Higher Education in Mind
“SFS is committed to a child-centered philosophy that promotes positive social interactions, emotional health and well-being for our students.”
Pre-K 2 Year Old Program
We cultivate the development of inquiry, resilience and problem solving in our children.
We recognize the importance of play-based learning and its role in developing a variety of communication skills with a focus on language acquisition. Your child’s experiences in the Pre-K 2 program will help them successfully transition to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), which is the next step in their learning journey in the Elementary School.
Early Years at SFS
Ages 3 - 6 (PYP)
The approach to teaching and learning in the Early Years at SFS is centered around the belief that young children learn through play. Play provides children with a sense of well-being and opportunities to explore their world socially, emotionally and intellectually.
Research informs us that learning in the early years is most effective when there is a balance of child-initiated play and teacher-initiated learning engagements.
We, therefore, construct our daily schedules to ensure children have ample time to play in carefully created learning environments supported by adults.
Learn more about the Early Years Program
An SFS elementary classroom is a learning environment that values students unique perspectives. Students collaborate in flexible groups, discuss ideas, formulate questions, seek answers and construct understandings through local and global contexts. There is a balance of teacher-directed instruction and self-directed learning. Students and teachers embrace a culture of respect and trust, which is supported by the IB Learner Profile.
When possible, teachers pursue learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls by exploring our community’s rich resources through expert speakers, field trips and meaningful excursions that deepen the learning started in the classroom.
Within our Units of Inquiry, you will find a range of familiar subjects taught across all grades in the Elementary School. The school’s curriculum is structured to balance rigor with opportunities for self-expression and creativity. The foundation of our Elementary curriculum includes:
- Units of Study in Reading and Writing from Teachers College Reading Writing Project at Columbia University
- Math in Focus (based on the Singapore Maths model)
- Social Studies and Science embedded in the PYP Units of Inquiry
- Korean and Chinese World Language offerings
- Physical/Social education
- Music, Band, Choir
- Visual Arts
Learning Outcomes and Success Criteria provide a clear path for students toward growth and achievement.
Esteemed educational researchers McTighe and Connor note:
When students know the criteria in advance of their performance, they have clear goals for their work and don’t need to guess what is most important or how teachers will judge their work.
Our learning engagements are significant, relevant, engaging and challenging. An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning provides a supportive structure that meets the needs of a diverse range of learners and provides for the creative expression of ideas.
Meaningful inquiry leads to responsible action initiated by the student. Learners are encouraged to decide on their action and to reflect on this in order to make a difference in the world.
Ages 5 - 11 (PYP)
In the PYP, the knowledge and skills of traditional disciplines or subjects find links through transdisciplinary units of learning that identify ‘big ideas’ or concepts that link across subjects. This is supported by the development of social skills, communication, and thinking skills that are embedded in the curriculum.
Learning at a conceptual level of understanding ensures students can think critically and creatively and can construct and apply meaningful connections across the curriculum.
Learn more about SFS Elementary School
An SFS elementary classroom is a rich mix of multiple perspectives. This social context for learning sees students, collaborating in flexible groups, discussing ideas, formulating questions, seeking answers and constructing understandings together whilst fostering an understanding of our global context. Learning is facilitated using technology as a tool. There is a balance of teacher directed instruction and self-directed learning. Our classrooms are filled with a learning culture of respect and trust and this is supported by the IB Learner Profile.
Our location in Seoul provides students with many opportunities for developing their understanding of the curriculum by enriching their learning in a local cultural context.
Within our Units of Inquiry, you will find a range of familiar subjects taught across all grades in the Elementary School. The school’s curriculum is supported by learning outcomes for each grade which includes: Writers Workshop, Reading, Mathematics, Korean, Chinese, Science, Social Studies, Physical and Social education, PE, music, and arts. These outcomes provide a clear framework for students and parents to see progression and also potentially to facilitate transfer to other curricula or contexts.
Current research underpins our beliefs and teaching and learning practices. We believe learning, which is significant, relevant, engaging and challenging serves to motivate students to be curious, to question and to be self-directed in their inquiries and research. An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning provides a guiding structure with the flexibility to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners and provides for the creative expression of ideas.
One of the aims of successful inquiry is that it will lead to responsible action, initiated by the students as a result of the learning process. Learners are encouraged to decide on their action and to reflect on this in order to make a difference in and to the world.
“Outdoor learning plays an important role in our elementary school. Teachers take advantage of the wide variety of outdoor environments our 25 acre forested campus has to offer.”
Explore SFS Elementary School
More information about our school