Undergraduate Program

Elementary Schoio

THE PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME

The elementary school at TASOK is a Candidate School for the Primary Years Programme and as such uses curriculum specifically developed for international primary education. Adopted by the International Baccalaureate (IB) as their worldwide Primary Years Programme (PYP), the curriculum leads to the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for Grades 6 through 10 (TASOK is also a candidate phase for MYP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (DP) for Grades 11 and 12 (for which the school is fully accreditated).

Through both the curriculum and our teaching, the elementary school at TASOK aspires to develop the intellectual, emotional and physical potential of each child in a secure and stimulating environment.

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Mike Bailey, Elementary Principal
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Vitna Bailey, PYP Coordinator/ES Library

Department Contact Info

Elementary and Secondary

Rte de Matadi, Ngaliema Kinshasa II, République Démocratique du Congo

(+243) 818846619
info@tasok.net

Mon – Fri 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

Social Info

Student Resources

Welcome message
Primary Programme
Preschool
Kindergarten

Welcome to The American School of Kinshasa!?

At The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK) we are committed to the development of the whole child. As an accredited Primary Years Programme (PYP) school, our teachers design and create curriculum to meet the needs of our elementary learners.

Our programme is founded on the belief that every person is born with a sense of pleasure in exploration and a spirit of delight in discovery through play, and that the best learning occurs when children feel that they are known, that their ideas are heard, their hopes are honored, and their perceptions are validated. Our most important goal is to help children become enthusiastic learners by encouraging them to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to take risks, try out ideas and develop their own thoughts.

 

At TASOK, we seek to foster each child’s intellectual, physical, emotional, social, cultural, and aesthetic growth. Our basic philosophy is that children learn best by doing. Their discovery is concrete and is based upon their own experiences. Children are given opportunities to explore, experiment, and discover with hands-on materials. Their play is their work. As well as being experiential, the programme is child-centred and flexible. The curriculum is integrated across the age groupings, and introduces meaningful units of inquiry which spark children’s natural curiosities, interests and enthusiasm. We believe children go through sequences of growth within which they each have their own individual pattern of growth, personality, and learning style. Each year the curriculum builds upon what the children have learned the year before.

 

Don’t take our word for it! Contact our Admissions Team today to set up and appointment to meet me the Elementary Principal and let me take you on a guided tour of our campus!

The IB Primary Years Programme and TASOK

TASOK is an authorized school for the Primary Years Programme.  Our school, like all other accredited PYP schools shares a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that TASOK believes is important for our students.

  

The International Baccalaureate (IB) founded in 1968, is a non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. It provides four related programmes to +5000 authorized schools. The IBCC (Career related certificate) for students aged 16-19 is a new programme within the IB. The Diploma Programme was created in 1969 for students aged 16-19; the Middle Years Programme, created in 1994 for students aged 11-16; and the Primary Years Programme, created in 1997 for children aged 3-12. 

 

As a Primary Years Programme (PYP) school, our students begin school in the Early Years (3 year olds) and end with Grade 5 (11 year olds). The PYP was developed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to lead into the Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. The PYP aims to synthesise the best research and practice from a range of national systems to create a transdisciplinary curriculum which is relevant, challenging and engaging for all learners in the 3 to 12 age range (some school include Grade 6 in the PYP). Whenever possible, there are authentic links integrated from language, mathematics, and the arts disciplines to the units of inquiry. There is also a strong emphasis placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship.

  

TASOK and the Primary Years Programme

The faculty at TASOK are in the third year of implementing the PYP this year (2020-2021). In October 2019, we had our PYP Consultant spend two full days on campus. In November 2020, we experienced an IB virtual visit with two IB practitioners. On December 17, 2020, we achieved our PYP authorization. As an authorized IB school we are now connected to a wider international school network and an internationally respected educational organization – the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB), thus requiring our school and our teachers to work towards continuous school improvement.

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org.

