The Casco school offers an internationally recognised British bilingual curriculum that encourages students’ academic, personal and social growth. While in other schools, teachers and textbooks determine what students learn. At The Casco School, we use the curriculum as a framework, but use our knowledge of each child to tailor lessons to how each student learns. We respond to each child’s strengths, broadening and deepening their understanding while supporting them to overcome challenges. The curriculum applies a global approach that helps children connect learning to where they are living now and view learning from the perspective of people in other countries, developing global citizenship and instilling a passion for lifelong learning. We have a Preschool for 1 to 5-year-olds and a Primary school for 6 to 9-year-olds.
We aim to grow, adding one grade per year until we reach a full secondary school. We then plan to move on to our next phase of growth.
Our programmes specifically address the stages of child development, aiming to create well-rounded students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.
A BRITISH EDUCATION
The core curriculum is laid out by the MEDUCA curriculum in Panama and the National Primary Curriculum for England and Wales. It establishes the depth and breadth of coverage of subjects and also how teachers should adapt to meet students’ needs. Teachers study the art of teaching, the psychology of learning and the scientific processes that happen in the brain for students to receive information and transform it into knowledge, understanding it in an interdisciplinary way. The spiral framework allows children to develop understanding and skills, continuing to progress and build upon previous learning experiences. The framework uses a range of experiential learning strategies to develop creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Our international staff are specifically trained to meet the developmental needs of the students in the age group they work with. Our daycare and preschool staff provide sensory play-based learning experiences where young children develop the language and understanding that enables them to make sense of the world around them. Our primary children develop academically over the years. The teaching staff aim to bring learning experiences to life using meaningful projects to apply academic lessons to real-life examples – all while having fun.
THE EARLY YEARS
1 - 5 YEARS OLD
The Early Years are the most important part of a child’s and a family’s lives, where bonds are formed, children’s natural curiosity is nurtured, and their individual characteristics begin to shine. Everyone only gets one chance at being 1, 2, 3 or 4 years of age. A magical time full of fun, exploration and development. During this time, cognitive, emotional and physical growth soar. Our excellent preschool programme lays the foundations for future learning, building relationships and developing an individual’s sense of self.
The British Early Years Framework
Recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. The commitments are focused around development; inclusion; safety; and health and well-being.
Describes how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and carers. The commitments are focused on respect; partnership with parents; supporting learning, and the role of the teachers.
Explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. The commitments are focused around observation, assessment and planning; support for every child and the learning environment.
Recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
During the day
In their daily work, our students play, explore, create and think critically through participating in child-initiated and adult-led activities. Through these activities, Children address the 7 areas of learning.
Our Preschool teachers are specialists in Early Years education and understand the importance of play as a form of learning. We recognise that each child is different and has their own pace of learning as well as curiosity and interests. Our highly trained staff plan play and activities based on each child’s individual interests. We welcome children and families into a partnership with our staff. We support parents as a child’s first advocate in their learning journey. We build relationships on trust, developing children’s confidence to manage the world outside their home independentlyeir
Areas of learning
PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
TIME OF CHANGES...
BIG STEPS FOR CHILDREN
The first days of Primary school are a big step for children. At first, they require their parents to hold their hands, help them organise their belongings and introduce them to their teachers on their first day. Soon enough things change. Day by day, the children become more confident and more independent, surprising their parents and themselves. They learn to overcome obstacles, read fluently, master those tricky multiplications, speak with clarity and command. They build up friendships, form opinions and through nurturing their self-confidence develop their own dreams and talents.
The Primary School Framework
Our students learn how to learn; they become scholars. Beside mastering academic milestones, our children learn about themselves. They learn the value of friendship; they develop their own passions and secure their place in a larger community developing respect and tolerance for others.
A critical part of the curriculum with students becoming truly fluent in English and Spanish. Immersion happens both in the classroom and in the wider community we have created. The school takes advantage of its location in a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the range of talented artists and experts that reside here.
Our dedicated teachers work hard to refine their own art of teaching. They implement hands-on, experiential activities to enable students to acquire essential skills, engage in creative thinking, broaden knowledge, and deepen understanding.
Guests artists, speakers and professionals enhance our program by delivering classes and workshops to support students in developing their own talents and passions. This gives our students a unique opportunity to become artists in their chosen field.
PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Topic based learning
Topics are engaging, exciting and of real interest to the children. By integrating subjects through a related topic, children make links in their learning. For example, by studying Wonderful Waterways, we connect the science of the water cycle with the creation of both human and physical geography features and the impact that this has had on history over time.
Children learn to look at multiple perspectives and make meaningful connections while also thinking critically. Units of work include individual and collaborative projects. Internationalism is embedded into each topic developing student global mindset. Through our studies, we travel the globe learning about the rich cultural diversity of the world and develop respect and tolerance for others.
