International School Texas nursery program, classes, languages, music, PE, library, organic meals, and after school.
STEM Inquiry Lab
To best prepare students for our ever changing global world, IST is proud to introduce the STEM Inquiry Lab. The lab is utilized by Early Childhood- Grade 5 IST students to provide them with enriching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics focused activities. The Inquiry Lab serves as a student centered classroom that encourages collaboration between students.
In the lab, students are provided with problem based learning opportunities that allow them to develop solutions to real world problems. Instruction in the Inquiry Lab focuses on topics relevant to today’s technology centered world and incorporate the engineering process to ensure that students are able to define problems, conduct research, develop and design solutions, build and test models, and evaluate outcomes all while documenting their process.
The goal of the Inquiry Lab is to provide students with confidence in experimentation and investigation. Students learn to understand that failure is more than an option in the lab, it’s a requirement. Students learn that each time they do not succeed, they’re reinforcing their engineering and perseverance skills to become better problem solvers.
Currently, the work force is lacking candidates with adequate presentation, problem solving, and writing skills. IST STEM and IT instruction addresses these areas and ensures that students receive developmentally appropriate training to prepare them for a workforce that is expecting 1.4 million new jobs in STEM fields in the next five years alone.
The Inquiry Lab has been equipped with SmartBoard technology, a Lego wall, Lego Mindstorm and Lego WeDo robotics kits, programable Bee Bots, Makey Makey interactive circuit boards, Little Bits magnetic snap circuits, solar robots, 3D pen technology, and a Creator Pro Flashforge 3D printer.
Full Day.Half Day.3 Day Option
We nurture our students here at I.S.T. from the age of 2, and are delighted to offer our I.S.T. families a state-of-the-art early childhood department for our youngest learners. This exceptional, 21st-century learning environment encourages and promotes children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. Our newly renovated early childhood is fully equipped with age-appropriate, play-based equipment, custom collaborative furniture, promoting a love for learning, collaborative interactions and fun!
We place great emphasis on the pastoral care of all of our children, but none more so than with our youngest learners; social and emotional development is a hugely important focus in our early childhood unit. Throughout our day, we lovingly guide the children to collaborate with each other; teaching and encouraging them to share, to use good manners and politeness and to speak and interact with others in a caring and respectful manner.
In our early childhood department, we offer our students a varied curriculum, nurturing them both socially and academically, to adequately prepare them for their ultimate transition into pre-k and beyond. The children engage in age-appropriate lessons in literacy, IT and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), as well as the teaching of modern foreign languages (Spanish and Mandarin), four times a week. Activities are differentiated according to each child’s needs and we pride ourselves on our low-stress environment. The children will also use our brand new STEM and Inquiry lab, which opens in September, for innovative and practical lessons involving resources such as Lego engineering, Lego WeDo, Bee Bots, Makey Makey, Little Bits, robotics and Snap Circuits, to name a few. The purpose of our STEM and Inquiry Lab is to allow the children to invent, create and experiment at IST.
Our early childhood staff members are experts within their field and hold a clear passion for, and experience in, teaching early childhood. In addition, all of our early childhood staff members are bilingual. Though lessons are delivered in English, having bilingual staff members allows them to interact with the children in both English and Spanish, to promote fluency.
We offer 3-day, half and full day programs. 3-Day students attend Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:20- 3:30. Half-day students are in attendance from 8.20-12.30, daily; whilst our full time friends remain in the early childhood class from 8.20-3.30. In addition, I.S.T. is catered for by ‘Whole Foods’ and we are proud to offer a nutritious, well-balanced and delicious menu for all our students and staff, all of which is included in tuition fees. All children are provided with a healthy morning snack and full lunch; and full day students will also have an afternoon snack.
We are exceptionally proud of our early childhood unit and believe it provides our students with best possible opportunity to begin a lifelong love of learning and a sense of international mindedness throughout I.S.T. and beyond.
The school offers a differentiated learning experience for all subjects through inquiry based instruction so that students are appropriately nurtured and challenged. This is accomplished through our small class sizes, low student/teacher ratios, and best of class resources and components to support classroom instruction.
The school accepts applications for students from Early Childhood through Grade 5.
The school utilizes the standards of the British National Curriculum and the outward-looking, global philosophy of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) accreditation process for individualized, high-quality learning experiences in a safe and nurturing environment. The school also participates in a formal mindfulness program and adheres to a Positive Behavior Model. Combined, these programs encourage strong moral values, along with the highest standards of behavior and personal responsibility in our inclusive environment.
We encourage you to explore the UK National Curriculum.
