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PRIMARY

The Western International School of Shanghai Primary building is home to Grades 1-5. In Primary, we focus on developing the whole child as an inquirer in school and beyond. We offer a rich and transformative experience for students through an inquiry-based approach. Hands-on, highly engaging instructional lessons provide a wealth of opportunities for students to connect to their own lives, the local community, and more global contexts.


Our Primary students are empowered to take ownership of their learning, collaborating with teachers to deepen understanding and increase their confidence and self-motivation.


WELCOME MESSAGE | PRIMARY PRINCIPAL

Welcome to PRIMARY

The Western International School of Shanghai Primary building is home to Grades 1-5. In Primary, we focus on developing the whole child as an inquirer in school and beyond. We offer a rich and transformative experience for students through an inquiry-based approach. Hands-on, highly engaging instructional lessons provide a wealth of opportunities for students to connect to their own lives, the local community, and more global contexts.


Our Primary students are empowered to take ownership of their learning, collaborating with teachers to deepen understanding and increase their confidence and self-motivation.


Primary Principal at the Western International School of Shanghai.

WELCOME MESSAGE | PRIMARY PRINCIPAL

Dear Primary Families,


Within Primary at the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS), we place the student at the center of all that we do. We value each child as a unique learner on an individual journey of discovery and inspiration to develop their true potential.


Through the philosophy of the PYP and our own mission and vision, our students develop a love of learning in a caring, nurturing environment. Our dedicated Primary Team empowers each student to thrive as a lifelong learner by building on the strong foundations laid out within Early Years. We provide a world-renowned curriculum that balances academic rigor with a holistic ethos, enabling students to take ownership of their learning and increase their confidence and self-motivation. They become engaged, self-driven, agentic learners who can set their own goals, reflect on their experiences and challenge themselves as they look ahead to the future.


At WISS, students also experience a broad variety of opportunities to explore the dynamic and historical country that we live in beyond the classroom walls. Students further develop their skills as they take on cultural, environmental, creative, physical, team-building and leadership challenges.


We want our students to be empowered, responsible global citizens who learn from each other’s perspectives and strive to make the world a better place.

We look forward to welcoming your family to the WISS community!


Lisa Ellery

Primary Principal

Welcome to PRIMARY

Primary Principal at the Western International School of Shanghai.

Ms. Lisa Ellery

CLICK HERE TO READ

The PYP is a curriculum framework for young learners aged 3–12. Like all International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, the IB learner profile permeates all facets of school life in the PYP.


The PYP is based on the recognition of a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect. It generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture the whole child and foster a lifelong love of learning for all. The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while inquiring into big ideas.


The IBPYP focuses on students’ social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs while also focusing on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, which prepares students for further education and careers.


IBPYP creates lifelong learners and highlights approaches to learning through thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, social skills, and self-management skills. These skills develop learners that are able to make a difference in their own lives, communities, and the wider world.


Student-centered and based on deepening conceptual understandings that will transfer across subjects and beyond the classroom, WISS PYP employs a co-teaching model, with two full-time teachers in each classroom. This allows for a very low student-to-teacher ratio and supports our students in their inquiries. Here at WISS, our teachers are role-models of the Learner Profile, facilitators, guides, mentors, and coaches. Deepening student understanding and moving student learning forward by helping students to construct their own meaning is at the heart of our mission.


Parents are also an important part of our vibrant Learning Community at WISS. Parent involvement is encouraged and is evident through “Come Learn With Us” sessions in the Early Years and informational Coffee Mornings and Parent Workshops in Primary. Including parents in understanding how their children are learning, and how they can best support them in their inquiries, gives parents an opportunity to become involved in the PYP learning process and to make meaningful connections between school and home.


Facilities and indoor/outdoor spaces are flexible, promote creativity, discovery, and inquiry. Students also play a role in helping to co-construct learning environments, as well as participate in establishing essential agreements for conduct. WISS believes strongly in students having voice, choice, and ownership of their learning and this includes being involved in designing, organizing and evaluating our learning spaces.


Throughout the PYP, students are developing agency and are encouraged and supported to take action that is meaningful to them personally, and to their learning. From helping to organize a flexible snack time and having choice in their play centers in Early Years, to participating in Student Ambassadors and Action Cubs in Primary, students are actively engaged in meaningful, relevant, real-life problem-solving.


