Classes and Course Content
A Unique Bilingual Education
Our curriculum promotes academic instruction in English and Spanish so that students receive a bilingual and bi-literate education. The core curriculum is based on both North American and Costa Rican standards and goals.
The following pertains to the primary school classes:
Reading and Language Arts (English & Spanish – Separate)
To ensure a bi-literate and bilingual education, Reading and Language Arts are taught separately in Spanish and in English each day. Language arts will be developed, nurtured and integrated into other areas of the curriculum including:
- Home Economics
Mathematics (English & Spanish – Separate)
Mathematics skills are taught in a hands-on approach, using manipulatives and real-world examples.
Emphasis is placed on problem solving, logic, and critical thinking. Basic computational skills and math concepts are integrated into all other areas of the curriculum as well.
Social Studies (Spanish)
Social studies focus on Costa Rican history and social studies. As children progress through the grades more emphasis is placed on Latin American and World history and affairs.
Participation in the various aspects of our multicultural society and local community are also included.
Science, Health and Garden (Spanish)
The science and health program utilize a hands-on, discovery and investigative approach in both classroom and outdoor exploration.
The school is located in one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas, with easy access to both marine and forest ecosystems, as well as access to a variety of man-made systems, such as farming and aquaculture. We use these ecosystems as our own scientific laboratory.
We have a garden where the children learn to cultivate fruits and vegetables that can then be incorporated into their class activities and their snack. In this manner, they learn about the cycle of life, how plants grow, nutrition and the importance of good stewardship of the land and sea.
Arts & Crafts (Spanish)
Art is included throughout the day and provides the children with opportunities for self-expression.
Creativity media includes paint, chalk, clay, collages (which could incorporate gluing, stapling, cutting, pasting), drawing, play dough, woodworking, and others.
Art is integrated into the other subjects as well, such as the language arts program through adding stories or poems to art projects.
Process, rather than product, will be the preferred focus.
Music (Spanish & English – Combined)
We believe music to be an important component of their education. Music will be taught several times throughout each week as a core part of the curriculum.
Physical Education (Spanish & English – Combined)
The children participate in physical education through the inclusion of balance, coordination, cooperation, gross motor skills, team games, body movement and dance in the regular school day.
We are also hoping to offer physical education classes, such as dance or karate, as part of the after school clubs.
Technology (Spanish & English – Combined)
Technology is incorporated into different aspects of the curriculum including language arts, math, and social studies.
Allowing children to explore the different uses and areas of the computer helps prepare them for the twenty-first century.
Homework assignments require an investment of time and energy from all stakeholders: teachers, students and parents.
The goal of homework is to extend classroom learning. Parents must be involved in homework, without doing the homework for their children.
Parents should view homework as an opportunity to strengthen and grow their relationship with their child.
Homework is a successful experience when advance planning for homework is executed in the home. Teachers are more than willing to talk to parents about homework and how to make it a positive experience.
Homework also creates a strong bond between home and the school community. Additional benefits include:
- Develops responsibility
- Creates more opportunities for learning enjoyment
- Reinforces academic skills
- Gives students an opportunity to apply concepts learned in class in the real world.
- Encourages time management and organizational skills.
Preschool and kindergarten classes are in Spanish, with a class of English each day.
Primary school courses follow the Costa Rican curriculum guidelines and are taught in Spanish.
Additional reading and writing, as well as half of the mathematics course, are taught in English. Each course is taught by native speakers.
Children (especially in first year) may not yet have all the necessary skills in either language. Children are naturally stronger in their native language but experience shows they will also quickly pick up the other language.
We will have extra staff to help children where necessary in the classes.
We have staff available after school hours (at an additional cost) for those parents who want additional tutoring.
As our evaluation system places less emphasis on testing scores, there will be greater emphasis on learning rather than tests.
Parents will work with the school to ensure that their child is receiving the necessary support to gain bilingual fluency.