In Primary School we work according to the official Uruguayan curriculum. We a also integrate an English programme that corresponds to the official English and American curriculum.
The educational programme also comprises physical education, sports, athletics, rugby, handball, dance, gardening, music, arts, theatre, outings, visits, exhibitions, camping, computing, sexual education, and education in values.
Our school is using The Leader in Me model as an introduction to personal leadership. The Leader in Me is Franklin Covey’s whole school transformation process. It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child has the capacity to lead his own life and affect those around him by making positive choices.
We believe the school should provide opportunities for students to develop their full potential.
• Problem Solving
• Initiative and Self-Direction
• Cross-Cultural Skills
At St George’s School we teach English naturally, our objective is that when students leave the school they will have acquired the language as a useful tool. This means that in their future, all of our students shall be able to use the language and to communicate in English in the same way they do in Spanish, their mother tongue.
In order to achieve this, our curriculums must include real hours of language immersion and, what is more, use the language in order to get to know and talk about topics that are relevant for our students taking into account their age and individual needs.
Therefore, since age 4, our students have a strong input of English language. Students are addressed in English from the very first day and soon they understand the topics and gradually they gain the confidence to produce their own sentences and express their opinions.
The resources are based on stories and also in highly attractive visual aids as well as games and motivating activities that create a happy and enthusiastic learning environment.
We use an excellent didactic curriculum called O.R.T (Oxford Reading Tree) which is a reading program that has been designed for children whose mother tongue is English and it integrates and excellent lexical level with topics that are universally interesting for children aged between 4 and 9.
By understanding that the language must be a learning and communication tool, we teach different subjects such as Math, Science, IT and Art in English and the language becomes a means of communication to express what they know and feel.
Regarding resources, students from Kinder to Form III use O.R.T as the core of their study of the English language. Students from Form IV to Form VI use a program called Celebrate Reading.
It is highly important that students learn the language through children’s literature that will improve their vocabulary, vision of the world and critical thinking.
Our curriculums include using many other materials in all the different subjects.
We believe that students benefit from evaluations and that they motivate learners to reach goals and do their best and so students from Form V and Form VI sit for international examinations in English. We have chosen Trinity College Examinations because they focus specifically in communication and take into account the interests of the students as individuals.
Primary education in Spanish at St George’s School is carried out based on the Primary Education Program established by ANEP (National Bureau of Primary Education) throughout a period of six years.
Spanish teachers work in coordination with English teachers always creating bridges, bonds and connections between the contents areas an subjects in both languages in all subjects and areas.
We have developed a personalized system which includes a pedagogical team that can work with students in and out of the classroom therefore giving them the support they need during school hours as well as personalizing student’s learning by catering to their own individual needs.
In primary we work with a selection of books and resources that teachers are permanently updating in accordance with the curriculum we also integrate information technology and always take into account that learning should be meaningful, attractive and motivating for students.
One of the main objectives in our school is to deal with the contents of the curriculum integrating it with a good understanding of values helping students to develop abilities and capacities that will allow them to become reflexive, autonomous, curious, supportive and happy.
In primary we foster team work and behaviours based on respect, responsibility and tolerance.
As St. George’s School is an authorized school, our students need to take an examination when they finish From VI Primary in order to earn a Primary School Certificate.
Information technology is, currently, a basic and essential tool in everyday life therefore at St. George’s we believe this area should be part of our curriculum, integrating technology to our daily lessons.
In this way, the “technological device” is just like any other tool when it comes to studying Language, History, Geography, Mathematics, etc. We use different applications (word processor, web search, etc.) to carry out tasks within the different subjects.
Our goal is for the child to learn and get familiar with the different programs and software and for him to be able to decide when to use each one of them, according to the task to be done. As the child develops better computing skills, we incorporate new functions and concepts related to each one of the applications. In other words, our information technology lessons are contextualized so as to continue and to complement, in the computing lab, what they are learning in their classrooms.
It is interesting to highlight that we also firmly believe in the importance of the book and reading, in the importance of scientific observation and of the real contact with things. For this reason, we focus our information technology lessons in a way that will teach our students that in the world we also have other very useful tools. Computers and technology help us in our daily work and in many different situations but they should not take the place of other elements that our children should also learn to value.
While carrying out a task, students start using the different applications in Microsoft Office, using the different tools according to their needs. Thus, and always taking into account the objective of working with different projects, children start becoming better users as well as to develop independence and creativity.
We use the computer to create, to build, to organize, to write, to adapt, to design, to experiment, to investigate, to learn more, to classify, to think, to communicate
Contextualizing our information technology work helps children find their computing projects and tasks meaningful as well as to develop independence, autonomy and motivation. Current generations are native citizens of the “information technology world”. By taking this into account and trying to consolidate it with our daily work, students and teachers achieve valuable and fantastic results.
