Curriculum

The OBS Curriculum complements the IPC with the competencies from Lehrplan 21. OBS is an International Primary Curriculum (IPC) school and the IPC is one of the fastest growing curriculums in the world, with 1,800 bilingual, international and local schools across 90 countries following it.

The comprehensive, thematic and creative approach, combined with a focus on knowledge, skills and understanding complement the skills-oriented Lehrplan 21. The Swiss National Curriculum, Lehrplan 21, places a strong emphasis on skills, combined with the approach of milestone objectives during the three cycles, enables learners to gain increasingly individualised competencies that are required for the dynamic future ahead of them.

Early Years

Our Prekindergarten follows a curriculum that promotes bilingualism, quality of learning, international mindedness and also encourages independent learners.

The International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) provides an innovative and holistic learning process, offering international best practices and recognising the developing needs of our 2 – 4-year-olds.

IEYC is based on four very important learning strands:

  • Independence and interdependence
  • Communication
  • Enquiring
  • Healthy living and physical wellbeing.

Our aim is to emotionally and socially prepare our children, and to encourage them to follow their natural instincts to investigate their environment.

Primary School

In addition to using an immersive teaching methodology, teachers at OBS Primary School use an interdisciplinary teaching approach and plan their lessons collaboratively. For every quintal, students immerse themselves within a unit of study that is primarily explored during Environmental & Social Studies lessons and drawn upon in other subjects.

The learning process that we have adopted from the IPC facilitates the enquiry-based approach through its clear and predictable structure. Each unit of study commences with an Entry Point, where students are provided with an activity that is designed to create excitement about the topic. The Knowledge Harvest informs teachers about the knowledge that students bring to the unit. Central to this phase is the discussion about what the student wishes to enquire into – a critical phase that further informs teaching. Students pursue Research Activities in the next phase, followed by the Recording Activities phase. Each unit of study is summed up by the Exit Point, which typically includes a summative assessment and can include a learning celebration where students share their learning with the school community.

Our structure within the Primary School

Students attending Grades 1 to 6 receive alternating weekly instruction by a native English and German speaking teacher. While Language & Media (in both English and German) is a key subject, OBS is committed to providing its students with a holistic and well-rounded education. With this in mind, students in Primary School attend the following subjects; Mathematics, Environmental & Social Studies, Physical Education, Crafts Design Technology, Music, Coding, Applied Physics & Robotics, Drama. French and Aikido is also embedded within the curriculum depending on the age of the students. Primary School Assemblies are held on a regular basis in order to promote a sense of community, showcase teaching and learning and discuss our commitment to the OBS Universe of Values.

Home learning

The original purpose of home learning is to practice, reinforce, or apply acquired skills and knowledge. Home learning serves to develop regular study skills and the ability to complete assignments independently. The role of the parents is generally seen as a supportive one: support in monitoring completion, providing the child with a quiet environment, free from too many distractions, and encouraging their efforts.

At OBS we believe the class teachers can provide this during Class Core Time leaving time for you and your child to spend quality time together in the evening or for your child to pursue extra curricula activities without the worry of having to find the time for completion of home learning.

During Class Core Time teachers can individualise instruction to ensure that each child’s needs are met as best as possible – by meeting them where they are and helping to bring them to where we want them to be. Meaningful, differentiated and connected tasks increase participation and engagement, which leads to learning. Naturally, some children will need additional time to complete unfinished class assignments whilst others will need their learning extended.

We strongly believe in letting children be children during their primary school years. They will face enough stress and challenges as they prepare for and enter their secondary education and beyond. Children already spend a significant amount of their day completing prescribed learning activities and deserve and require the opportunity to develop other skills outside of school and to have the independence to choose how to use their free time. Children also benefit from leisure time, time spent not working or occupied but time to reflect and slow down. The home learning policy adopted by OBS Primary School aims to reinforce this approach despite its differences to a strict no-homework policy applied at some other schools. More specifically, we ask children to read as much as possible, build their vocabulary and learn their weekly spelling, challenge their mathematical skills with our online programmes and complete any unfinished class work. There will also be occasions when we are working on a project, which will require some research outside of school hours. We also recognise that there are children who will sometimes need extra material to re-enforce what is being taught or who would benefit from practicing and reviewing the skills and knowledge they are acquiring. These children will be given support material. Teachers will also recommend websites and materials to help prepare for learning assessments.

