incorporated:

- Citizenship
- Government
- National Identity
- Individual and society
- National economy
- Values and Ethics

MORAL EDUCATION

Moral education seeks to foster in students a set of universal values, which will enable them to peacefully interact and connect with people from different cultural and social groups who hold different views and perspectives. It seeks to empower them to become active, responsible, local and global citizens. It enables them to develop mutual understanding, respect for difference and empathy in order to sustain our cohesive and prosperous society. Through dialogue and interaction, students are provided with opportunities to explore different worldviews, to challenge one another’s assumptions and attitudes and to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to think critically, to make informed ethical decisions and to act on them in the interests of their society.

KEY PILLARS OF LEARNING

The Moral Education course will be experienced by students as they progress through the course, working their way through four key pillars of learning. Each of the four pillars is constructed around a series of learning outcomes.

The Moral Education Programme will be taught through discrete lessons and embedded within cross-curricular activities.

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ARABIC & ISLAMIC

A thorough and comprehensive programme is offered for Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, Social Studies and Islamic History. Particular emphasis is laid upon Tajweed and the Islamic programme has been developed in conjunction with Advisory Bodies on Qur'an Learning for our Muslim students

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM

Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour, that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Described in this way, skills that can be said to be life skills are innumerable, and the nature and definition of life skills are likely to differ across cultures and settings. However, analysis of the life skills field suggests that there is a core set of skills that are at the heart of skills-based initiatives for the promotion of the health and well-being of children and adolescents. These are listed below:

  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Coping with emotions
  • Coping with stress

Decision making helps us to deal constructively with decisions about our lives. This can have consequences for health if young people actively make decisions about their actions in relation to health by. assessing the different options, and what effects different decisions may have.

Similarly, problem-solving enables us to deal constructively with problems in our lives. Significant problems that are left unresolved can cause mental stress and give rise. to accompanying physical strain.

Creative thinking contributes to both decisions making and problem-solving by enabling us to explore the available alternatives and various consequences of our actions or non-action. It helps us .to look beyond our direct experience, and even if no problem is identified, or no decision is to be made, creative thinking can help us to respond adaptively and with the flexibility to the situations of our daily lives.

Critical thinking is the ability to analyse information and experiences in an objective manner. Critical thinking can contribute to health by helping us to recognise and assess the factors that influence attitudes and behaviour, such as values, peer pressure, and the media.

Effective communication means that we are able to express ourselves, both verbally and non-verbally, in ways that ate appropriate to our cultures and situations. This means being able to express opinions and desires, but also needs and fears. And it may mean being able to ask for advice and help in a time of need.

Interpersonal relationship skills help us to relate in positive ways with the people we interact with. This may mean being able to make and keep friendly relationships, which can be of great importance to our mental and social well-being. It may mean keeping good relations with family members, which are .an important source of social support. It may also mean being able to end relationships constructively.

Self-awareness includes our recognition of ourselves, of our character, of our strengths and weaknesses., desires and dislikes. Developing self-awareness can help us to recognise when we .are stressed or feel under pressure. It is also often a prerequisite for effective communication and interpersonal relations, as well as for developing empathy for others.

Empathy is the ability to imagine what life is like for another person, even in a situation that we may not be familiar with. Empathy can help us to understand and accept others who may be very different from ourselves, which can improve social interactions, for example, in situations of ethnic or cultural diversity. Empathy can also help to encourage nurturing behaviour towards people in need of care and assistance, or tolerance, as is the case of people with mental disorders, who may be stigmatized and ostracized by the very people they depend upon for support.

Coping with emotions involves recognising emotions in ourselves and others, being aware of how emotions influence behaviour and being able to respond to emotions appropriately. Intense emotions, like anger or sorrow, can have negative effects on our health if we do not react appropriately.

Coping with stress is about recognising the sources of stress in our lives, recognising how this affects us, and acting in ways that help to control our levels of stress. This may mean that we take action to reduce the sources of stress, for example, by making changes to our physical environment or lifestyle. Or it may mean learning how to relax so that tensions created by unavoidable stress do not give rise to health problems.

In life skills education, children are actively involved in a dynamic teaching and learning process. The methods used to facilitate this active involvement include working in small groups and pairs, brainstorming, role play, games and debates. A life skills lesson may start with a teacher exploring with the students what their ideas or knowledge are about a particular situation in which a life skill can be used. The children may be asked to discuss the issues raised in more detail in small groups or with a partner. They may then engage in short role-play scenarios, or take part in activities that allow them to practice the skills in different situations - the actual practice of skills is a vital component of life skills education. Finally, the teacher will assign homework to encourage the children to further discuss and practise the skills with their families and friends.

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