Preparing WISS PYP students for 21st-century skills they will need whilst developing principled, caring, reflective, open-minded, balanced, knowledgeable, thinkers and communicators who are able to inquire into their passions and interests is what drives the PYP at WISS.


PRIMARY  CURRICULUM Overview

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework for young learners aged 3–12. Like all International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes, the IB Learner Profile permeates all facets of school life in the Early Years and Primary.


The PYP is based on recognizing a child’s natural curiosity, creativity, and ability to reflect. It generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture the whole child and foster a lifelong love of learning. The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while inquiring into big ideas.


Young learners are intelligent, resourceful, and creative. They need a curriculum and environment that supports critical learning during these crucial early years. Through our inquiry-based approach, we engage and stimulate curious minds to explore, question, and wonder from a place of security. Classroom communities foster a growing sense of safety, well-being, and warmth.


Our daily interactions as a community focus on building secure and confident communicators who have a growing realization of their agency as they interact with the world around them. Using purposeful play as a vehicle for learning, we enable students to make personal connections to inquiries organically and authentically, building on existing knowledge and understandings as they develop transferrable skills in a facilitative environment.


Children engage in a balanced Early Years curriculum that meets the IB Primary Years Programme‘s standards and practices. Through carefully planned units of inquiry, children engage with big ideas in science and social studies, enabling them to develop transferable conceptual understandings. This foundation of knowledge and understanding is the platform on which they continue to grow as they build upon their learning from year to year and beyond the Early Years.


The immense benefit to parents and students is that WISS is the only school in mainland China where young learners can progress from kindergarten through to high school, completing every IB Programme. By offering all four Programmes, the skills endorsed in students during kindergarten flourish and bloom as they progress through the IB, with each level building upon their abilities.


 

PRIMARY CURRICULUM Overview

PLAY BASED LEARNING

CONCEPT 

based 

learning

In Primary, we continue to build upon the inquiry-driven, concept-based program of learning which sets the foundation for learning in the Early Years.


Guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, students broaden their learning by developing their conceptual understandings and strengthening their knowledge and skills across, between, and beyond subject areas. Math, Science, Literacy, Social Studies, Arts, and Physical and Social Education are all developed through Units of Inquiry, offering a robust challenge to acquire knowledge and put it into practice. This approach in PYP provides a rigorous, meaningful, and relevant learning journey to better understand the world in which we live.


In Primary, students are supported in their language learning by meeting them where they are and then designing a pathway for them to be challenged as they build fluency. This is our approach in Literacy, as well as in Chinese Language and English for Beginners.


In Primary, every teacher is a language teacher!




CONCEPT 

based 

learning

INQUIRY based 

Approach

Students learn key STEM and life skills through inquiry-based learning.


Inquiry-based learning begins with a question, problem or idea. Students are involved in the planning and execution of investigations, proposing explanations and solutions, and communicating their understanding of concepts in a variety of ways. 


Throughout the inquiry process, students observe, raise questions, and critique their practices. It is an approach that encourages collaboration and supports trans-disciplinary learning across subject areas.

PLAY BASED LEARNING

 

PLAY BASED LEARNING

INQUIRY based 

Approach

PLAY BASED LEARNING

THE inquiry based learning APPROACH cultivates

Social Interaction assists with improving student attention span and developing reasoning skills. Social interaction encourages students to generate their ideas while developing agency, ownership, and engagement with student learning.

Exploration allows students to investigate, design, imagine,  and explore.  As a result, students develop curiosity, resilience, and optimism.

An Inquiry-Based approach creates a safe and supportive environment for students to engage in meaningful discussion. It promotes student engagement in scientific discussion and improves learning of scientific concepts. It encourages students to generate questions, formulate positions and make decisions.

The iterative and evaluative nature of many STEM problems means failure is an integral part of problem-solving. A healthy attitude to failure encourages reflection, resilience, and continual improvement.

6 Trans-disciplianry themes

The IB standards offer rigorous guidelines allowing school and classroom practices to align with the IB educational philosophy and values. The PYP is a framework for schools and their approach to learning and teaching. Students explore significant concepts through units of inquiry. 

