Middle School

The Middle School is an important bridging period between Primary School and High School. Our Middle School Grades 5 – 8 are equivalent to Years 6 – 9 in the Cambridge Curriculum. (For equivalence chart click here). After 5th Grade the Middle School curriculum moves to subject teachers instead of homeroom teachers. Students in the Middle School study English as a first language or second language, Mathematics, Sciences that include Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Modern Languages that include a choice of Spanish or Turkish, Global Perspectives, Social Sciences which include History and Geography, Art, Music, Physical Education as well as Information Technology and Communication. Students are also given the opportunity to choose from a variety of clubs that most interest them. In the final year of Middle School the students prepare for the Cambridge Checkpoint Examinations.

Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint tests have been designed to assess learners at the end of Middle School. They are available in English, English as a Second Language, Mathematics, Science and Global Perspectives giving valuable feedback on learners’ strengths and weaknesses before they progress to the next stage of education.

The tests are marked in Cambridge and provide schools with an external international benchmark for learner performance. Each learner receives a statement of achievement and a diagnostic feedback report, giving schools detailed information.

Checkpoint exams are held once per Academic year in April. Students are expected to sit English or English as a Second Language as well as Science and Mathematics and obtain a certain level of accomplishment in order to qualify for our High School IGCSE programme. 

Music

Teaching in the Middle School ensures that ‘listening, and applying knowledge and understanding’, are developed through the interrelated skills of ‘performing’, ‘composing’ and ‘appraising’.

Students are taught performing skills:

  • sing unison and part songs developing vocal techniques and musical expression
  • perform with increasing control of instrument-specific techniques
  • practise, rehearse and perform with awareness of different parts, the roles and contribution of the different members of the group, and the audience and venue.

Students are taught composing skills:

  • improvise, exploring and developing musical ideas when performing
  • produce, develop and extend musical ideas, selecting and combining resources within musical structures and given genres, styles and traditions.

Students are taught appraising skills:

  • analyse, evaluate and compare pieces of music
  • communicate ideas and feelings about music using expressive language and musical vocabulary to justify their own opinions
  • adapt their own musical ideas and refine and improve their own and others’ work.

Students are taught about listening, and applying knowledge and understanding:

  • listen with discrimination and to internalise and recall sounds
  • identify the expressive use of musical elements, devices, tonalities and structures
  • identify the resources, conventions, processes and procedures, including use of ICT, staff notation and other relevant notations, used in selected musical genres, styles and traditions
  • identify the contextual influences that affect the way music is created, performed and heard

 

Art & Design

Teaching in the Middle School ensures that ‘investigating and making’ includes ‘exploring and developing ideas’ and ‘evaluating and developing work’. ‘Knowledge and understanding’ should inform this process.

Students are taught to explore and develop ideas:

  • record and analyse first-hand observations, to select from experience and imagination and to explore ideas for different purposes and audiences
  • discuss and question critically, and select from a range of visual and other information [for example, exhibitions, interviews with practitioners] to help them develop ideas for independent work
  • organise and present this information in different ways, including using a sketchbook.

Students are taught to investigate and make art, craft and design:

  • investigate, combine and manipulate materials and images, taking account of purpose and audience
  • apply and extend their experience of a range of materials and processes, including drawing, refining their control of tools and techniques
  • experiment with and select methods and approaches, synthesise observations, ideas and feelings, and design and make images and artefacts.

Students are taught to evaluate and develop work:

  • analyse and evaluate their own and others’ work, express opinions and make reasoned judgements
  • adapt and refine their work and plan and develop this further, in the light of their own and others’ evaluations.

Students are taught to have knowledge and understanding:

  • the visual and tactile qualities of materials and processes and how these can be manipulated and matched to ideas, purposes and audiences
  • codes and conventions and how these are used to represent ideas, beliefs, and values in works of art, craft and design
  • continuity and change in the purposes and audiences of artists, craftspeople and designers from Western Europe and the wider world

Modern Languages

The learning of a foreign language in middle school provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all students. Students develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the foreign language and the student’s own mother language. Learning another language raises awareness of the multi-lingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an international dimension to a student’s learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.