Singapore Math is our PK-5 math resource originally created by the department of education in Singapore. It includes a variety of materials including textbooks, workbooks, challenge problems, and extra practice designed to reach students at all levels. Practice is sequential and organized to push students as they become more comfortable with the topics. There are also a variety of manipulatives available to help students visualize and conceptualize their learning. Singapore Math classrooms are productive, focused, and full of mathematical conversations.
Singapore Math differs from other math resources because it is interactive, collaborative, and creative, allowing students to use a variety of tools to solve problems and engage their critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to use concrete (physical objects), pictorial (drawings), and abstract (numbers and equations) methods, as they are ready, to solve problems in a variety of ways. The focus on activities is the process because there is always more than one way to solve a problem. Singapore Math is based on math concepts, surrounded by skills and procedures. All three are necessary for a well-rounded mathematics education.
We chose to use Singapore Math at the International School of Texas for several reasons. First, it is rigorous. With its mix of practice, problem solving, and mental calculation, students learn math deeply and broadly. Singapore Math is designed to prepare students to be successful in upper levels of math and to keep them engaged and excited and lifelong learners. Second, it is collaborative. The IB program highlights the importance of the 21st-century skill of collaboration, and Singapore Math does as well. Students need to be able to put their thinking into words, both orally and in writing. Students are encouraged to talk through how they’re solving problems with their classmates and work together to solve problems using more than one method. Third, Singapore Math is differentiated. Our students have a variety of skill sets, and Singapore Math has the materials to support all of our students, from students who need extra practice to students who are ready for an extra challenge. We chose Singapore Math because it is rigorous, collaborative, and differentiated.
As part of our commitment to creating well-rounded, confident leaders for the next generation and beyond, we consider fluency in more than one language to be of utmost importance. Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. High-quality language education should foster a child’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping children to study and work in other countries.
The top three languages spoken worldwide by primary and secondary language speakers are Mandarin, English and Spanish. Mandarin Chinese has over one billion speakers worldwide and is the political and cultural language of China. The Spanish language has 466 million speakers worldwide and our location in Texas offers many immersion and cultural opportunities to enhance the Spanish language learning experience. Furthermore, Mandarin, in contrast to Spanish (a Romance language) and English (of Germanic roots and origins), is tonal in its spoken form and its written form is based on characters. This contrast between the three languages offers our children wonderful breadth in their linguistic studies.
The brain’s linguistic function does not discriminate against or between languages. All language acquisition strengthens the brain’s plasticity. The earlier a child begins to tackle a second or third language, the better to support life long retention in addition to overall positive brain function.
We are often asked about immersion. The term “immersion” is used in a variety of ways by different schools which has led to many misunderstandings of the meaning of an immersion program. We are not an immersion school as we do not teach the core content areas such as math and science in the foreign languages. We operate similar to the FLES model. FLES is an acronym that stands for Foreign Language in the Elementary School. It is an approach to language learning that allows children to develop basic communicative skills in a language while reinforcing and enriching content in other disciplines.
Our language classes last from 20-45 minutes per session and are held four times weekly. Our children acquire proficiency in listening and speaking, understanding of and appreciation for other cultures, and age-appropriate proficiency in reading and writing the foreign language. Our Mandarin and Spanish language instruction is linked in content to all subjects taught in the regular classroom (i.e., math, science, history, geography, art and music).
MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire children to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and to increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As children progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and to listen, with discrimination, to the best in the musical canon. In Music children will:
Art, craft and design are an integral part of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge children, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As children progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. In art children will:
HEALTHY EATING PROGRAM
As part of our commitment to the healthy eating program, all the food a child needs during their school day, including morning snack and lunch, are covered by tuition. Our culinary partners are passionate advocates of healthy eating and happy children. We believe that it is never too early to instill good eating habits in our children and school lunch is just the place to start. We focus on healthy proteins, whole grains, seasonal fruits, vegetables and proper balance. We serve traditional and ethnic meals using best quality, better tasting, and better for you ingredients. We believe in using organic, non-processed, farm to table, nutrient dense foods. No hard to pronounce chemicals or chemical dyes are used. We can also accommodate special dietary needs including food allergies, gluten-free diets, faith-based and vegetarian requirements.
A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for children to become physically confident in a way that supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sports and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. The curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all children:
Our campus includes a library for children where they can visit, check out books to read, and engage in quiet reading time.
In addition to the books we procured, we have been fortunate to work with and receive books from a variety of generous donors including local public libraries. The books in our library are appropriate for all ages and offer the children a wide variety of factual and fiction subjects.