Our home learning policy in the primary years is in line with modern research, which recognises that homework rarely gives a teacher further information on a child’s educational level or progress. It also demands that children continuously commit to being their best during the school day, resulting in the need to have a break from school work and that teachers apply a very much enquiry-based approach to learning. This helps to provide ample opportunities to collaborate, practice, question and acquire new knowledge and skills that they can extend and apply to real life situations.

Assessment

At OBS Primary School we differentiate between formative and summative assessments. Students are continuously involved with formative assessments, where crucial data can be collected and analysed by the teacher in order to individualise instruction. Students in Primary Cycle 1 (KG-Grade 2) receive narrative reports, whereas students in Primary Cycle 2 (Grade 3-6) receive narrative and numeric reports, whereby the grading comprises averages of both formative and summative assessments. At OBS we believe that assessments can take on a varied form. Presentations, essays, tests and learning celebrations are examples of how students are assessed. In addition to teacher-conducted assessments, the school gathers additional data through benchmarking, so as to ensure that each child is consistently challenged appropriately. The school has committed to the International Schools Assessment (ISA) and Stellwerk as standardised assesments that are carried out regularly at specific grade-levels.

The curriculum and its role for preparing students to transfer to Upper School

Students at OBS Primary School have the opportunity to transfer to our Upper School according to the internal admissions process. Performance dependent, students generally transition into either a Gymnasium path, Secondary A or Secondary B. During the final two years at OBS, students have the option of pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or the Swiss Matura. Students may also transfer to other school systems both locally and internationally. You will find further information on our leaver’s qualifications in the Upper School section.

Upper School

In our Upper School, we prepare our students for higher education opportunities in both German and English, providing study options leading to Swiss and foreign universities.

  • Grades 9–13: preparation for Swiss Federal Matura examinations (after 12.5 years)
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP): The accreditation inspection at Obersee Bilingual School took place in April 2018 and our application was successful. The first IBDP classes will therefore begin in grade 11 as of August 2019. OBS is now an IB World School.

OBS offers a unique, innovative and bilingual curriculum that enables students to meet the challenges of the future. Our curriculum combines the best qualities of Swiss and international curricula:

  1. As a cantonally recognised school, we will apply the learning goals of the Swiss Lehrplan 21 to our Grades 7-9 as of August 2018. Among other things, the Lehrplan 21 emphasises interdisciplinary competencies such as organisations skills, presentation skills, leadership and many more.
  2. We lay the foundations for the Swiss Matura at the Progymnasium level (a specific branch of Grades 7-8) by enhancing the Lehrplan 21 with subjects and topics required for the Gymnasium, such as Latin, challenging literature and best practices in scientific work.
  3. The creative Sek B classes receive specific instruction in MMDT (Multi Media Design Technology).
  4. As of August 2018, we will begin implementing the combination of the Swiss Lehrplan 21 and the English-language International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) for Grades 7 and up. The benefit of the IMYC is the clustering of learning goals into clearly defined, interdisciplinary modules that are tailored to the specific needs of young individuals in the phase of cerebral restructuring.

Our curriculum educates young individuals at age-appropriate levels and offers them exciting learning experiences on a daily basis. Our students expect challenging topics as well as support in achieving their aims with the help of clearly defined learning goals and coaching. OBS students are encouraged to ask questions, to discover, to research and to learn to think independently. They learn to take responsibility and communicate effectively. We achieve this by consciously selecting teaching formats and striking an appropriate balance between teacher-centred classrooms, individual work, partner work and group work.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme (IBDP) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The programme encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

The IB Diploma Programme at OBS is offered as a challenging, internationally focused and accepted two-year programme of study to students in Grade 11 and 12. Students are required to enroll in a minimum of six available IB courses and are encouraged to choose courses, which are tailored to their interests and skills, while taking into consideration subject requirements for their chosen university courses and/or their chosen career paths. Studying three subjects at Higher Level (HL) provides emphasis on chosen disciplines and needed skills while the other three subjects are selected at Standard Level (SL) to create a breadth of knowledge and understanding in various disciplines.

Alongside the six Diploma Programme (DP) subjects, the DP Core plays a central and crucial role. Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) enables students to undertake a project that often involves community service, Theory of Knowledge (TOK) enables students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and the Extended Essay (EE) enables students to complete independent research while constructing an analytical and theoretical essay.

The IB Diploma Programme at OBS is open to all students who have reached Sek A or Gymnasium level at the end of Grade 9. For more information, please speak to our IB DP Coordinator, Louise Hoyne-Butler or book an appointment with Tanja Alvesalo regarding Admission.

 

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