The International Primary Curriculum
The International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

Overseas Family School (Elementary) offers the International Primary Curriculum to students from Grade 1 to Grade 5.

The International Primary Curriculum at Overseas Family School is a comprehensive curriculum for students 6-11 years old, made up of many exciting, engaging and globally relevant thematic IPC Units of Work, designed around a clear process of learning.

Learn more about our Elementary School
Learn more about IPC from the Fieldwork Education website

IPC Learning Goals

The IPC Learning Goals are the foundation of the International Primary Curriculum. They define what students are expected to know, what they should be able to do, and the understandings they will develop in their subject, personal and international learning.

Subject Learning Goals

The subject goals cover the knowledge, skills and understanding that children should learn in Science, History, Geography, ICT, Technology, Music, Art, PE, Society and International. These subjects are built into the different thematic units of work, where they work independently yet interdependently with each other so that children can talk about their learning through multiple perspectives.

Personal Learning Goals

The personal goals refer to those individual qualities and dispositions we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. There are eight IPC personal goals: enquiry, resilience, morality, communication, thoughtfulness, co-operation, respect and adaptability. Opportunities to experience and practice these very specific dispositions are built into the learning tasks within each unit of work.

International Learning Goals

The IPC is unique in defining learning goals that help young children begin the move towards an increasingly sophisticated national, international, global and intercultural perspective. Each IPC unit has embedded within it, learning-focused activities that help children gain an increasing sense of themselves, their community and the world around them, whilst developing the capacity to take action and make a difference.


Language Arts

Language is a fundamental element of identity and culture. The development of language is central to students' intellectual, social, and emotional growth, and is seen as a key element of the curriculum. Learners construct meaning based on their previous knowledge, attitudes, experiences, and abilities. English language skills are developed across the curriculum, cumulatively through the grades. The strands of written, oral and visual language are interrelated and interdependent. Language learning thrives when learners are engaged in meaningful use of language in authentic contexts.


All students have five periods of Mathematics per week, including one period of Coding. Grades 2 to 5 students are assessed within the first few weeks of school as to their mathematical understanding and performance and are then assigned a Mathematics teacher and performance group. Meeting students at their level of understanding, tailoring a program for them, and helping them reach their greatest capability within the grade level benchmarks is our goal. Grade 1 students have Mathematics with their homebase teacher.

IPC Units of Work

Each IPC Unit of Work in the International Primary Curriculum is designed around one core purpose: improving children's learning. These cross-curricular units are based around themes to help children make sense of the world they live in, to nurture their personal qualities and to develop in them a sense of international-mindedness. The Subject Learning Goals are broken down into different types of learning - factual knowledge, important life skills and conceptual understanding. Science is an integral part of many of the chosen units in our curriculum, where the children get to enjoy hands-on learning experiences in our purpose-built Science laboratories.


A diversity of national systems, cultures and language levels means that we have students at many different levels of reading. To best meet the needs of our students, Grades 1 to 5 students are assessed throughout the year in reading comprehension and oral skills. Reading teachers provide additional support to students in need through a pull-out program.


All students have one session of Art and Music per week and two sessions of PE/PHE per week. All students receive one hour of instructions each in ICT and Library every two weeks, with half-hourly weekly sessions for Grades 1 and 2 students and 1-hour alternate week sessions for Grades 3 to 5 students. All students will have the integrated ICT lessons in their homebase classes. All students receive one session per week of Chess instruction. All sessions are taught by experienced specialist teachers. Students who enjoy these areas may join optional lunchtime activities in the library, organised sport, art, music, chess and ICT.

Mother Tongue

Overseas Family School acknowledges the significant research and evidence that supports the benefits of the maintenance and development of each child's mother tongue wherever possible. The Mother Tongue program at Overseas Family School aims to maintain and develop students' mother tongue within the school, primarily utilising elements of relevant national curriculum and making links to the IPC Units of Work in the International Primary Curriculum when appropriate. Included are the four strands of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

All Mother Tongue program teachers are trained teachers in the 14 mother tongues on offer: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Mother Tongue classes operate at the same time as the Foreign Language classes for four hours of instructions per week.

Learn more about our Mother Tongue Program

Foreign Languages

At Overseas Family School, we are proud of our Foreign Language program. Students proficient in English can choose to learn a new language, choosing from French, German, Hindi, Japanese (Grade 5), Mandarin and Spanish. Foreign Language classes operate at the same time as the Mother Tongue classes for four hours of instructions per week.

Being an international school means that we have many diverse nationalities and cultures in our student population. Even though most of our students are already bi- or trilingual, we believe that continuing to learn languages enhances communication as well as cultural understanding. Our classes are taught by highly qualified staff members who make language learning fun and engaging. The beginner levels focus mostly on oral skills, with a more balanced emphasis on reading, writing, listening and speaking at the language continuation levels. Students are encouraged to choose a language and to stay with it for the entire academic year for optimum benefit.

Study Preparation Program (SPP)

Those students for whom English is not their first language can receive instruction from specialist teachers trained to teach elementary classroom as well as SPP (English).

  • The SPP1 and SPP2 classrooms operate as separate homebase classrooms but follow the same curriculum as all mainstream classes with some modification and an emphasis on English acquisition.
  • Students in SPP3 are placed in a mainstream classroom and can receive four hours of English support during the language periods.
  • Students move up the levels as their English proficiency progresses. These movements usually take place at the end of each semester.
  • Students in SPP1, SPP2 and SPP3 levels can also attend Mother Tongue classes on offer.

Learn more about our Study Preparation Program

After School Programs (Clubs) - Club Activities and Club Sports

Club Activities are offered in the Elementary School after school once per week over each semester. These take place on Wednesdays for Grades 2 to 5 students. All Club Activities will be of high quality. Students can choose to enrol for activities such as Craft, Chess, Sewing, Origami and Computer club.

Parallel to our Club Activities are the Club Sports, offered once per week for the same duration each semester. These take place on Mondays for Grades 2 to 5 students. Sample sports include tag games, tee-ball and table tennis. The program aims not only to teach the skills of each sport, but also to give the students involved experience in 'friendly competition'.

Additional opportunities include competitive sports teams (in one of our Core Sports), our annual musical production, Junior School Council, Elementary School choir, music ensembles, lunchtime sports and Enrichment Program activities.

Learn more about our Sports Program