Grade 1

Curriculum Guide

Child Protection Program

The International School of the Sacred Heart promotes a safe and welcoming environment which each person is valued, cared for and
respected. Schools fill a special institutional role in society as protectors of children. Schools need to ensure that all children in their care are afforded a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop, both at school and away.

Program’s Main Ideas:
We all have the right to feel safe all of the time
Nothing is so awful we can’t talk about it

  • Lesson 1: Feeling Safe
  • Lesson 2: Taking Risks
  • Lesson 3: Nothing is so awful we can’t talk about it with someone
  • Lesson 4: Everyone has the right to feel safe all of the time 
  • Lesson 5: Touching Rule

Creative and Performing Arts

The Junior School Art curriculum introduces students to a variety of creative  experiences. The curriculum encourages personal expression using a variety of techniques and materials. Students are introduced to art of different cultures and the
works of master artists, their lives, techniques and styles. Subjects taught in the grade level classes are integrated throughout the art curriculum. The Art program develops students’ abilities to:

  • Recognize a variety of lines and shapes
  • Identify different color groups, telling how they are made and how they can be used to enhance artwork
  • Use media and materials in a safe and responsible way
  • Recall specific works of art belonging to different artists, places, cultures and times 
  • Respond and express their personal feelings, memory and imagination  through their own artwork
  • Recognize and implement the elements and principals of design

Music in the Kindergarten and Junior School focuses on developing a love and  appreciation of music through song, dance, movement and instrumental performance.

At all levels, music is taught as a language, with the aural and physical experiences preceding the cognitive. From the very first days in the music classroom, the foundation to music literacy is laid using visual icons and manipulatives, melodic hand signs and “stick” notation. Students progress towards fluency with standard music notation in the later grades.

The music program also strives to address a number of other skill areas. By taking part in musical games and activities, children develop self‐confidence, effective communication skills and conflict resolution strategies. Music also
develops the intellectual faculties; discerning patterns and variations brings the child’s
cognitive abilities into play, and learning the words, melody and actions of a song aids
memory development. Developing proper technique on classroom instruments (drums,
xylophones, recorder) promotes physical coordination and manual dexterity. Additionally, musical experiences awaken the child’s imagination, relieve internal tension and pave the way for more abstract thought processes.

Above all, students are instilled with a realization that music is a natural human expression that celebrates the richness and beauty of the world around them.
More specifically, students in Grade One:


  • Know (be familiar with) a repertoire of 30‐35 folk songs and singing games
  • Know by memory 10‐12 songs and be able to sing these with solfege and rhythm
  • names
  • Perform all songs with accurate intonation, clear diction and clear head tone


  • Perform solfege hand signs for melodic patterns using so, la, mi
  • Recognize so, la, mi from stick notation and staff notation
  • Recognize step and skip


  • Know names and written symbols for ta (quarter note), ti‐ti (pair of eighth notes),
  • quarter rest and bar lines
  • Perform ostinatos, exercises and canons using ta, ti‐ti and quarter rests
  • Conduct in 2/4 meter

Reading and Writing

  • Read and write well‐known rhythmic or melodic patterns from hand signs, stick notation or staff notation
  •  Write 4‐beat rhythmic patterns from memory or dictation
  • Write melodic patterns from memory or dictation using stick or staff notation
  • Sight‐read in unison

Part Work

  • Accompany a song with a rhythmic ostinato


  • Improvise rhythm patterns lasting 4 beats either by clapping or using instruments
  • Improvise short musical motives using hand signs, hand staff or body signs
  • Improvise question and answer motives using known rhythm or melody patterns, or both


  • Recognize tempos (fast, slow)
  • Recognize dynamics (loud, soft)


English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered by the ESL specialist for those students whose first language or mother tongue is a language other than English. The school offers two ESL programs in Junior School:

  • Modified Program ‐ students with limited English attend intensive English language lessons in the ESL classroom
  • In‐Class Support – the ESL specialist will work with ESL students in the mainstream classroom to provide assistance during language‐based activities

These programs are designed to provide both survival English as well as English for academic purposes. They are generally designed for those students who have little to no English and the number of classes provided per week will depend on the student's English language level. A student new to using English on a daily basis will often be
placed in both programs at the same time. As their language develops they will then exit the modified program, but continue to receive in‐class support when necessary.

IPC (Science and Social Studies)

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is an international program aimed at K3‐Grade 4 children growing up in the 21st Century. At the Sacred Heart, the IPC encompasses Science and Social Studies topics that are developmentally linked to reflect the growing complexity in thinking as children mature, as well as the rapidly changing world we live in.
One important and overarching principle that defines the IPC is its objective to encourage international‐mindedness in the student body. 
This can be defined further as engaging in learning that fosters universal values,
intercultural understanding and non‐violent conflict resolution.
Through student centered inquiry based learning a love of learning is encouraged and the necessary key skills and personal qualities that will enable children to be successful in life are introduced and expanded upon.

