About ISR’s Primary School
Transitioning to Primary School
Kindergarteners Entering First Grade
Kindergarteners entering the first grade will be warmly welcomed on the first day of school at the traditional German “Erster Schultag” ceremony. Parents, grandparents and students gather on the morning of the first day of school to congratulate their children and wish them good luck. Second grade students proudly present each new first grader with a traditional and often hand-made cone-shaped “Schultute” filled with sweets, school supplies and other surprises. This ceremony gets the first day of school for the first graders off to a great start as they meet their teachers and are led to their new classrooms.
New Children Entering Primary School
When new children enter the primary grades, which can be any time of the year in an international school, they are welcomed into our ISR Community by an ambassador and a homeroom buddy who shows them around and translate, if necessary. They will be placed in the right language level for English and German, based on their knowledge check results.
Most children adjust quite quickly in the friendly and positive environment that ISR provides. The Academic Quality Coordinator (AQC), Ms. Meyers, is on hand to assist and monitor our new students. For those children who might need a bit extra support, students and parents are invited to contact Ms. Meyers who works individually with each child and family to develop creative and effective solutions to help children adjust at their own pace and feel at home at ISR.
Positive Learning Environment
Our students adjust easily because we create a warm, friendly and helpful environment. A positive learning environment helps engage each student and makes learning fun!
At ISR, teachers and staff use creative ways to acknowledge and reward good grades, responsible behavior and achievement that lay the foundation for us to realize our vision of “Enabling great minds and strong characters.”
ISR Kindergarten and primary teachers develop systems of positive reinforcement for good behavior, such as stickers, positive points and a treasure chest with prizes for students who merit them.
Each student will be given a classroom job, such as group leader, book distributor, door holder, or attendance taker. By performing their roles, students accumulate positive points that appear on their report cards at the end of the term and develop a sense of responsibility.
Student Life Prefect
Students are encouraged to become involved in the SABIS Student Life Organization®. As a SLO® prefect, a student may volunteer for different duties, ranging from entering attendance information into a database and helping out the playground supervisors to planning events and fundraisers. Student involvement in SLO® helps form a strong ISR school community based on cooperation, mutual respect and responsibility and enables students to accumulate positive points.
Students are recognized for their efforts through awards certificates. At the end of each term, an Awards Ceremony is held where students are awarded certificates in areas such as “the most improved student” or “student with zero infractions”. Certificates are also awarded to those students with the most reading points in the AR (Accelerated Reader) and Antolin programs.
Each student has the opportunity to make it on to the “Honor Roll” each term, which acknowledges students with the best academic achievement and role model behavior.
Students’ Non-Academic Achievements
Acknowledging our students’ success in non-academic areas is also essential to promoting a positive school environment that values our students reaching their potential in all areas. Our ISR sports teams, music award winners and budding artists showcase their talents during sports tournaments, music recitals, art exhibitions, on our website, in our weekly newsletter to parents and on our Facebook page.
Homework is an essential part of the ISR academic program. In grades 1–3 students are only assigned oral homework such as reading. Written homework starts in grade 4, term 1.
In grade 4 students receive a “homework diary” in which they record the classwork and homework assignments at the beginning of every lesson.
Keeping accurate records in the diaries is important as students can refer to them when studying. Notes and comments are also written in the homework diary.
A daily check of the diary by parents is encouraged.
In grades 1–4 students take CATs (Continual Assessment Tests) in their own classrooms, plus term and final exams. From grade 5, the CATs are replaced by periodic exams.
CAT (Continual Assessment Test)
CAT is an age-appropriate assessment method. This series of short tests is administered over a period of one week each month and covers material taught during the 3 weeks leading up to the CAT. These tests help to monitor the student’s individual learning process and the results provide information to teachers and parents about the child’s academic progress.
AMS (Academic Monitoring System)
The AMS is simply a short, weekly quiz that monitors students learning in English and mathematics.
The tests are objective (multiple choice format), criterion-referenced, computer-marked tests that are administered on a weekly basis and cover material taught the previous week. They are designed to check students learning, mastery and long-term retention of essential concepts. This allows teachers to locate learning gaps quickly instead of having unpleasant surprises at the end of the term.
