International Baccalaureate - IB Primary School in Dubai | Swiss International Scientific School

Welcome to Primary School at SISD! We are a Swiss, international and diverse community who come together to do our B.E.S.T for the young people in our care. I hope to welcome you in person to our noticeably “happy place”. We intend for you to find us receptive in our approach to all matters in the best interest of lifelong learning. Please allow us to virtually embrace you through our social media channels, photo and video galleries, school programme and other practical information you will find on these pages. We look forward to meeting you on campus where you may find us harvesting nature in the learning gardens, woodworking; being heartful in a meditation space, sensorially immersed; bringing our designs to 3D life; weaving in the al sadu tradition or away skiing in Verbier. Whenever you choose to be part of our B.E.S.T community, we look forward to being with you!


Sabah Rashid
Head of Primary School

The Primary School at SISD is for students from Grade 1-5, aged 6 – 10. Students in the Primary School follow the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), a curriculum framework that is learner-centred, inquiry driven, concept-based and transdisciplinary.

The Primary School at SISD encompasses Grade 1-5, ages 6 – 10. Students in the Primary School follow the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), a curriculum framework that is learner-centred, inquiry driven, concept-based and transdisciplinary. Our approach provides multiple points of entry for students and gives the teachers plenty of chance for small group and one-to-one facilitation. Learning through inquiry allows plenty of opportunities for personalizing learning while building the cognitive, social and emotional, and communication skills necessary for success, in school and life. Inquiry capitalizes on natural curiosity, guides activities and makes learning authentic. Our learners are busy making meaning of their world in significant, relevant, engaging and universal contexts.


View our Curriculum for more information on the programme structure.

View our PYP programme.

Language Arts

At SISD all teachers are language teachers. Classroom teachers are responsible for the language of instruction. Language Arts consists of oral, visual and written language, including listening and speaking, viewing and presenting, and reading and writing. The learning objectives for these strands of Language are organized into 5 phases on a developmental continuum. Reading: We teach reading through literature based inquiry, encouraging independent reading and using guided reading instruction.   Writing: We teach writing using the Writer’s Workshop approach, modeling 9 text types and the traits of good writing. English, German or French support is provided to students by teachers from the Language department.


There are 5 strands of Mathematics: data handling, shape and space, measurement, pattern and function and number. The learning objectives for these strands of Mathematics are organized into 5 phases on a developmental continuum. We use a variety of Math resources to support our curriculum including Pearson’s Abacus Online Toolkit and Khan Academy. Math at SISD follows a spiral approach, revisiting concepts at aspirant levels throughout the year.

Social Studies

There are five strands of Social Studies: human systems and economic activities; social organization and culture; continuity and change through time; human and natural environments; resources and the environment. Inquiry into Social Studies develops 5 skills such as formulating and asking questions about the past, the future, places and society; analyzing evidence from a variety of historical, geographical and societal resources; orientation in place and time; identifying roles, rights and responsibilities in society; assessing the accuracy, validity and possible bias of sources.


There are four strands of Science: Living Things, Earth and Space, Forces and Energy and Materials and Matter. Inquiring into Science develops 8 skills such as observing carefully in order to gather data; using a variety of instruments and tools to measure data accurately; using scientific vocabulary to explain observations and experiences; identifying or generating a question or problem to be explored; planning and carrying out systematic investigations, manipulating variables as necessary; making and testing predictions; interpreting and evaluating data gathered in order to draw conclusions; considering scientific models and applications of these models (including their limitations).


Arabic for mother tongue speakers is referred to as Arabic A. Arabic as an additional language is referred to as Arabic B. The Ministry of Education guidelines are followed. Children may receive between 1 and 6 lessons of Arabic dependent on their grade level. Meanwhile, language learning is contextualizing within the contexts of the Programme of Inquiry. Arabic skills include listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in Arabic. Student progress is tracked using the Language scope and sequence documents of the PYP and student proficiency is monitored using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

UAE Social Studies

UAE Social Studies is taught integrated into units of inquiry by classroom teachers. This subject includes areas such as national identity, citizenship, government, values and ethics, the individual and society and the national economy across Grades 1-5.

Islamic Studies

Islamic Studies for mother tongue Arabic speakers who are also Muslim is referred to as Islamic Studies A and is taught in Arabic. Islamic Studies for non-Arabic speakers who are Muslims is referred to as Islamic Studies B and is taught in English.

Moral Education

The moral education programme is part of students’ personal and social development and is built around four concepts: Character and morality, The individual and the community, Cultural studies, Civic studies

Art and Music

Art and Music and Drama are both taught in keeping with the Arts Scope and Sequence documents of the IB PYP. The skills include responding to art and creating art. Besides these two strands of the arts, drama and dance are included in the Programme of Inquiry through the core subjects and PE.

Personal, Social, Physical Education

PSPE has three strands: identity, active living and interactions. PE addresses all of the active living strand. The strands of identity and interactions are observed and developed by all teachers. In keeping with our commitment to healthy living, students in Grade 1 – Grade 5 participate in two physical education classes per week.

Technology Innovation

The aim is to promote and support the use of educational technologies to facilitate learning as well as gradually integrating computer science and information technology activities in the Primary Years Programme. Activities include coding, robotics, web design and 3D design and printing.


Students visit the Library once a week with their class to listen to a story, work on research, practice library skills, work on inquiry lessons and check out materials. The SISD library is a student oriented library encouraging and inspiring children to read and use books for research, inquiry, and recreation.

Assessment involves the gathering and analysis of information about student performance and informs practice. It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at different stages of the learning process. Particular learning outcomes on which we intend to report are selected prior to designing the method of assessment. We consider the variety of ways that individual students understand experience. Self-assessment and reflection are given importance. All stakeholders including administrators, parents, teachers and students should have a clear understanding of the reason for the assessment, what is being assessed, the criteria for success and the method by which the assessment is made. Both the process and the product of inquiry are evaluated. Records are maintained of inquiries initiated by students, looking for an increase in the substance and depth of student questions.