Pre-School (ages 2-3) - either morning or afternoon shift
4 years old and Kinder (5 years old) -morning and afternoon shifts
Primary School -(ages 6 to 11) - morning shift: English /afternoon shift: Spanish
LESTER HOUSE Primary School is a bilingual (Spanish-English) private institution accredited by the Uruguayan Ministry of Education (Hab. No. 158).
The English language is of primary importance in the school's academic programs. At the end of Primary level all students are expected to acquire a fluent command of English in both oral and written communication in any setting or situation.
The academic aim of the English language is to bring each student to the highest point of his/her potential. English - as a subject - is connected with the Spanish Official Syllabus and designed to give as wide a range of topics as possible, related to the realities of the outside world. Some aspects of history, geography or sciences that students learn in Spanish, are taught and assessed through English. Skills and concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum using a variety of methods and technologies. Many concepts and skills are reinforced and expanded from one grade level to the next.
At the end of 2nd, 4th and 6th Grades students are prepared to take an international examination corrected at the University of Cambridge, England. (Young Learners Examinations, KET and PET). Candidates get special tuition for the necessary entry-requirements. Sitting for these examinations is optional)
The study of the English language and the variety of subjects studied through English provide students with an integral education which stimulates and integrates intellectual and emotional growth.
Computing Classes - it is a structured course based on practical development of computing techniques.
Art and Music classes are also available on the School curriculum.
Primary school information
Teachers use a variety of approaches to teaching and learning in order to meet the wide range of student needs within a classroom. The subject areas are integrated so that the students see the relationship among the subjects. Emphasis is placed on applying knowledge and skills learned to real world problems.
Homework may be assigned throughout the week to reinforce classroom instruction or finish classroom work. When homework is assigned, it would take about 30-45 minutes to complete. If you have any questions or find your child struggling with the work, please contact the teacher.
Grades are based on daily work, attitude towards learning, test scores and special projects. Report cards are issued every three months. Parents are informed - between grading periods - if students are in danger of failing a period or when their performance is below teacher's expectations. Apart from English and Spanish, the curriculum areas of Information Technology, Art, Music and Physical Education are also evaluated.
School and teachers welcome parents' visits and enquiries about the child's academic development. Parents are encouraged to make the most of all opportunities to be involve in their child's educational experience.
Each classroom has a library corner providing a wide choice of reading material (fiction and non-fiction for general reading), both in English and Spanish languages.
We encourage parents to give their children every opportunity to enjoy and learn from books - either printed or digital:
• read books to them
• tell them stories and rhymes
• help them to tell their own stories
• let them pretend to read their favourite stories
• encourage them to guess "What is going to happen next?"
School meals: snacks and lunch
Snacks can be bought at the School Canteen or brought from home to be consumed at mid-morning and mid-afternoon break times.
Children are encouraged to bring a drink of water to be consumed throughout the day. Sweets are not encouraged in school. In other words healthy snacks please.
For Lunch, Primary School children have a choice of:
1. Packed lunch
2. Home to lunch
Meal times also provide the opportunity to develop social integration. Children eat together in the Dining Hall under teachers' supervision. Children are able to bring their own drink to have with their meal (water is always available) but we do not permit carbonated drinks (Cola type).
The school uniform contributes to a feeling of belonging to the school.
Shoes - black in a style suitable for school wear. Please ensure that these are practical and can be put on and off without adult assistance..
Please mark ALL items of clothing and footwear with your child's name. If you fail to do this, it is very difficult to trace lost articles. Any items of clothing that we are not able to return to the rightful owner will be placed in lost property containers.
During the course of the year various visits will be arranged for the children. These will involve excursions to places of interest, theatre performances inEnglish or Spanish and visits to the school by a variety of performers and artists. The purpose of these visits is to broaden the children's educative experiences. Class Educational Visits, occurring during school time, are organised to places of interest associated with their topic work. Parents are always notified of such visits well in advance and charged for travel, entrance fees (if applicable), specially-hired services, etc.
We offer our children extra curricular activities after school time having special fees. Activities on offer include:
* Taekwon do
We offer school sporting activities and participation in many local competitions in Handball and Football.
Many of our children live at a considerable distance from school and therefore parents might like to consider hiring transport to and from school. It is the parents' responsibility to make arrangements for and meet the costs of travel between home and school. School transportation information is available on request.
• To give each child an equal opportunity to reach their full potential - intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally- by promoting a high standard of achievement through a well balanced, structured and challenging curriculum;
• To promote positive attitudes towards cultural diversity;
• To provide a high quality and supportive learning and social environment in which pupils can develop a positive working attitude and the ability to work independently and co-operatively;
• To foster positive self-esteem, enabling children to develop confidence and act with initiative and to encourage children to value others, treating them with consideration and respect;
• To develop positive and caring relationships between school and home, to forge links with local and global communities and help the child develop a sense of community responsibility.
