Curriculum 


DIS offers a curriculum based on the National Curriculum of England for Early Years 1 to Year 9, the IGCSE for Y10-Y11 and the IBDP & IBCC programmes for IB1-IB2.  The curriculum is modified to reflect the international context and multicultural diversity of the school.

We use the Levels of Achievement to assess student learning. The use of levels is used at DIS in the Primary School and Secondary School, in the same way it is used throughout England and in schools following the English National Curriculum throughout the world.

DIS Curriculum Plan and Integration

 

DIS Curriculum

Our Curriculum Guarantee – The school ensures that all learners will have access to the curriculum outlined in this section below, using the teaching strategies and methods of assessment described in the DIS Curriculum Plan and Integration document. We ensure viability of the curriculum by allocating recommended curriculum time to each subject, arranging that time to maximise learning outcomes and by ensuring all teachers are fully qualified in the subjects they teach.

Curriculum Rationale - Early Years Foundation Stage - at DIS we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (England) which targets 17 aspects, covering the 7 areas of learning. While the development of Language, Mathematics and motor skills are at the heart of learning, there is also an emphasis on an inquiry-based learning approach; this is used to deepen understanding in topics of interest, music, art and physical development, including swimming. The curriculum is built on a skill-based learning and assessment framework, where we teach appropriate curriculum topics through continuous, enhanced and adult-led provision. There is a focus on ‘learning through play’ with stimulating activities in the classroom and daily opportunities to learn outdoors. Our Early Years curriculum ensures seamless transition into Primary 1 (KS1); skill and knowledge acquisition is spiralled, so that new learning reinforces and builds on previous experiences. The first half term of Primary 1 has the same ‘learning through play’ theme that the children experience during their Early Years education.

Curriculum Rationale – Primary 1 (Key Stage 1) - at DIS we follow the National Curriculum for England which offers a broad and balanced range of subjects. Whilst the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science are at the heart of learning, there is also an emphasis on learning through an inquiry-based approach; we use this to develop knowledge in Humanities, Computing, Languages, Physical Education and Visual & Performing Arts, including swimming. The curriculum is subject-based, built on a skill and assessment framework where we teach appropriate curriculum topics that reflect the international mix of our students. Our curriculum takes into consideration a clear understanding of the local culture. We enhance and embed learning through cross curricular themes, allowing learning to be seen as interdisciplinary. The curriculum is enriched through our attitude to learning strategies, extensive extracurricular activities and CAS community programmes; these develop the whole child in becoming lifelong learners, accepting cultural diversity and being responsible global citizens. Our Primary 1 (KS1) Curriculum ensures a seamless transition into Primary 2 (KS2); skill and knowledge acquisition is spiralled, so that new learning reinforces and builds on previous experiences.

Curriculum Rationale – Primary 2 (Key Stage 2) - at DIS we follow the National Curriculum for England which offers a broad and balanced range of subjects. The curriculum is subject-based, built on a skill and assessment framework where we teach appropriate curriculum topics that reflect the international mix of our students, but take into consideration a clear understanding of the local culture. Whilst the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science are at the heart of learning, there is also an emphasis on learning through an inquiry-based approach; we use this to develop knowledge in Humanities, Computing, Languages, Physical Education and Visual & Performing Arts, including swimming. We enhance and embed learning through cross curricular themes, allowing learning to be seen as interdisciplinary. The curriculum is enriched through our attitude to learning strategies, Outdoor Education experiences, extensive extracurricular activities, CAS community programmes; these develop the whole child in becoming lifelong learners, accepting cultural diversity and being responsible global citizens. Our Primary 2 (KS2) Curriculum ensures a seamless transition into KS3; skill and knowledge acquisition is spiralled, so that new learning reinforces and builds on previous experiences, combined with the hybrid Year 6 programme, which provides a year-long transition from Primary to Secondary School.

Curriculum Rationale - Key Stage 3 - at DIS we follow the National Curriculum for England which offers a broad and balanced range of subjects. The curriculum is subject-based, built on a skill and assessment framework where we teach appropriate subjects that reflect the international mix of our students. There is a focus on interdisciplinary cross curricular mapping of knowledge and skills to accelerate learning. The curriculum is enhanced by our extensive extracurricular activities and the ‘skills for life’ (S4L) enrichment programme that develops the whole child in areas of being a contributing and tolerant global citizen. We provide ample opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom, such as MUN, debating, Performing Arts and Sport teams. There is seamless transition from Key Stage 2 as core subjects plan together to create smooth progress into Key Stage 3 by ensuring a spiralling curriculum built on prior knowledge and skills. The Key Stage 3 Curriculum ensures students are well prepared to take on the rigours of the Key Stage 4 IGCSE courses. Students at DIS could easily transfer to a UK school, or a British international school.

Curriculum Rationale - Key Stage 4 - at DIS we offer Cambridge IGCSE qualification which offers an inclusive, broad and balanced range of subjects. We think this is the most appropriate qualification for study at 14-16 years of age. The international nature of the syllabi suits the mix of our student body, which is made up of over 80 nationalities. IGCSE students are able to transfer their studies to the UK or other British international schools around the world. The curriculum is enhanced by our extensive extracurricular activities and the ‘skills for life’ (S4L) enrichment programmes that develop the whole child in areas of being a contributing and tolerant global citizen. The S4L programme focuses on areas such as careers, learning/exam skills and social responsibility at Key Stage 4. We provide ample opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom. Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum ensures seamless transition to the IBDP and IBCP programmes due to our focus on the IB learner profile at all Key Stages throughout the school LETs initiative. We think it is important that students take formal external examinations at 16 years old that are written, marked and ratified by an examination board in the UK. Our IGCSE results give us the ability to benchmark ourselves against UK and international standards. We use IGCSE results to gauge school performance, and to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning at DIS. The students’ IGCSE grades in different subject areas assist in making informed subject choices at IB.

Curriculum Rationale - Key Stage 5 IB Diploma and IBCP - at DIS we offer the IB Diploma, IBCP and Group Courses which offer a broad and balanced range of subjects. The three subjects chosen at the higher level offer the same academic depth as A levels. We think the IBDP is the most appropriate pre-university qualification for study at 16-18 years of age for DIS students. The international nature of the syllabi suits the mix of our student body, which is made up of over 80 nationalities. IBDP students apply to the top universities around the world and the qualification is known for its academic rigor and challenge. We believe that this broad and balanced pre-university curriculum ensures students continue to develop their native language and mathematical skills whilst developing broader and deeper subject knowledge in the Humanities, Sciences and Foreign Languages. There is a strong focus on developing study skills such as research and referencing. The CAS component ensures students develop as well-rounded and caring members of the global community. CAS links appropriately to the D of E award offered in the Secondary School and the CAS enrichment programme in the Primary School. The TOK course and Extended Essay develop principled thinkers who can inquire and question knowledge. We provide ample opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom such as attending the Model United Nations conferences around the world. The students receive career and university application guidance for any university of their choice around the world.

The IBCP offers a more specific tailored curriculum appropriate for those students who wish to follow a more vocational route to foundation degree courses and the work place. IBCP students spend a substantial amount of their time on work experience placements. Group Courses offers students an alternative route to university by completing individual certificates as per regular Diploma students, without completing the core components of Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.


  • Deira International School
  • Dubai Festival City, P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, UAE
  • +971 4 232 5552
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