For children to form a harmonic personality it is vital that they are initiated in Art from a practical and deep point of view. This activity is not to be considered as a luxury but as a necessary function for his development.
Throughout their lives, children undergo an uninterrupted manifestation of a “growth power” both physically and spiritually. Children are in constant movement, changing, surpassing goals that they have just achieved, willing to overcome their limits.
The teacher’s role is to help the child discover his creative potential and to empower himself of all his possibilities.
Music is one of the artistic disciplines that allows for self-discovery. The course consists of the introduction of the first concepts of music (pulse, accent, tone) and general information about music and its history, styles, etc.
Our school gives vital importance to the art of music and believes that enjoyment is an effective method to learn to understand and appreciate it.
Music represents a very relevant aspect of our culture and it influences significantly our preferences and personality.
It is our responsibility to provide our students with different musical options aiming to widen their range, promote their critical analysis and to acquire a solid appreciation of this art.
By the end of the year our children should be aware of and appreciate the beauty and richness of the music that influences their senses today.
Through singing students also learn new vocabulary and consolidate diction and pronunciation in both languages.
A través del canto, los niños también adquieren vocabulario y consolidan la dicción y pronunciación en los dos idiomas.
Including psychomotor workshops at school fosters a sound and healthy development in children. The main objective is to guide and stimulate each child’s development process by using theories and practices that support the body’s movement as an axis from which motor skills, emotions, sensibility and knowledge are molded.
These workshops are also aimed at detecting possible risk factors that may arise during the child’s development. When these factors are detected on time, it is possible to prevent the appearance of certain difficulties.
According to Winnicott (1971), children play for pleasure, to control their anxiety, to gain experience, to create new social bonds, to achieve a better integration of personality and to acquire better communication.
At the workshop, we take into account what children bring in as individuals and as part of a group and we design activities that may maximize their capacities and, at the same time, we guide them on self-construction and cognitive representations.
Our main goal is that each child should be able to display all his potential, thus promoting a healthy development of all his capacities such as vitality, autonomy, self-confidence, communication, creativity, etc.
We offer each child the possibility to express, develop and symbolize those different motor skills capacities that each individual has. We always aim to go from action to thinking, promoting intellectual and emotional growth as well as the desire to learn.
Our graphomotricity workshops, which are being carried out with Form I students, are an area designed to promote those aspects in development that are related to fine motor skills. We use different activities that focus on their hands, which are the instruments that children use to write. We also make emphasis on their spatial-temporal structure which is also vital in the process of learning how to write. These workshops also help us to detect difficulties at a perceptive level or difficulties that may arise in relation with graphomotricity and, with this information, we are able to elaborate coaching strategies together with the course teacher.
It is a real pleasure to work with the children along their development and learning process. It is truly rewarding to see what they can create, imagine, plan, negotiate; to see how they respect rules, adjust to schedules and different working areas while they are deploying their full potentials, playing, learning.
Dance is a way of artistic communication as well as a way of expressing emotions, feelings, reflections, images and moods. It is also an entertainment that allows children to have fun with their friends and to enjoy moments with different body rhythms.
For these reasons, dance is a very beneficial activity for the children’s development as it satisfies their need of expression and creation while knowing how their body works. It helps them discover the different capacities of movement our bodies have in relation to our specific stage and performance and to show their creativity and energetic potential.
Our attention is focused on all the benefits this discipline has on the child, rather than on the perfection of the performance.
Throughout group dance children are able to experience different ways in which they relate to each other, which is absolutely positive for the development of their social interaction skills.
Dance has a double educational value: firstly, it complements physical education and secondly it enhances personal harmony and social relationships. While dancing, children use their imagination; they communicate with each other and enjoy great moments of laughter.
This workshop develops the idea that our body is a very strong learning tool. We need to feel, to experiment, to make concrete associations between ideas and our body, to represent the ideas in us so as to learn and understand. To become aware of the reality of a concept or an idea. To live the idea in us. Our understanding becomes certain and sure, it gives us security and affirms our knowledge.
These activities use a wide variety of techniques that involve movement and creativity. With these techniques, and always giving their bodies a key role, they focus on different aspects of the curriculum and work with them in a totally different way, thus internalizing the concepts by allowing the students to “see”, with their bodies, what the teacher has been explaining in class.
Some examples of the contents dealt with are: different kinds of lines, angles, shapes, use of the accent (Spanish), notions of physics, among many other interesting things.
These workshops are highly motivating for students and it is a pleasure to work with them, helping them to learn in a different way.