Turkish is the national language of the host culture – a natural choice for foreign students and an even more natural choice for children from multicultural families where one parent is Turkish.

Spanish has been chosen as a suitable foreign language for two main reasons – a huge number of people throughout the world use Spanish and it has an immense rich culture and literature largely known only in translation. It is also a relatively easy language to learn and a very helpful stepping stone to other Latin based European languages

At Istanbul International School Turkish is introduced at Grade 1 level. Spanish is introuduced at Grade 5 level. In the middle school learners must choose between Turkish and Spanish.

Learning another language presents opportunities for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other curriculum areas.

● aspects of English such as speaking and listening skills, knowledge and understanding of grammatical structures and sentence construction
● aspects of mathematics such as counting, calculations, money, the time and the date
● songs, alphabet, poems, rhymes and stories in other languages
● international or multi-cultural work, for example celebration of festivals, storytelling
● using ICT, for example e-mail with schools abroad, materials from the internet and satellite television
● geographical and historical work relating to other countries.

 

Global Perspectives

The programme develops the skills of research, analysis, evaluation, reflection, collaboration and communication. It strengthens the links across English as a first or second language, mathematics, science and ICT Starters.

Research says that the earlier students start to develop and practise their skills, the greater the impact on their learning. Global Perspectives helps to develop and embed cross-curricular skills at an earlier age, supporting them in their studies as they progress to Cambridge Upper Secondary and beyond.

Global Perspectives in the Middle School is made up of a series of challenges. Every year there are six different challenges. Each Challenge is six hours long, subdivided into a range of activities, and covers a range of skills. The skills are taught through a wide range of topics using a personal, local and global perspective. These topics are the same as the Cambridge IGCSE syllabus, allowing the school to develop and embed cross-curricular skills at an earlier age. Teachers help students to look at a variety of global issues or topics that give a range of contexts.

Throughout the programme, teachers focus on formative feedback on the skills they want students to develop. When a Challenge is completed, teachers can discuss with students ‘what went well’ and how they can improve further, so that students can reflect on, and improve, their performance.
A Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint Global Perspectives assessment is available at the end of the final year to assess learner performance. Students produce an individual research project. It enables teachers and students to assess how skills have developed throughout the programme. Teachers mark the projects before they are moderated in Cambridge. Learners receive a statement of achievement at Gold, Silver or Bronze level and the school receives a feedback report.

 

First Language English

The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Cambridge Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each Grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

For Cambridge Middle School English, the curriculum promotes an enquiry-based approach to learning to develop thinking skills and encourage intellectual engagement. The curriculum is presented in five content areas or ‘strands’. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The five strands and substrands are:

Phonics, spelling and vocabulary

Grammar and punctuation

  • Reading
  • Writing

Reading

  • Fiction and poetry
  • Non-fiction

Writing

  • Fiction and poetry
  • Non-fiction

Speaking and listening

The curriculum encourages learners to be confident, creative and intellectually engaged, capable of applying their skills to respond to a range of information, media and text with enjoyment and understanding. Learners who follow this framework will develop a first language competency in English based on a curriculum designed to be successful in any culture and to promote cross-cultural understanding. The English curriculum framework provides a solid foundation on which the later stages of education can be built.

Maths

The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each Grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives. For Cambridge Middle School Mathematics, the curriculum is presented in six content areas or ‘strands’. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The six strands and substrands are:

Number

  • Integers, powers and roots
  • Place value, ordering and rounding
  • Fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion
  • Calculation

Algebra

  • Expressions, equations and formulae
  • Sequences, functions and graphs

Geometry

  • Shapes and geometric reasoning
  • Position and movement

Measure

  • Length, mass and capacity
  • Times and rates of change
  • Area, perimeter and volume

Handling data

  • Planning and collecting data
  • Processing and presenting data
  • Interpreting and discussing results
  • Probability

Problem solving

  • Using techniques and skills in solving mathematical problems
  • Using understanding and strategies in solving problems.

