Lower School (Nursery-Grade 5)

The Lower School program is delivered by highly qualified and dedicated professionals from Rio and around the world. Our learners are challenged and inspired by an internationally recognized curriculum that provides high quality learning pathways for students to pursue their passions and access the best possible university opportunities. We aim to inspire each child to strive for excellence and achieve a fulfilling life.

EARJ is currently an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) Candidate School*. The PYP is a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based, student-centered curriculum framework serving students ages 3 to 12, focusing on international mindedness within a relevant, rigorous and challenging curriculum.

The educational philosophy of EARJ is an integrated studies approach, with each grade level embracing inquiry through six units of inquiry per year, with the exception of the Early Years. The core knowledge and skills portion of the curriculum is based on the IB PYP Scope and Sequence along with curriculum standards for each area of study.

PYP Subjects

Through acknowledging and aiming to foster the diverse capacities—physical, social, intellectual, aesthetic, cultural—of students, IB World Schools implementing the Primary Years Programme (PYP) ensure that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. A transdisciplinary approach encapsulates these aspects of learning; transdisciplinary learning in the PYP conveys learning that has relevance between, across and beyond subjects and transcends borders that confine them to connect to what is real in the world (IB, 2018).

 

In the PYP, mathematics is viewed primarily as a vehicle to support inquiry, providing a global language through which we make sense of the world around us. It is intended that students become competent users of the language of mathematics, and can begin to use it as a way of thinking, as opposed to seeing it as a series of facts and equations to be memorized. The power of mathematics for describing and analysing the world around us is such that it has become a highly effective tool for solving problems (PYP Math Scope and Sequence, 2014).
The language of instruction at EARJ is English. Language plays a vital role in the construction of meaning. It empowers the learner and provides an intellectual framework to support conceptual development and critical thinking. In the PYP, it is recognized that the teaching of language should be in response to the previous experience, needs and interests of the student, rather than the consequence of a predetermined, prescriptive model for delivering language.  PYP schools have a special responsibility to recognize and support language development to ensure that all students are provided with the environment and the necessary language support to enable them to participate fully in the academic programme and in the social life of the school, as well as to develop as individuals. All teachers in a PYP school are considered teachers of language. Language learning plays a major role in schools where the language(s) of instruction may not be the student’s first language (Language Scope and Sequence, 2014).
English and Academic Language Support program (EALS) helps students from diverse language backgrounds with low proficiency in English. The EALS department utilizes WIDA language development assessments and standards to provide differentiated levels of support based on individual students’ needs. This support includes but is not limited to an EALS specific class, small group support, and support in their core content classrooms. Our program fosters the acquisition of academic language by integrating the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will receive a content-rich curriculum and skill-based practices which are filled with high standards preparing them to succeed in school and life (PYP Language, 2014).
The PYP requires the acquisition of an additional language from the age of 7 to support the development of international-mindedness. This additional language is Portuguese and is a part of the curriculum and learning community. There is a distinction between Lingua Patria, Brazilian natives, and Portuguese as an additional language for Foreigners. Lingua Patria follows the Brazilian National Curriculum (BNCC) and Portuguese as an additional language follows a uniquely designed curriculum for EARJ students.
In the PYP, science is viewed as the exploration of the biological, chemical and physical aspects of the natural world, and the relationships between them. Our understanding of science is constantly changing and evolving. The inclusion of science within the PYP leads learners to an appreciation and awareness of the world as it is viewed from a scientific perspective. It encourages curiosity and ingenuity and enables the student to develop an understanding of the world. Reflection on scientific knowledge also helps students to develop a sense of responsibility regarding the impact of their actions on themselves, others and their world. Inquiry is central to scientific investigation and understanding. Students actively construct and challenge their understanding of the world around them by combining scientific knowledge with reasoning and thinking skills. Scientific knowledge is made relevant through its innumerable applications in the real world. The science process, by encouraging hands-on experience and inquiry, enables the individual to make informed and responsible decisions, not only in science but also in other areas of life.
In the PYP, social studies is viewed as the study of people in relation to their past, their present and their future, their environment and their society. Social studies encourages curiosity and develops an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Through social studies, students develop an understanding of their personal and cultural identities. They develop the skills and knowledge needed to participate actively in their classroom, their school, their community and the world: to understand themselves in relation to their communities.
Arts are integral to the PYP. They are a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Arts provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. The students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, and through a variety of media and technologies. The PYP recognizes that not all learning can be supported solely through language, and that arts as a medium of inquiry also provide opportunities for learning, communication and expression. Learning about and through arts is fundamental to the development of the whole child, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and social interactions.
The term “visual arts” is used to describe practices that have been more traditionally described in education as “art, craft and design”. It is important that students are exposed to a broad range of experiences that illustrate the field of visual arts, including architecture, bookmaking, ceramics, collage, costume design, drawing, graphic design, film, illustration, industrial design, installation, jewellery, land art, mask making, metalwork, painting, papermaking, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, set design, textiles and woodwork.
Music enables students to communicate in ways that go beyond their oral language abilities. Music delights and stimulates, soothes and comforts us; music allows students to communicate in a unique way. Musical experiences and learning begin with the voice. It is important that students are given opportunities to discover a broad range of music experiences including classifying and analysing sounds, composing, exploring body music, harmonizing, listening, playing instruments, singing, notation, reading music, songwriting and recording.
Makerspace is a constructivist and constructionist movement that is taking the world by storm! Imagine DIY meets education! A makerspace presents readily-available materials that can act as a provocation for inquiry, as well as modern technology and items to invent with. Makerspace at EARJ integrates through The Arts PYP scope and sequence through Design and through the Sciences within Engineering.
Our curricular program strives to develop positive attitudes and behaviors in all physical activities by emphasizing effort and improvement rather than ability or winning. The values of teamwork and sportsmanship are necessary to accomplish these objectives. By building emotional control and a sense of self-confidence, students will enhance decision-making for a healthy, physically fit life allowing for good use of leisure time and respect for oneself, others, and the natural environment. All curriculum areas provide an opportunity to utilize the approaches to learning. The PSPE component of the curriculum also provides opportunities for students to:
  • Reflect on the development of his/her own personal, social and physical well-being;
  • Develop and apply strategies to help manage situations of change and adversit;
  • Work towards achieving personal goals;
  • Master new skills and techniques in a variety of physical activities;
  • Develop strategies to improve individual and team performance in physical activities;
  • Understand the factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle;
  • Use cooperative behaviours in order to function as part of a group or team;
  • Reflect on interactions with other people, other living things and the wider world.
An understanding of the factors that contribute to developing and maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle; the importance of regular physical activity; the body’s response to exercise; the importance of developing basic motor skills; understanding and developing the body’s potential for movement and expression; the importance of nutrition; understanding the causes and possible prevention of ill health; the promotion of safety; rights and the responsibilities we have to ourselves and others to promote well-being; making informed choices and evaluating consequences, and taking action for healthy living now and in the future. 
The counseling program supports and facilitates personal growth, self-esteem, and positive and healthy interpersonal relationships. In addition, the program helps students to grow in their understanding of themselves and their world and to become responsible adults. The program also includes the planning and monitoring of students’ academic programs and progress, assists students who experience personal difficulties, and stresses decision-making, self-advocacy, and personal responsibility. This support is done through guidance classes every three weeks, individual & group counseling and classroom & recess observation.

Below you will find more information regarding the Lower School Curriculum standards and the PYP Scope and Sequences for each subject.


*Only schools authorized by the International Baccalaureate can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org.