At ICS Addis we believe in providing a balanced educational program to all of our students by offering not only a strong academic program but also a broad range of co-curricular classes. The elementary school begins at early childhood, for ages 2-4, and continues for kindergarten up to grade 5. We offer an American curriculum with an international perspective, and we strive to instill respect for the host country at all levels.
Students in kindergarten are introduced to color mixing and tempera paints. In grade 1 students start to explore color, shape and lines using mixed media. In grade 2, students use both color mixing and the combination of line, color and shape to create projects like “My Dream House.” In grade 3, the element of texture is introduce along with color mixing and lines, colors and shapes.
Students in grades 4 and 5 spend the early part of the year reviewing the elements and principles of art and design in order to build visual and perceptual skills that they continue to use throughout the year in a variety of art projects. Students create line compositions, drawings from observation, and design projects focused on symmetry, balance and the use of positive and negative space. As the year progresses, students explore both art history and contemporary art as inspiration for their own art creation. Students experiment with a wide variety of media including paint, printmaking, textile design and clay sculpture. Creative and critical thinking are valued and developed through ongoing discussion of art and aesthetics.
At ICS, elementary music students are given opportunities to explore what it means to be musical. Students are encouraged to actively participate in singing, playing instruments, composition, improvisation, and listening while developing literacy in music. Encouraging students to experiment with sound while exploring the musical components of rhythm, melody, form, tempo, dynamics, timbre, and texture are an essential aspect of the program.
Students have opportunities to explore music in a variety of settings, including whole classroom, as a soloist and in small groups. Problem-solving and investigative learning are actively encouraged. A variety of repertoire is learned and performed, with an emphasis on exploring multiple genres of music from across the globe. Students have quite a few opportunities to perform throughout the year in assemblies and concerts, thus having the opportunity to learn performance as well as audience skills.
In kindergarten, students develop rhythm and pitch awareness through musical games and movement. In grade 1, students continue to develop rhythm and pitch awareness through musical games and movement. In grade 2, students start to identify and perform more complex melodic and rhythmic patterns. In grade 3, students continue to explore the concepts of form, mood, expression and style while performing and creating a more complex repertoire of music. In grade 4, ensemble skills are further developed as students learn how to play recorder. In grade 5, students continue to develop a variety of skills during general music class.
At ICS Addis, our main objective is to develop internationally-minded students who are able to communicate effectively with people from other countries and cultures.
In the elementary school, taking French as a second language helps us to achieve the goal of introducing second language study during the primary years, and it prepares our students to study other languages once they reach middle school.
At ICS, we help each child develop listening and speaking proficiency in the French language as part of our core curriculum. The elementary school has two French teachers who divide classes into beginning, intermediate, and advanced groups, which helps implement a learner-centered approach.
French as a foreign language courses are offered from grade 1 to grade 5. Programs for grades 1 and 2 are called Initiation 1 and Initiation 2, respectively. The curricula for grades 3 to 5 are based on a communicative and dynamic method, “Alex et Zoé”, aligned with the standards and skills developed by the Common European Framework for Languages. Students work on five standards: listening comprehension; oral expression; written expression; reading skills; cultural awareness.
Physical Education in the elementary grades aims at the development of the whole child that includes the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective aspects of each child.
The beginning focus of the program is the development of the children’s physical fitness that serves as the base for learning complex motor skills. The fitness unit includes what it means to be physically fit and the identification of activities for the development of the various fitness components. PE teachers determine focus elements and work a meaningful program that would address each child’s need. Currently, students are working on hand-eye coordination skills with special emphasis on ball handling and rhythms.
In the lower elementary grades, students learn the basic movement concepts such as body awareness, spatial awareness, and their relationships to objects, locomotor skills (galloping, hopping, skipping, running, and jumping) and non-locomotor skills (bending, twisting, stretching, and controlling objects). They also learn dance movements, hand-eye coordination skills, both individually and in groups.
The upper elementary grades focus on the refinement of basic movement skills and their applications in preparation for game situations. Grades 3 to 5 students have an opportunity to participate in intramural games that enhance the development of game skills and teamwork. Activities in the intramural games extend skills learned in the regular PE classes.
Following the physical fitness and hand-eye coordination skills is the learning of manipulative skills and the development of foot-eye coordination with special emphasis on floor hockey and soccer respectively.