Parents are encouraged to maintain a close contact with the school, thus enhancing the "family atmosphere". Parent/Teacher consultations give parents the opportunity to see and privately discuss their children's work and progress. Parents are welcome to contact the school at previously arranged times if they have a query or wish to raise something with the class teacher. Similarly, staff will often consult parents informally, before or after school.
Good discipline is essential for maintaining the standards we set and for creating an atmosphere in which teachers and children can work together with mutual respect. To achieve this aim, a great deal of initial guidance and control is obviously needed and high standards of behaviour are always expected, as each child represents "the family" of the school, in and outside the premises.
Children are encouraged to show respect for others and to respect the rights of others. Emphasis is placed on encouragement, praise, reasoning and incentives. Children who misbehave are spoken to privately and parents may be involved if necessary.
English curriculum and assessment
In accordance with the Spanish Department, the goals for Pre-School and Primary education in English are specific: • to make possible personality development of pupils according with their abilities and principles of the developmental period (by balancing their cognitive, emotional and social development), • to convey to them the basic knowledge and skills that make possible an independent and efficient adaptation to the social and natural environment, and • to develop their awareness of belonging to a specific cultural tradition through a second language. Students are guided to understand their own language and culture through comparison or through the relationship between the foreign language and the mother tongue. A bilingual education must be oriented to a complete development of the human personality and must promote understanding, tolerance and solidarity among people, nations, races and religious communities.
Lester House School English levels
FOUNDATION LEVEL 3 years old
TRANSITION LEVEL 4 years old
BASIC LEVEL Kinder, 1st and 2nd Grade
Young Learners Exam
University of Cambridge (England)
PRE-INTERMEDIATE LEVEL 3rd Grade
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL 4th and 5th Grades.
At the end of 4th Grade:
Young Learners Exam
University of Cambridge (England)
POST-INTERMEDIATE LEVEL 6th Grade
- KET - University of Cambridge (England)
- PET - University of Cambridge (England)
The English curriculum
English learning is closely integrated with the Official National Spanish Curriculum in Uruguay, as far as topics is concerned. Some aspects of history, geography or sciences that students are supposed to learn in Spanish, are taught and assessed through English.
Considering that children learn best when they are involved and when their work is valued, the content in the English Curriculum is presented through an activity-based approach integrated with a meaningful and understandable language. Children are not introduced to English language in an artificial sequence of grammatical structures or functions. Each child is encouraged to acquire language at his/her own pace and manner because they do not learn at the same pace and in the same manner. Each teacher is encouraged to make the Curriculum relevant, interesting, meaningful and enjoyable.
At Foundation, Transition and Basic Levels (3 to 7 years old) our goals and expectations are directed towards making the teaching and learning process enjoyable and fun-filled so that students can achieve their maximum potential. At these levels students are valued individually and more importance is given to social relationships aiming at making young people not too dependent on adult help. Vocabulary and grammar instruction is made enjoyable by singing songs and playing games. The children practice using new vocabulary in songs related to the themes. Games motivate students to learn and use the new vocabulary in simple sentences.
During story time, the children hear a short story read by the teacher. Students are always eager to answer comprehension questions using one or two word responses and simple sentences.
As from Pre-Intermediate to Post-Intermediate Levels (8 to 11 years old) students are required to perform at their top providing them with a curriculum that is interesting and relevant to their ages and needs so that their learning opportunities are enriched. In these levels experiences outside the school are part of the curricular programs. These include field trips, attending theatre plays, visits to exhibitions and displays and inviting visiting speakers to talk on a variety of topics. Small group activities are used to promote interaction and preparing students for the real world. Project work, including two or more members, allows students to study together and learn from each other. Evaluation is based on the process as well as the product of the group's work.
From ages 6 to 11, Internet is used for reinforcement of concepts already presented in the classroom, for practical applications on theoretical principles and for selecting and summarizing a wide range of information.
We aim to meet the needs of all pupils in the school by providing a broad and balanced curriculum where all children can experience success and build on their strengths in the English language.
While we realise the prime importance of English within the Primary level, we also feel that children need a more rounded education. At LESTER HOUSE we therefore place a lot of emphasis on Sciences, Literature, History, Geography and Information and Communication Technology.
We set targets for the children and review progress on a three-month basis
The English curriculum subjects
Children are encouraged to develop a broad range of skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing. Reading is a fundamental skill and we encourage parents to join in the excitement of their children learning to read. Through our Reading Project we match children to books that will best develop their skills and interest. Every class has its own book corner with a variety of titles suited to a particular age group. We emphasise presentation and handwriting skills. Speaking and Listening skills are developed across the whole curriculum. Each year we put on our English Festival show to encourage confidence and self-expression in the English language.