The first five content areas are all underpinned by Problem solving, which provides a structure for the application of mathematical skills. Mental strategies are also a key part of the Number content. Together, these two areas form a progressive step preparing students for entry onto IGCSE level courses. This curriculum focuses on principles, patterns, systems, functions and relationships so that learners can apply their mathematical knowledge and develop a holistic understanding of the subject.

The Mathematics curriculum framework provides a solid foundation on which the later stages of education can be built.

Science

The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

For Cambridge Middle School Science, the curriculum is presented in four content areas or ‘strands’. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The four strands and substrands are:

Scientific enquiry

  • Ideas and evidence
  • Plan investigative work
  • Obtain and present evidence
  • Consider evidence and approach

Biology

  • Plants
  • Humans as organisms
  • Cells and organisms
  • Living things in their environment
  • Variation and classification

Chemistry

  • States of matter
  • Material properties
  • Material changes
  • The Earth

Physics

  • Forces and motion
  • Energy
  • The Earth and beyond.

The Scientific enquiry objectives underpin Biology, Chemistry and Physics, which are focused on developing confidence and interest in scientific knowledge. Environmental awareness and some history of science are also incorporated. The Cambridge Secondary 1 Science curriculum framework provides a solid foundation for further stages of education such as Cambridge IGCSE.

English as a Second Language

The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Cambridge Middle Schools are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8 of Middle School education. They reflect the teaching target for each year group and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

For Cambridge Middle School English as a Second Language, the curriculum is presented in five content areas or ‘strands’. The learning outcomes in each strand for each successive stage are defined in terms of what learners should be able to do in English. The five strands are:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Use of English

The curriculum provides a comprehensive set of progressive learning objectives for learners of English as a Second Language. These are based on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), which is used widely both within and beyond Europe to map learners’ progression in English. 

Social Studies

History

The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

Students are taught ‘Chronological understanding’ or to recognise and make appropriate use of dates, vocabulary and conventions that describe historical periods and the passing of time.

Students are taught about social, cultural and ethnic diversity of the societies studied. They are taught to analyse and explain the reasons for, and results of, the historical events, situations and changes in the periods studied.

Students are taught how and why historical events, people, situations and changes have been interpreted in different ways and evaluate interpretations.

Students are taught to identify, select and use a range of appropriate sources of information including oral accounts, document, printed sources, the media, artefacts, pictures, photographs, music, museums, buildings and sites and ICT-based sources as a basis for independent historical enquiries.

Students are taught to recall, prioritise and select historical information. They are taught to accurately select and use chronological conventions and historical vocabulary appropriate to periods studied to organise historical information.

Students are taught about local history, European history and World history before and after 1900.

Geography

In undertaking geographical enquiry, students are taught to ask geographical questions, suggest appropriate sequences of investigation, collect, record and present evidence, analyse and evaluate evidence and draw and justify conclusions.

In developing geographical skills, students are taught to use an extended geographical vocabulary, to select and use appropriate fieldwork techniques, to use atlases and globes, and maps and plans at a range of scales, to select and use secondary sources of evidence, to draw maps and plans at a range of scales, using symbols, keys and scales, and to communicate in different ways, including using ICT.

In reference to knowledge and understanding of places students are taught the location of places and environments studied, to describe national, international and global contexts studied, to describe and explain the physical and human features that give rise to the distinctive character of places, to explain how and why changes happen in places and to explain how places are interdependent.

Students are taught to describe and explain patterns of physical and human features and relate these to character of places and environments and to identify, describe and explain physical and human processes, and their impact on places and environments.

Students are taught to describe and explain environmental changes and recognise different ways of managing it as well as to explore the idea of sustainable development and recognise its implications for people, places and environments and for their own lives.

Students are taught 10 themes: tectonic processes and their effects on landscapes and people, geomorphological processes, how and why weather and climate vary, ecosystems, population distribution and change, the changing characteristics of settlements, changing distribution of economic activity and its impact, development, environmental issues and resource issues.

 

Information Communication Technology

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a part of the educational experience worldwide and regarded as a new ‘literacy’ alongside reading, writing and numeracy.

Cambridge ICT Starters is a series of modules which assess candidates on their ability to use a range of compuıter software to communicate, handle information, model and program solutions.

