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Learning & Teaching

The development of the whole child is at the heart of the Alice Smith School's educational philosophy. Primary education begins to build the skills required to be a confident, creative, critical and compassionate learner. 

For more detailed information on our curriculum, please click links below:

Primary Campus Guide to Learning

Early Years Guide to Learning

The Primary Campus caters for children aged between 3 and 11 years old and has just over 800 students in total.  There are eight year groups with five classes per year group between Reception and Year 6, and two Pre-School classes. The Primary Campus is overseen by the Principal, Tom Verity and four Vice Principals, Alison Nadarajah (Our Students), David Hellier (Achievement & Progression), Sharon Wellington (Learning & Teaching) and Jaime Thistleton (Our Staff).

The year groups are grouped into three key stages of learning and follow the English National Curriculum.

EARLY YEARS (Pre-School and Reception) - Ages 3 to 5 years

Our Early Years classrooms are also called the ‘Foundation Stage’ classrooms and they are appropriately named. The Foundation Stage covers two year groups - Pre-School (ages 3 to 4) and Reception (ages 4 to 5). We follow England’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, which covers seven areas of learning on which we base our teaching.

Each Reception class has 22 students, a UK qualified teacher and a teaching assistant. In Pre-school, there is a ratio of 1 adult to 6 children; one adult is a UK qualified teacher supported by a number of teaching assistants. The Foundation Stage is further enriched through input from our Specialist Teaching staff in lessons, such as Music and PE for example.

Across the Foundation Stage and Year 1, we have carefully crafted the curriculum and learning environment to ensure that students can:

  • move between indoor and outdoor spaces more easily so they can engage in varied, exploratory and physical play
  • explore language rich environments where children learn a love of books and reading
  • engage in music and movement sessions weekly led by specialist facilitators from our Music, PE and Swim departments who are experts within this age phase
  • work with adults who are aware of the developmental milestones of each student, can track progress carefully, can adapt the environment to meet each child’s needs and can skillfully interact with them during child-directed and adult-led learning

Our teachers provide the basis for your children’s future learning.  The building blocks of a high quality, holistic education start with our Early Years qualified teachers, whose expertise brings out the best in your children no matter their starting points or interests. They use approaches aimed to ensure each student is extended, supported, engaged and enthused. Our teachers understand the importance of the 3 prime areas of development at this age - social and emotional development, physical development, the development of communication skills, and how these are the early skills necessary for future success in reading, writing, maths and ensuring positive attitudes towards themselves as learners.  

Our Foundation stage children are encouraged to use their imagination and are responsive to their friends and the adults who work with them.

Well planned, stimulating and interesting activities, both indoor and outdoor, ensure our young children learn with enjoyment and challenge, whilst always enabling their more creative sides to flourish. High quality play is valued and an important part of learning in the Foundation Stage at Alice Smith. The well resourced classrooms and the dedicated Foundation play areas and garden provide a stimulating and interesting environment, where the children feel safe, cared for and valued. 

Our classrooms constantly evolve, following the children’s interests. One week the classroom will be a pirate ship, another an airport and the next you’ll be invited into a doctor’s surgery for a full discussion on your medical history!

Parents are kept up to date with the types of activities and adventures that their child takes part in within the classroom. We do this through conversations at the classroom door, parents’ evenings and the online learning journal, Tapestry. This enables us to track the progress that children are making within the curriculum. It allows teachers to share the progress that our youngest children make as they develop their learning in the curriculum: Communication and Language Development, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding of  the World, Expressive Arts and Design. Parents with children in the Foundation Stage can contribute their observations at home and notify their teachers of the ‘WOW” moments that have taken place outside of school! 

KEY STAGE ONE (Years 1 and 2) - Ages 5 to 7 years

Key Stage One covers two year groups - Year 1 (ages 5 to 6) and Year 2 (ages 6 to 7). We follow an enhanced English National Curriculum, which starts to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding of the students in a wider range of subjects with a focus on developing each individual child.

The key to creating a love of learning and success lies in commitment and enjoyment and therefore at the Alice Smith School, we believe these are important years during which we foster a strong work ethic in our children by providing a stimulating and interesting environment and broadening the opportunities available to them.

Students are encouraged to be kind and respectful of others and to follow our School’s Golden Rules. During Key Stage One and on into Key Stage 2, children learn to value their own efforts and contributions and those of others, knowing that they are recognised as individual.

There are five classes of 22 in each year group in Key Stage One, each with a UK qualified teacher and a teaching assistant. The children benefit from specialist teachers in PE, Swimming, Music and Bahasa Melayu.

KEY STAGE TWO (Years 3 to 6) - Ages 7 to 11 years

Key Stage Two covers four year groups - Year 3 (ages 7 to 8), Year 4 (ages 8 to 9), Year 5 (ages 9 to 10) and the last year at the Primary Campus, Year 6 (ages 10 to 11). This is the longest of all Key Stages and the children make significant academic, personal and social development during this time. We encourage our students to become increasingly independent, self-confident and responsible and show a greater awareness of the world around them.

Students in Key Stage Two will have opportunities to participate in academic, musical and sporting activities in competitions with other schools both within Malaysia and across the region. Within school, there is a wide range of extra-curricular activities to choose from and the roles of School Council representative and of Prefect are just a couple of examples of how we ensure the students have a ‘voice’ and can meaningfully contribute to the development of the school.

There are five classes of 22 in each year group across Key Stage Two. Each class is taught by a UK qualified class teacher who teaches the students for the majority of their lessons. However, the children benefit from specialist teachers in PE, Swimming, Music, Modern Foreign Languages, Art and Computing and each year group is supported by a number of teaching assistants.

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