In grade 3, the math AMS is introduced and is taken in the classroom. In grade 4, the English AMS is added and both the math and English AMS quizzes are taken in the exam hall, which helps prepare the students for the upper grades where the exams are taken in the exam hall and not the classroom. The English AMS includes the following sub-subjects: vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and class reader.
Students receive an AMS concept sheet at the beginning of every term, indicating which subject concepts will be assessed and when, and is intended to be used for preparing for the weekly AMS.
Periodic exams are weekly tests starting in grade 5. Students have two periodic exams per week, which last up to 55 minutes each. This allows ISR educators to locate learning gaps quickly instead of having unpleasant surprises at the end of the term.
Term exams are given at the end of term 1 and term 2 in all subjects to all students to determine mastery of concepts taught over a full term. Students are provided with revision lists to prepare for term exams and the teachers review the material for each subject during the revision period 1–2 weeks before the exams.
The end-of-year final exams (at the end of term 3) measure student achievement over the course of the entire academic year. Students are provided with revision lists to prepare for term exams and final exams and the teachers review the material for each subject during the revision period 1–2 weeks before the exams.
A unique benefit that ISR offers its students is automatic academic support for those students who might at need extra tutoring in certain subjects. These academic support groups aim to be a positive experience for all students who attend.
Students in grades 1 to 4 have two study periods per week in their regular timetables. These periods are led by teachers with the assistance of SLO® Prefects. In the higher grades, students can sign up for a study period any day of the week (see the SLO® activity schedule).
Booster classes are offered when more than just a few students need extra help in a particular subject. Small groups meet during the SLO® periods and a subject teacher will review or reteach certain concepts to make sure all the students have the opportunity to understand and master the material.
Study Buddy Support
Study buddy support takes place after school for selected students in the core subjects of math, English and German. Students are assigned for a minimum of four weeks to a subject-specific study buddy group in consultation with the AQC if it is thought that additional academic support is required. Each study buddy group is led by a subject teacher.
Parents are informed by letter prior to a Study Buddy assignment so as to allow enough time to make special transportation arrangements for their children, if necessary.
Peer tutors assist students who need extra support and consolidation of work already covered in class. The subject teacher explains of the exact nature of the academic support the student needs to the peer tutor. Peer tutors are arranged through the AQC.
Communication with Parents
In primary school, teachers and parents communicate in a variety of ways.
Meet the Teachers
On the Thursday before the first week of the new school year, families are invited to school to find out which classes the students have been placed in and meet the teachers for the new school year. This helps students, parents and teachers get excited and prepared for the school year ahead. A few weeks after the start of school, parents are invited to Back-To-School Night where they can meet the teachers and find out what material will be covered that school year.
Weekly news bulletins and notes are sent home with students up to grade 3 using the “home folder”.
Students receive a homework diary which they fill out on a daily basis and should be checked by both teachers and parents. Teachers and parents both may write comments, when applicable.
Parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year. However, parents may make an appointment to speak with any teacher any time. Please contact Ms. Meyers.
Report cards are issued three times a year at the end of each term. The report card includes the student’s numerical marks for each subject, attendance and behavior records, as well as an account of the student’s involvement in the SABIS Student Life Organization®. A report card is not a “Zeugnis” and should not be shared with third parties as it is not an official school document. The report card contains confidential student information such as absences and possible infractions. The official ISR “Zeugnis” is the ISR school transcript which is prepared for students upon request. In addition, the student progress overview report is available on WebSchool.
Student Life Activities
The SABIS Student Life Organization® gives students the opportunity to assume real life responsibilities. This is accomplished as the students learn how to organize and manage all aspects of their student society. In Kindergarten up to 4th grade, students choose SLO® activities on a voluntary basis. Students also earn positive points for their classroom jobs.
Preparation for 5th Grade
At ISR, achievement is valued and acknowledged in many ways. In these ways, students, parents and teachers can all be proud of what we achieve together as a school and community!
- Award Ceremonies
- AR (Accelerated Reader) and Antolin (German) Reading Program awards
- Honor Roll
- Sport Competitions
- Art Exhibits
- Music Concerts
ISR holds many fun events during the year, such as the Halloween party, St. Martin, winter and summer music concerts, Family Fun Day, Open House, International Day, Spirit Days and much more.