Standards reflect the broadest conceptual understandings of a discipline or learning area and are shared K1–G12. Standards are informed by the UWCSEA mission, educational goal, values, research-based best practice and the needs of our student body.
Some of the things we consider when creating or refining our standards are:
Is it an idea that endures over time?
Does it have lasting value beyond the classroom?
Is it conceptually driven?
Does it contain a mixture of macro and micro concepts integral to understanding that subject area?
The standards apply to all grade-levels from K1–G12, ensuring these concepts are revisited in developmentally appropriate ways as students transition from grade to grade. Because they are conceptual (rather than topical), students who join us at different stages of their education can access the curriculum in our learning programme, regardless of their educational background.
Strands are used to organise the learning under each K1–G12 Standard. In many cases, these represent the K1–G12 Standard in shorthand.
However, we sometimes further divide into sub-strands to help manage the learning. For example, the Strand of Personal Identity in PSE is divided into the sub-strands of Positive Self and Feelings and Emotions in the Primary School.
Conceptual Understandings are statements of conceptual relationship. They show how two or more concepts connect and are transferable across contexts. Within the UWCSEA Curriculum, Conceptual Understandings are written to be appropriate at a developmental stage and build towards the K1–G12 Standard. These may be grade-specific.
Conceptual Understandings support learning in the thinking classroom, where students construct and express their understandings. This allows students to access the broader concepts in the standard, while simultaneously developing an understanding of specific concepts appropriate to the grade-level.
Benchmarks are developmentally appropriate statements that identify the knowledge and skills required for the development of an understanding. Attached to each Conceptual Understanding in each grade, Benchmarks describe what a student should know or be able to do at each stage in their learning in order to develop understanding in each subject.
Where a meaningful connection is made, intentional development of a specific aspect of the UWCSEA profile has been explicitly linked to the associated benchmark to indicate the profile skill or quality that is being developed.
These are visible as icons in our curriculum system. We use these icons in our external communication to teachers, students and parents.
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Curious to learn more?
Gain a greater understanding of how our curriculum works in our Academic programme using a Science example, in our Outdoor Education programme using Foundation Skills as a model, or in our PSE curriculum as Safe Behaviours.