The Elementary School program encompasses Grades 1 to 5. All School programs follow a curriculum designed to meet the requirements of both a national and international education.
The curriculum is divided into Core Subjects and Additional Subjects:
CORE SUBJECTS are allotted more hours of instruction, and pupil achievement and skills in the subject are assessed.
ADDITIONAL SUBJECTS are allotted one or two lessons weekly and are assigned a skills assessment.
The Italian Language and Cultural Programs strictly follow the Italian Elementary School Program outlined by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR).
Report cards are issued twice a year at the end of each term to all Elementary and Middle School students. All Elementary and Middle School families will receive an Interim Report at the mid point of the first term. This will provide an update across all areas for the first part of the School year. In the second and third terms, Interim Reports will be sent to students during the middle of the trimester. These reports will be sent only to the parents of students whose work, behaviour or general effort in class is not satisfactory or are receiving failing grades in a particular course. Parent-teacher meetings throughout the year ensure that the progress of each student is well monitored. The academic program is enhanced with a wide range of extracurricular activities such as numerous sports activities within the “Monsignor F. Tomadini” Institute: indoor swimming pool, gymnasiums and basketball court, as well as art, music, drama and field trips.
The following brief subject outlines are designed to give parents and other interested parties a guide to the school’s basic approach to the various subject areas.
The Language Arts program strives to build fluency and competence in both oral and written English expression. It aims to gradually increase competence in Phonics, Grammar, Spelling, and vocabulary. Students are encouraged to apply speaking skills in meaningful and authentic situations, and to use written language in both subjective and objective genres, writing texts based on sound reasoning, supported by evidence. The literacy program is enriched by a cross-curricular focus: transferring language skills to other disciplines, developing personal expression through effective use of media and modern information technology.
Our program aims to develop a life-long love of reading, building critical thinking skills: decoding, predicting, making connections, asking questions, summarizing, making inferences, visualizing, determining cause-effect, and analyzing. Following a multi-disciplinary approach, students read diverse texts: classic and contemporary literature, historical sources, scientific articles. Methodology aims at providing students with a balanced literacy experience, including read-alouds, shared reading, guided reading groups and individual reading. A student-centered approach is adopted, whereby each learner reads at their own level. Readers participate in active discussions, developing confidence, communication skills, and cooperation.
The main curricular objective, in Mathematics, is to guide students towards mastery of basic skills, operations, and thought processes, promoting logical reasoning, effective problem solving, and related technological skills. Students are encouraged to explore mathematical concepts in “real life” situations, and to apply acquired concepts and skills to extend their thinking in other subject areas. Students are guided in their learning, from concrete experiences, to pictorial representation and finally to abstract concept representation, using the world-recognized Singapore Mathematics method.
The Udine International School Italian Studies programme is aimed at developing an Italian culture, as well as reinforcing international values. The Italian Studies course follows the programme outlined by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR).
The development of language skills focusses on communication rules and interpersonal relationships and is an essential prerequisite for personal growth and fully active citizenship.
The learning of the Italian language and culture is a crucial part of the Elementary and Middle School curriculum. The school ensures the continuity through the two departments to consolidate the programmes and fully meet the objectives.
The Elementary section pursues several objectives in the linguistic area which include some key targets for students (for further information consult “Program of Studies & Parent-Student Handbook” in the “Information Section”).
From Grade 3, particular attention is attached to the Italian culture, studying geography and civic education. Some of the topics that are covered include morphology, economics, analysis of territories and their customs, traditions and evolutions, with a particular focus on our region.
The main focus of the Social Studies program is to develop an awareness of the connection between past and present, focusing on: chronological and spatial thinking, research, evidence, point of view, and interpretation of sources. Students are challenged to reflect on their role as local, national, and global citizens. The program expands from personal and local culture in early primary years, to ancient civilizations and medieval cultures in later elementary years. Throughout, students are invited to employ skills of data collection, analysis, collaboration, problem solving, decision making, and inquiry processes aimed at increasing awareness of how decisions made in the past affect the present, just as today’s decision affect the future. Throughout the school year, the school organises several field trips to museums, theatres, exhibitions, libraries, art galleries, historical and archaeological sites, all in connection with the school curriculum.
