Core Subjects

Core Subjects

At the Lower Primary School, we have four core subjects. Core subjects are taught by your child's homeroom teacher. 

Click to explore each core subject further: LiteracyMathematicsReligious EducationSocial Studies and Science.


The Lower Primary School uses curriculum that is founded on standards by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Common Core State Standards. Reception 1 uses components identified by the Creative Curriculum for Preschool in conjunction with the NAEYC. Reception 2 through Grade 2 uses the Common Core State Standards and the Capacities of a Literate Individual as foundations to the curriculum.



Reception 1 Literacy Components Reception 2, Grade 1 and Grade 2 Literacy Standards
  • Literacy as a source of enjoyment
  • Vocabulary and language
  • Phonological awareness
  • Letters and words
  • Comprehension
  • Books and other texts
  • Speaking and listening
  • Building a reader and writer identity


  • Speaking and listening
  • Reading literature
  • Reading informational texts
  • Writing
  • Foundational skills (phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency)
  • Language (conventions, syntax and vocabulary)
  • Building a reader and writer identity





HKIS uses the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Standards for Mathematical Practice as a framework for grade level benchmarks. These standards concentrate on a clear, organized and developmentally appropriate set of math skills and concepts in which students learn to understand throughout the grade levels. These standards are designed around coherent progressions from grade to grade. Learning is carefully connected across grades so that students can build new understanding on foundations built in previous years. The knowledge and skills that students need to be prepared for mathematics in college, career and life are interwoven throughout these mathematics standards. There is a greater focus on fewer topics. This will help our students gain strong foundations, including a solid understanding of concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency and the ability to apply the math they learn inside and outside of the classroom. The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe ways in which our students will be taught to engage with the content standards. Both sets of standards work in tandem to support our students access the knowledge and skills they are learning to have true understanding. Our goal in Lower Primary is to help our students be confident and successful mathematicians.

The Standards for Mathematical PracticeStandards for Mathematical Content
  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  4. Model with mathematics
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically
  6. Attend to precision
  7. Look for and make use of structure
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
  • Counting and cardinality
  • Operations and algebraic thinking
  • Numbers and operations in base ten
  • Measurement and data
  • Geometry



Religious Studies

Our religious education program provides a focus on Christianity in all classrooms, with key Bible stories, Bible verses, chapels, devotions, songs and prayer time. In this way, our children talk and learn about the Christian God and Jesus.

In addition, each grade level also has a focus on one of the major world religions – Buddhism in Reception 1, Hinduism in Reception 2, Islam in Grade 1 and Judaism in Grade 2. We honor different world religions through festival celebrations, discussions, examining artifacts, reading books and gathering information at an appropriate level. Through community meetings, children talk and learn about world religions.



Social Studies and Science

Science and social studies are taught using an inquiry-based approach. Scientific processes including observation, collecting, recording and interpreting data, predicting, classifying and drawing conclusions are practiced in hands-on, meaningful activities. Students learn concepts, as well as information. In addition, skills of reasoning, problem solving, working collaboratively, goal setting and decision making are practiced throughout the curriculum.