The core curriculum from ages 5 – 11 (Year 1 – Year 6) includes all the areas of learning on the right side:
PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Areas of learning
CREATIVE AND LEARNING
The integration of extracurricular programs stimulates children from an early age, nurturing their intellectual, social, emotional, physical and artistic development. Students create visual forms of expression that are both meaningful to them and reflective of the world.
At the Casco School, we have a truly unique approach to the arts. Through strategic partners, we are able to utilize the skills of professional musicians, dancers and artists right here in our neighbourhood. Each week our children have art classes with the Olga Sinclair Foundation, music classes in collaboration with the Danilo Perez Foundation and dance classes with the Enlaces Foundation. These classes are included in our weekly program and give our students the chance to learn new skills from professional and experienced teachers. We value creative thinking and exploration. We understand the links this makes to multiple intelligences and common benefits to problem-solving achieved through nurturing creativity. The arts are integrated through our whole curriculum exploring dance, art, music and movement as parts of our global topics.
Art with the Olga Sinclair Foundation. Through our weekly lessons with art teachers from the foundation, we explore art history, mediums, develop skills and utilize our internal creativity. Each month we study a new artist and their style, technique and medium.
Music with The Danilo Pérez Foundation.
We have weekly music classes in collaboration with the Danilo Perez Foundation. We learn music from across the globe, how to read and follow the music, how to play different instruments and perform both individually and together. This builds teamwork, confidence and self-expression.
We explore dance in many forms from ballet to contemporary and street dance using our bodies to express our thoughts. We develop strength, stamina and gentleness while working individually and as part of a troop.
As a fully bilingual school, we celebrate language, and the natural linguistic skills children have. We support children in learning both English and Spanish, enabling them to succeed academically and socially while maintaining and celebrating their cultural identity and home language.
All of our classes are inclusive, and this model of inclusivity allows children to acquire language skills, learning with and alongside their peers. Our specialist language teachers provide differentiated learning instruction and individual support for students, helping children acquire both content and language throughout the curriculum. We focus on language throughout all lessons exploring new vocabulary and terminology. At The Casco School, we focus on English Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Spanish on Tuesday and Thursday. Literacy classes are taught in the language of the day. We then explore our other lessons through that language, allowing students to progress in both languages.
Each child is unique and will process new language skills at a different pace. This depends on their mother tongue, their development and fluency in their first language, exposure to a language-rich environment, their attitude and motivation, which all impact a student’s learning. We make classes fun and dynamic, allowing students to acquire and apply new language skills using a range of genres.
For students new to a language, we support them in the early language acquisition in small groups or with one to one tuition but immerse this in the class so that they can learn from and with their peers.
IS OUR CAMPUS!
The Casco School is unique in character and designed to meet the needs of its community. We offer a truly engaging global education for students aged 1 to 9 years nestled in the heart of Panama’s iconic old city, Casco Viejo. Our school is creative and dynamic, based on a strong community of families all seeking a neighbourhood school with a difference. We have families enrolled from over 19 countries all-wishing to align with our international ethos.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Our curriculum is enriched by our location in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our students are able to take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded to them by being in Casco Viejo, including the range of museums and galleries in close proximity, the beach and community parks. We also have established links within our community such as the Danilo Pérez Foundation, Olga Sinclair Foundation and local artists residing in our neighbourhood who enhance our curriculum and experiences for students.
Parent Links help drive community spirit and foster an understanding between the home and school, leading to a positive, trusting and secure learning environment where all opinions are valued.
We invite our parents into the school to participate in a lesson, which provides an opportunity to see your child’s learning environment first-hand. Many of our parents enjoy volunteering to be a Mystery Reader in which they come to school and surprise their son/daughter’s classroom by reading their favourite book. Educational visits are another fun way for parents to take part in school life, and we encourage you to chaperone when possible.
We hold Parent Consultations four times a year with the teachers, enabling you and your child to review the learning that has taken place and discuss his or her upcoming targets for development. Two shortened reports and two long narrative reports keep you informed of progress during the year.
If you wish to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss any aspect of their learning, teachers are available to meet before and after school by appointment.
Our vision is to grow our school while remaining true to our core values and community feel. We are currently developing plans for future expansion, to grow to a full primary and secondary school. We believe our quality education at an affordable price will make a real difference to the lives of children and families in Panama.
This is an exciting time in Casco Viejo with many residential and commercial developments taking place. Our school will be a great part of the transformation of our neighbourhood.
Should you wish to hear more about our development plans, please contact the school.
The Casco School is a community school where children and families are the main foundation. We have close links with all of our students and families. We aim to allow students to be creative, dynamic and have a moral sense to do the best for themselves and those around them. Through this, we gain real-life experience learning from professionals in their fields. We work with various foundations in Casco to create a partnership. Through our Arts partnerships, we are able to provide our students with an advanced art program while supporting the foundations to continue their work in the wider community. We develop our community spirit, and the children learn that they have a place in and can make an impact on the community. By supporting and leading initiatives, our students have been part of community beach clean-ups, recycling and our Say No to Plastic Straws campaign. We shared in the community a short video we made for sharing our message ‘Say No to Plastic Straws.’