PYP in Preschool

In the Preschool program at TASOK, it is recognised that good practices are comprised, but not limited to the four key features of effective early years education: relationships, environment, play and symbolic exploration and expression. These key features are central to designing powerful learning experiences for our youngest students.

 

 

Relationships

All members of preschool: children, teachers, teaching assistants, families and other adults in the classroom play an important role of participation. Our teachers show sensitivity, discretion and respect in the building of special relationships with young learners.

 

When designing learning experiences, teachers ensure opportunities for children to participate in collaborative activities and know that children’s learning is culturally and socially motivated. They learn through shared relationships, and their learning shapes the way they perceive the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environment

In the Preschool classrooms, learning experiences are holistic and integrate the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of young learners. This is done within dynamic environments that promote play, discovery and exploration. Our teachers carefully plan, design, organize and manage developmentally appropriate environments where young children can play and learn individually and in small groups. These environments are flexible and conducive to interactions so that children and teachers build relationships and construct knowledge together. When designing the learning space for young learners, teachers:

  • Know that the learning environment includes children’s relationships as well as indoor and outdoor space and materials.
  • Think about how children can have ownership of the environment in order to build on their learning.

Play

In the Preschool, inquiry is intimately connected with the development of children’s understanding of the world by exploring, discovering and interacting with the physical and social world around them. Through play, children become increasingly skilled at being group members, initiating and working through projects, asking questions and exploring possible (and impossible) worlds through imagination. When designing the learning space and experiences for young learners, our teachers know that:

 

  • Play is essential for young children’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical and brain development.
  • Through play, children construct meaning and define themselves as members of a learning community.

 

Symbolic exploration and expression 

In Preschool, children engage with core subjects, i.e math, language, science, and the arts through their play. Within their play they will express themselves in a symbolic way showing their understanding of these concepts. The importance of expanding these skills by transferring learning and experiences to other contexts allows students to re-encounter their thinking, develop symbolic competency, explore new connections and consolidate their understandings.

 

Preschool Concepts 

 

Preschool units of inquiry

In both Preschool classes, the teachers address four units of inquiry from six of the transdisciplinary themes. Two transdisciplinary themes are considered fundamentally relevant to all young learners and must be included every year, these are Who We Are and How We Express Ourselves. Examples of Preschool units are:

 

Who We Are

Central idea:Through play we grow into independent learners.

Lines of inquiry: 

  • Agency give learners the skills to be emotionally competent
  • Agency allows students to become active learners
  • As active learners, student contribute to their world

How We Express Ourselves

Central idea: We express ourselves in different ways

Lines of inquiry: 

  • Different kinds of patterns
  • Discovering patterns in our environment
  • How patterns are created and expressed

Sharing the Planet

Central idea: Human actions affect other living things.

Lines of inquiry: 

  • Human interactions with other living things
  • The results of human behaviour on other living things
  • Our actions have an impact on our environment

How the World Works

Central idea: Children can apply their simple scientific understanding of the world to their playful explorations.

Lines of inquiry:

  • Laws of the natural world
  • How the scientific principles work
  • Using natural laws and scientific principles to transform our play

Assessment in Preschool 

Our educational approach encourages children of all ages to wonder, explore, think and create as they construct new understandings about the world around them, therefore, assessment is a vital component in this process. In an inquiry based learning environment, assessment done through observation is essential as it provides teachers information about the children’s understandings, interests and needs. When assessing young children, teachers look for evidence in a variety of ways and recognise all languages of expression – not just reading, writing and counting.

 

Teachers in Preschool assess young learners using a variety of tools such as anecdotal notes, observations, learning stories (posted to Storypark), interviews, videos, drawings and work samples.

 

 

 

 

Preschool Nuts and Bolts 

 

Preschool Nuts and Bolts

We welcome all children, age three years and upwards, who exhibit readiness for the Preschool programme, and whose parents are willing and able to follow school policies and provide a continuity of experiences for their child. Children entering the Preschool classes must be fully toilet trained. 

