To see every subject from two angles. To shape every skill from two mindsets. These are the gifts we strive to instill every day in our bilingual Elementary program, in these critical years when students build the foundation for future learning.

Our Elementary curriculum provides the structure to bring out the student in every child, bringing together the content-rich system of the French Ministry of National Education with the inquiry-based approach of the U.S. Common Core, in both group and individualized learning opportunities. Native-speaking teachers guide each class through Humanities, Math, and Science in both English and French, adding in the study of Mandarin in 3rd grade. Personalized programs then take advantage of our high teacher-to-student ratio, allowing students to dig deeper into areas they find challenging, or expand further in those where they display aptitude and interest.

Agile minds

Learning to make leaps

The Elementary school years are a critical time in a student’s development when they acquire the mindset and toolkit of the lifelong learner. Immersed not just in two languages, but in two educational systems, students at The École have the unique opportunity to learn two ways to approach every problem—strengthening both higher-order critical thinking and creative expression, exploring both friendly competition and group collaboration, and giving their growing learning muscles both twice the exercise and twice the opportunity to understand.

Open hearts

Celebrating differences that make a difference

Surrounded by classmates of wide-ranging nationality, but connected through their two shared languages—and the beginnings of a third—our Elementary students build friendships with people whose experiences are different from their own. From these personal connections, they begin to recognize differences are what makes their relationships more interesting and rewarding—and why respect and caring for others is so important in their community and out in the world. Service clubs and programs then give our students opportunities to build— and be acknowledged for—a strong sense of character.

Bright futures

Creating confident students

Every aspect of our Elementary program—from the content we cover to the character we celebrate—is designed to build our students’ capacity for and independence in learning. As they move through the years, both American and French standardized tests provide opportunities for staff and parents to honor achievements relative to a larger body of students, focus activities around personal growth areas, and map long-term educational plans. So that each student feels well-positioned for success in the next stage of bilingual learning at The École’s Middle School, or at other schools here in New York, or across the world.

Curriculum

Language Arts

French System

Children in Grade 1 learn to read and write sounds, using the French cursive script, to construct syllables to decipher words and sentences. In parallel to the syllabic method, the programs also focus on reading comprehension of small texts. The Pilotis method is used for reading comprehension and study of sounds.

American System

English Language Arts for Grade 1 focuses on Reading and Writing. Through read aloud and shared reading exercises, we engage in word study, including Phonics, Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, and Dictation. Writing Workshops allow students to practice new knowledge, as well as their print handwriting skills, cover all the lower and upper case letters.
Social Studies

French System

In Grade 1, children will acquire the foundation of Civic and Moral Education. They will participate every week in philosophical workshops, on a specific theme, leading to a debate at the end of the week.

American System

1st Grade Social Studies in English introduces students to the idea of “Community”. Through explorations of the world and the people and animals who inhabit it—and the relationships between them—students gain an understanding of how to think about and answer the fundamental, foundational question, “What is all around me?”
Math

French System

In Grade 1, using the Method of Singapore, students will learn the numbers up to 100, the additions in columns with carrying, the linear subtractions. In geometry, they will learn to recognize shapes and use a ruler. They will practice measurement with standards than with cm and compare weights and lengths. They will learn to organize and manage data.

American System

Math in English for Grade 1 focuses on addition and subtraction of small numbers, with an exploration of numbers up to 100, and the basics of measurement and geometry as well as data collection and pattern recognition. Number games and story problems are a key element of coursework, and all concepts are reinforced through hands-on activities.
Science

French System

During the weekly bilingual time, children in Grade 1 will explore the notion of Time, Space, and the Environment. They will learn to identify the day, week, month and year, and comprehend distance (from very close to very far). Students will study the living world, the water, the plants, and the way the human body grows.

