- General Principles
- Curricular Provision
- Course Content and Organisation
- Honour and Merit Awards
- Psychology and Guidance Services
The Lower Intermediate Level at St. Paul’s School is a period of transition, which, above all, aims to maintain the standard of work carried out in the levels before. As such, our students continue to benefit from a bilingual syllabus, with a more extensive and demanding programme in the English Language, developed in articulation with the national curriculum.
The level includes a demanding syllabus, with a cohesive teaching staff and all the necessary mechanisms that promote an effective and coherent teaching method. Our syllabus is more complex in terms of the specific content and subject areas which we offer. It is enriched with the introduction of the Spanish Language and with a more extensive study plan in the English Language (link), which includes specific sessions where our students develop their oral skills, their knowledge of English Literature have the opportunity to and attend preparation classes for the University of Cambridge examinations.
In addition to the intricacy of the syllabus, it is our objective that each class take place in a positive learning environment, which is simultaneously challenging and inspiring, encouraging the notion of discovery, together with the idea of scientific precision. We promote solid relationships between students and teachers while constantly advocating the search for knowledge, moral integrity and appreciation for the arts. All this in order to help our students become more accomplished young men and women who are prepared to face the challenges of their futures.
We believe that all our pupils may achieve success. However, we are conscious of the fact that this objective may only be reached if our students’ differences and idiosyncrasies are considered, if teaching strategies are adapted and defined for specific pupils. When specific difficulties are identified, strategies for recovery, reinforcement and re-education are consequently defined and implemented. These tasks are developed by the teaching staff together with the Psychology Department which elaborates evaluation reports whenever necessary, in order to enable the academic success of the child.
As such, the teaching staff works closely with all members of the school community, where each participant has a specific role in the learning process.
As we believe that preadolescence is a difficult stage in the development of a child, at St. Paul’s School we accompany our students closely, making an effort to get to know them well and establish solid relationships. In this sense, each student is given a personal tutor (link) who guides pupils in their study, personal and social well-being, and helps them to contribute positively to the school environment.
St. Paul’s School complies with all the guidelines dictated by the Portuguese Ministry of Education, with official programmes for each subject area. However, in the Lower Intermediate Level, our curricular provision enriches our syllabus and consequently the Educational Project of our school. Our curricular provision includes:
In the Lower Intermediate Level, the constant study of the English Language encourages the development of the linguistic skills necessary for the efficient communication of the language. The number of hours given to the subject is enhanced with various activities and tasks. These lessons are taught by a group of teachers who are native speakers from English speaking countries, thus enabling an insight into cultural matters, whilst promoting the progressive autonomy of the student in terms of fluency.
Specific English Literature classes are also taught, as well as sessions dedicated to the development of oral and written skills, providing our students with the necessary competencies for a more efficient communication. Every year, our pupils are tested in the knowledge and aptitude in the language with the University of Cambridge Examinations.
Conscious of the importance this language has in today’s society, at St. Paul’s School we introduce the Spanish Language in the Lower Intermediate Level, certain that it will undoubtedly enrich the student’s curriculum in the future. In these initial years, we aim to give our pupils the necessary skills to build a basis for preparation for the Spanish exams DELE (Diploma de Español Lengua Extranjera).
Knowing the basic sentence structure of Latin is a valuable tool in the proficient use of the Portuguese language as it helps students to develop their logical and critical thinking. Moreover, Latin enables pupils to improve their reasoning, observation skills and experimentation.
The study of the Latin language and culture also provides students with the opportunity to look into the ancient past, into the origins of our own cultural values and principals, as well as giving pupils a better understanding of the etymology of the Portuguese language, the roots of its structure, therefore further increasing their vocabulary.
As such, by learning Latin, students improve their communication skills and critical thinking as they relate the language and culture to their own.
This area provides our students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and ability to carry out the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).
In this area of study, the work carried out is dedicated to the Portuguese Language and to Mathematics. The classes are divided into two groups in order to enable a closer accompaniment and support of the students. These lessons allow our pupils to work individually with their teachers, providing them with the support necessary to overcome their own personal difficulties.
|Disciplina||Hours Per Week (x 90 minutes)|
|5th Grade||6th Grade|
|Portuguese History and Geography||1.5||1.5|
The evaluation procedure integrates and regulates the learning process, which, once analysed, offers systematic information pertaining to the academic development of the student and the quality of their education.
In the Lower Intermediate Level, internal evaluation is centred on the content and competencies defined in the National Curriculum, in accordance with the specific evaluation criteria for each subject.The criteria is defined by each department and based on the directives issued by the Ministry of Education. The school community is informed of these criteria at the beginning of each academic year, allowing for the regulation and reorganization of the learning process.
The evaluation process has various purposes according to their timing and nature, be this diagnostic, formative or summative. Diagnostic evaluation provides information on the level of competencies of a specific student or group of students at any given moment. ‘This leads to the implementation of adapted teaching strategies and contributes to the elaboration, adjustment and reformulation of Work Plans, Class Curricular Projects’, psychological evaluations, the accompaniment of students with particular characteristics, etc. Evaluation is considered Formative when it is the ‘main means of evaluation at this level of education. This method is continuous and systematic, with the objective of regulating the teaching process, using a variety of instruments in accordance with the nature of the programmes and contexts in which these occur, as well as the criteria of the subject at hand.’
Throughout the educational process, teachers provide their students with a study plan for each test, commonly designated as a Study Guide. The aim of this document is to guide the student’s study methods and prepare them for each period of evaluation.
Lastly, Summative Assessment provides a summary of information about the development of skills and competencies defined for each subject area, with special attention to the progress made throughout the learning process. Consequently, different measures and guidelines are stipulated in the implementation, follow up and evaluation of Recovery, Accompaniment and Development Plans. These measures aim to promote academic success, as is regulated by the normative order N.º 50/2005 of 9th November.
At the end of each term, school year and school level, the internal Summative Assessment is of the class teachers’ responsibility and is published in all documents with grades on a scale of zero to twenty, and in some subject areas with the grades Unsatisfactory, Good and Very Good. Notwithstanding, these grades are also converted to a scale of zero to five (which are registered on all official documents issued by the Ministry of Education at the end of each term).
The grades obtained at the end of each term are the result of the observations made in two main parameters: Learning Skills and Behaviour / Attitude. The following should be noted; the final mark/level given at the end of the academic year for each subject is calculated with the weighting factor of one for the grades given at the end of the first term, whereas the results given at the end of the second and third terms each have the weighting factor of two. As such, the mark/level attained in the first term is worth 100%. In the second term, the results from the first term are worth 33.3% and the results from the second term are worth 66.7%; the mark/level for the third term includes the weighting factor from all three terms, where the first term is worth 20% and the other two terms are worth 40% each. In this manner, the school is certain that our students’ progression and development is valued.
The Honour and Merit Awards aim to distinguish students who, throughout the school year, have achieved or developed a high standard of work. These motivate our students to further their learning process and to continue showing a positive attitude towards their school career.
The Merit Award is given to students who show a level of excellence in terms of character and attitude, which may be demonstrated by the student’s approach to their school work, or in their achievements and awards in sports or other areas.
The Honour Award is given to students who achieve excellent academic results, who produce course work of the highest standard or who have a remarkable participation in school activities. This award is given to those who not only achieve academic excellence, but who also adopt an exemplary attitude.
The Psychology and Guidance Services (Serviço de Psicologia e Orientação – SPO), at St. Paul’s School carries out its work throughout the various levels taught at the school, from Kindergarten to the end of Junior Years.