CoIS offers the finest international education through world language immersion for students in Preschool through 8th Grade. The School’s elementary through the middle school years curricula are adapted from international educational standards and fully meet all Colorado Model Content Standards. The School expects each student to eventually attend institutions of higher learning and, accordingly, offers core academic subjects (language arts, social studies, STEM [Science Technology Engineering Mathematics]) for second language acquisition and primary language development. The School also integrates the arts, digital technology, and world P.E and athletics. CoIS is taking full advantage of its unique position in the Rocky Mountain region to provide strong space science, astronomy and engineering options to its elementary and middle school students. The curriculum also provides opportunities for student leadership, community service and civic education, which are integral to CoIS programs and to IB world Schools.
The academic curriculum is interdisciplinary and based on the inquiry approach to key questions:
- Who are we?
- Where are we in place and time?
- How do we express ourselves?
- How does the world work?
- How do we organize ourselves?
- How do we effectively share the planet?
The philosophy at the heart of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP), which CoIS has been authorized to implement since November 2014, is a commitment to structured inquiry as an ideal approach to learning. Teachers and students are guided by a series of basic questions, mentioned above, as they design curricular units for exploration and study. Ideas of local and global significance reveal concerns shared by people of all nations. The program has five essential elements: concepts, skills, attitudes, actions, and knowledge.
Concepts – Key concepts are expressed as questions that propel the process of inquiry – How does it work? What is it like? How is it connected to other things?
Skills – Sets of cross-curricular skills – reading, reasoning, researching, communicating – are acquired in the process of structured inquiry.
Attitudes – The program as a whole promotes and fosters respect, empathy, a caring dispositon, tolerance, integrity, and confidence.
Actions – Students are encouraged to reflect, to choose wisely, and to act responsibly with their peers and teachers as well as in the wider community.
Knowledge – The program identifies a body of significant knowledge in six principal areas: languages; social studies; science and technology; mathematics; arts; personal, social, and physical education.
These perspectives are covered in comprehensive ways through each of the areas of language development, social studies, mathematics, arts, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), and personal-social-physical education. And to ensure mastery of skills, achievement and practical application, the curriculum incorporates a comprehensive inclusion of the Colorado standards of learning.
Progress is assessed regularly through students’ self-appraisal, student-teacher conferences, teacher made – curriculum based tests, and products shared and provided in student portfolios and projects.
Features of IB World Schools which CoIS shares are to:
- require studies across a broad range of knowledge domains including languages, humanities, science and technology, mathematics and the arts, drawing on content from educational cultures across the world
- give special emphasis to world language acquisition and development
- provide opportunities for engaging in transdisciplinary learning
- focus on developing the skills of learning, culminating in a study of the Theory of Knowledge and a personal project that illustrates the mastery of that knowledge
- include, to a varying extent, the study of individual subjects and of transdisciplinary areas
- provide students with opportunity for individual and collaborative planning and research
- include a community service component requiring action and reflection