AGES 5–11


Our special British curriculum for Primary School combines the very best aspects of the National Curriculum for England (NCE) with the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). We place each child at the center of their own learning experience, and we develop lessons and activities that offer opportunities for personal challenge, growth, and success. This approach creates an ambitious learning environment which meets the needs of our international community. 


Our curriculum

English and Maths follow the objectives of the National Curriculum for England (NCE), while most other subjects (Geography, History, Science, Art, Technology, Physical Education, and Computing) follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). These curricula help our students grow a global mindset from a young age.

The NCE provides children with a learning framework that promotes the development of their knowledge, understanding, and skills. It gives teachers great flexibility. For example, they can plan higher-level work for children whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard; at the same time, they can prepare lessons for children who need extra support and guidance.

Meanwhile, the IPC curriculum, which was designed to complement and enhance the NCE, challenges children’s assumptions; nurtures their natural curiosity; and hones the traits they need for a successful school career. The children also learn to respect and understand the global community.

Daily learning focuses on a central theme (called “units”) like animals, electricity, dinosaurs, transport—and even chocolate! This approach enables children to make connections across subjects, giving them an interdisciplinary approach to learning from a young age. The design of our units gives children a clear structure, and it encourages them to become fully engaged with the curriculum as a whole.

Click here to view our Primary Handbook for the 2023-24 school year.


Learning goals

The IPC’s Personal Learning Goals underpin each unit. They represent the attributes that we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. They help children to develop those qualities that will enable them to be at ease with the continually changing context of their lives.

The goals are: 


Assessments and academic reports

We understand that success looks different for every child and children are encouraged to learn in ways that challenge them to continually grow. Our teachers use a wide range of assessments to set targets which are ambitious by design, to encourage their students to push themselves, and to achieve the best results they can.

Primary School students receive two academic reports each year: mid-year and end-of-year reports. Teachers use these reports to communicate students' academic and social development to parents, and to set personalized targets for each subject. 

We believe that parents and teachers are partners in a child’s education and personal growth. Our teachers additionally hold three learning review days during the school year by appointment, and they also encourage ongoing communication through email and apps like SeeSaw, which provide insight to your child’s daily life in the classroom.


Primary school workshops

At BISW, our world-class teachers are partners with parents and guardians. For example, we hold special events like the Primary School Curriculum Evening to provide workshops on the best ways to support students at home. See the valuable information from our 2022–23 school year event at this link.


At BISW, we offer a truly global experience with outstanding teachers and exceptional educational opportunities. Here, our youngest students get the best possible start to their educational journey.

British Curriculum Primary School | BIS Washington - 09 - Promo With Collage