The special task of grades 5-8 is to guide and support the pupils during the years of intense development, to ensure that they complete their studies in the basic education syllabus. Our students are inspired to be lifelong learners and to act with integrity and compassion. We provide a supportive environment where strong relationships, social responsibility, and academic excellence are expected at every grade level. It is especially important that each pupil has the best possible preconditions for the study following basic education and the ability to consider his or her choices realistically.
At Kelem we understand that during this age we need to embrace the shifting emotional, social, and academic needs of adolescents, with a nurturing environment that values relationships, responsibility, and respect; this combination allows us to meet the unique needs of this age group. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves, their studies, friends, and surroundings and are guided towards developing a community spirit, where bullying, sexual harassment, racism, or other discrimination is not tolerated. The students’ motivation to study is enhanced by caring and encountering each pupil as an individual and by using diverse working approaches and learning environments/
Outside of the classroom, students can be involved in after-school activities – sports, arts, and clubs, which foster a love for learning, creativity, compassion, and sportsmanship.
Grades 5-8 math learning assumes a balanced approach where students gain a deeper understanding of math concepts by learning a concise set of topics at each grade level. Students master content through reasoning and discourse, engaging activities, stimulating exercises, and continual building on what has been previously learned. We use a balance of conceptual understanding with procedural fluency, as students benefit from equal exposure to both discovery learning and direct instruction.
English Language Arts
The English Language Arts program is anchored in engaging students in reading thought-provoking, high-interest texts to support them to become critical readers and to apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. Texts read are drawn from a wide range of genres that challenge students to grow as readers and thinkers. Students write for a variety of purposes (to explain, to persuade, to convey experiences—real or imagined) and are provided ample opportunities for speaking and writing about texts. Building students’ vocabulary is also an important goal in the language arts program to help support ongoing comprehension development. Students further learning and apply knowledge of language, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print texts. Core resources used in the language arts program include Collections together with other quality literature.
Science takes an integrated approach where each year group learns within the realm of each of the sciences: Life, Physical, and Earth, and Space. They explore and apply a sequence of science content, processes, and skills using hands-on materials and investigations alongside science content so students can use their understanding to investigate the natural world through the practices of science inquiry or solve meaningful problems. Writing and research skills specific to science are also emphasized in the program.
Social Studies provides content knowledge grounded by conceptual big ideas as emphasized by the Finnish curriculum that captures broad understandings about the past which students apply to understand the events of today. Reflective inquiry, problem-solving, and critical thinking are cornerstones of social studies instruction.
World Languages – French and Amharic
Kelem offers instruction in French and Amharic designed for students who are learning an additional language who do not have native fluency in the language and students who are native language speakers. Instructional emphasis is on speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and learning about the culture of the target language via these skills. We believe 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.
The purpose of music education at Kelem 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 Kelem students begin to learn to play an instrument such as the recorder, keyboard, guitar and Maskinko, and begin to perform for others. Throughout the school year, students are exposed to different genres of music, as well as music of varying degrees of difficulty.
Physical Education and Health (PE)
The physical education program seeks to develop a positive attitude among students regarding fitness, health, teamwork, and the understanding of the importance of physical well-being. To achieve these general objectives, a diversified instructional program is offered to include a variety of team and individual activities so that all students have access to the core PE curriculum. Students are encouraged to be part of the schools’ team and to participate in competitions with other schools.
Visual Art and Crafts
Students apply artistic skills based on design principles and the media of drawing, painting, and ceramics. The creation of art provides the context for students to critically analyze art and reflect upon their own artwork as a form of self-expression. Students also learn how history and culture have influenced art by comparing artworks from different cultures and historical periods.
Annual Curriculum Overview for Parents