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Academics at K.G.H.S

Kigali Greater Heights School  teachers and staff are a committed and a high performing team which meets expectations of every student and parent for optimal growth in Christian faith and high end academic excellence. We provide a supportive and safe environment that cultivates curiosity and a lifelong love of learning.

Our academic endevuors are focused on mastery of grade level standards and beyond. In line with Rwanda Education Board (REB) expectations, the school uses the Common Core National Standards (core subjects) and and our Christ-centered biblical standards. We differentiate instruction through the use of a wide range of instructional strategies and assessments that foster critical thinking skills, creative, and complex problem solving mathematical exercises.

“REB” emphasizes increased use of academic vocabulary, informational text, and use of primary sources in research information but KGHS goes in extra mile in making it high end with computer based tutorials using skilled professional and praprofessional staff. These create a higher demand for “staircasing” and developing complex critical thinking skills in students. Beyond what students learn, they are expected to demonstrate what they will DO with what they are learning during teaching contact ours and play time.

Learners graduating at K.G.H.S are well prepared for future higher level educational opportunities, with a belief in the value of hard work, perseverance and moral integrity.

Curriculum

Though most curricular material for all core classes is derived from the Common “REB” standards (science and social studies,Maths, Kinyarwanda, English), more material is added as further enrichment from from other relevant sources.

This curriculum material is periodically checked for vertical and horizontal alignment across grade levels. For more detailed description of our courses by grade teachers, click the links below to see the corresponding information.

Learning Targets:  What do children learn in Transitional Kindergarten? 

 

TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN  (OVERVIEW)

Kigali Greater Heights School learning endevours begins for children who are 2 years old and the gifted ones who are able to articulate learning skills who are still a little younger.  KGHS goals with our youngest learners are both academic and life developmental skills.  The TK class is designed to introduce learners to the K.G.H.S environment so that they can transition seamlessly into kindergarten.  It serves as a genuine “bridge” between the pre-school and kindergarten experience.  We follow the benchmark standards created by the “REB” and our Christ-cented programs which come packaged with additional enhancements.

Early literacy and social/emotional development are the focus areas.  The reasonable teacher/student ratio nurtures an environment of “play” and multi-sensory experiences where children physically and mentally explore their worlds by actively engaging in the learning.  KGHS cultivates learners’ curiosity in all areas, but give special focus to a love of reading and creativity.  Activity centers with supervised access to reading materials and math activities are part of each day.  This is accompanied by opportunities for outdoor play, classroom “pretend” activities, games, and social interactions.

The bible is integrated throughout the day and learners commit to memory the basic stories of the bible and the suprimacy of God and Jesus as our savior.

In reading and writing, learners memorize all the 26 letters of the alphabate and corresponding sounds in the French language. They aso learn how to write upper and lower case letters and write their names. They begin sketching as a way of expressing their thoughts on paper.

Math includes basic numbers, sense exploration, recognition of numbers and basic counting to a minimum of 20 words.  Students learn the correspondence of numbers to quantity.  Geometrical shapes recognition and some math vocabulary foundation is established.

KINDERGARTEN  (OVERVIEW)

 

In kindergarten, academics increase using the Common Core Standards in math, reading and writing. National standards are used as a foundation for learning targets in basic social studies and science.  Christ-centered bible based instruction is derived from the Old and New Testament writings. French language teaching draws from national language standards and is conversation focused. Music, technology, art, and PE are taught weekly and integrated throughout all daily instruction.

The bile is integrated throughout the day.  Pupils learn basic prayers and memorize verses from the bile, and begin the study of the bible right from Genesis.

Reading acquisition is based on teaching strong foundational skills in sound: letter correspondence (phonics), basic sight words, and initial fluency in reading aloud in French. Comprehension is developed through specific instruction of reading strategies, prompted questioning techniques, and rich conversation where learners make connections to text and self. With the Common Core Subjects, we focus on developing BOTH literary and informational text skills, Social Studies and basic elementary Science and Technology. Our goal is that all learners reach, and exceed, the common core standards “graduating” to first grade, with exceptional foundational reading skills and mathematical concepts.