Learners will develop key ICT skills in a range of applications including computer programming, word processing, digital graphics, databases, spreadsheets, email, presentations, video/animation, the internet and web authoring. They will also consider wider issues such as eSafety and the adaption of their work to suit their audience.

Learners will learn to:

  • Use ICT hardware and software and develop knowledge of ICT
  • Communicate using ICT
  • Handle information using ICT
  • Program solutions to problems

Learners will:

  • Learn how to use software to create and edit short pieces of text
  • Learn how to use software to create, edit and save pictures
  • Learn how to use ICT to classify information and present their findings in the form of simple charts or graphs
  • Learn how to plan and create a program
  • Learn how to use ICT to search for digital information
  • Learn how to use email software to write and send messages, and to collect, read and reply to messages

Physical Education

Teaching in the Middle School ensures that when ‘evaluating and improving performance’, connections are made between ‘developing, selecting and applying skills, tactics and compositional ideas’, and ‘fitness and health’.

Learners are taught to understand fitness and the benefits of physical fitness to health. Learners are taught through a number of activities including:

Games activities

  • Using techniques that suit a specific game
  • Use the principles of attack and defense
  • Responding to changing situation in games

Gymnastic activities

  • Perform sequences
  • Use techniques and movement combinations

Athletic activities

  • Set and meet personal and group targets in a range of athletic events, challenges and competitions
  • Students learn and play football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, etc..

     

Science

The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

For Cambridge Middle School Science, the curriculum is presented in four content areas or ‘strands’. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The four strands and substrands are:

Scientific enquiry

  • Ideas and evidence
  • Plan investigative work
  • Obtain and present evidence
  • Consider evidence and approach

Biology

  • Plants
  • Humans as organisms
  • Cells and organisms
  • Living things in their environment
  • Variation and classification

Chemistry

  • States of matter
  • Material properties
  • Material changes
  • The Earth

Physics

  • Forces and motion
  • Energy
  • The Earth and beyond.

The Scientific enquiry objectives underpin Biology, Chemistry and Physics, which are focused on developing confidence and interest in scientific knowledge. Environmental awareness and some history of science are also incorporated. The Cambridge Secondary 1 Science curriculum framework provides a solid foundation for further stages of education such as Cambridge IGCSE.

    Art Design

    Teaching in the Middle School ensures that ‘investigating and making’ includes ‘exploring and developing ideas’ and ‘evaluating and developing work’. ‘Knowledge and understanding’ should inform this process.

    Students are taught to explore and develop ideas:

    • record and analyse first-hand observations, to select from experience and imagination and to explore ideas for different purposes and audiences
    • discuss and question critically, and select from a range of visual and other information [for example, exhibitions, interviews with practitioners, CDROMs] to help them develop ideas for independent work
    • organise and present this information in different ways, including using a sketchbook.

    Students are taught to investigate and make art, craft and design:

    • investigate, combine and manipulate materials and images, taking account of purpose and audience
    • apply and extend their experience of a range of materials and processes, including drawing, refining their control of tools and techniques
    • experiment with and select methods and approaches, synthesise observations, ideas and feelings, and design and make images and artefacts.

    Students are taught to evaluate and develop work:

    • analyse and evaluate their own and others’ work, express opinions and make reasoned judgements
    • adapt and refine their work and plan and develop this further, in the light of their own and others’ evaluations.

    Students are taught to have knowledge and understanding:

    • the visual and tactile qualities of materials and processes and how these can be manipulated and matched to ideas, purposes and audiences
    • codes and conventions and how these are used to represent ideas, beliefs, and values in works of art, craft and design
    • continuity and change in the purposes and audiences of artists, craftspeople and designers from Western Europe and the wider world

      Maths

      The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each Grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives. For Cambridge Middle School Mathematics, the curriculum is presented in six content areas or ‘strands’. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The six strands and substrands are:

      Number

          • Integers, powers and roots
          • Place value, ordering and rounding
          • Fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion
          • Calculation

      Algebra

          • Expressions, equations and formulae
          • Sequences, functions and graphs

      Geometry

          • Shapes and geometric reasoning
          • Position and movement

      Measure

          • Length, mass and capacity
          • Times and rates of change
          • Area, perimeter and volume

      Handling data

          • Planning and collecting data
          • Processing and presenting data
          • Interpreting and discussing results
          • Probability

      Problem solving

          • Using techniques and skills in solving mathematical problems
          • Using understanding and strategies in solving problems.