American System

During the weekly bilingual time, children in Grade 1 will explore the notion of Time, Space, and the Environment. They will learn to identify the day, week, month and year, and comprehend distance (from very close to very far). Students will study the living world, the water, the plants, and the way the human body grows.
Language Arts

French System

In Grade 2, the focus is on language, reading, and writing—strengthening the skills that have been acquired in Grade 1.
In Reading, as they have learned to decode the sounds of language, it will be time to focus on the meaning of the text.
In Writing, students are led to create their first writing samples, using the French cursive script. During this year, we begin the study of basic grammar and vocabulary in order to better understand the language.

American System

English Language Arts for Grade 2 focuses on Reading and Writing. Through independent reading and read aloud exercises, we practice skills and strategies to ensure comprehension, enable interpretation, and develop vocabulary. In Writing, we explore basic conventions of English grammar, including punctuation and parts of speech, as well as spelling.
Social Studies

French System

Social Studies (Histoire Géographie) in French in Grade 2 is part of a wider subject: “Questioning the World”. There are two general objectives: enable students to acquire the necessary knowledge to describe and understand the world around them and develop their reasoning skills; contribute to their development as citizens.

American System

2nd Grade Social Studies in English expands on the simple idea of “Community” introduced in 1st Grade, helping students develop the basic knowledge and skills to explore the broader concepts of history, culture, economics, government, and civics. Students will also deepen their understanding of their place in the world through a focus on geography, and particularly, the use of maps.
Math

French System

Grade 2 is about searching, modeling, representing, reasoning, calculating, and communicating. The objectives are the mastery of the main elements of numeration and calculation, problem solving and acquisition of mechanisms. Children will be able to count to 1,000. They will start to master decimal numeration and addition and begin to learn both multiplication and subtraction. They will recognize and build simple geometric figures, learn measurements of length, weight, time and money, and will acquire data management knowledge such as tables, graphs, and problem-solving.

American System

Math in English for Grade 2 focuses on more complex addition and subtraction relationships and strategies, including place value explorations of tens and ones, grouping by 2, 5, and 10, odd and even numbers, and patterns to 100, and deepens student’s investigation into data collection and graphing as well as measurement and geometry. Key concepts are reinforced and connected to the real world by working with money.
Science

French System

Science in French in Grade 2 is part of a wider subject: “Questioning the World”. The general objectives are: first, to enable students to acquire the necessary knowledge to describe and understand the world around them and develop their reasoning skills; second: to contribute to their formation of citizens. Students will discover the world of life, the matter, and objects (Sciences), they will explore space/time and the world's organizations (Histoire Géographie).

American System

Science in English for 2nd Grade is focused on the physical environment, here on Earth and in space. Students will participate in group projects that they will present to other students and parents during the yearly science fair.
Language Arts

French System

French Language Arts in Grade 3 focuses on:
Reading: elaborate written answers to written questions, decipher an unknown word, read without hesitation and with expression, recognize different types of writings.
Grammar: know the classification and nature of words, the types of sentence, the subject and verb accordance.
Written expression: reinvest the knowledge acquired during the writing phases.
Vocabulary: be able to search in the dictionary, acquire the different meanings of a word, the words families.
Conjugation: identify and use the present, the future, the passé composé and the imparfait for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd group verbs.
Oral Language: recite texts from memory (poetry, fable, ...), foster group work in a bilingual context, individual and collective presentations.
Spelling: be able to correctly spell words, using different types of exercises.

American System

English Language Arts for Grade 3 focuses on Reading and Writing. In Reading, we build on skills addressed in the 1st and 2nd grades, while introducing new skills, to ensure students fully understand key literary elements, such as characters, plot, and theme, develop reading comprehension that enables them to determine the main idea, a sequence of events, and cause and effect. Students explore making text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections. A focus on phonics skills to decode words supports vocabulary and spelling development. In Writing, we teach and reinforce the conventions of standard English grammar and usage, including parts of speech, verb tense, punctuation, and capitalization. Students will practice these by writing narrative pieces, opinion pieces, informative or explanatory texts, as well in their personal Writer’s Notebooks.
Social Studies

French System

In Grade 3, children will acquire a better knowledge of the functioning of society: rights and duties of the citizen, self-respect, and others. Debates and philosophical discussions will be frequently conducted, e.g. ``What is a friend?”, “Is it hard to be alone? ``…

