What is it like to learn at International School Twente?
Year 1 (IST A)
Students arrive in the morning and are greeted by their classroom teacher. They then complete their morning tasks and find their choice centre. After that, students engage in their first of many inquiry play stations, followed by a whole group meeting time with calendar discussion. After a brief snack and play time, students engage in several more sets of literacy and Mathematics-based stations and rotations. All stations are created with the current International Primary Curriculum (IPC) theme in mind and work to develop a range of skills. In the afternoon, students enjoy a range of activities including Music, reading aloud, extended play, outings, and time with their reading buddies.
Year 3 (IST C)
On arrival, students first hang their backpack in the hall. Gym bags are placed in the box in the classroom. They then pick a book to read quietly. At 8:30, it is time to share news and to go through the eight IPC personal goals with ‘Alistair Peacock’. At 10:00, there is a short break which includes playtime and snack time. On long days, there is also a long break for lunch.
Let’s give an impression of some of our activities; there is a spelling, a times table test, and a special time for reading in our mother tongue, called ‘D-E-A-R F-R-I-D-A-Y’. In view of IPC, we work in groups or in pairs to complete project-based learning tasks. We have gym time twice a week, and music is taught twice per week by our Music teacher. Food preparation and drawing are additional topics in our weekly schedule.
Year 6 (IST D)
Year 6 students are engaged in a rigorous routine of inquiry-based learning. The day usually starts with a session of estimation practice to build number sense, leading into workshops on reading strategies, creative writing, vocabulary building and Mathematical problem solving, each usually integrating the theme of the IPC topic. On long days, the afternoons are taken up by more IPC exploration, as students build, create, research and explore the world around them in relation to their topic. These investigations are reflected on, at the end of the day, with a variety of journals, discussions and debates.
A school day starts at 8.10, when the ‘first bell’ rings and students grab their books and bags to go to class, which starts at 8.15. After 45 minutes, the bell goes again, and students move on to the next class, which may be at our own department or in another part of the school building that we share with the Dutch school ‘College Zuid’. The classrooms for sciences (because of practicals taking place in specialized labs), arts (studios) and P.E. are shared with the Dutch school.
In their breaks, students can socialize, relax and prepare for the next lessons. Sometimes, students may have a period off, because they don’t take a particular subject. This time is usually spend on studying, either in our department for group work or in our library for real quiet studying and revising.
Depending on the time table, students can leave after their last lesson, although some choose to stay at school for extra tutoring (for instance in their mother tongue), studying, or socializing which all happens in the multifunctional common space in our department.