      The first five content areas are all underpinned by Problem solving, which provides a structure for the application of mathematical skills. Mental strategies are also a key part of the Number content. Together, these two areas form a progressive step preparing students for entry onto IGCSE level courses. This curriculum focuses on principles, patterns, systems, functions and relationships so that learners can apply their mathematical knowledge and develop a holistic understanding of the subject.

      The Mathematics curriculum framework provides a solid foundation on which the later stages of education can be built.

      Social Studies

      History

      The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

      Students are taught ‘Chronological understanding’ or to recognise and make appropriate use of dates, vocabulary and conventions that describe historical periods and the passing of time.

      Students are taught about social, cultural and ethnic diversity of the societies studied. They are taught to analyse and explain the reasons for, and results of, the historical events, situations and changes in the periods studied.

      Students are taught how and why historical events, people, situations and changes have been interpreted in different ways and evaluate interpretations.

      Students are taught to identify, select and use a range of appropriate sources of information including oral accounts, document, printed sources, the media, artefacts, pictures, photographs, music, museums, buildings and sites and ICT-based sources as a basis for independent historical enquiries.

      Students are taught to recall, prioritise and select historical information. They are taught to accurately select and use chronological conventions and historical vocabulary appropriate to periods studied to organise historical information.

      Students are taught about local history, European history and world history before and after 1900.

      Geography

      In undertaking geographical enquiry, students are taught to ask geographical questions, suggest appropriate sequences of investigation, collect, record and present evidence and analyse and evaluate evidence and draw and justify conclusions.

      In developing geographical skills, students are taught to use an extended geographical vocabulary, to select and use appropriate fieldwork techniques, to use atlases and globes, and maps and plans at a range of scales, to select and use secondary sources of evidence, to draw maps and plans at a range of scales, using symbols, keys and scales, and to communicate in different ways, including using ICT.

      In reference to knowledge and understanding of places students are taught the location of places and environments studied, to describe national, international and global contexts studied, to describe and explain the physical and human features that give rise to the distinctive character of places, to explain how and why changes happen in places and to explain how places are interdependent.

      Students are taught to describe and explain patterns of physical and human features and relate these to character of places and environments and to identify, describe and explain physical and human processes, and their impact on places and environments.

      Students are taught to describe and explain environmental changes and recognise different ways of managing it as well as to explore the idea of sustainable development and recognise its implications for people, places and environments and for their own lives.

      Students are taught 10 themes: tectonic processes and their effects on landscapes and people, geomorphological processes, how and why weather and climate vary, ecosystems, population distribution and change, the changing characteristics of settlements, changing distribution of economic activity and its impact, development, environmental issues and resource issues.

      Global Perspectives

      The programme develops the skills of research, analysis, evaluation, reflection, collaboration and communication. It strengthens the links across English as a first or second language, mathematics, science and ICT Starters.

      Research says that the earlier students start to develop and practise their skills, the greater the impact on their learning. Global Perspectives helps to develop and embed cross-curricular skills at an earlier age, supporting them in their studies as they progress to Cambridge Upper Secondary and beyond.

      Global Perspectives in the Middle School is made up of a series of challenges. Every year there are six different challenges. Each Challenge is six hours long, subdivided into a range of activities, and covers a range of skills. The skills are taught through a wide range of topics using a personal, local and global perspective. These topics are the same as the Cambridge IGCSE syllabus, allowing the school to develop and embed cross-curricular skills at an earlier age. Teachers help students to look at a variety of global issues or topics that give a range of contexts.

      Throughout the programme, teachers focus on formative feedback on the skills they want students to develop. When a Challenge is completed, teachers can discuss with students ‘what went well’ and how they can improve further, so that students can reflect on, and improve, their performance.