Currently IPC themes for Grade 1 are:

  • Who am I?: An inquiry into who we are, where we come from and our differences
  • The Magic Toymakers: An inquiry into how the toys we use have changed over time
  • The Stories People Tell: An inquiry into the myths and legends of our cultures
  • Living Things: An inquiry into the life cycle of living things


The Japanese program in G1 follows a developmentally appropriate approach to language learning that allows young learners to acquire language informally and naturally in the environment of the classroom. In the primary school language learning is a result of social interaction and participation in activities linked to the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) units in an interdisciplinary study. Through the study of Japanese language and culture, students not only develop their understanding of Japan but also provide insights and respect for others and their own culture. The objective of this course is to instill an awareness of other cultures and languages as a 21st Century skill.

Language Arts

Language is an integral part of every subject in the curriculum, affecting children’s ability to form concepts, access information and to develop and maintain relationships. The ultimate purpose of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach students the language abilities they need to communicate effectively as individuals and as contributing 
members of society. In Grade One, the focus of our Language Arts program is to further develop and extend reading and writing skills so that students become confident readers and writers.
Our Language Arts program provides rich and varied experience in each of the four interrelated language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Gr 1 students learn to:

  • recognize letter sounds, see letter patterns, and identify the basic features of words
  • sound out more complex vocabulary and comprehend the meanings of those words 
  • read fluently, orally and silently, a variety of “good fit” books of various genres
  • discuss and retell what they have read, talking about main ideas, characters, plot, and setting

Gr 1 students learn to:

  • write pieces that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences
  • use their understanding of the sounds of words to write simple rhymes
  • demonstrate an understanding of different types of texts; such as: personal
  • narratives, descriptive writing, poetry, and nonfiction writing
  • demonstrate an awareness of the audience and purpose of writing
  • compose a writing piece by developing the writing process and polish their writing skills

Listening and Speaking:
Gr 1 students learn to:

  • listen and respond appropriately to oral communication
  • speak using proper phrasing and pitch
  • deliver brief oral presentations about familiar experiences or interests


Number Concepts and Computations

  • Understand place value of numbers from 0 to 99
  • Add and subtract up to two digit numbers with and without regrouping
  • Count by 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's and 10's
  • Recognize simple fractions such as one half, one third and one quarter

Measurement and Geometry

  • Describe and compare measurements of length, width and height
  • Estimate length, width and height
  • Recognize the key elements of the calendar and place in sequence of days, weeks and months
  • Tell the time at hours, half‐hours and quarter hours using analogue and digital clocks
  • Identify common 2D shapes
  • Identify common 3D shapes

Probability and Data

  • Collect simple data and present this data using pictographs and simple bar graphs

Algebra and Pattern

  • Recognize patterns based on simple criteria in a variety of contexts
  • Copies, identifies, continues and create simple patterns
  • Completes a sequence


The K/JS Library Media Center is fundamental to the Language Arts Curriculum and to the promotion of reading. Reading for enjoyment and pleasure can be a lifelong joy to a student in addition to facilitating all other school endeavors. Knowledge of the library media center and associated library skills enhance students’ powers of observation, critical thinking, and growth in appreciation of other cultures and realization of the many opportunities and ideas in the world today. Reading can open doors to a tremendous wealth of creativity and ideas for the future. Our Mission is to provide a vibrant environment in which students and staff can read for enrichment and use information and technology ethically, creatively and critically thereby being empowered to become lifelong learners.

Parents as encouraged to check out books to support their children’s reading and research. The K/JS Library serves both a classroom and a library; therefore we are not open to parents and staff during library classroom hours. The hours the library is open for parent use will be posted. Parents who are interested in checking out books need to register for a “library account” with the K/JS Teacher Librarian.

Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum, and students are taught to use
computers, software, and the Internet responsibly.

Physical Education

The Physical Education Curriculum is designed to develop and refine the students’ basic gross and fine motor skills. It introduces games and activities relevant to the students’ age and ability. Each unit places an emphasis on particular motor skills as well as general fitness principles and social skills. The curriculum provides opportunities for the students to develop a positive self‐image. The importance of sharing, working with one another, and good sportsmanship is stressed at each grade level.
It is our goal that each Sacred Heart student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a competency in many movement forms and proficiency in some movement forms
  • Apply movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills
  • Exhibit a physically active lifestyle
  • Achieve and maintain a health‐enhancing level of physical fitness
  • Demonstrate understanding and respect for differences among people in physically active settings
  • Demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings
  • Understand that physical activity provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self‐expression, social interactions and sports participation
  • Apply rules, strategies, techniques and safety measures in a variety of physical activities

The curriculum will aim to achieve these objectives through the following activities:

  • Gymnastics
  • Large Ball Skills
  • Small Ball Skills
  • Striking Skills
  • Body Awareness
  • Skipping
  • Athletics


The Values program deals with issues such as rights and responsibilities, friendships and relationships, and festivals of some of the world’s major religions. The aims of the program are:

  • To foster a spirit of love, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, compassion, respect
  • To reflect communally/personally
  • To share their experiences with others
  • To learn about God who loves each one of us
  • The goals and criteria of all Sacred Heart schools
  • History of the society of the Sacred Heart
  • Celebrate Sacred Heart schools’ feast days
  • Celebrate Catholic feast days: Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter
  • Celebrate feast days of other religions

Throughout the Junior School, we emphasize our ‘Be Attitudes’ – Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Your Best. The children are encouraged to be respectful of self, others and the environment.
They are guided to be responsible and independent contributors to their class, family,
school, and community. The children are expected to be their best in their every thought, action and deed.