In science we aim to develop children's natural curiosity about the world around them. We try to promote scientific thinking, observation, hypothesising and the design of class projects. We teach children to draw meaningful conclusions through reasoning and the evaluation of evidence, and to become effective communicators of scientific ideas, facts and data. Social Sciences are always a key part throughout the English curriculum at all levels.
Information and Communication Technology
We recognise the importance of information technology and aim to develop the confidence and competence of all pupils. We have a wide range of software and we regularly upgrade computer equipment. Children in all classes have controlled Internet access.
The main part of our computer teaching takes place in our Computing Room, under the direct supervision of a specialist Computing teacher. The children save their own work and manage their own desktop as part of the learning process.
Our classroom have interactive Smartboards which teachers of English, Spanish and Portuguese use every week.
Home assignments are an extension of instruction. Homework is related to teaching and learning.
Because of other demands on children's time, homework is restricted to periodical simple and short assignments considering that when the number of assignments becomes overwhelming, students will surely have negative attitudes about school and learning. More demanding work should be left for the classroom.
Homework provides opportunities to practice and improve skills or gain further knowledge or understanding. Home assignments also teach lessons that cannot be measured, such as self discipline, perseverance and time management. Doing homework teach students how to begin a task, complete it and be responsible for the final product. If they are short, interesting and easy to complete, home assignments can be an important tool to assess the attitude of students towards learning.
The amount and type of homework our pupils receive will vary depending on what they are studying and which year group they are in. Since we also value the extra activities that children become involved with outside school, we do not over burden our pupils with unnecessary homework.
Initially homework tends to be reading and practical exercises moving to more demanding tasks as your child progresses through the school curricula.
From early ages, the LESTER HOUSE Curriculum has assessment standards that establish guidelines for evaluating student performance and attainment of content.
Student Assessment focuses on students' analytical skills, ability to integrate what they learn, creativity, ability to work collaboratively and oral and written expression skills. In this authentic assessment, student gradually do experiments, understand and write stories and reports, read and interpret literature, solve math problems that have real-world applications and have a position in a classroom debate.
The expectations of the Lester House English Department for students in their final level of instruction (Post-Intermediate Level - 6th Grade) are aimed to assess how well they have mastered concepts and skills. Students are asked to interpret, describe or predict. They are also required to evaluate their own participation, process and products. Assessment emphasizes process and performance and encourages students to practice critical-thinking skills.
The assessment of students' progress and achievement in all levels is carried out in a manner that does not cause anxiety in the students. As new EFL curricula have moved in the direction of developing communicative skills through the integration of language and content, the traditional paper-and-pencil tests no longer cover the variety of activities and tasks that take place in the classroom.
The Lester House English Department uses formative assessment techniques requiring students to perform authentic tasks using oral and/or written communication skills. These assessment techniques are integrated into daily classroom activities, such as oral reports, group work and problem solving activities, and give a comprehensive picture of the students' abilities, progress and achievement.
Assessment of the written communicative abilities of children is normally performed through authentic tasks, such as writing letters to friends, writing and responding to invitations, giving personal views, creating stories or narratives that relate to personal experiences, etc.
Report cards are issued two times in the year for the first grades up to Kinder (5 years old) and three times a year for the rest, with the student's level of proficiency for each reporting period based on progress towards end-of-year expectations.
Up to Basic Level (5 years old) detailed comments about the student's performance in English are reported to parents.
As from 6 year-old students onwards, assessment is reported assigning numerical grades and a concept on different items.
Lester House English festival
The Lester House english festival is a major annual activity of the Department of English and an important piece of the school's curriculum.
The Festival has become a key component of the English Syllabus and is a special project which provides an opportunity for students to develop key skills of communication and compromise. Drama promotes language development and pupils develop confidence when speaking to an audience or when they adopt roles and characters. Pupils also acquire a critical approach when reflecting on and appraising their own work in drama and the work of others. Throughout the preparation for the stage presentation pupils work creatively together and solve problems in groups of various sizes. These skills, along with flexibility, empathy and risk-taking, are recognised as essential in future adult life.
Our goal in the preparation and presentation of the show is not to produce professional actors but to educate through theatre, to break down barriers and to work on language, personal, social and emotional development valuing and respecting the creativity of children.
During the first period of preparation children learn to take turns when speaking their part and begin to recognise the need to practice their plays to make them better. Then they learn lines and how to use their voices and bodies to create characters and atmospheres, employing language and tone appropriate to the role or character.
The last step previous to stage presentation is to improve and refine their acting through the rehearsal process, making full use of the performance space and resources in their productions.
Employing music, light and costume to enhance their stage presentation, pupils understand the benefits of collaborative work and use this opportunity to enjoy themselves and learn more.
The importance of Portuguese language in our region (MERCOSUR) is great and more people are choosing to learn it. Students in 5th and 6th Primary grades are introduced to Portuguese in oral, reading and writing communication, following the academic school year.