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Student Learning

We strive to create an environment for authentic learning by delivering a challenging yet developmentally appropriate and engaging curriculum covering language, social studies, maths, the arts, and science. In addition to academic achievement, we also believe in developing the skills for the social, physical and emotional well-being of our students.

"The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six transdisciplinary themes." - IBO 

The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to "step up" beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

This illustration of the PYP model from the IBO encapsulates student learning at IST:





IST is an English medium school and mastery of the English language is an important part of our curriculum. Reading, writing, word work (vocabulary, spelling, etc.), and speaking and listening are the core of the content and skills our students develop in English.

We also offer foreign or additional languages as part of the curriculum because we believe fluency in additional languages enhances the ability to communicate and understand other cultures. Kiswahili is taught from Kindergarten through to Grade 2 and students in Grades 3 to 5 can choose Kiswahili, French or Spanish, though class size may sometimes restrict the school's ability to honour specific requests.

Read more about IST's Key Learning Outcomes by grade level here >>


The content and skills delivered through our maths curriculum are broken down into five areas:

  • Numbers and the Number System,
  • Measurements,
  • Shapes and Spaces,
  • Data Handling, and
  • Pattern and Function (problem solving). 

We believe our students benefit from our collaborative approach to delivering the maths curriculum which calls for coordination and planning amongst all of the teachers in the grade team.

Read more about IST's Key Learning Outcomes by grade level here >>


Living things, earth and space, materials and matter, forces and energy are the areas addressed in our science curriculum. Science topics are presented through Units of Inquiry which are in depth investigations surrounding a central idea and typically lasting four weeks. 

Social Studies

IST's curriculum in social studies includes an introduction to:

  • Human Systems and Economic Activities
  • Social Organization and Culture
  • Continuity and Change Through Time
  • Human and Natural Environments
  • Resources and the Environment


The Arts

Our arts curriculum is comprehensive for both music and art. In music, our students gain competence in singing, playing a variety of instruments, creating and composing, and listening/appreciation.

In art, students work with drawings, painting, clay, textiles and print making to develop an understanding of the elements of art and design, the creative process, visual arts in society, and reflection and appreciation.

Physical Education and Swimming

Our concept-based PE curriculum includes units of inquiry in body control and spatial awareness, athletics, adventure challenges, moving to music, games, gymnastics, and health and fitness. Swimming is taught to all students and includes water skills, water safety, stroke technique and fitness.

Personal and Social Education

The Elementary Campus has a variety of student centered programs that engage students in learning about who they are and helping them understand their role as community members at IST. These include:

  • Second Step - a programme to teach our children the skills needed for social competence
  • Classroom Meetings - regularly held class meetings for all students provide each student the opportunity to express opinions, work cooperatively, and solve problems
  • Kelso's Choices - a programme designed to help kids develop the skills necessary to manage conflict

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