American System

3rd Grade Social Studies in English deepens understanding of the part of the world in which we live. Students explore the varied territories and landscapes of North America—from mountains to seascapes, rural towns to big cities—as well as the structure and function of the U.S. government.
Math

French System

Math in French for Grade 3 will focus on calculations related to everyday life and will reinforce concepts that are necessary for the acquisition of new skills. Children will be able to calculate with numbers from 0 to 9999: addition, subtraction, multiplication, comparison. They will be solving more and more complex problems with multiple operations. They will practice mental calculation, written calculation, and learn to use a calculator. They will learn multiplication tables and written multiplication with one digit. In Geometry, they will acquire positioning in a 2D and 3D space, measurement of sides and perimeters, construction of geometric shapes, parallel and perpendicular lines, to the beginning of area calculation. Quantities and measures will be taught in detail: length, mass, volume, area, angle, time, duration, and currency.

American System

Math in English for Grade 3 focuses on ensuring students can fluently add and subtract within 1,000 and understand the attributes of two-dimensional shapes, while introducing multiplication and division of whole numbers and the concept of fractions as numbers, including fraction equivalence and comparison. Students apply these tools to solve problems of time, capacity, mass, area, and perimeter.
Science

French System

Science in French in Grade 3 is part of a wider subject: “Questioning the World”. In Grade 3, children will identify the states of the matter, observe the changes of states, study the cycle of water, get to know the characteristics of the living world (e.g., stages of life, animal families, and the food chain), and recognize healthy behaviors (e.g., sleep, nutrition education, and physical activity)

American System

Science in English for 3rd Grade focuses on two key areas: Identifying the states of matter and observing the changes of the states (e.g., solid to liquid to gas); and the characteristics of the living world (e.g., stages of life, food chains, and food webs).
World Languages

Mandarin

In 3rd Grade, students will develop awareness of the sounds in the Mandarin language and foster an understanding that these sounds and words convey meaning. They will fully grasp Mandarin Pinyin, a Romanized form of the language, be able to recognize Mandarin four tone, and write in Pinyin. Classes will focus on developing vocabulary in high-occurrence sentence patterns, relating to self-introduction, family, numbers, colors, useful daily expressions, etc. Students will be inspired to learn the language through hands-on activities, storytelling, videos, songs, Chinese cultural topics, and Chinese festival celebrations.
Language Arts

French System

In Grade 4 students will reinforce and update knowledge seen in Grade 3 but also discover new notions. They will continue to build a database of tools to better understand and master the French language.
Grammar: we will work throughout the year on the nominal group, the verbal group, and the sentence. Children will recognize the nature and function of words and spend a lot of time on the grammatical analysis of sentences to create automatisms.
Conjugation: we will ensure the search and recognition of conjugated verb in an automatic way and identify the family of verbs: 1st, 2nd or 3rd group. We will review all the past, present, future in their regularities but also learn the most frequent irregular verbs.
Spelling/Vocabulary: students will take the habit to ask themselves the correct questions when writing.
Poetry/Writing Workshop: poetries will be learned. This exercise will allow us to enrich the French cultural heritage of students and to use the techniques of oral memory. The Writing Workshop will allow the students to stimulate their imagination, and promote their skills to write in a natural way.
Literature/Reading: children will study several complete books during the year. They are organized around different literary genres (humor, novel, drama, fiction…)

American System

English Language Arts for Grade 4 covers three areas of competency: Reading, Writing, and Grammar. In Reading, students work with a range of genres from realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography, fables, expository text, fiction, and poetry, developing sufficient accuracy and fluency to support overall comprehension, as well as to determine a theme, describe in depth a character, setting or event, and compare and contrast narrative points of view. Throughout our reading work, students develop and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. In Writing, students learn to produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. We start off the year with a personal narrative, followed by a cross-curricular research piece related to social studies, and poetry, persuasive essays, and biographies round out the year. Students strengthen their writing skills, as needed, through focused efforts in planning, revising, and editing. Grammar is focused on ensuring students can (1) use their knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening, (2) demonstrate an understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings, and (3) determine meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.
Social Studies

French System

Grade 4 Social Studies in French is composed of “Histoire” and “Géographie”. In Histoire, the program covers the periods from prehistory to the first Empire. We will work with themes that trace through all these historical periods. In Géographie, we will study the different places of life, housing, work, leisure, and consumption in France.

