Primary School – Inquiry Based Learning
Our Primary School is located at Kodra e Diellit 2 residential area. The two story building, which houses Primary Years 1 to 6 and Secondary Years 7-11, has open, airy and bright learning spaces, as well as a library, gym, music room and science and computer labs attached to each classroom called “resource centres”. There is also a well-equipped playground for our youngest children in Key Stage 1. The school day begins at 08:30 and finishes at 15:30. We have been developing our curriculum throughout the school in order to prepare our students for the challenges of a global world and a more than ever unpredictable future. As a result, in all year groups in Primary school, students follow the English National Curriculum. Our qualified teachers develop lessons, activities and resources tailored to individual needs and abilities starting from the objectives set by the British government in the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Life skills such as critical thinking, analytical thinking, problem solving and working in teams are not separate subjects but are fully integrated into all aspects of the school day. Regular reporting and close contact with parents ensure that channels of communication on children’s progress are kept open and feedback is collected using different tools including an annual parents’ survey.
Our well-resourced library, and the online library where children and parent are all given free access by the school, takes children into the worlds of fiction and non-fiction and pupils are encouraged to pursue their interests and attend the after-school clubs offered by teaching and non-teaching staff.
Key Stage 1 - Years 1 to 2
Key Stage 1 (KS1) sets standards for the learning and development of children from 5 to 7 years old. It is the most comprehensive and well established programme for pre-school children offered in Albania which is called Year 1 and then into Year 2 (klasa e 1-rë).
In KS1, we educate the whole child supporting both academic ability alongside personality development. Safeguarding children and creating an enabling environment is crucial for them to be happy and if children are happy and come to school with a positive attitude each day then they will learn.
In KS1, the first assessment is also organised as in any other Primary school in the UK. Our children participate in “Phonics Screening” assessment at the end of Year 1 and the well-known SATs (Standardised Assessment Test) at the end of Year 2. SATs primarily assess progress in “core subjects” such as maths, reading, spelling and punctuation and grammar in the English language. Albanian language is another core subject studied every day for one hour (60 minutes) throughout the school. Other subjects in the National Curriculum include: Computing, History, Geography, Art, Music and Physical Education. These subjects are assessed using a variety of methods from teachers’ observation, internal assessment and quality of work as recorded in the child’s own subject / thematic notebooks
In KS1, all subjects are taught in English through a thematic and creative approach by our qualified British teachers and other international teaching staff.
Key Stage 2 - Years 3 to 6
Key Stage 2 (KS2) sets standards for the learning and development of children from 7 to 11 years old. The National Curriculum sets out the learning and expectations for Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6). All subjects are taught using many different teaching strategies with the children working individually, co-operatively in small or large groups and at times as a whole class.
Teachers do not make reference to only one textbook only but utilise a number of resources and tools to enhance learning of each students as individuals. The main home learning continues to be reading independently or together with the parent but some weekly or project-based tasks are also given to children to carry out at home.
We promote our pupils´ moral, social and cultural development throughout a wide range of activities both during the school day and as part of our after-school activities which provide additional opportunities for children to express and enjoy themselves at Primary school, not only academically, but also in sports, art and music. Every day, there are clubs offered free of charge before or after lunch and more individualised clubs after 15:30 for a small fee. Every term, there are whole school thematic weeks such as science week, art and culture week and specific activities such as sports tournaments, World Book Day and many more where children are encouraged to engage with cross-curricular work rather than subject centered.
The journey from Year 3 to Year 6 enables children to unlock the potential scientist, historian, author, mathematician or artist that they may become.
Primary School Curriculum Overview
A Focus On STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics)
Not just Digital Skills but the problem solving and other abilities that are educated through science will be crucial for jobs in the future so Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are built into the curriculum and co-curricular activities such as clubs, science festivals, coding events, excursions and guest speakers events.
Promoting British Values
We are proud to be the only school in Albania where British Values are embedded in the school life and children’s every day activities. We promote Respect, Tolerance, Rule of Law, Democracy and Individual Liberty and as a result our pupils are expected to gain:
- An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their well-being and safety
- An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination
Promoting fundamental British values which are equally European and universal values supports to school’s ambition of educating global citizens.
The learning journey continues outside the classroom through websites, class trips and homework tasks, which are an integral part of the programme. Students benefit from a distinctive mix of academic excellence, pastoral care, and a rich co-curricular programme
House System And Leadership
The British School of Tirana has three Houses – Dahl, Potter and Carroll.
Every pupil belongs to a House and has a strong sense of loyalty to their House community. Houses provide a framework for internal competitions. It is hoped that every child will support their House by participating in school life as fully as possible.
Pupils can earn points for their House throughout the week in all sorts of ways. This might be by exhibiting excellent behaviour, delivering high standards of work, being exceptionally helpful or achieving a target they have been set. The House Points are collected each Friday by the House Captains and the final total at the end of each School Term decides the winners of the House Cup.
House Captains and Vice Captains make up the School Students Council and meet with the Head of the School on a regular basis to discuss projects, ideas and developments.
Parents are kept informed on children’s progress through a variety of methods including the online platform called Tapestry, an electronic portal by registration that offered weekly updates on children progress as per all areas of the English National Curriculum including photo illustration and comments/ feedback from teachers.
Parent Evenings are held termly, in autumn and spring for all year groups. A parent conference is organised very early after the new school year starts so all the necessary information is given put to parents. Every first Friday of the month “drop-in” sessions are organised so parents can visit the school, look at their child’s notebook and other work produced and get teachers feedback on progress. Each year group receives 2 written reports during the course of the academic year. These record attainment as well as attitude to learning and identify next step targets.
Home Learning (Homework)
There is very little homework in primary school and it is mainly reading books at home, either from the Library or from the online platform that support English learning. Parents are also kept informed of the learning objectives on monthly or biweekly basis and additional tasks are sent to them via the online communication and management system of the school to support children at home with the most challenging tasks or project work.