Elementary School

Explore and Excel

The APIS Elementary School curriculum focuses on empowering young students as they gain confidence in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. The core curriculum integrates specialist subjects including physical education, art, music, Korean language, and Chinese or Japanese language. Students develop foundational skills through inquiry-based and concept-driven approach, where students have opportunities to engage in deeper understanding both independently and with others. Experiential learning outside the classroom includes field trips, retreats, and community service opportunities so the students can make connections of their knowledge to the real-world situation.


The APIS Kindergarten curriculum is designed to foster three main areas. First, it is to form group dynamics so that the younger students learn how to work in groups, play, discuss, cooperate, stand up for themselves, and show kindness as well as empathy towards others. Next, regardless of the level of fluency in the English language, all children need to continue to grow their ability to communicate and adapt new vocabulary in their personal and academic realms. Lastly, students will develop self-regulation to learn how to control their bodies, emotions, and focus attention on the proper things to be successful in school and life. Students at this age learn best by touching, pretending, and asking. This is why we use guided play to learn in the classroom.


Art enables us to perceive, interpret, and evaluate life’s experiences in a way unique to each of us. The APIS elementary art program develops:

Visual thinkers and encourages creative problem-solving on all levels of instruction.
Visual literacy through studies in aesthetics, art appreciation, and reflection as well as through the process of creating original art.
Visual skills and techniques in different genres of art.
English Language Arts (ELA)
APIS’ Elementary English Language Arts (ELA) Program provides an integrated comprehensive approach to literacy. We learn how to read and write through the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop programs, and as students progress, they learn more about words through the Words Their Way program.
The workshop approach enables students to progress at a pace that they are ready for, and to learn the skills they need as they need them individually. Each student receives instruction both at their grade level and as individual students to build all of the skills they will need to effectively read and speak in English for many varied purposes.
Foreign Language
APIS' vision is to foster a lifelong appreciation and awareness of other languages and cultures and to prepare students to interact in a multicultural world.

In the elementary school, APIS provides a unique sequence that allows students to start learning an Asian language and culture (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) from kindergarten so that they can continue developing for mastery as they go through secondary school. Topics are selected from real-life scenarios and are used for everyday communication. In addition to dialogues, a selection of reading materials and practice activities make the content as rich and varied as possible to stimulate the learners’ interests.

The curriculum is focused on topics and themes in each integrated unit as well as foundational language skills. Elementary school students study a foreign language three times a week starting kindergarten.
Korean Language
The goal of the APIS Korean program is to encourage students to understand the content of the Korean language accurately and effectively. In all grades, students are required to take Korean courses, which will be either Korean language arts courses for native Korean speakers or Korean as an additional language (KAL) course for non-native Korean speakers.
For elementary students, we focus on developing learners' literacy ability and creative thinking based on the Korea regular curriculum. Students can extend their language and communication skills through the APIS Korean music program, various school festivals such as Korean Day, the APIS Korean Magazine or the Asian Language Speech Showcase, taking advantage of an enriched Korean language curriculum.
Expectations in the elementary mathematics program have been adopted from the Common Core Standards. Instruction goes beyond facts and formulas by teaching students to think about problem-solving conceptually, so they become fluent and confident in mathematics. Our curriculum is built around one core principle: Students need to know why problem-solving works and not just how it works. The six mathematical practices we focus on, identified by the Common Core are:

Persevering in math
Reasoning abstractly and quantitatively
Constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others
Modeling with mathematics
Using appropriate tools strategically
Attending to precision
Music is offered in all elementary grades at APIS, ensuring that each student gains the skills necessary to have complete music education. Beginning in kindergarten, students are taught music fundamentals, such as steady beat, playing and reading rhythmic notation, singing, and movement to music. Keyboard instruments are introduced in second grade, soprano recorder in third grade, and alto recorder in fourth grade. In fifth grade, students begin instruction in the band or orchestra instruments, in addition to their regular music classes. Kindergarten through second grade and grades three to five meet together once a week in a large ensemble called Orffestra. In this class, student learning focuses on singing, playing Orff instruments, and collaborating with students across grade levels.
The elementary performing classes have three concerts each year, including Christmas, Spring, and our End of the Year Concert.
Physical Education and Health
APIS PE program provides students the opportunity to explore through movement, activities, sports, and health education, emphasizing how essential it is to maintain balance in life. The elementary PE program at APIS offers a variety of diversified activities that provide students with a wide range of physical skills, as well as increasing their physical competence and self-esteem, all in a safe environment.
The APIS science curriculum for the elementary school is delivered primarily through an inquiry-based approach using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science and engineering practices. Students are expected to construct an understanding of science concepts through hands-on experiments and analysis. The elementary science program encourages students to learn through investigations, observations, excursions, science research projects, nonfiction texts, and science journals. Students are given project-based small group experiences or individual work in which they pose questions and explore through hands-on investigations.
Social Studies
Social studies in elementary school are based on the AERO standards and the progression of understanding individuals (self) to understanding the world as a whole.

The goal of social studies at APIS is that students conceptualize themselves as a part of multiple larger systems. In kindergarten and first grade, students learn about personal needs and wants while in fifth grade, they take this concept to a higher level and understand how needs are met through world trade.

Through field trips, interactions with community members, research and relevant novels, students are transported to the past, exposed to the present, and given a glimpse into the potential of the future as a true global citizen.