The International Children's Academy (ICA) curriculum incorporates and exceeds California's common state standards. These standards are combined together to create conceptual understanding and globally significant topics. For example, standards about plants in first grade are taught in one unit under the concept of “plants are important and our actions can impact them”, which is a globally relevant idea.
These globally relevant units in each grade level are trans-disciplinary which means they are taught by our specialist teachers as well. Our IB single subject classes include visual art, music, physical education and Hebrew language.
The students have opportunities to participate in field trips, learn from expert guest speakers and collaborate with other international students from around the world who practice the same IB concepts for each of their units.
Through the IB learner profile and attitudes we focus on creating internationally minded, curious learners.
Students are encouraged to take actions to make changes in their environment which will affect others. Every IB unit creates an opportunity for understanding of each individual can make a difference and provides learning experiences to take actions. For example, after learning about the importance of plants students donate to plant a tree and encourage others around them to do the same. The actions help students to take their learning further and connect it to real life which makes it meaningful.
Students in elementary school use manipulatives and do hands on activities in class and frequently reflect on their own learning.
Students can learn in variety ways and at different rates. The tasks are differentiated and the assessments/reflections guide students to improve their skills. Constant feedback from the teacher and peers is part of the assessment.
At the completion of lower school students are expected to
- Confidently communicate their feelings and thoughts orally, in writing, and through arts
- Work independently
- Reflect on their own learning
- Appreciate their own culture and differences of others
- Think critically and ask questions
- Understand the local/global issues and take actions toward them
- Act with integrity and honesty
- Be an active participant in group activities
- Understand the scientific method and scientific principles
- Make connections between past and present
- Independently do research and cite information
In addition to the critical thinking skills, students learn communication, social, self-management and research skills. By blending these skills and learning objectives of each subject the elementary school students are well prepared to transition into middle school.
What if your options were to read a novel about George Washington or visit his home and sit on his veranda, which would you choose? Which could prove to be more interesting and provide you with a more personal understanding of what helped shaped the man? Our unique Field Studies program integrates academic content areas into a realistic approach to learning beyond the classroom environment. Through one-day field trips or weeklong field studies, student’s experience learning in a natural setting as well as reinforcing concepts taught in the classroom. This curricular component offers distinctive opportunities for observation, research and interaction all within the setting of where history was made. Field studies build responsible and cooperative learning opportunities in real life situations providing academic, social, cultural and team work experience and practice. The historic and educational settings change with the grade level and emotional readiness of the students.
Our field studies have included Astro Camp, Catalina Environmental Program, trips to Washington DC, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Sacramento and San Francisco.