Primary School at a Glance
About Primary School
The entire Primary Years Programme is structured around six transdisciplinary themes that seek to help our students become internationally minded. Students learn through inquiry and research into the world around them and their local community. In addition, they will learn about other cultures around the world. All academic subjects are part of the IB PYP curriculum in an integrated fashion called Units of Inquiry. Math is also taught through stand-alone skills-based work.
QAW uses a Dual Language model for students to learn literacy skills. Dual Language is used because we value the mother tongue and use the language knowledge our students already have when they come to school to help them learn both Modern Standard Arabic and English. Students receive 60% of their instruction in English, with a strong focus on acquiring English language skills through rigorous reading and writing. Students receive 40% of their instruction in Arabic with Arabic Language Arts, Qatar History, and Islamic Studies. The Arabic teachers also teach using the Units of Inquiry. Dual Language seeks to ensure that all students graduate from QAW fully bilingual, biliterate, and ready for higher education or the world of work.
The students in Early Years and PYP use many resources in their learning rather than having a textbook-based experience. Students work in journals and through hands-on inquiry activities rather than completing worksheets.
There are no traditional “tests” that must be studied and passed. Instead, students have many formative assessments throughout a unit to plan instruction to address student needs as those needs arise. Students are assessed through these activities every day, and absence from school will affect their performance. Summative assessments at the end of every Unit of Inquiry are presentations often with student choice of how to show their learning.
Standardized and benchmark testing occur at the beginning, middle, and end of the year.
Grading is based on how the student has progressed with the standards that teachers use as the basis for skills and knowledge. A best-fit grade based on rubrics and work samples is the basis for the grade, with narratives about student abilities during the quarter being the best way to document student progress.
In addition to Internationalism, the PYP emphasizes the students’ progress in showing their growth in the Learner Profile Attributes (see attached) and the tools for learning known as the Approaches to Learning, such as research and presentation skills.
Since research is a large part of the inquiry, students will use the internet and be exposed to material that may not be culturally aligned with our values. Therefore, it will be essential for you to join us in monitoring your child as they research for inquiry.
QAW is also known for its emphasis on developing the whole child in the areas of Music, Art, Physical Education, and Ethics. We use an Ethics curriculum that was developed and written at QAW.
Since our classes use concept-based learning, attendance and strong class participation are essential for student success. Therefore, sending makeup assignments when students are absent will never be as valuable as being in class. Students should not miss school unless there is a medical reason.
Students work in mixed-gender groups from Grades Pre-3 through Grade 5, except for the Swimming class as a unit in PE.
Students have an access to a variety of recourses that support the academic programs within our school.
Online Academic Resources:
- Powerschool: is an online platform that teachers use to record students’ attendance and academic progress. In addition, parents receive quarterly reports generated through this platform.
- Class Dojo: This is an application used across the primary school to communicate between parents and teachers. Teachers can share weekly learning outcomes, pictures, updates, and announcements to parents through this application. This application is also used for private messaging between the teacher and the parent.
- Raz Kids and Kutabee: these applications are teaching tools that provide comprehensive leveled reading resources to students. It has hundreds of eBooks at different levels of reading difficulty that support the students in reinforcing the essential skills taught in class.
- Zearn: This is a math resource used in Grades KG through 5 that includes in-class learning engagements and online practice materials that support students’ abilities in mathematical thinking, fluency, and problem-solving.
Prime Time is an opportunity in the Primary School for students to receive additional support in small group settings in their core academic subjects as well as participate in topics of special interest in the arts, drama, music, and sports. Various classes students want to experience are also offered when they propose them. Some students also prepare for competitions sponsored by outside programs such as the Quran Competition, science competitions, and music or performance programs.