American System

4th Grade Social Studies in English focuses on the early history of the North American continent. Primary areas covered include: (1) The Mayan, Aztec, Inca, and Native American Civilizations, (2) When Three Worlds Meet: Interactions of Native Americans, European Explorers, and the Slave Trade, and (3) New Amsterdam: Daily life in the Colonial Era.
Math

French System

In Math in French, Grade 4 students will review and reinforce the learnings of Grade 3 as well as integrating many new concepts and skills.
Counting: students will acquire a formal knowledge of whole numbers and their designation up to a million, they will be able to compare, classify, and practice approximations. This is a necessary learning to gradually approach new numbers like fraction and decimals.
Geometry: we will study perpendicular and parallel lines, polygons including triangles, parallelograms, circles, solids, and axial symmetry.
Measures: children will continue to deeper discover measurements of length, masses, capacities, durations.

American System

Math in English for Grade 4 focuses on developing problem-solving and reasoning abilities, going above and beyond computational abilities. Three critical areas are covered: (1) multi-digit multiplication and dividing to find quotients with multi-digit dividends, (2) fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers, and (3) analysis and classification of geometric figures based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures and symmetry.
Science

French System

In Sciences in French, Grade 4 students will work on different subjects relating to health, the human body, matter, sky, and earth.

American System

Science in English for 4th Grade employs a hands-on discovery approach to science that promotes the implementation of the scientific method and encourages students to think critically and reason scientifically. Topics covered include (1) Plants and animals in their environment, (2) Properties of Magnetism and Electricity, (3) Properties of Water, and (4) The effect of Natural Events on Earth.
World Languages

Mandarin

The 4th Grade Mandarin curriculum builds upon the language students learned in the previous year. With texts, stories and games, they are going to further develop Mandarin knowledge about school life, animals etc. In this year, students are not only going to be able to introduce themselves in the target language but also describe their surrounding, e.g. their home, school life, and weather. Students will become more fluent in using Chinese Pinyin (phonetic writing system). The class will mainly focus on students’ listening and speaking skills in the target language.
Language Arts

French System

French Language Arts for Grade 5 covers five areas of competency, all interacting with each other: Oral Language, Reading, Writing, Study of the language and Bilingual times.

Oral language: develop fluency in oral language in order to present information clearly in different contexts, students will be introduced to the world of theater and verbal play situations.

Reading and reading comprehension: acquire a fluent oral and silent reading and to be able to understand and interpret, we will study several complete books during the year. The understanding will be verified by activities requiring a fine reading and understanding of the text.

Writing: practiced daily, it is primarily a training in cursive writing and the use of word processing but it is also convened in writing projects. Copy and layout activities help to develop the skills of the graphomotor gesture. Writing is also used in all activities to assume, question, analyze and show understanding.

Study of the language (grammar, spelling, lexicon): Grade 5 is an opportunity to fully engage in an explicit and reflective language study. In writing texts students learn the regularities of the language’s system. They are led to master the relationships between oral and written and acquire the structure, meaning and spelling of words, the form of words related to the context (e.g., gender, number, and complement of the verb), the functioning of the verb.

Bilingual world: the practice of the second language is done in close collaboration with the first. This is why the English and French programs will often meet to study the same idea, read the same book, use the same tools and be bilingual. Everything will be done to switch seamlessly from one language to another, avoiding translation work.