The six transdisciplinary themes of global significance provide the framework for exploration and study:

Who 

We Are 

Where 

Are We in Place and Time

How 

We Express 

Ourselves

How 

The World 

Works

How 

We Organize 

Ourselves

Sharing 

The Planet

Subject areas

Units of inquiry authentically interweave ideas and skills from the relevant subject areas:

THE inquiry based learning APPROACH cultivates

Language

Social Studies

Mathematics

Music & The Arts

Science

Personal, 

Social & Physical Education

This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they know and how it relates to the world around them.

The school outlines its specific knowledge content and academic curriculum within the framework of the PYP, including:

Social Interaction assists with improving student attention span and develops reasoning skills. Social interaction encourages students to generate their own ideas while developing agency, ownership and engagement with student learning.

1

Transdisciplinary themes organize the knowledge content. Each school decides on specific concepts and topics studied through each theme based on their local context.

2

Approaches to learning skills aimed to help students become independent and self-motivated learners.

3

Action initiated by learners that is authentic, meaningful, mindful, responsible, and responsive to their learning and the world they live in.

Exploration allow students to investigate, design, imagine,  and explore.  As a result, students develop curiosity, resilience and optimism.

An Inquiry Based approach creates a safe and supportive environment for students to engage in meaningful discussion. It promotes student engagement in scientific discussion and improves learning of scientific concepts. It encourages students to generate questions, formulate positions and make decisions.

The iterative and evaluative nature of many STEM problems means failure is an important part of the problem-solving process. A healthy attitude to failure encourages reflection, resilience and continual improvement.

EXPORE PRIMARY

Units of enquiry

The IB standards offer rigorous guidelines that allow for school and classroom practices to align with the IB educational philosophy and values. The PYP is a framework for schools and their approach to learning and teaching. Students explore significant concepts through units of inquiry. The six transdisciplinary themes that guide units of inquiry in each school year* are:

Who 

We Are 

Where 

Are We in Place and Time

How 

We Express 

Ourselves

How 

The World 

Works

How 

We Organize 

Ourselves

Sharing 

The Planet

Subject areas

Units of inquiry authentically interweave ideas and skills from the relevant subject areas:

A Typical Day in PRIMARY

Language

Social Studies

Mathematics

Music & The Arts

          8-8.30am
                            Student Arrive and Settle In



           8.30-9.15am
                            Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


           9.15-10.am
                            Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


           10-10.30am
                            Break Time


      10.30-11.15am
                            Physical Education | Art | Music


          11.15am-12pm
                           Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


        1-1.45pm
                             Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


           1.45-2.30pm
                             Chinese Language


           2.30-3.00pm
                            Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


                            Students prepare to depart from campus



Science

Resources

Admissions Brochure

DOWNLOAD

Tuition Fees & Refund Policy

DOWNLOAD

Age Placement Guide

University Guidance

Family Calendar

This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they know and how it relates to the world around them.

The school outlines its specific knowledge content and academic curriculum within the framework of the PYP including:

Personal, 

Social & Physical Education

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE MORE

EXPORE PRIMARY

ROUTINES

ACTIVITIES

THE EARLY YEARS STUDENT EXPERIENCE

In Primary, we begin each day with community-building in our classrooms. This strengthens the feeling of community within our classrooms and provides opportunities to model, learn, and practice oral language skills.


Throughout the week, a Primary student will attend two Music classes, two PE classes, two Arts classes, and many homeroom sessions in which Maths, Literacy, and our Units of Inquiry are explored. Students new to English are supported five days a week through our English for Beginners program, while other students are in Chinese Language classes.


Student’s first languages are honored and celebrated through translanguaging, as we help them make connections between languages they are learning.


On Fridays, Primary students engage in student-selected electives called Friday Afternoon Activities (FAAs). Several sessions of FAAs run throughout the school year, providing students ample time to explore new hobbies or areas of interest, such as robotics, cooking, video-editing, basketball, and more!

