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Primary Years Programme




At HIS, we have specialist teachers who enrich the curriculum in the following areas: Art, Mandarin, Music, Physical Education (PE) and Rhythm and Movement. Specialist teachers collaborate with homeroom teachers to enhance the transdisciplinary nature of our curriculum. As students move through the school, the specialist programme is adjusted to suit their developmental needs.

Early Childhood (ECE and Kindergarten)


Each class in Early Years, Pre-K, and Kindergarten have a full-time Mandarin assistant, who supports the language development of both non-native and heritage speakers of Mandarin. Students benefit from daily Mandarin classes and engage in a variety of language, culture and art-based activities. The Mandarin assistants work closely with homeroom teachers to link the children's Mandarin learning to other areas of the curriculum.

Rhythm and Movement

Throughout the early years, children are learning to do new things with their bodies. Young children are also learning that movement can communicate messages and represent actions. Young children can perform and recognize pantomimed actions such as ironing, stirring, swimming, or playing the piano.

Most children usually are quite comfortable with movement. They begin to learn about the world by acting on objects and people, and they “think with their bodies” well before they think with words. Therefore body movement is not only fun for children but is also a good opportunity for them to solve problems.

Skills Developed in Rhythm and Movement classes:

  1. Participating in a group
  2. Social skills
  3. Express emotions
  4. Enhance self‐concept by sharing music and dance of each other’s culture
  5. Refine listening skills‐noticing changes in tempo or pitch
  6. Awareness of movement and body positions
  7. Creativity and imagination
  8. Learn new words and concepts
  9. Explore cause and effect
  10. Develop large motor skills
  11. Improve balance, coordination, and rhythm through dance and movement activities
  12. Improve small motor skills‐learning finger plays and playing musical instruments.

The HIS Rhythm and Movement Curriculum


The visual arts program at HIS strives to not only develop each child's artistic skills, but their understanding of and appreciation of art.


Students in Grades K-5 hands on and explore science, technology, engineering, art, and Mathematics in the STEAM Room.  Real world approaches are used to guide student inquiry, critical thinking, and design.

Grades 1 - 5


Students in Grades 1-5 attend Art class once per week for 40 minutes. The visual arts program at HIS strives to not only develop each child's artistic skills, but their understanding of and appreciation of art.




Students from Grades 1-5 receive daily Mandarin classes. Mandarin classes are offered at a variety of levels for each Grade, to cater for the needs of our diverse student population.


Students in Grades 1-5 attend Music class twice per week for forty minutes. Music class involves all areas of learning: the cognitive which focuses on the acquisition of knowledge about music, the psychomotor which focuses on the development of skills in music, and the affective which includes the appreciation of and sensitivity to music.

Music Curriculum by Grade Level

Grade 1

In Grade 1, students are introduced to the musical elements and focus on keeping a steady beat and matching pitch.

Overall characteristics of the program include:

Activities that promote musical literacy: singing, playing instruments, moving/dancing, reading/notating music, improvising/composing music, and listening to/describing/analyzing/evaluating music and music performances.

Music lessons developed in collaboration with the core subjects to enable the students to make important connections in their learning.

Yearly expansion of students' knowledge and understanding of the musical elements: pitch, tempo, duration, dynamics, timbre/texture, and form.

Students have many opportunities throughout the school year to demonstrate their musical accomplishments by making presentations in assemblies and concerts for the school and community.

Grade 2

In Grade 2, students learn the basics of reading printed music when singing and playing instruments.

Grade 3

In Grade 3, students start to play the soprano recorder which allows them to improve their music reading skills.

Grade 4

In Grade 4, students perform 2-part and 3-part music, and compose short pieces using musical notation.

Grade 5

In Grade 5, students play other sizes of recorder and learn the basics of ukulele and keyboards. They sing and play in small groups and explore improvisation.


Students in Grades 1 to 5 attend PE classes twice per week for forty minutes. The Lower Physical Education program (PE) focusses on the development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills in the areas of sport, exercise, health and well-being.

Physical Education is more than just student participation in sports and games. It is an important vehicle to equip students with experiences and information that will help them make wise choices and enjoy being active for life.

The purpose of the HIS PE program is to develop a combination of transferable skills promoting physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. This is achieved through a balanced program, that includes the following type of experiences:

  • Individual Pursuits (Athletics/Fundamental movement skills)
  • Movement Composition (Dance)
  • Games (Invasion Games)
  • Adventure Challenges (Cooperative/critical thinking)
  • Health-related fitness.

The focus of these experiences is different for each grade level. We want the students to experience structured activities that are fun and also to have learned enough about their own health and fitness to be able to lead full, healthy lives.

The PE Curriculum

Grades 1-2

Ball Skills: Catching, throwing, kicking, dribbling, passing, striking etc. (Mini Basketball, Mini Beach Volleyball, Mini Soccer)

Striking with a short implement: Striking, bouncing (Mini Pickle ball)

Game skills / Cooperative games: Dodge Ball, Scooters, Rope Jump, Hula Hoop, Parachute play, Obstacle courses, Scatter Formation Games

Rhythm and Movement: Funky Dance

Physical Fitness and Nutrition: Fleeing, Chasing & Dodging Tag games, Muscular Strength & Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance, Flexibility concepts/exercises, Fun Relays

Grade 3-5

Team Sports: Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, Tag rugby, Softball/Baseball

Paddle / Racquet Sports: Pickle ball/Floor Ping Pong, Badminton

Game Skills / Cooperative Games: Capture the flag, Dodge Ball, Ultimate Frisbee, Scooters, Hula Hoop

Track and Field: Short distance running, middle distance running, long jump, triple jump, javelin, shot put, discus, hurdles (mini), relays.

Rhythm and Movement: Creative dance, Juggling, Rope Jump

Physical Fitness and Nutrition: Fit Deck Games/ Fleeing and chasing games, Fitness workout and programs (Fitness Journals), Nutritional Skillastic cards

Why Physical Education is important

Encourages physical activity for life

Helps prevents sickness and disease

Provides an outlet for creativity and self expression

Develops cooperation & teamwork

Builds self-confidence

Improves personal fitness and motor skill development

Helps reduce stress & anxiety

Strengthens relationships with others

Boosts academic learning


Students in Grades 3-5 participate in guided swimming lessons once a week during swim seasons combined with their physical education classes.  



Students in Grades K-5 hands on and explore science, technology, engineering, art, and Mathematics in the STEAM Room.  Real world approaches are used to guide student inquiry, critical thinking, and design.


Lower School Specialist Teachers

Jacqueline Caraglior

Jacqueline Caraglior

Titles: Lower School Art Teacher
Andrew Lawrence

Andrew Lawrence

Titles: Lower School ESOL Teacher
Joy Myers

Joy Myers

Titles: Lower School Music Teacher
Charlie Semple

Charlie Semple

Titles: Aquatics Coordinator, Lower School Physical Education Teacher
Glenda Semple

Glenda Semple

Titles: Lower School Physical Education Teacher
Patricia Shomo

Patricia Shomo

Titles: Lower School ESOL Teacher
Zoë Woodcock

Zoë Woodcock

Titles: Lower School STEAM Coordinator