      A Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint Global Perspectives assessment is available at the end of the final year to assess learner performance. Students produce an individual research project. It enables teachers and students to assess how skills have developed throughout the programme. Teachers mark the projects before they are moderated in Cambridge. Learners receive a statement of achievement at Gold, Silver or Bronze level and the school receives a feedback report.

      Music

      Teaching in the Middle School ensures that ‘listening, and applying knowledge and understanding’, are developed through the interrelated skills of ‘performing’, ‘composing’ and ‘appraising’.

      Students are taught performing skills:

      • sing unison and part songs developing vocal techniques and musical expression
      • perform with increasing control of instrument-specific techniques
      • practise, rehearse and perform with awareness of different parts, the roles and contribution of the different members of the group, and the audience and venue.

      Students are taught composing skills:

      • improvise, exploring and developing musical ideas when performing
      • produce, develop and extend musical ideas, selecting and combining resources within musical structures and given genres, styles and traditions.

      Students are taught appraising skills:

      • analyse, evaluate and compare pieces of music
      • communicate ideas and feelings about music using expressive language and musical vocabulary to justify their own opinions
      • adapt their own musical ideas and refine and improve their own and others’ work.

      Students are taught about listening, and applying knowledge and understanding:

      • listen with discrimination and to internalise and recall sounds
      • identify the expressive use of musical elements, devices, tonalities and structures
      • identify the resources, conventions, processes and procedures, including use of ICT, staff notation and other relevant notations, used in selected musical genres, styles and traditions
      • identify the contextual influences that affect the way music is created, performed and heard

      Physical Education

      Teaching in the Middle School ensures that when ‘evaluating and improving performance’, connections are made between ‘developing, selecting and applying skills, tactics and compositional ideas’, and ‘fitness and health’.

      Learners are taught to understand fitness and the benefits of physical fitness to health. Learners are taught through a number of activities including:

      Games activities

      • Using techniques that suit a specific game
      • Use the principles of attack and defense
      • Responding to changing situation in games

      Gymnastic activities

      • Perform sequences
      • Use techniques and movement combinations

      Athletic activities

      • Set and meet personal and group targets in a range of athletic events, challenges and competitions
      • Students learn and play football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, etc..

      First Language English

      The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Cambridge Middle School are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8. They reflect the teaching target for each Grade and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

      For Cambridge Middle School English, the curriculum promotes an enquiry-based approach to learning to develop thinking skills and encourage intellectual engagement. The curriculum is presented in five content areas or ‘strands’. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The five strands and substrands are:

      Phonics, spelling and vocabulary

      Grammar and punctuation

      • Reading
      • Writing

      Reading

      • Fiction and poetry
      • Non-fiction

      Writing

      • Fiction and poetry
      • Non-fiction

      Speaking and listening

      The curriculum encourages learners to be confident, creative and intellectually engaged, capable of applying their skills to respond to a range of information, media and text with enjoyment and understanding. Learners who follow this framework will develop a first language competency in English based on a curriculum designed to be successful in any culture and to promote cross-cultural understanding. The English curriculum framework provides a solid foundation on which the later stages of education can be built.

      English as a Second Language

      The curriculum frameworks for each subject for Cambridge Middle Schools are organised into three stages corresponding to Grades 6, 7 and 8 of Middle School education. They reflect the teaching target for each year group and provide comprehensive learning objectives.

      For Cambridge Middle School English as a Second Language, the curriculum is presented in five content areas or ‘strands’. The learning outcomes in each strand for each successive stage are defined in terms of what learners should be able to do in English. The five strands are:

      • Reading
      • Listening
      • Writing
      • Speaking
      • Use of English

      The curriculum provides a comprehensive set of progressive learning objectives for learners of English as a Second Language. These are based on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), which is used widely both within and beyond Europe to map learners’ progression in English. 

        Modern Languages

        The learning of a foreign language in Middle School provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all students. Students develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the foreign language and the student’s own mother language. Learning another language raises awareness of the multi-lingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an international dimension to a student’s learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.

