The Primary School is a nurturing and vibrant learning community, which cares for and educates children from Foundation Stage 1 to Year 6, covering the 3-11 year age range in all of our Riyadh Campuses.
Our Tabuk and Taif campuses educate children from F2 whilst maintaining close relationships with the F1-age crèches on their compounds.
In the Primary School, we embrace the three pillars of BISR: Wellbeing, Academics and Co-curricular, seeking to provide world class learning experiences, in a diverse and nurturing environment, where students excel and flourish. Our REACH motto is a core aspect of our academic and pastoral provision and helps children develop holistically to become the best versions of themselves. REACH represents: Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Challenge and Happiness and provides a values-based thread which runs throughout the children’s day-to-day lives.
There are three phases to children’s Primary School education: Foundation Stage (3-5 years); Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) and Key Stage 2 (7-11 years). Strong pastoral support and rigorous continuity and progression across the curriculum supports the children in making seamless transitions between these phases of the school and into Year 7, whether this is the BISR Senior School or overseas.
In support of the importance of play and active learning, facilities support continual provision inside and outside the classroom, particularly with the younger year groups. The Primary School is very well resourced, including interactive screens in all classrooms and iPads available across the school. The students enjoy small classes of up to 24 students per class. Class Teachers and Teaching Assistants support children’s learning across the Primary School, with increasing use of expert knowledge provided by subject specialist teachers as the children get older. There is a well-staffed Learning Support Department based at Al Hamra, which helps students with specific learning needs, such as SEND and EAL, with designated support roles at the other sites. Teachers are very well qualified, experienced and up to date with current research and thinking on best teaching practice and they have ongoing training opportunities to further develop their skills.
We adapt the National Curriculum of England, including Chris Quigley learning objectives, to our local and intercultural context, to provide our students with a broad, rich, creative and rigorous curriculum.
Knowing what our children can understand and what they can do at any given moment is fundamental to planning for their future learning and progress. We assess the children continually, formatively within lessons and summatively, in a range of low stakes ways. We also use quizzes and other strategies to help children regularly retrieve learning from their long term memories and strengthen their neural pathways. We are committed to not creating a ‘test culture’ in the Primary School, in support of optimal learning and student wellbeing. We report termly to parents and there are opportunities during the year for teachers and parents to discuss the children’s learning and wellbeing.
We are committed to providing a warm and caring environment for our children in the Primary School. Class and Subject Teachers integrate the latest thinking and research on student wellbeing and mental health into day-to-day life, to enable our children to develop respect for themselves and others, and resilience and a growth mind-set in all that they do. We highly value our learning community, including the teacher-student and the home-school relationship, in creating a strong network of support for our children. There is a Counsellor who specifically supports Primary School children and families with their pastoral needs based at the Al Hamra site. The Counsellor works with children from the other sites based upon their needs and as appropriate.
The School week is Sunday to Thursday with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. We have an open-door policy, so parents are warmly welcome to pick up and drop off at the classroom door, enabling those informal chats in support of a strong home/school relationship. Parents tend to drop off their youngest children at school, whilst some of our older students in Primary choose to walk or cycle to school. Our F1 children finish early, at 1.15pm.
Our Extra-Curricular Activity (ECA) programme runs throughout the week which enhances our children’s broader education. Our trips and excursions in the Primary School are world class, including optional overseas trips. All students have access to our Thumamah camp, for day visits and overnight adventures. Students in all five Primary campuses have opportunities to connect with one another through special themed events during the academic year.