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Core Curriculum

The ISM Primary Curriculum offers students a strong academic foundation through diverse and vibrant learning experiences. The programme is based on English National Curriculum (ENC) and has been enriched and adapted to our context. We nurture personal characteristics and values that provide the foundation for every child to experience strong academic growth and high levels of achievement. 

English Language 


Reading is a crucial skill that supports learning across the whole curriculum. As such, we place a strong focus on fostering a love of books and literature. Children are taught to read, initially through the development of phonic knowledge and the shared, reflective discussion of books. We read in various contexts at ISM to ensure that students develop reading habits that will serve them well throughout their school lives and beyond. 

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English lessons encourage students to express themselves creatively and clearly through the written form. Students learn to become enthusiastic and expressive communicators across a range of genres and contexts. The structure of the English language is explored through work on phonics, grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. Attention to these important areas ensures that creative and imaginative ideas can be shared in an effective manner. 

Mathematics is a creative and inter-connected discipline, providing students with a unique avenue to describe and explore the world. Mathematical skills are essential to everyday life, as well as critical to fields like science, technology and engineering. Our Mathematics education is broad ranging, and provides a strong foundation for understanding the world and growing an ability to reason mathematically. 

Mathematics is taught daily from Year One to Year Six in a way that ensures confidence and accuracy in increasingly complex activities. Moving beyond master of number, we also cover measurement, data handling, shape, geometry, algebra and problem solving skills. Mental strategies are developed on a daily basis in lesson warm-up activities. 

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Personal, Social & Health Education 

PSHE is an important area of the ISM curriculum that helps children grow and develop into strong individuals and members of society. Through PSHE, students develop the skills and attitudes they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives as responsible citizens. 

Students are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences. These include community action initiatives, which support local charities and initiatives, as well as the UNICEF Sustainable Development Goals. 

Students learn to reflect on their personal growth, as they tackle many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. They learn to understand and respect our common humanity so that they can form effective, fulfilling relationships as a secure individual. 


Through science, students understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change, impacting on many areas of life. Students are taught to utilise the scientific process by asking simple questions,  performing fair experiments, making observations, presenting data, and using evidence to draw conclusions. 

As they progress through Primary School, the children develop a deep understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. Through their studies, students begin to recognise how scientific ideas are challenged and develop over time. 

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History encourages students to consider how the past influences the present. The children explore what life in the past was like, and what beliefs and cultures have influenced people’s actions. It supports not only the gathering of knowledge, but also develops important skills. Students find evidence, weigh it up and reach important conclusions. To do this, they conduct factual research, sift through evidence, argue and defend their point of view - skills that are prized in adult life. 


Geography develops understanding of places and environments throughout the world via a range of investigative and problem- solving strategies. The geography curriculum at ISM places emphasis on learning through being practical and creative, and students enjoy activities such as making a working model of a volcano or conducting surveys to record relevant geographical data. 


Students have weekly lessons to improve their computing skills. Laptops and iPads are regularly utilised, as well as other technological tools. Students use technology tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly and creatively. 

Increased capability in the use of computing promotes initiative and independent learning, with students being able to make informed judgments about when and where to use computing to best effect. In this context, they consider technology’s best applications both now and in the future. 

The International School of Moscow is committed to strong, embedded e-safety measures across the school. Children take part in regular e-safety activities to remind them of the importance of keeping themselves safe online. 

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Art and Design 

Art and Design at ISM stimulates creativity and imagination. Lessons provide visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world. 

In their weekly lessons, students learn to use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. They explore ideas and meanings in the work of established artists, craftspeople and designers. They learn about the diverse functions of art and design in contemporary life, as well as in different times and cultures.