Primary School Curriculum

Primary School Grades 1-4

The KIS education system is based on a globally recognized international program (Ontario, Canada) that respects the intrinsic value of the individual and centers on the development of each child. As a school, we recognize that education is a responsibility shared among the school, the family, and the community.

Our extensive research and understanding of the role of the child in their learning process support our intention of offering children a holistic environment where all fields of knowledge should be integrated. This will provide each child with the opportunity to apply their learning experiences in their daily lives. This is why our curriculum is based on a flexible, differentiated education that provokes inquiry, active learning, collaborative work, and problem-solving skills. Children will be exposed to hands-on experiences that promote critical thinking and the elaboration of theories, which will lead to authentic research and investigation.

Curriculum


The English language curriculum is organized into four strands: Oral Communication, Reading, Writing, and Media Literacy. Starting from the first grade and up until the fourth grade students develop a range of essential skills in four interrelated areas. These are built on a solid foundation of knowledge of the conventions of standard English and incorporating the use of analytical, critical, and metacognitive thinking skills. Students are encouraged to consciously monitor their thinking as they learn, and each strand includes expectations that call for such reflection. By the end of the fourth grade students are able to understand, respond to, create, and appreciate a full range of literary, informational, and media texts.


The Social Studies program in primary school aims to support high-quality learning while giving every student the opportunity to learn in the way that is best suited to their individual strengths and needs. Social Studies primary school program offers a complementary study from grade 1 to 4 including examining various roles, relationships, and responsibilities, how and why these may change, and how they are connected to one’s identity, culture, and sense of self, a variety of traditions within their families and their local communities, developing an understanding of how these traditions contribute to and enrich their own community and the world, use primary sources such as journals, letters, maps, and paintings to investigate how people in early Canada responded to challenges in their lives. Students are introduced to the social studies inquiry process, and are expected to use this process when conducting investigations.


Students have opportunities to engage in various enjoyable oral activities in connection with expectations in all four strands (listening, speaking, reading, writing) appropriate to their age. They develop a range of essential skills in the four interconnected strands, incorporating the use of analytical, critical, and metacognitive thinking skills. Students learn to monitor and reflect on their learning and develop an intercultural understanding.


Throughout the primary years of schooling, students learn three skills in science. First: associating science and technology with society and the environment, secondly: developing the mind skills, strategies and habits required for scientific research, and being able to solve technological problems, and finally to grasp the basic concepts of science and technology.

Students learn the notion that learning in science and technology cannot be viewed as merely the learning of facts. Rather, science and technology is a subject in which students learn, in age appropriate ways, to consider both the knowledge and skills that will help them to understand and consider critically the impact of developments in science and technology on modern society and the environment.


The program in all grades of primary is designed to ensure that students build a solid foundation in mathematics by connecting and applying mathematical concepts in a variety of ways. To support this process, teachers, whenever possible, integrate concepts from across the five strands and apply the mathematics to real-life situations. The five strands are Number Sense and Numeration, Measurement, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Patterning and Algebra, and Data Management and Probability. Overall students learn how to problem solve, communicate, reason, reflect, and so on, as they develop the knowledge, the understanding of concepts, and the skills required in mathematics in every grade.

Branch Lessons


Children’s early learning experiences have a profound effect on their later development. The health and physical education program for Grades 1 to 4 therefore focuses on the foundational knowledge and skills that students will need in order to support mental health and well-being, develop physical and health literacy, and acquire the commitment and capacity to lead healthy, active lives. Through participating in health and physical education in the classroom and gymnasium, out of doors, in schoolyards and school gardens, and in the community, students at Keystone learn to make healthy active living a part of everyday life. Students strengthen their oral language and knowledge of subject-specific vocabulary, their kinesthetic awareness and understanding of movement concepts, their capacity for imagining, pretending, and reflecting, and their higher-order thinking skills.

With the rapid development of technology and the way it has integrated into all aspects of our lives, it is crucial for society to be technologically literate in the modern world. Being able to understand technology and learning how it can be utilised properly allows the student to remain up to date and maintain a competitive advantage. The Keystone IT curriculum aims to allow our young learners to become comfortable with technology and realise their potential as 21st century citizens.

Throughout their primary years, the students will achieve two main objectives: learning about hardware and software and secondly, learning how to code.