        Turkish is the national language of the host culture – a natural choice for foreign students and an even more natural choice for children from multicultural families where one parent is Turkish.

        Spanish has been chosen as a suitable foreign language for two main reasons – a huge number of people throughout the world use Spanish and it has an immense rich culture and literature largely known only in translation. It is also a relatively easy language to learn and a very helpful stepping stone to other Latin based European languages

        At Istanbul International School Turkish is introduced at Grade 1 level. Spanish is introuduced at Grade 5 level. In the Middle School learners must choose between Turkish and Spanish.

        Learning another language presents opportunities for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other curriculum areas.

        ● aspects of English such as speaking and listening skills, knowledge and understanding of grammatical structures and sentence construction
        ● aspects of mathematics such as counting, calculations, money, the time and the date
        ● songs, alphabet, poems, rhymes and stories in other languages
        ● international or multi-cultural work, for example celebration of festivals, storytelling
        ● using ICT, for example e-mail with schools abroad, materials from the internet and satellite television
        ● geographical and historical work relating to other countries.

          Information Communication Technology

          Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a part of the educational experience worldwide and regarded as a new ‘literacy’ alongside reading, writing and numeracy.

          Cambridge ICT Starters is a series of modules which assess candidates on their ability to use a range of compuıter software to communicate, handle information, model and program solutions.

          Learners will develop key ICT skills in a range of applications including computer programming, word processing, digital graphics, databases, spreadsheets, email, presentations, video/animation, the internet and web authoring. They will also consider wider issues such as eSafety and the adaption of their work to suit their audience.

          Learners will learn to:

          • Use ICT hardware and software and develop knowledge of ICT
          • Communicate using ICT
          • Handle information using ICT
          • Program solutions to problems

          Learners will:

          • Learn how to use software to create and edit short pieces of text
          • Learn how to use software to create, edit and save pictures
          • Learn how to use ICT to classify information and present their findings in the form of simple charts or graphs
          • Learn how to plan and create a program
          • Learn how to use ICT to search for digital information
          • Learn how to use email software to write and send messages, and to collect, read and reply to messages

          'A note from the director '

          The first challenge relates to adjustment – from the the nurtured care of the class teacher to an environment where the student has to be more resourceful as he/she works with a variety of specialist teachers and is expected to be more independent and responsible.

           

          Subjects are defined and the study is in more depth. Our approach to inquiry takes into account the critical needs of the adolescent brain, attempts to inspire and engage by providing a rigorous academic experience and yet respects that the student is developing in a variety of areas of perception, including a sense of his/her identity in a fast changing world. The programme anticipating a variety of different needs in the future for global citizens equips the student with a wide range of skills as well as knowledge in a range of subjects. Mother Language, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, Visual Arts, ICT, Music, PE and Global Perspectives.

           

          In his recent report, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools in England, identified that too many students are let down in the early stages of secondary school, entitling his report ‘Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years?’. He goes on to identify that a weakness in teaching and pupil progress reflects the lack of priority given to Key Stage and Middle Years by many schools.

           

          Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, roughly spanning ages eleven to thirteen, vary tremendously in their levels of maturity. It has been said that middle school students are interested in: absolutely everything … for half an hour. Other than the first three years of life, this is the grade span in which youngsters are most transformed. They enter middle school as children and leave as young adults. Sixth graders, except for a few more mature students, may look and act like children. They still regard the teacher as the fount of knowledge and their unquestioned leader. Seventh graders have typically entered what may be the most disorienting time of life. They have discovered sexuality but still deal with most things like children. Bickering and tattling are rampant, and they are intolerant of imperfection in anyone or anything. Eighth graders are generally in the process of coming to terms with their emerging adulthood and are far mellower than sixth or seventh graders. Many of them understand and appreciate irony and adult wit. While they are not children and want independence, they often prefer adult guidance to full responsibility.

          Students at all three grade levels need variety. While it is important for knowledge and conceptual understanding to be based in concrete experiences, middle school students will become as bored with exclusively hands-on experiences as with straight textbook instruction. Sixth graders will stay with engaging projects for some time. Seventh graders have other agendas and often test out their social skills, however nascent they may be. Eighth graders will rapidly and smoothly convert a lab into a full-blown social experience which has little to do with what the teacher intended.

