The Primary School at CIS takes pride in its innovative approach to collaborative teaching and learning. Every homeroom is headed by two teaching partners, one native Chinese (Mandarin) speaker and one native English speaker. Chinese (Mandarin) and English teachers collaborate to plan for and facilitate student learning in all subject areas, developing a holistic view of each child as a dual-language learner. Our collaborative teaching approach ensures that students use their strengths in one language to support their learning in the other. Collaborative teaching allows for flexible groupings, low student-teacher ratios, and differentiation to meet individual needs.
Starting in 2021, the Primary school further refined its approach to Chinese Language Arts (CLA) for Year 4-6 students by adding the use of a language proficiency instructional framework. Year 4-6 students are still fully immersed in our bilingual learning environment for the majority of their classes each day, including specialist lessons, however, their CLA classes are now taught at three different proficiency levels. Each proficiency level has a tailored curriculum, activities, experiences and assessments designed for every student’s optimal language development. Students’ placement in their proficiency level is reviewed twice annually and adjustments are made as needed in order to ensure students are placed in the most suitable CLA class.
Language is taught at CIS in an immersion setting, meaning that both Chinese (Mandarin) and English are used as mediums of instruction for learning in all subjects. In an immersion setting, language is both taught explicitly and also acquired through the learning of relevant content and skills. CIS students come from both Chinese-dominant and English-dominant family backgrounds, meaning that they are a rich resource for one another in their language learning.
At CIS we believe in developing students’ commitment to their own learning by providing independent, cooperative and collaborative experiences which allow them to become inquisitive, creative and reflective thinkers. At the heart of personal and social development are the values of Ren仁, Yi義, Li禮, Zhi智 and Xin信. In supporting our mission to promote the growth and well-being of our students, CIS has incorporated positive education into classroom practice and whole school discourse. We also create cultures of thinking to enrich learning experiences and promote personal and social growth.