Teaching &

Lower & Upper Primary


Primary Curriculum

The school’s curriculum is designed to meet the different needs of our particular student body while maintaining an essentially British education and ethos. We aim to give pupils a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated educational experience with an increasing emphasis on cross-curricular links. International and Brazilian elements are incorporated where appropriate.

From Pre-Nursery to Reception, the school follows the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC). From Year 1 to Year 6, the programme broadly follows the IPC – International Primary Curriculum. Year 7, 8 and 9 follow the British National Curriculum. Secondary students are prepared for the University of Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations that are taken at the end of Year 11. The final two years are directed towards the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a demanding course leading to a highly respected and widely recognised university entrance qualification.

The International Early Years Programme (IEYC)

In the Early Years (Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception), the school is guided by the International Early Years Programme (IEYC); which is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5. It uses international best practices, holistic enquiry and play-based approaches that cover all curriculum areas including personal, social and emotional development.

In the Early Years, children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children generally develop the three prime areas first: Communication and Language; Physical Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional development. These prime areas are the most essential areas of learning. The prime areas, in turn, help to develop skills in four specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts and Design. Children in the IEYC learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and outside.

The dedicated Early Years team ensures that each child makes a smooth transition from home to school by linking school and home experiences and maintaining an active and positive home-school partnership. We believe that it is vital for children to feel secure within the school setting and we are committed to maintaining a warm and welcoming environment.

Teachers carefully plan meaningful learning opportunities that empower children to initiate activities, known as ‘child-led’ learning. Each child is encouraged to develop a sense of order, organisation, independence, self-confidence, creativity, responsibility and respect. Opportunities for repetition, reinforcement and enrichment are offered to meet the needs and pace at which each child learns.


  1. The earliest years of life are important in their own right.
  2. Children should be supported to learn and develop at their own unique pace.
  3. Play is an essential aspect of all children’s learning and development.
  4. Learning happens when developmentally-appropriate, teaching-scaffolded and child initiated experiences harness children’s natural curiosity in an enabling environment.
  5. Independent and interdependent learning experiences create a context for personal development and are the foundation of international mindedness.
  6. Knowledge and skills development lead to an increasing sense of understanding when children are provided with opportunities to explore and express their ideas in multiple ways.
  7. Ongoing assessment, in the form of evaluation and reflection, is effective when it involves learning links with the student’s home.
  8. Learning should be motivating, engaging and fun, opening up a world of wonder for children where personal interests can flourish.

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a curriculum for children aged 5 to 11 years old. It is used by over 730 schools in 92 countries worldwide. The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, with a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for every subject. It also develops international mindedness and encourages personal learning. It uses objectives from the UK’s National Curriculum and identifies the skills, knowledge and understanding that children should acquire.

The IPC has over 90 different thematic units of learning with child-friendly, contemporary topics that appeal to all ages of primary children. The themes help motivate students to learn about Science, Geography, History and other curriculum subjects, encouraging them to make purposeful links and connections throughout their learning and to the world they live in. Linking subjects means that children make more connections with their learning that can help them to understand and apply the concepts taught; the more connections the brain makes, the better a child learns.

Within each theme, the IPC provides many suggestions for collaborative and active learning, inside and outside the classroom, for role play, and for children to learn from each other.


Mileposts 1, 2 and 3

The IPC organises the curriculum within sets of year groups: Milepost 1 (Year 1 and Year 2); Milepost 2 (Year 3 and Year 4); Milepost 3 (Year 5 and Year 6). The curriculum is split into five themes or ‘learning units’ over the course of each year. A balance between children’s skills, knowledge and understanding builds progressively over the year. Mathematics, English and Portuguese are linked to the IPC units where appropriate. However, integral knowledge, skills and understanding in English and Mathematics are taught through the learning objectives of the National Curriculum for England, while Portuguese is taught through the Brazilian curriculum. Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) is taught separately using curriculum models from the UK that include Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and the PSHE Association’s recommendations.

When children complete the Early Years, they enter Milepost 1 (Year 1).  By then, they will have acquired language skills in both Portuguese and English. By the time children are 7 years old and ready to move into Milepost 2 (Year 3), they can speak, read and write in both Portuguese and English.

Throughout Mileposts 1, 2 and 3, their learning is focused on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will prepare them intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally for the transition through to Secondary School.