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The Aga Khan Schools, Pakistan are affiliated with the AKU Exam Board and the syllabus is based on the National Curriculum
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What is a Learning Area?
A learning area is a field of knowledge, skill and attitude encompassing a subject or concept. It has specific learning standards demonstrating continuity and progression. The learning area integrates instructional (learning based activities) with the extended programme (based on projects and activities beyond the classroom). Within the curriculum, the learning area interlinks various subjects creating an engaging learning process. Each learning area has set learning standards for each level. These learning standards demonstrate continuity and progression as the student progresses from a lower age group to a higher age group.
Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) Section Learning Areas
- Early Exploration and Concept Building : Early Science and Emerging Numeracy
- Language and Literacy: Urdu and English
- Child Care, Social, Personal and Moral Development
- Music Movement & Artistic Development
Learning Area: Early Exploration and Concept Building / Early Science and Emerging Numeracy
This learning area focuses on construction of conceptual foundation in science and numeracy. Children’s curiosity and skill to learn though observation in capitalized to teach classification, problem solving, reasoning and communication. Classroom activities include hands on and minds on practices and process. Strands and units of early science from ECED I to ECED IV actually refer to the early cognition concepts. It emphasizes on the use of basic science skills to explore common materials, objects and living things, children are expected to develop skills in posing simple question measuring, sorting, classifying and communicating information about the natural world. While developing early science and social studies concepts, children begin to explore different material substances (sand, water, other solid and liquid etc.), different place and their characteristics (home, school market, park etc.) it also includes basic concepts of history, civics and geography which focuses on cultural learning, children’s own cultural values and introduction to the concept of diversity in societies, living with each other, exploring common social issues such as cleanliness, saving resources, etc.
Emerging numeracy includes numbers and number operation, patterns, shapes and space and data collection and its interpretation which discuses the concepts such as size differences and proportions (more/less, longer/shorter, thick/thin, inside/outside, on/below etc) geometric shapes as well as one to one correspondence , counting, combing, sorting and comparing sets of objects. This learning area also enhances different mathematical skills such as to compute, to compare, to sort, to classify etc. while learning mathematics children will be actively engaged using concrete materials and appropriate technologies such as computers.
Learning Area: Language and Literacy: Urdu and English
This learning area focuses on language, literacy and basic concepts of the world, forming major aspects of a child’s development process. Language and literacy focuses on language skills development and using language for communicating and learning. It provides students with the opportunity to develop language skills and broadens their conceptual understanding of the world around them.
Learning Area: Child Care, Social, Personal and Moral Development
this learning area focuses on a child’s physical development, health care and nutrition. A child’s personal experience during his/her early schooling year’s shapes their development and skills enhanced during their later years. Development of personal and social skills takes time and occurs at different weights. Major strengths in the area include; physical development, nutrition, and health, social, personal and moral development.
Learning Area: Music Movement & Artistic Development
This learning area emphasizes the enhancement of children’s creative abilities including music, movement and art. These are enjoyable ways for young children to develop their physical skills, stimulate their imagination and promote creativity. Children explore and express their thoughts and feelings through art, music, drama and movement. The music movement and artistic development includes singing, theater, drama, puppet, poetry, story telling, dance, painting and other art initiatives.
Junior and Senior Learning Area
- English Language Development
- Native Languages Development
- Logical/Mathematical Development
- Development of the Knowledge of the World (includes the learning area programmes for Science and Social Sciences)
- Aesthetic Development through Arts
- PrISM (Personal, Intellectual, Social and Moral Development).
Learning Area: English
English language development comprises of Language and Literature. This learning area has “Instructional” and “Extended“ modes. The instructional programme focuses on language and literature and is offered as a day-to-day teaching and learning process in school. The Extended programme addresses language proficiency and caters to students’ based on existing English teaching and learning practices.
The extended programme covers “Speaking proficiency” (Class III - X); “Reading Initiative” (Class III - VIII); “Research Project” (Class IX - X) and “Creative Writing” (Class III - X).
Learning Area : Native Languages
Native languages play a part in maintaining regional identities, culture and contribute to national solidarity. Although, Urdu is the primary focus, importance is placed on regional languages to develop a better understanding of different linguistic and ethnic groups promoting unity among students. The Native Languages area emphasizes different languages especially Urdu, Sindhi and other regional languages.
Learning Area: Mathematics and Logical Thinking
This learning area is designed to encourage learners to become mathematically literate by thinking, reasoning, communicating mathematically and to appreciate the value of mathematics by applying this knowledge flexibly and confidently to solve real life problems. Major strands in this learning area include; Number and operations, Patterns and Algebra, Space and Shapes and Data Handling. Besides the formal curriculum, students are exposed to mental mathematics, puzzles and problem solving tasks to accelerate their learning.
Learning Area: Science
This area provides students with learning experiences to help them understand and interpret the world in which they live. Beyond developing foundational knowledge, it encourages students to explore, pursue new knowledge and develop an intelligent and responsible approach to science and technology.
In line with the National Curriculum’s conceptual framework, the Science area develops the four key learning skills - cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual development.
The science programme for Junior Secondary Class reflects the needs of the students by encouraging them to develop a scientific attitude and process skills, to practice scientific methods. The Junior Secondary Science programme is delivered in two major components:
Formal Instruction Programme
It comprises of skills, attitude and understanding (science concepts). Approximately 80% of allotted time is spent on core topics focusing on intellectual competence, critical consciousness and high moral values. At each level, a correlation of topics, various resources and process skills have been introduced.
To achieve the goal of teaching and learning science in junior secondary section, learners are involved in the extended programme of “Inquiring Minds,” which gives learners an opportunity to promote certain skills as well as develop an attitude for scientific inquiry.
Learning Area: Social Sciences
Education aims to develop an individual’s knowledge, skill and positive attitude so that they become self-confident, capable and committed to setting goals, making informed choices and acting in ways to improve their own lives and their community. The broader focus of the Social Sciences learning area is to equip the student with worldly knowledge. It includes the following subjects; Social Studies, Islamiat, Economics and Commercial Geography.
Keeping in mind, the student’s nature and needs, the programme is inquiry-based in its concept delivery. The inquiry approach helps students answer questions, problem solve and make decisions using process, communication and participation skills. This develops their thinking skills and gives students varied learning experiences in the same subject area.
The Social Sciences utilizes a thematic approach to help students gain a gradual and clear understanding of its varied aspects. The themes are; People, place and environment, Time, continuity and change, Culture, Civic ideals and practices and Production, distribution and conception.
Learning Area: Aesthetic Development through the Arts
This learning area has been established with the aim of providing exposure to our students to the creative and aesthetic world within and outside them. This programme, although in its very initial stages of development, incorporates the basic elements of art and offers opportunities to students to explore their hidden potentials in the fields of drama, visual arts, music and movement and dance.
Learning Area: PrISM
A student’s personality is a blend of various attributes contributing to his/her development and needs to be fostered in a special way. The PrISM Development Programme is designed to nurture a student’s holistic personality. The Learning Area focuses on a child’s Personal (Pr), Intellectual (I), Social (S) and Moral (M) development. These aspects are further developed into intra, interpersonal development, moral and social development sub-topics.