Elementary School: Kindergarten to Grade​ 5


Students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 5 develop essential skills to become lifelong learners. Learning at ISE focuses on developing each child’s:

  • Social-Emotional Development
  • Essential skills: Communication, Social, Self-management, Research, and Thinking skills
  • Conceptual development: Exploring the world through concepts and being able to transfer their learning and understanding to new challenges and situations, while incorporating the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • Content: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Language development   

Students are also exposed to subjects outside their regular classroom to enrich their education at ISE. Students also take classes in visual art, physical education, performing arts, and languages from teachers who are specialists in these areas. 

ISE Elementary uses the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards as a framework for our curriculum. AERO standards are research-based and have been developed and implemented in international schools. Students will be learning and assessed through an inquiry-based learning approach, while meeting the AERO standards. 

In every class, teachers build a community with the students. By understanding and learning more about each student, teachers are able to differentiate to help all students become successful. ISE believes: 

  • That all students learn differently and should have equal opportunity for success
  • All students should be challenged to their appropriate level
  • The curriculum should be accessible to all learners
  • As students experience success, we encourage self-confident lifelong learners
  • Differentiation improves instruction
Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning is an approach to how teachers interact with students, facilitate and stimulate students’ learning. Through inquiring into science and social studies units, teachers meaningfully integrate Mathematics, reading, writing, technology, and other essential skills. 

Inquiry-based learning: 

  • Is naturally student-centered
  • Promotes the depth of knowledge
  • Engages students based on their interests
  • Builds confidence and develops social skills
  • Develops critical thinking
  • Builds local, global and digital citizenship TeachThought

Program of studies

Please find our EAL guide Here.

The AERO Standards’s English language arts is divided into six strands:

  • Reading: Literature
  • Reading: Informational Text
  • Reading: Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Listening and Speaking
  • Language

Emphasis is placed on students learning through active listening, speaking, reading fiction and non-fiction and writing for a variety of purposes. Our program includes poetry, plays, non-fiction, short stories and novels. Children can also select appropriate, leveled reading material for reading at home or books that can be read to them by their parents. This approach allows children to develop a love of language and literature and to become confident well-rounded readers.

The teacher is a writing professional and coach, guiding authors as they explore their craft. Instead of spending the majority of class time on spelling tests, grammar worksheets, handwriting practice, and other isolated sub-skills of writing, teachers emphasize the act of writing itself. Over time, students learn to choose their own topics and to manage their own development as they work through a wide variety of writing projects in a meaningful and self-directed way.

The mathematics program aims to ensure that each student develops the mathematical foundation needed for future study. It provides experiences that help students make sense of mathematics and to view it and use it as a tool for reasoning and problem solving. In addition, our program allows students to understand how mathematics is used in the real world and how it can be applied to real world situations. 

Teachers use various resources and manipulative to help students develop the understanding of mathematical concepts.  The lessons are engaging and kid-friendly, allowing students to move from learning abstract concepts to concepts they can apply.

The science program aims to encourage a sense of wonder about the world in which we live and to develop a respect for the environment. Science education plays a central role in preparing students for a world that is becoming more complex with a greater number of environmental concerns. The science curriculum begins with the premise that students learn by doing. It offers practical opportunities for careful observation, measurement, communication and prediction. These science experiences will lead to a deeper understanding of the natural world and will build a foundation for further development and learning.

The science program emphasizes an inquiry​-​based, hands​-​on, real-world approach that makes connections across disciplines. The program recognizes that scientific problem solving, critical and creative thinking skills and collaboration prepare students for an ever​-​changing world.

Social Studies prepares students for an increasingly complex and interdependent world. The first goal is for all students to become global citizens, able to appreciate their own surroundings and develop an understanding of cultures that differ from their own. The second goal is for all students to become lifelong critical thinkers able to effectively communicate solutions to problems. Topics are taught in a manner that encourages students to be actively involved in posing questions and formulating answers using a variety of research skills. A final goal is for all students to develop a lifelong interest in the world around them. These goals are developed through the study of history, geography, economics, environmental issues and current events. Students are given plenty of opportunity to work cooperatively with their peers and to communicate and present their findings in many different ways.

The physical education curriculum is based on current American physical education benchmarks. Lessons are designed to be developmentally appropriate and follow a child’s natural progression from year to year. The focus is on the development of basic skills in a creative and fun environment. In addition to furthering skill development, emphasis is on simple goal setting, self-assessment, leadership and sportsmanship.

Our students are also given the chance to further practice and apply their skills in our after school activities, intramural and elementary sports programs. Our offerings for after school activities often include physical activities such as soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming, cooking and dance. Intramurals involve small-sided tournaments and are conducted at lunchtime recess where fun, friendship and sportsmanship are emphasized. The elementary/intermediate sports program gives the chance for students to compete in their sports of interest. The competitions are with local Thai schools as well as local international schools. We are a member of the Eastern Seaboard Athletic Conference (ESAC) and attend and host events throughout the year. The main elementary sports that we compete in are soccer and basketball with some opportunities in other sports throughout the year. The sixth graders are also eligible to try out for the Mekong River International Schools Association (MRISA) teams.

The formative years are a very important time for students to be immersed in music in order to develop a love for music and in promote brain growth.

The curriculum is designed to promote a general appreciation for music with attention to singing, playing, listening, composing, performing and moving to various forms of music. Students are taught to recognize and discriminate between instruments and various types of sounds. They are exposed to music from a number of cultures and time periods and are encouraged to listen and appreciate different types of music. The students will also acquire sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, form, melody and harmony in music.

The art program at ISE emphasizes four major areas of art instruction and activity. These include a focus on two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, printmaking, and art history and appreciation.

Throughout the development of these units of instruction, a focus is maintained on the themes of environmental awareness, social responsibility, communication and personal expression.

The general objectives of the program revolve around the ideals of individuality, creativity, aesthetics and perception.

Art projects are often an extension of grade level curriculum. The art teacher works with grade level teams to plan lessons that support subjects in the homeroom classes.

Technology is a powerful tool, one that allows us to connect with others around the globe. It is ISE’s goal to develop responsible global citizens with critical thinking skills and technological literacy needed as a member of a worldwide community of learners. Therefore, technology is integrated into all areas of the elementary school curriculum. A variety of resources are available to support student learning. We believe that even our younger learners in Elementary can and should learn to use technology creatively, effectively and responsibly.

The Thai language and culture curriculum provides students with an understanding of and appreciation for the Thai people and their history, language and traditions. Central to this increased awareness of Thailand is a classroom-learning environment that fosters the development of positive attitudes about the host country and a general sensitivity towards cultural diversity. The Thai language and culture program is designed to meet the needs of two populations differing in their Thai language needs.

For the non-Thai speaking students studying at ISE, the instructional program offers short-term residents of Thailand appropriate activities to increase their knowledge of the country in which they now reside. This is approached through focused presentations on the geography, history, language and holiday celebrations of Thailand. These activities allow students to become actively involved in planning festivals, making handicrafts, tracing genealogies and reading old maps. In the area of language, students learn survival language skills and increase their proficiency as a result of the exposure to the program.

For competent Thai language speakers, the program provides an academic focus on the development of reading and writing proficiency in Thai. These literacy skills are delivered in small group instruction using both teacher developed materials, as well as curriculum materials developed through the Thai Ministry of Education. Students from kindergarten to sixth grade receive Thai instruction.