The teaching & learning in grades 1-4 builds on the skills acquired in pre-primary education and the preceding early childhood education and care. The special task of grades 1-4 is to help the pupils form a positive image of themselves as learners and to teach them skills required in future learning.
In grades 1- 4 learning strands are replaced with subjects that are all taught by trained specialized teachers. Students have lessons scheduled five times a week in the core subjects (Math, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies) and two lessons a week for the specialist subjects (World Language- Amharic and French, PE, Music and Visual Arts and Craft). Each class has a homeroom teacher and teaching assistant who provides continued pastoral care.
Math knowledge and skills are developed and taught through the inquiry-based pedagogy outlined in the Finnish curriculum, promoting a deep understanding of math concepts fostered through open-ended questioning and discussion, and visualization of mathematics. Hands-on practical learning, using manipulatives when appropriate, help to embed early mathematical concepts. We use Go Math books for our Math classes from Grade 1 to Grade 8.
Immersing students in language and promoting the joy and value of reading are hallmarks of our English Language Arts program. The program emphasizes skills development in reading literature and informational texts, writing narratives, opinion and informational pieces, knowing and using English language conventions and vocabulary, and listening and speaking. A variety of classroom structures and instructional approaches are used to develop these skills including guided reading sessions, phonics, small group instruction, and one-to-one coaching. English language arts, science, and social studies are integrated (wherever possible) to provide connections and optimize understanding. Journeys and Collections are the resources we employ to teach English Language Arts.
Exploration and application of science concepts and processes using hands-on materials and investigations are the emphases of science. Life science, Earth and space sciences, and physical science are all integrated throughout the years and have a STEM element. The resource we implement, Science Fusion, is a well-versed resource for active learning.
Within an international and host-country, Ethiopia context, students in social studies engage in learning about culture and geography, change, and government and economics. Learning is built upon the Oxford International Curriculum for history and geography which has been developed for international schools in conjunction with the ethics and religion aspects of the Finnish curriculum.
World Languages – Amharic and French
Beginning in Grade 1, Kelem offers instruction in French and Amharic designed for students learning both an additional language who do not have native fluency in the language and also for those students who are native speakers. Instructional emphasis is on speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and learning about the culture of the target language via these skills. Kelem believes that learning an additional language is integral to the development of internationally-minded students who are confident, reflective, and multilingual communicators. Language development in more than one language advances cognitive growth, cultivates lifelong learning, and promotes cross-cultural communication, and is a bedrock of the Finnish curriculum.
Physical Education and Health
A key component of the Finnish curriculum, students throughout the school engage in a wide variety of physical fitness activities and games all of which are designed to promote good health, self-esteem, confidence, and a physically active lifestyle. Students are served a healthy and nutritious meal at lunch and healthy snacks twice a day, where they eat together as a community, they are taught the importance of nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The purpose of music education is to provide an avenue for creative expression, to nurture aesthetic awareness, to foster a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of music, and to develop the important life skills that come with the discipline and practice involved in improving and gaining musical aptitude. In music classes, students develop the building blocks of music literacy and learn a repertoire of music through singing, playing instruments, dancing, listening, and performing.
Visual Arts and Crafts
The visual arts program promotes the exploration of a wide range of creative processes involving visual art techniques, language, and principles to build confidence and skills in students. Describing, evaluating, and reflecting upon artworks allow students to make art connections to themselves, to other subject areas, and to the world.
Annual Curriculum Overview for Parents