Nursery to Grade 5

Celebrating everyone's uniqueness

At St. Dominic’s International School, we promote cultural understanding through the events that we organise. We get the students excited not only about themselves and their cultural identities but also really excited and curious about their classmates’ backgrounds. There is definitely a culture of curiosity, understanding, respect and a constant learning about each other, celebrating what we have here at school.

Ed Burt

Primary Years Programme Coordinator

The Primary Years Programme at St. Dominic's

St. Dominic’s International School is one of the few schools in Portugal that offers the rewarding IB Primary Years Programme. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a unique, Transdisciplinary approach in which learning takes place across multiple disciplines, allowing students to make connections across all subjects.  Skills, knowledge and understandings are developed in context with real world situations.

Inquiry-based Programme

One of the key aspects of the IB PYP program is that it's an inquiry based program. Whether we're learning in maths or language, the arts, physical education, it's all, as much as possible done through inquiry so that students can have agency over their learning.

Students engaged in collaborative learning activities as part of the Middle Years Programme at St. Dominic's International School, highlighting critical thinking and creativity.
Lifelong Learning Programme

We want to instill Agency in the students by giving them essential life-long skills that allow them to become independent learners in life. These are known as the Approaches to Learning.

Our ultimate goal is that our students are equipped with the skills to take Action upon their learning. What difference can they make in the world whether at a local or a global context?

The Subjects

Every year, students from grade 1 to grade 5 have 6 transdisciplinary themes: 

Who We Are - Where We Are In Place And Time - How We Express Ourselves - How The World Works - How We Organize Ourselves - Sharing The Planet

Whilst we put very strong emphasis on teaching students how to take action, how to have agency to develop the attributes of the learner profile and the Approaches to Learning that enable them to become lifelong learners, we also cover all of the subjects in any primary school curriculum.

At St. Dominic's, all Junior School students have Portuguese and English, all the strands of mathematical understanding, a range of science concepts and strands, social studies, art, music, drama for the older students and physical education.

Learning Across Subjects

A caring teacher providing guidance to a student at St. Dominic's International School, representing the school's commitment to comprehensive pastoral support.

Besides supporting students who may need additional support in any area, the Counsellor at the Learning Support Team at St. Dominic's  runs a social-emotional programme.

The Junior School Counsellor works with the class teachers to integrate as much as possible the program into our program of inquiry, helping students to develop emotional intelligence and social skills, which are very important for future learning.

The Social-Emotional Programme

The Learning Support Team

We also have a learning support department for those students who may need additional support in any area. Within our learning support department, we have a junior school counselor who runs a Social-Emotional programme. She works with the class teachers and we integrate as much as possible the program into a program of inquiry, helping students to develop emotional intelligence and social skills which are very important for future learning. 

The English as Additional Language Programme aims to support the students who come to our school who are in need of additional support acquiring the English language and accessing our curriculum more easily.

IB Learner Profile at St. Dominic's​

At the heart of the PYP is the IB Learner Profile, a set of attributes that are continuously developed from Nursery all the way through to Grade 12. The Learner Profile is developed throughout the school, inside and outside of the classroom, including on the playground. All teachers in the school - whether it's a language lesson, a math lesson, looking at some science concepts or social studies - will be looking at the learner profile.

The Learner Profile exemplifies the HOLISTIC development of the student, and supports our MISSION of NURTURING INTERNATIONALLY-MINDED PEOPLE prepared to make a difference in the world. 

The IB Primary Years Programme

For more information, please visit the IBO website