 

Independence

Learning to be independent is one of the main goals of the Preschool programme. In order to promote self-management skills, your child is expected to feed herself/himself, know how to use the bathroom independently and is capable of carrying his/her own belonging to and from the classroom. 

 

Please refer to the Elementary Family Handbook (on this website) for nuts and bolts information about the school day, health, snacks, water bottles, lunch etc.

 

 

PYP Kindergarten Grade 5

The Programme of Inquiry

The Programme of Inquiry is a matrix overview of the units of inquiry that are taught in each grade level. Each of the transdisciplinary themes is covered in-depth within a four to six week timeframe and all six transdisciplinary themes are addressed each year in each grade level. (This is with the exception of  early years (3-5 year olds, which is Preschool 1 and 2 at TASOK and also Kindergarten.) The Programme of Inquiry allows for transdisciplinary planning, teaching, assessing and a balanced inclusion of the subject areas. 

 

Units of Inquiry

Each academic year, apart from Preschoolers and Kindergartners  who explore four units of inquiry, subsequent grade levels explore six units of inquiry. Each unit of inquiry has a central idea – a powerful statement or enduring understanding that encapsulates the essence of the unit. Students then engage in carefully planned frontloading activities, which allow them to connect to previous knowledge and interests and extend their thinking. As the PYP is a transdisciplinary programme, the subjects of social studies, science and personal, social and physical education (PSPE) are fully imbedded in the units of inquiry. Meaningful and seamless connections are made through the conceptual lens of other subject areas such as the Arts, language and mathematics to ensure students have the opportunity to develop an enduring understanding of what they are learning.

 

Student questions are sought and their personal interests or inquiries are recorded and often displayed around the classroom for the class to inquire into individually or as a group later on in the unit. The central idea and lines of inquiry planned by the teachers anchor the unit and ensure it remains focused. The unit develops with various learning engagements that allow students to explore the essential understanding. This can look very different for each unit and each grade level, and can include listening to guest speakers, taking a field trip, using books or the internet for research, experiments, role-play, artefacts, local resources, class discussions, interviews, videos etc. Teacher questions further drive inquiry and throughout the unit, teachers are assessing students as they learn to demonstrate their understanding of the central idea

 

TASOK Programme of Inquiry 

Each year the school reviews its programme of inquiry to ensure a balanced vertical and horizontal alignment for all subjects. Transdisciplinary theme descriptors are also reviewed regularly along with concepts, approaches to learning (AtL), and learner profile for a balanced and rigorous curriculum.

 

TASOK Programme of Inquiry 2020-2021 can be viewed here

Please note that a Programme of Inquiry is a work in progress and that each year faculty review and assess the units of inquiry that comprise the Programme of Inquiry and this results in an updated programme each academic year. 

Elementary School Family Handbook 2020 - 2021

Student Portfolios (Storypark & Seesaw)

Why Study Here?

The teaching methods used in elementary build on a student’s individual knowledge and interests. Using a well-developed curriculum, the teaching emphasizes learning how to learn and how to discover by using both traditional and contemporary media.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.

In order to make the most of the diverse background and experience of our students, the elementary curriculum synthesizes the best practices from educational systems around the world and aims to ease a student’s transition between schools, whether they are entering or leaving TASOK.

The teaching methods used in elementary build on a student’s individual knowledge and interests. Using a well-developed curriculum, the teaching emphasizes learning how to learn and how to discover by using both traditional and contemporary media.

Not only does Kingster University provide you the practical skills that is necessary to transition seamlessly into the workforce upon your graduation, but we also make sure that you will have a good sense of social justice so that you make the transition responsibly.

The subject areas of mathematics, language arts, science and social studies are taught through transdisciplinary themes to help students make connections between subjects. Through this method, teachers facilitate a more effective learning pattern.