Junior Department Aims
The Junior Department of our English School in Madrid is made up of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 and, apart from Lengua Española and Conocimiento del Medio, all subjects are taught in English and follow the objectives of the English National Curriculum at Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6). However, the Montessori philosophy remains integral to the primary programme. Children are encouraged to learn through experience and become inquisitive, analytical thinkers. Its aim is to develop their autonomy, independence and self-confidence, as well as self-esteem and respect for others. Each year group has a class tutor, whose role is to teach academic subjects in English and to provide opportunities for pupils to develop socially and cooperatively. To this end, working with others is encouraged in most subjects. Group work also facilitates differentiation of task and material to provide the appropriate level of challenge for all learners.
The Topic Programme forms an important and enjoyable part of the Junior curriculum and encompasses science, history and geography subjects. From Year 3, pupils are encouraged to carry out their own investigations, and use the topic library and internet to research information. Topics are taught across the curriculum and link with English, music, drama, art, maths and computers. Most excursions revolve around to the topics of study.
In literacy all aspects of the English language are studied as a whole, rather than in isolation. To this end, lessons combine reading, writing, speaking and language analysis. Through reading comprehension and text analysis, pupils build vocabulary and understanding of the features of a variety of text types, thus enabling them to apply this knowledge to their own writing skills.
Speaking and listening are important throughout the department. Increased vocabulary, greater fluency and confidence are achieved through discussion and debate, communicative games and the memorisation of songs, poems and assembly roles. Pupils are encouraged to be active learnersand develop thinking skills. While the programme follows the objectives of the English National Curriculum, the needs of foreign speakers of English are also addressed through individualised materials that focus on grammatical accuracy and reinforce key structures and vocabulary.
The maths curriculum is extensive, varied and practical, with emphasis on the development of mental calculation skills and understanding of concepts, with application to everyday situations.
Dramatic, musical and artistic expression, are an integral part of learning. All classes prepare and perform assemblies for peers and parents and drama is included in the curriculum in Years 5 and 6.