At WISS, we believe in providing opportunities to grow in various ways, far beyond the experiences that take place in the classroom. Our programs also allow us to connect with many other children beyond those in their homeroom. Students acquire interpersonal skills that encourage them to cultivate meaningful and diverse relationships. Participating in various activities helps develop confidence and self-motivation, enhancing students’ abilities to work as a team, problem-solve, and think critically and creatively. Developing in young children provides a strong foundation for a future of health and well-being.


Our students have abundant opportunities to explore their passions and try new activities, from optional after-school activities to afternoon activities during the school day

HOME-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP

In Primary at the Western International School of Shanghai, building three-way relationships between families, the students, and the school is paramount to supporting our learners' well-being and education. We pride ourselves as an open, caring community that believes in the importance of solid home-school communications to ensure the success of every one of our students.


We focus on providing clear and easy communication channels for our parents to stay up to date on student learning, school news, and information. Communications with each family are centered on building our understanding of your child as we continue the learning journey together.


TEACHING APPROACH

In Primary, we embrace collaboration as an approach for learning and teaching, but also as part of the culture of our learning community. An International & Chinese co-teacher offers highly personalized support to our youngest learners. This support includes translanguaging to remove obstacles to learning and understanding while strengthening our learning communities. In Grades 3-5, each class is led by an international teacher, and the grade level is supported by Chinese co-teachers, who collaborate across the grade-level classes.


As the PYP is an inquiry-based, concept-driven framework for learning and teaching, this is reflected in the lesson designs, planning, and instructional delivery throughout Primary. Teachers carefully and thoughtfully plan pathways for students to construct their meaning. They are supported to go beyond mere memorization of facts or performance of skills to demonstrate further genuine understanding and real-life application of what they are learning. This approach keeps the students at the center of the learning and provides teachers evidence of the following steps to continue moving learning forward.


Students learn to self-assess their growth and self-adjust their learning, setting goals for themselves with opportunities to co-construct action plans and reflect upon their progress. Empowering students to embrace the tools and strategies that develop them as lifelong learners are essential to the Primary experience and prepare them well for the Middle Years Program (MYP).

1

Knowledge content organized by the transdisciplinary themes. Each school decides specific concepts and topics studied through each theme based on their local context.

2

Approaches to learning skills aimed to help students become independent and self-motivated learners.

3

Action initiated by learners that is authentic, meaningful, mindful, responsible and responsive of their learning and the world they live in.

WISS FEATURED NEWS

READ MORE news

A Typical Day in PRIMARY

Admissions Brochure

DOWNLOAD

Tuition Fees & Refund Policy

DOWNLOAD

Age Placement Guide

University Guidance

Family Calendar

Resources

Upcoming events

8-8.30am
Student Arrive and Settle In



8.30-9.15am
Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


9.15-10.am
Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


10-10.30am
Break Time


0.30-11.15am
Physical Education | Art | Music


11.15am-12pm
Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


1-1.45pm
Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


1.45-2.30pm
Chinese Language

2.30-3.00pm
Integrated Inquiry (Math, English, Chinese, Units of Inquiry)


Students prepare to depart from campus



WISS FEATURED NEWS

WESTERN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF SHANGHAI

555 Lian Min Road, Xujing Town, Qing Pu District, 

Shanghai, PRC, 201702

   

+86 (21) 6976 6013

+86 (21) 6976 6015

13816450346

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Follow WISS on Twitter and get updates about world-class education, activities and events at Western International School of Shanghai.
Discover WISS through our collection of videos that showcase our academic programmes, activities and events.

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UNIFORM SHOP

RESOURCES

PRIVACY POLICY

Upcoming events

WESTERN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF SHANGHAI

555 Lian Min Road, Xujing Town, Qing Pu District, 

Shanghai, PRC, 201702

   

+86 (21) 6976 6013

+86 (21) 6976 6015

13816450346

Admissions

Explore the WISS Facebook Page, Follow Us, Like and Share news, events and activities.
Follow WISS on Instagram and stay up to date with what's happening at Western International School of Shanghai
Follow us | Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) Official WeChat Account QR Code
Visit the WISS LinkedIn Page for jobs, news, and education articles.

OFFICIAL WECHAT

Follow WISS on Twitter and get updates about world-class education, activities and events at Western International School of Shanghai.
Discover WISS through our collection of videos that showcase our academic programmes, activities and events.