Environmental Studies, Science, and Social Studies in the Nelson Mandela Primary School are taught in English by international colleagues according to the Berlin State Curriculum. We strive to guide our students as they discover, learn, and grow by exposing our diverse student population to varied and thoughtfully planned content and methodology. The end goal of the curriculum is to empower the students to be lifelong capable learners.
Environmental Studies (ES)
In grades Flex through 4, students learn about the world around them in the subject Environmental Studies. The themes included in each double-year group include water, animals, Earth, the market, senses, time, cycles and the world of a child. As part of Environmental Studies, students also develop mobility skills, including traffic safety and earn their bicycle licences as a sustainable use of transport.
Media Literacy is an important aspect in Environmental Studies. More information about how media literacy is taught in Berlin can be found here.
In year 5 and 6, students take part in Science, in which they begin to explore the beginnings of physics, biology, and chemistry. Students are assessed in a combination of ways, such as project results, experiment notes, tests and classroom contributions. These consist of being prepared, working productively in class and taking part in class discussions. Classroom participation makes up a third of the year grade. Practical experiments are supported by the TuWas experiment kits and training provided by the Freie Universität.
Students learn about and experiment with human senses, microworlds and microscopes, habitats, properties of materials, and identifying mystery powders. Students develop their understanding of the scientific method and how to keep a lab notebook.
Students learn about and experiment with motion and forces, construction, the human body and body systems. The year also includes a comprehensive and sensitive unit on sex and relationships as prescribed by the Berlin curriculum. Students further develop their understanding of the scientific method and how to keep a lab notebook.
Social Science (SocS)
In year 5 and 6 students take part in Social Science. This subject is a combination of geography, history and social learning. Students are assessed in a combination of ways, such as project results, quizzes and tests and classroom contributions. These consist of being prepared, working productively in class and taking part in class discussions. Classroom participation makes up a third of the year grade. Media Literacy is an important aspect in SocS. More information about how media literacy in Berlin is taught, can be found here. Students also further develop mobility skills, including considering sustainable use of transport, reasons for migration and tourism, and investigating mobility and transport throughout the ages.
Students start to learn about the Paleolithic period, about the different types of hominids and how and where they lived, how hominids fed themselves, and compare the nutrition of the modern day humans to diets ten thousand years ago.
Students then learn about civilisations and how they came into existence. They learn about the first civilisations around the globe, and look at cities and urban diversity, advantages and problems.
Students have an elective unit where they can choose from topics such as Fashion and Consumption, Children’s Worlds, the Media, or a current issue or interest.
In Year 6 students will have four units of study, including Tourism and Mobility. Students explore the history of tourism and its development, its effects on countries and its advantages and disadvantages. Students also challenge themselves by thinking about how tourism will look in the future.
Students then travel back in time to Ancient Greece. Here they explore the different city states and forms of government. They consider the landscape and geography of Greece and how it affected ways of life. Learning and using map reading skills and distinguishing different forms of maps are part of this unit.
Next, they travel to ancient Rome. Students explore how this empire built towns and cities, how and where the Roman Empire expanded and what the Romans have contributed to today’s world.
Again, students will study an elective unit where they can choose from the following topics: Diversity in Society, Work to Live or Live to Work, Religion in Society, or their own theme which could stem from a current events topic.