The curriculum in Primary School

Chinese Language Arts

The goal of primary school Chinese Language Arts is to enable students to acquire foundational Chinese competency. Teachers guide students to use Chinese language, enrich language accumulation, cultivate language sense, develop high-order thinking in order to meet students' needs in literacy, writing, reading, vocabulary and oral communication. Our Chinese curriculum also provides rich cultural experiences to students. For example, every year, we celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival. Additionally, students experience the rich Chinese culture through a variety of activities such as Chinese Cultural Week, Chinese Dram Day, and more.

Law and Moral Education

A man without virtue cannot stand and a country without morality does not prosper. A country prospers when the rule of law is strong. For children in primary school, we should help students button the first buttons of moral life. Law and Moral Education aims to improve learners' ideological and political standards, moral cultivation, understanding of the rule of law and personality development, so as to enhance learners' ambition, pride and confidence to be Chinese.

The Law and Moral Education takes "the growing self" as a starting point, and views the learners' ever-expanding life and communication as its basis. The course design follows the characteristics of children's physical and mental development to organize and present educational themes in a spiral manner based on relationships between the learner and self, nature, family, others, society, country and human civilization.

At the same time, we also value the construction of core competency, which includes political identity, moral cultivation, concept of the rule of law, sound personality, and sense of responsibility.

English Language Arts

The Primary English Language Arts curriculum is a standards-based program that nurtures students’ language development through acquiring literacy skills in all four domains: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Learners will develop knowledge through participation in authentic language experiences. Each grade level has designed units based on learners’ interests and language abilities, using the Common Core State Standards as assessment guidance.


We use the co-teaching model for class instruction. It provides a rich learning environment with more teacher-student interactions. With two teachers in the classroom, it allows the teachers to lead small group activities to differentiate learning and that is tailored to student needs.

Our ELL team is an additional asset to the ELA program. The ESL coaches provide support through a push-in and pull-out program for more individualized learning. They also work very closely with the homeroom teachers to monitor students' growth through different assessments, such as MAP tests, Running records, and more.


The Primary math curriculum uses both Chinese National Math Standards and the Common Core State Standards (Math in Focus) as instructional guides, emphasizing the development of learners’ mathematical abilities, with a focus on problem solving.


The curriculum is designed in a spiral manner where concepts and skills in each content strand are revisited and built upon at each level to achieve greater depth and understanding. In our Math program, learners make meaning of numbers and symbols through hands-on activities. Teachers also provide a lot the opportunities for learners to apply their skills and knowledge in solving real-world problems. Learners also work collaboratively on projects and tasks. 

Social Sciences

The main purpose of social science courses is to help learners understand the general laws of human social development and understand the interdependence and coordinated development of multiculturalism in the world.

Social sciences at the primary level are taught in cross-curricular units covering history, geography, humanities, economics, society and more. Through these classes, learners acquire comprehensive knowledge, deep understanding, and relevant skills that enable them to better understand the past and present . At the same time, social sciences equip learners with the tools necessary to objectively face the present and future world and to creatively address problems.

Students learn the content of social science courses through an inquiry-based approach, that is closely integrated with the listening, speaking, reading and writing to demonstrate learning results through a variety of methods.

Natural Sciences

Natural science is the result of human curiosity. We need to find answers to questions about our existence, life and its forms, and our place within nature and the universe. In this way, we make it part of our culture.

Natural science courses in the primary school are taught in interdisciplinary integrated units that enable students to understand fundamental scientific principles and explain how humans interact with and understand the natural and physical world. Learners will begin to understand the impact of natural science on themselves and society.

Information Technology

Information technology courses of the primary school are developed according to the cognitive readiness of learners. These courses are organized around six logical components: data, algorithms, networks, information processing, information security, and artificial intelligence. The course designs reflect children's gradual development and aim to cultivate students' core technological literacy in areas such as information awareness, computational thinking, digital learning and innovation, and information social responsibility.

Information technology courses foster students' digital literacy by expanding on their existing knowledge, skills and experience. By following the progress of child development stages, information technology courses systematically design learning activities that highlight the use of information technology to solve problems in learning and life. This creates a learning environment for students to learn both independently and cooperatively through inquiry and a growth-mindset centered environment in which knowledge, emotion, intention and action are integrated and expanded. Information technology courses in the primary school are also taught in interdisciplinary integrated units.

Family life Education

Family life Education is the process of creating material and spiritual wealth and is a basic social practice unique to human beings. The Family life Education in the primary school is dedicated to cultivating students' hard-working competency, which mainly includes buidlinging mindset, habits and qualities, and spirit. The course adopts a progressive and spiral design, and sets different teaching goals according to child development stages.

We use rich and open practices as a carrier to organize students to participate in daily activities and service in a purposeful and planned way, so that students can practice, hone their will, and experience "no pain, no gain" and "achievements are reached by hard work rather than recreation". Thus, learners can understand that hard work creates wealth, appreciate work, respect the hard-working people around themselves, and have correct values for hard work.

The subject is taught in interdisciplinary integrated units, and its practice is implemented in various community service projects in student moral education programs such as the College's PAWS program.

Visual Art

The Primary art curriculum consists of the Chinese National Art Standards, the Common Core State Art Standards, and IPC (International Primary Curriculum). We use a co-teaching model in art classes where teachers plan and use high-involvement strategies to engage all learners in their instruction. Learners greatly benefit from having multiple teachers in the classroom to provide extra support.


Learners can expect to cover these major disciplines in art: painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and textile arts. The goal of the Art Department is to cultivate and inspire children’s creativity and passion for art.

In art we look for cross-curricular connections. For example in IPC (International Primary Curriculum),  students learn about different cultures in their homerooms and create related artworks in art class. This process creates awareness about global citizenship by making meaningful connections through art around the world. One major project the students worked on is art related to sustainable development goals (SDG). They collaboratively created works of art made from recycled materials to create awareness about the impact plastic has on the environment.

Performing Art

Utilizing the Chinese National Curriculum standards and the Common Core State Standards, performing arts classes in the primary school are mainly focused on music and drama. Concentration on core competencies such as aesthetic perception, artistic expression, creative practice, and cultural understanding follow the principles of artistic development while reflecting the stages of student physical and mental development, focusing on the development of learners in the four aspects of performing arts: creation, performance, response and connection.

Under the guidance of two teachers, learners will develop knowledge and understanding about the connection between the performing arts and other arts as well as the world outside the arts. This is accomplished through a variety of performing art forms such as song, musical instrument, drama, musical theater, etc., in the classroom both individually and in groups.

Sports & Health

Physical education and health are an important part of the overall education system of the primary school. "Integration of sports and education" is the teaching feature of the primary school of MSA. The primary physical education curriculum goes beyond sports. We combine the Chinese National PE standards with the K-12 Shape America standards to emphasize fundamental motor skills and movement concepts as well as to learning healthy practices and attitudes and to help students with health related issues make informed decisions. Students in primary PE can experience the joy of physical exertion and the satisfaction of achievement while developing skills and positive attitudes that enhance self-esteem. More importantly, we provide opportunities to develop desirable personal and social attributes: the concept of fair play, the acceptance of success and failure, and the ability to cooperate in group situations.