The Science program adopts a student-centered focus that relies on inquiry as the basis for learning. Through structured units of inquiry, students are encouraged to ask questions, make hypotheses, plan routes to test their ideas, make observations, collect data, draw conclusions, interpret and analyze results, and communicate findings using subject-specific vocabulary. Learners conduct experiments and projects with peers, using the scientific method, critical thinking and communication skills. Students are encouraged to reflect on current environmental issues and on the impact each individual can have in caring for the planet.
The Udine International School art course is designed to give students a cultural background as well as a basis for the expression of personal creativity. The program includes the study of the basic language of art: the elements (lines, shapes, tone, colour and texture) and the principles of drawing (rhythm, balance, harmony, unity, contrast). Students explore through drawing, painting and sculpture means.
Art history is an integral part of the curriculum. Furthermore, students learn the critical analysis of famous works of art as well as of their own work. The combination of studio work, art history, and art analysis gives the student the ability to create and appreciate art.
In the early grades the major objective in class is to help children enjoy music. This is achieved by listening to music, singing songs and actively involving them in creative responses. Students will learn to distinguish between high and low sounds, discover melody and identify simple rhythmic patterns.
In Grades 4 and 5, the students are encouraged to develop skills in reading music notations. Students develop a greater musical awareness by listening to these recordings and acquire a better understanding of the basic principles of tempo, dynamics, mood, rhythms and melodic expression in music.
At The Udine International School we believe that handwriting is an important skill that must be developed during the Elementary years. While the reliance on computers and word processing programs is increasing, a legible, efficient handwriting style is still important for further education and most types of employment. The explicit teaching of handwriting also provides cognitive benefits to support literacy and numeracy development and enhances fine motor skill development.
Our aim is to teach each child to write legibly, fluently and at a reasonable speed. To support this aim a structured, whole school approach to handwriting has been adopted.
Students who come to The Udine International School from different countries or other schools are likely to have already learned to write using different handwriting styles and/or font. Provided the handwriting style is established, legible and efficient the student will be supported to continue using that handwriting style while at UIS.
There is an expectation that all students in upper Elementary and all three grades of Middle School use a legible and fluent handwriting (cursive) style in all of their formal written presentations.
The mission of our physical education curriculum is to involve students in culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate movement experiences that focus on learning to move and learning through movement. Movement skills and fitness levels, thinking and reasoning abilities, and social-emotional skills are all enhanced by engaging children in a comprehensive program of fundamental movement, sport skill, physical fitness and dance experiences. Systematic and realistic self-assessment of one’s own progress aids in building on individual strengths and enables the curriculum to be adapted to individual needs. Through a child-centred developmentally based approach to teaching that is responsive to the safety and welfare of students, the physical education curriculum contributes to self-esteem enhancement, responsible behaviour, creative expression and group cooperation. This is accomplished in an environment that both values and provides opportunities for social growth, increased emotional maturity, and responsible citizenship.
At The Udine International School the computer is considered both an information handling machine and a tool to enhance learning. In the Elementary School, pupils learn basic skills which they can utilise across subject areas, including all the standard Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as image editing and Coding apps geared to a younger audience. The Teacher’s blog allows students to work independently and at their own pace. Students will also use this blog as a means of communication with their teacher and as a reference point for their own learning outside the computer lab.
The program is intended to be broad-based and to provide a basis for pupils to develop their own interests. Assessment is based upon practical work and is related to what students are studying in class. The school is equipped with a computer lab for students as well as a class set of iPads. Students with access to technology at home are encouraged to consolidate their learning using educational online platforms tailored to their individual needs by class teachers.