The Integrated Curriculum that guides students’ learning at school is based upon three principles:
- The first principle is age appropriateness.
As students grow, they develop their skill set, and their knowledge expands. However, children do not always have the necessary skills to achieve a successful outcome in their learning. Therefore, the school constructs a learning process by which the current learning of a student can be utilised and built upon. An example might be as follows. Students need to know the concept of number values before they can solve basic mathematical problems. Too often there is a misconception that mathematical ability focuses on solving mathematical problems. But without a strong foundation of how numbers can be used, children will not be able to apply their learning across mathematics and into other disciplines. This explanation is critical in our school integrated curriculum and applies to the way in which we guide children’s learning across the subjects that students study.
- The second principle is relevance.
The school understands that learning for younger students is often concrete and evidence-based. For older students, theory becomes easier to understand and apply as they understand more of the world around them. At our school, the trans-disciplinary curriculum aims to help students learn and understand their own environment, including Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, languages and the people they interact with every day.
- The third principle is engagement.
We all learn and remember better when the content seems relevant to us. Learning about something that is not seen as useful can quickly alienate all learners both young and old. Deep learning exists when we are able to construct lessons and activities that allow for applications that are real. Knowing what is meant by a litre or a kilogram is far more real when students see, feel and touch such concepts.
The Integrated Curriculum that is being developed at our school is always under revision so that we can apply the three principles above to how we plan lessons for students at the school.