           

           

          The key to working with each of these grade levels is to keep them involved. Adolescents seldom stop to contemplate. They storm through life. Plan lesson sequences with a mixture of strategies, from observing real things, to writing, to reading, to oral sharing to planning and carrying out investigations. The more variety and the quicker the pace, the better it suits them. It takes creativity to keep the attention of these students. Using humour, bringing in strange objects, telling stories, and asking intriguing questions are all useful.  In addition, involvement in planning is very helpful as they become ready to take on more and more responsibility for their own education.

          Our Middle Years has been designed to support students during this crucial time. The adolescent brain is at a stage of specialising and pruning connections in a ‘use it or lose it’ fashion. It is crucial for students to make meaning of their learning to help strengthen new connections and to ensure that the existing knowledge and skills are not lost or pruned. This happens in a range of subjects: Mother Language, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, Visual Arts, ICT, Music, PE and not least Global Perspectives.

          "A note from the director"

          The first challenge relates to adjustment – from the the nurtured care of the class teacher to an environment where the student has to be more resourceful as he/she works with a variety of specialist teachers and is expected to be more independent and responsible.

          Subjects are defined and the study is in more depth. Our approach to inquiry takes into account the critical needs of the adolescent brain, attempts to inspire and engage by providing a rigorous academic experience and yet respects that the student is developing in a variety of areas of perception, including a sense of his/her identity in a fast changing world. The programme anticipating a variety of different needs in the future for global citizens equips the student with a wide range of skills as well as knowledge in a range of subjects. Mother Language, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, Visual Arts, ICT, Music, PE and Global Perspectives.

          In his recent report, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools in England, identified that too many students are let down in the early stages of secondary school, entitling his report ‘Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years?’. He goes on to identify that a weakness in teaching and pupil progress reflects the lack of priority given to Key Stage and Middle Years by many schools.

          Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, roughly spanning ages eleven to thirteen, vary tremendously in their levels of maturity. It has been said that middle school students are interested in: absolutely everything … for half an hour. Other than the first three years of life, this is the grade span in which youngsters are most transformed. They enter middle school as children and leave as young adults. Sixth graders, except for a few more mature students, may look and act like children. They still regard the teacher as the fount of knowledge and their unquestioned leader. Seventh graders have typically entered what may be the most disorienting time of life. They have discovered sexuality but still deal with most things like children. Bickering and tattling are rampant, and they are intolerant of imperfection in anyone or anything. Eighth graders are generally in the process of coming to terms with their emerging adulthood and are far mellower than sixth or seventh graders. Many of them understand and appreciate irony and adult wit. While they are not children and want independence, they often prefer adult guidance to full responsibility.

          Students at all three grade levels need variety. While it is important for knowledge and conceptual understanding to be based in concrete experiences, middle school students will become as bored with exclusively hands-on experiences as with straight textbook instruction. Sixth graders will stay with engaging projects for some time. Seventh graders have other agendas and often test out their social skills, however nascent they may be. Eighth graders will rapidly and smoothly convert a lab into a full-blown social experience which has little to do with what the teacher intended.

          The key to working with each of these grade levels is to keep them involved. Adolescents seldom stop to contemplate. They storm through life. Plan lesson sequences with a mixture of strategies, from observing real things, to writing, to reading, to oral sharing to planning and carrying out investigations. The more variety and the quicker the pace, the better it suits them. It takes creativity to keep the attention of these students. Using humour, bringing in strange objects, telling stories, and asking intriguing questions are all useful.  In addition, involvement in planning is very helpful as they become ready to take on more and more responsibility for their own education.

          Our Middle Years has been designed to support students during this crucial time. The adolescent brain is at a stage of specialising and pruning connections in a ‘use it or lose it’ fashion. It is crucial for students to make meaning of their learning to help strengthen new connections and to ensure that the existing knowledge and skills are not lost or pruned. This happens in a range of subjects: Mother Language, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, Visual Arts, ICT, Music, PE and not least Global Perspectives.