Learning at SWIS > Early Years and Primary (PYP)

Early Years and Primary (PYP)

Welcome to SWIS!

The information that follows will provide you with some useful insights into the possibilities that exist for your children in this wonderful school.

SWIS is an inspirational learning community for students, staff, and parents; the first school in Shenzhen to have offered International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. At its core is the commitment to a transdisciplinary model, which is globally significant, where learning is not confined within the boundaries of traditional subject areas but is supported and enriched by them.

All students are encouraged to be curious about what they are learning, and differentiation allows students to demonstrate what they have learned using a variety of mediums or tools, at different levels, appropriate to individual needs.

At SWIS, we believe that education is much more than just academics and provide a rich combination of the arts, sports, opportunities for student action, and activities that challenge our students to grow and develop into balanced, internationally minded, global citizens.

We believe that everything we do has a purpose, and prepares our students for what the future may hold. To this end, SWIS engages all students in learning that is relevant to the 'real world' within a curriculum that is structured to be rigorous, stimulating and challenging.

Parents are integral partners in the education of their children, therefore SWIS commits to building a school community with a strong sense of belonging, and a family-like atmosphere.

Our caring, world-class educators are happy to meet you; we hope you can visit soon,


Anna Laurenson


Early Year and Primary Curriculum

SWIS offers a challenging and engaging inquiry based program with an expectation of excellence. We encourage our students to become active participants in their own learning and we ask parents to also share in the life of the school. We work together each day to ensure that the children in our care are happy, confident, curious, motivated, and enthusiastic about learning. In a safe and secure atmosphere, our students explore, question, research, reflect and make sense of their world as they become confident and independent learners.

The youngest learners have easy access to large shared open spaces that promote and encourage the development of our children's social skills and to help them to make sense of their learning and their world. Pre K students enjoy regular visits to the Library to hear stories, borrow books, and begin to learn how to use the library as a research tool. The children also enjoy lessons in PE, Dance,Yoga, Music and Art.


The language of instruction at SWIS is English and the focus of language learning is on its application across the subject areas, through the Units of Inquiry and in the wider context of the playground and community. Language plays a major role at SWIS where, as an international school, the language of instruction may not be the students' first language. We strive to develop a caring language community and all classrooms at SWIS promote a love of Literacy by providing language rich environments.

 A strong phonics program lays firm foundations for daily reading and writing practice, especially with our youngest students. Teachers at SWIS cater to the differing language needs of their students through differentiation so that all children have the opportunity to experience success. A dedicated EAL department also supports the students' language learning. The Language curriculum at SWIS is organized into the following areas:

Oral Language- listening and speaking
Visual Language- viewing and presenting
Written Language- reading
Written Language- writing

Chinese Language

In addition, all students at SWIS have one Chinese Language lesson each day. At SWIS, the Chinese program strives to unite the best elements of Eastern and Western traditions and practices. Students learn to read, write and speak fluently in Chinese through curricula tailored for both native and non-native speakers and is supported by a strong connection to our host country. In addition to training students in basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, the Chinese program also grooms students to have awareness and understanding of Chinese culture. 
Chinese Language Support is given to students according to their Chinese language proficiency and not only stimulates students' interest in learning Chinese, but also allows them to be exposed to and understand Chinese traditional and modern cultures. The units of learning in Chinese are theme oriented, integrating as much as possible with the Units of Inquiry in the classrooms, and teaching materials are carefully selected according to the students' current understanding, ability and experience.


Mathematics at SWIS is viewed as a way of thinking about the world and a language for constructing meaning. Where possible, authentic and meaningful links are made to Mathematical instruction through the Units of Inquiry. The ongoing teaching of specific Mathematical skills and strategies supports their application to real world problems. The Mathematics Curriculum at SWIS is organized into five strands:

Data Handling
Shape and Space
Pattern and Function

Science fosters curiosity and critical thinking at SWIS. Within Units of Inquiry, opportunities are provided for our students to explore, learn and apply scientific skills through investigations. Students formulate questions, handle tools, make predictions and observations, record data and apply scientific process in meaningful contexts. Through structured, purposeful inquiry and thinking critically about the world around them, students at SWIS are encouraged to further develop their theories.
The Science curriculum at SWIS is organized into four areas that are explored through the Units of Inquiry:

Living Things
Earth and Space
Materials and Matter
Forces and Energy

Social Studies

As an international school, Social Studies at SWIS fosters international mindedness.
The IB Learner Profiles are vital in the learning and teaching of Social Studies which focuses on people in relation to their past, present and future, their environment and their society. Social Studies at SWIS guides students towards a deeper understanding of themselves, others and the increasingly global society in which they live. The Social Studies curriculum at SWIS is organized into the following strands that are explored through the Units of Inquiry:
Social organization and culture
Continuity and change through time
Human and natural environments
Resource and the environment
Human systems and economic activities


At SWIS we believe that ICT skills are critical for developing life-long learners in the 21st century. ICT skills provide a tool for learning and inquiring. At SWIS each classroom has 5 student computers as well as access to two ICT suites fully equipped with 24 student computers and an interactive Smartboard. We also have one to one laptops in grades 4 and 5, as well a carts of iPads for student use in all grades. Our ICT curriculum focuses on the development of these six ICT skills:

Becoming responsible digital citizens.

Units Of Inquiry

At SWIS we strive to foster students' curiosity and love of learning through Units of Inquiry. Six Units of Inquiry are explored at each Grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 5 and four units in Nursery and Pre K each year. The Units of Inquiry are transdisciplinary in nature which allow students to make connections in their learning to multiple areas of the curriculum, including Social Studies, Science,
The Arts, Mathematics, and PE. At each grade level, a curriculum overview is provided to parents detailing the connections made between our Units of Inquiry and the single subject disciplines.

Home Learning

Home learning is an extension of what the student is doing in class. Sending the home learning daily allows students to consolidate their class learning each day. It also allows parents to understand the learning that took place each day so they are able to support their child in asking questions and placing value on the child's learning.
At SWIS, our objectives in setting regular homework tasks are to:
  • Enable students to make maximum progress in their academic and social development;
  • Help them to develop the skills of an independent learner;
  • Promote a partnership between home and school in supporting each child's learning;
  • Consolidate and reinforce the learning done in school
  • Allow students to practice skills taught
  • Develop good work habits and organizational skills for the future


Early Year and Primary Community Handbook 2019-2020

Parent Curriculum Packs 2019-2020

IB PYP Documents

Please click to download the IB PYP in an Early Years Setting

Please click to download the PYP Programme

SWIS PYP Curriculum Packs

Please click to download the PreK Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

Please click to download the Kindergarten Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

Please click to download the G1 Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

Please click to download the G2 Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

Please click to download the G3 Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

Please click to download the G4 Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

Please click to download the G5 Parent Curriculum Pack 2019-2020

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