About Primary School at Odense International School
We offer a six-year Primary School programme at OIS, which is composed of grades 1–3 in Key Stage 1 and grades 4–6 in Key Stage 2. Each grade and key stage has curriculum targets which refer to the sets of skills and knowledge a student is aiming to develop. You can find detailed information about the Cambridge International Curriculum by visiting Cambridge International's website.
At OIS, we also observe social and emotional competencies in order to provide a holistic view of a child’s development and progress at school.
In the first three school years, grades 1–3, students are mostly observed for their skills. In grades 4–6 students are also observed, but are introduced to assignments, quizzes, and some testing at this age.
We do not grade in Primary School at OIS but have developed a student report which highlights how the child is making progress with key targets for their core subjects at the end of the academic year.
Parents thus have an idea of classroom work, standards of achievement, and how their child’s skills are developing. This report also includes a personal development page and a student reflection.
In grades 1–3 (Key Stage 1) students are typically five to seven years of age. Children are welcome to start their education with us in Primary 1 the year they turn five by September 1st. Most of our Primary 1 class students will already have completed our Preschool Programme.
This three-year stage is a busy and exciting time when the children build on the skills learned in early year classes, become more independent and immersed in a larger community which school represents.
During this three-year period, there is a focus on the core subjects of English, Mathematics, and Science, along with various cross-curricular projects. We aim to support the children to develop their learning styles, natural curiosity, and to explore the world around them.
The children will also have weekly Art, Music & Drama, and Physical Education lessons with teachers who specialize in those subject areas, as well as Danish. Danish is taught as a First Language or Foreign Language.
Parents are invited in for consultations with the Teaching Teams twice a year in grades 1 and 2 and once a year in grade 3. Written Progress Reports are issued at the end of the school year or upon transferring from OIS.
There is a focus on story-based and theme-based units in English. We will learn about traditional and fairy-tale stories, stories from a range of cultures, and stories with familiar settings and fantasy worlds. We will also learn about poetry, information texts such as dictionaries, and how to make and use labels, lists, and instructions to help the children with everyday tasks.
In Mathematics we study units that cover addition and subtraction and counting. Also, time, 2D- and 3D-shapes, length, weight, capacity, money, and data handling.
The units in science include Ourselves, Light and Dark, Pushes and Pulls, Health and Growth, Sorting and Using Materials, and Growing Plants. We also study Sound and Hearing, and Plants and Animals in the Local Environment.
Our cross-curricular projects combine aspects of the core subjects with other subjects, such as art, design, history, geography, personal and social education, and information and communication technologies (ICT).
Main projects could be 'Recycling', 'The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen', or 'Animals and their Habitats', and include trips to the local Hans Christian Andersen Museum and Odense Zoo to support the work done in class.
Some of our smaller projects may include themes such as ‘Who We Are’ and ‘Holidays’ such as Halloween, Chinese New Year, Eid, Diwali, Christmas, and Easter.
In grades 4–6 (Key Stage 2) the children are about 8–10 years old. This is a rewarding stage when children begin to build more advanced skills and independence in all subject areas. Through opportunities to use co-operative learning and by giving students responsibility for tasks—which benefit the class and school community—we support the development of social and interpersonal skills, too.
During this three-year period, there is a focus on the core subjects of English, Mathematics, and Science, along with cross-curricular projects that will help the children to develop their learning styles, natural curiosity, and to explore the world around them. The children will also have weekly Art, Music and Drama, Design and Technology, and Physical Education lessons with teachers who specialize in those subject areas. In grade 6 the students are introduced to a new foreign language—French. The Danish language is delivered at three different levels: First Language, Second Language, and Foreign Language.
The upper primary school years aim to prepare students for secondary school. Assessment is carried out informally through observations and feedback from the teacher, and for example peer editing, as well as formally through integrated progress checkers, assignments, and checkpoint exams at the end of Primary 6. Parents are invited to consultations with the teachers annually, and a written Progress Report is issued at the end of the school year.
At this stage, there is a balance between fiction and non-fiction texts in English. Students are taught to read and write basic types of texts, such as informative, explanatory, descriptive, and narrative texts. Our classroom texts reflect a range of topics and originate from cultures all over the world. For example, students might read Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and learn how to describe characters and write a book review. They may also learn about the importance of water. In this connection, students study news reports and learn how to structure and produce an article.
In Mathematics we aim to encourage and consolidate mathematical skills through practical discoveries, relatable examples, and theory. Units studied include counting and calculating with one-, two-, and three-digit numbers. Students consolidate skills for addition and subtraction to 100 and learn to multiply and divide numbers.
Another unit studied includes Money. Students are also introduced to fractions through shapes and numbers. Other units include Shape, which covers 2D- and 3D-shapes; Measure, which covers length; Perimeter and Area; as well as Capacity and Time. Students are encouraged to explain and reason orally and on paper.
Science is a practical subject at Odense International School with plenty of opportunities to carry out supervised experiments. The teachers encourage independent thinking and reasoning, and support and help to structure student discoveries. Units studied include 'The Human Body', 'Plant Life', 'Oceans', 'Space', and 'Rainforests'.
Our cross-curricular projects combine aspects of the core subjects with other subjects, such as Art, Design, History, Geography, and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).
Such projects could be 'The Rainforest', 'The Importance of Water', 'Life in the Sea', 'Vikings', 'The First World War', or 'The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen'. In some cases, the student will combine theory from the classroom with practical experiences or discoveries on field trips. In the past we have paid a visit to Odense Zoo, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Fjord & Bælt Aquarium in Kerteminde, Trelleborg – Museum of Viking Age, and the Mosede Fort.