Students are taught how to use a computer correctly, be accustomed with the software that is encountered when using an operating system and the internet, and the integration of software with their projects from other subjects such as mathematics and science. The second objective is learning how to code, especially when the need to become literate is ever-growing. In the past coding used to be reserved only for those in the field of computing but has quickly become a necessary skill in all careers including businesses, researchers, and medicine. Coding also enables our students to think logically and critically through problems.

The technologies that are used in our curriculum include:

  • Windows 10 OS
  • Windows Apps: 3D Builder and Paint 3D
  • Internet browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge
  • Educational websites such as typing.com and code.org
  • Microsoft Kodu Game Lab

Students develop their creativity, as well as the ability to communicate their understanding of the world around them through visual arts. In learning to express themselves in visual ways, students sharpen their powers of observation, imagination, and invention. In developing the ability to respond to, analyse, and describe works of art, they learn to interpret art works and to communicate their understanding of the meaning and intentions they see in the works. The development of visual literacy skills and knowledge therefore prepare students to investigate and understand images, media, and art works, and will equip them to interpret the complex contemporary visual world.

At Keystone students develop an understanding and appreciation of music, as well as the ability to create and perform it, so that they will be able to find in music a lifelong source of enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Emphasis is placed on encouraging students to become active participants in composing music, exploring ideas through music, responding to music, and performing. As students engage in creating and performing music, they learn to generate and focus their thoughts in a musical form; explore and experiment with instruments. Through creating and performing, students experience the joy of making music, create compositions that express and communicate their ideas and feelings, learn to identify and solve problems, and apply their knowledge of the elements of music both independently and in cooperation with others.

KIS Life

Our wide variety of subject-specific school trips are created with educational needs and learning outcome requirements in mind. Whether it’s cultural insight to daily life in Toronto, immersion in French language in Paris, the study of math and sciences in Edinburgh, students have many opportunities to expand their horizons. All of our school trips are created to ensure that our students learn as much as possible while creating life-long memories.

In-school and after school clubs serve to reinforce students’ strengths, interests, and curiosities in different fields. Students engage in digital environments generating online learning opportunities as the educational practices change with hybrid courses presenting more personalized approach to instruction and present collaboration models that result in engaging learning strategies.

In-school and after school clubs serve to reinforce students’ strengths, interests, and curiosities in different fields. Students engage in digital environments generating online learning opportunities as the educational practices change with hybrid courses presenting more personalized approach to instruction and present collaboration models that result in engaging learning strategies.

Our school is a member of Round Square School. Round Square is a worldwide association of schools which share a commitment to personal development and responsibility through the six pillars or precepts which are summed up in the acronym IDEALS. They are Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Students at Round Square schools make a commitment to addressing each of these pillars through exchanges, work projects, community service and adventure. The overriding goal is to ensure the full and individual development of every boy as a whole person through the simultaneous realization of academic, physical, cultural and spiritual aspirations. In this activity, boys from our school participate in the following:
Round Square Conferences (Regional and International)
Round Square Social Service Projects (Regional and International)
Student Exchange Programs
Our children are raised with these values embedded in our curriculum between the age of 3 and 18.

A monthly DEAR Days (Drop Everything and Read) provides students and teachers with much more than a just-sit-there-and-read involvement for one class period. It gives the teacher an organized time to touch base with each student in a structured way, to assess progress, and target future instruction. Most importantly, it gives children time to read what they are interested in, share what they’ve read, and support further reading and investigation.

Primary students at Keystone International Schools have an opinion and know how to express it. Introducing debates early in education has multiple benefits for children. They develop their argumentative skills through learning how to use reasoning and evidence, while they gain an understanding on how to listen critically and use what they hear to develop responses. They also develop their discourse skills and build coherence in the things that they say so that their speech is connected and solid. Getting involved early in speaking in front of an audience builds the necessary confidence and assists students in developing their expression and delivery of speeches.

Starting in the Primary school, our students take the responsibility to prepare their own healthy snacks at home and bring them to school.
When kids learn to prepare food, they learn more than how to make a healthy meal.
They learn that healthy nutrition is their choice and responsibility.
Their confidence grows, as they learn to prepare different things.
It gives them a sense of independence.
It teaches them to make healthy choices within certain parameters.
It reinforces the source of their food, and that it doesn’t have to “come from a box”.
It teaches them that it is actually fast to prepare their own meal.
In our school we do not have a canteen on purpose, and we do not allow students to bring and eat packaged foods inside our school. We provide different choices for our parents as to seasonal healthy snacks that they can prepare at home.