Writing Workshop.  Assumption utilizes both common core writing standards and other methodology research. Pupils learn early that they are all writers with something important to say.  Using phonetic spelling and sketching to begin, lears produce short narrative stories, informational “how to” books, and simple persuasive letters.  They learn the basic grammar of sentence construction, craft, organization, and elaboration while engaging in the writing process of “think, plan, sketch, draft, revise, edit, publish (fancy up) and celebrate.

Math skills focus on counting, cardinality and overall number sense.  Pupils learn that numbers represent quantity and can be used to solve simple addition/subtraction computational problems.  We establish basic foundations in the areas of algebra, measurement, geometry, and mathematical reasoning.  Math is seen as having real life application and importance. More recently, we have begun utilizing math for real life problem solving and student reasoning.

In science we provide hands-on activities and exploration to help develop skills of scientific concepts and vocabulary in areas of physical, life and earth science. Focusing on their five senses, pupils investigate a variety of objects: classifying, comparing and sorting. With prompting from the teacher as needed, they learn to ask questions, make observations, collect simple data, and make predictions in preparation for more formal scientific inquiry in later grades.

Social Studies begins with a focus on what children bring from their experience in families and communities.  Kindergarten utilizes Story Path to learn about communities and create a park. Pupils consider important features of a park and design how to make best use of a space for the community. They learn what it means to be a good citizen and study school and national symbols of the flag and pledge.

TK & K INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS:  HOW DO WE TEACH?

 

Instructional methods include a variety of individual, partner, small group and whole group instruction and support.  Daily conversations and conferences with, and among learners, under teacher guidance, are designed to motivate, engage, and increase learning.  We recognize that even in kindergarten learners are at different levels of learning and not all are at the same pace.  Therefore, we differentiate our instruction to provide all learners with an “achievable stretch”.

TK and Kindergarten materials/strategies include:

  •       leveled books for small group guided reading
  •       Content textbook series
  •       Prompted questions and conferencing with students
  •       Use of concrete objects (manipulatives)
  •       Use of information technology in centers
  •       Use of multiple theories of learning styles – movement, song, visual, auditory, etc.
  •       Mini lesson full group instruction
  •       Structured choice whenever possible
  •       Continual individual progress assessments
  •       Establishing clear routines and high expectations to maximize instructional time and progress

We deploy instruction in ways that encourage learners to see themselves as thinkers, writers, and mathematicians in every learning experience.  In TK through Kindergarten, we begin the journey towards assisting learners to understand HOW the learning process works.

ASSESSMENTS:  HOW DO WE KNOW STUDENTS LEARNED?

 

Assessments are done in consistent and ongoing ways. At these levels, those assessments include:

  • Informal anecdotal record keeping done by the teacher
  • Classroom based assessments and tests including beginning use of Core Instructional Model
  • Rubrics (both student and teacher based)
  • Standards based report cards (utilizing a 4 point scale)
  • Writing samples/published pieces – evaluation
  • Developmental Reading Assessment 2 (1:1 student/teacher) given to all students at regular intervals)
  • Home work in reading, math, science, and literacy (regularly)
  • Parent/Teacher conferences

Learning Targets:  What do students learn in 1st t0 6th Levels?

 

(OVERVIEW)

 

Academics increase using the Common Core Standards in math, reading and writing. National standards are used as a foundation for learning targets in Kinyarwanda language, social studies and science. The school also has the French language as one of the core subjects and other extra-curricular studies like music, dance and drama.  The bible forms the base of all instruction and not aligned to church organization.  Foreign languages like French and English draws from the Rwandan cultural norms and are writing and conversation focused. Music, technology, art, and PE are taught weekly and integrated throughout all daily instruction.

The bible is integrated throughout the day throughout learning and playing activities. Pupils learn basic bible stories, memorize verses and learn prayers.

Reading acquisition is based on teaching strong foundational skills in sound: letter correspondence (phonics), basic sight words, and initial fluency in reading aloud. Comprehension is developed through specific instruction of reading strategies, prompted questioning techniques, and rich conversation where children make connections to text and self. With Common Core, we focus on developing BOTH literary and informational text skills. Our goal is that all students reach, and exceed, the common core standards “graduating” to first grade, with exceptional foundational reading skills, mathematics, science and technology, Kinyarwanda and French and concepts.