American System

English Language Arts for Grade 5 covers five areas of competency: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Grammar, and Vocabulary.
In Reading, students develop the ability to read in fine detail through discussions, illustrations, character studies, invented text revisions, and reading comprehension exercises. Students become adept at seeking evidence in the text to support their ideas and personal responses to the books and passages, as well as making inferences. In Writing, students practice the arts of fact and fiction writing. They learn both how to write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information, and to express themselves creatively, crafting narratives of real or imagined experiences and events. As a vital part of developing their language skills, in Speaking and Listening, students will engage in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. Grammar study is integrated into our reading and writing work or else in contextualized grammar exercises. In all cases, the goal is to sensitize students to the presence of grammar and mechanics in all aspects of expression, particularly as we find them in everyday texts of various kinds. The expansion of Vocabulary is addressed through weekly spelling activities as well as in our reading work, as students continue to develop their word decryption strategies, such as seeking clues in the context to understand the meaning of a word and looking for roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
Social Studies

French System

For Grade 5, the Social Studies program in French is composed of “Histoire and “Géographie”. In Histoire, the program covers the Republic, the industrial age in France, France from world wars to the European Union. The Géographie program is also adapted to the local context. France is studied in parallel with the State of New York and the United States. The main themes are: moving and communicating from one end of the world to the other.

American System

5th Grade Social Studies in English is comprised of two areas of study: History and Geography. In History, students continue the study of North America undertaken in the 4th Grade, with a particular focus on the early years of the United States. Major historical eras covered include (1) Colonial Life to the American Revolution, (2) The Birth of a Nation and Westward Expansion, (3) The American Civil War, (4) World Wars I and II, and (5) Immigration and Social Change. In Geography, through the use of both primary and secondary sources, students conceptualize the landforms of the United States and the division of the groups, past and present, who share them.
Math

French System

In the continuity of Grade 4, Grade 5 remains focused on the six major skills of mathematics: search, model, represent, calculate, reason and communicate. The three different areas covered are; numbers and calculations (e.g, large numbers, decimals, simple fractions, solve problems), quantities and measures (e.g., compare, estimate, measure geometrical quantities with measuring instruments), space and geometry (e.g., locating and moving in space, reproducing and describing common figures and solids, recognizing and using geometric relationships).

American System

Math in English for Grade 5 in large part covers fractions. Students learn to convert improper fractions, work with mixed numbers in performing the four operations, hone the techniques of rounding and estimation, and become familiar with the concepts of probability and ratio. Working with word problems is a key element of coursework, focused on helping students learn to identify the information needed to complete a given problem.
Science

French System

In Grade 5 students build their scientific and technological knowledge and skills. Using a diverse set of approaches the develop creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, manual skill, and rigor. Students will learn about matter, movement, energy, information, living, diversity, materials, technical objects, earth, and living beings in their environment. To conduct this learning, students will use observation tools, breeding, visits, models, and prototypes, and computers.

American System

Science in English for 5th Grade builds from the content categories required in the French program, fostering an overall perception of science as a means to understand the world and man’s effect on Earth’s resources. Students learn to implement the scientific method, working independently, in pairs, or in groups, to draw meaning from informative texts or hands-on activities. Presentations to their peers then provide an opportunity to fix knowledge in students minds through the act of explaining to others.
World Languages

Mandarin

The 5th Grade Mandarin curriculum builds upon the language students learned in the previous years. Students continue to consolidate the skills learned in the past, and expand their knowledge about daily life, places and future plans etc. Building upon mimicking the language, students will be able to apply what they have previously learned to describe themselves and tell stories. Some writing in characters is introduced in fifth grade, students will make their weekly schedule in Chinese, write about their own day, and many other topics that close to their lives. Students will also embark on some cross-curriculum projects, e.g. coding and Chinese history study corresponding.

Questions about our Elementary curriculum?

Benoit Brisset, Grades 1 to 3
Xavier Granger, Grades 4 to 5

If you’re interested in learning more about our foundational curriculum for Elementary students, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re very proud of our program and would love to answer any questions you may have or discuss in more detail how your child can benefit from a bilingual education at The École.

Benoit Brisset, Grades 1 to 3
Xavier Granger, Grades 4 to 5