Writing Workshop.  Assumption utilizes both common core writing standards and core writing methodology research. Pupils learn early that they are all writers with something important to say.  Using phonetic spelling and sketching to begin, learners produce short narrative stories, informational “how to” books, and simple persuasive letters.  They learn the basic grammar of sentence construction, craft, organization, and elaboration while engaging in the writing process of “think, plan, sketch, draft, revise, edit, publish (fancy up) and celebrate.

Math skills focus on counting, cardinality and overall number sense.  Pupils learn that numbers represent quantity and can be used to solve simple addition/subtraction computational problems.  We establish basic foundations in the areas of algebra, measurement, geometry, and mathematical reasoning.  Math is seen as having real life application and importance. With time we will begin utilizing math journals for real life problem solving and student reasoning.

In science we provide hands-on activities and exploration to help develop skills of scientific concepts and vocabulary in areas of physical, life and earth science. Focusing on their five senses, learners investigate a variety of objects: classifying, comparing and sorting. With prompting from the teachers as needed, they learn to ask questions, make observations, collect simple data, and make predictions in preparation for more formal scientific inquiry in later grades.

Social Studies   begins with a focus on what children bring from their experience in families and communities.  Kindergarten utilizes Story Path to learn about communities and create a park. Learners consider important features of a park and design how to make best use of a space for the community. They learn what it means to be a good citizen and study East African, national and school symbols of the, slogans, flag and logos.

English, French and Kinyarwanda are the major languages subjects. Kinyarwanda however, is only used during that lesson period unlike French and English as foreign languages are spoken at all other times during the school day.

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS:  HOW DO WE TEACH?

 

Instructional methods include a variety of individual, partner, small group and whole group instruction and support.  Daily conversations and conferences with, and among learners, under teacher guidance, are designed to motivate, engage, and increase learning.  We recognize that even in kindergarten pupils are at different levels of learning and not all are at the same pace.  We therefore, differentiate our instruction to provide all learners with an “achievable stretch”.

TK and Kindergarten materials/strategies include:

  •       leveled books for small group guided reading
  •       Content textbook series
  •       Prompted questions and conferencing with students
  •       Use of concrete objects (manipulatives)
  •       Use of information technology in centers
  •       Use of multiple theories of learning styles – movement, song, visual, auditory, etc.
  •       Mini lesson full group instruction
  •       Structured choice whenever possible
  •       Continual individual progress assessments
  •       Establishing clear routines and high expectations to maximize instructional time and progress

We deploy instruction in ways that encourage pupils to see themselves as thinkers, writers, and mathematicians in every learning experience.  In TK through Kindergarten, we begin the journey towards assisting students to understand HOW the learning process works.

ASSESSMENTS:  HOW DO WE KNOW STUDENTS LEARNED?

 

Assessments are done in consistent and ongoing ways. At these levels, those assessments include:

  • Informal anecdotal record keeping done by the teachers
  • Classroom based assessments and tests including beginning use of Core Instructional Model
  • Rubrics (both student and teacher based)
  • Standards based report cards (utilizing a 4 point scale)
  • Writing samples/published pieces – evaluation
  • Developmental Reading Assessment 2 (1:1 student/teacher) given to all learners in the fall and spring
  • Parent/Teacher conferences

Core subjects at K.G.H.S include:

  • French Language Arts (reading, writing, spelling, grammar, handwriting, vocabulary, and listening skills)
  • Mathematics (concepts taught in number sense, algebra, measurement, geometry,probability/statistics and increasingly rigorous mathematical reasoning and problem solving)
  • Science (earth, physical, biological and earth sciences and technology are taught within the context of scientific method). We are transitioning into the Next Generation science standards as they become available
  • Social Studies – Broad range of topics from kindergarten “communities” to 6th grade world civilizations, which will later be culminating in 12th grade in the secondary section which will start soon.
  • English / French – Communication is emphasised in primary grades with more complex writing and grammar structure study beginning in 1st Level.
  • Other subjects taught once a week include: P.E., art, computers, music, dance and drama, and and an open library library for reading and borrowing books..