Elementary school

Consisting of an early learning section including Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten and then Grades 1 – 5.

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Principal’s Introduction

If you are new to ISY, on behalf of our elementary school faculty, students and families, I welcome you to our school.

Like everybody who joins our school, you will immediately be struck by the character of our students. Our community has made it very clear that our school’s role is to develop compassionate global citizens and lifelong learners who will be a force for positive change.

We have three ISY Learner Outcomes that we work towards with all of our students. All ISY graduates will be compassionate global citizens, lifelong learners and agents for positive change. In order to achieve this outcome we nurture in all of our students the ISY Learner Attributes. These are compassion, collaboration, communication, courage, creativity, critical thinking and reflection.

These ISY Learner Attributes are strongly embedded in everything we do. Our inclusive interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, our extracurricular programs, our learning environments and schedules, our focus on service learning, technology, environmentalism, cultural diversity and the perspectives of others, and our innovative and compassionate response to COVID-19 all continue to be grounded in the importance that we place on the development of the ISY Learner Attributes.

ISY is a school that truly lives its Mission and Vision. In joining ISY, as a student, family member, or teacher, you become part of something that is bigger than yourself. It is a supportive and inspiring place to learn and grow and it really does prepare all of us to be a force for positive change.

Sandy Sheppard
Elementary School Principal


The International School Yangon is a community of compassionate global citizens.


We aim to develop lifelong learners who will be a force for positive change in the world.

Core Academic Program


Math knowledge and skill in the elementary school is developed and taught through the Singapore Math pedagogy, which emphasizes concept mastery, a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, metacognitive reasoning, and the use of model drawing to solve problems. At the heart of the program is the promotion of deep understanding of math concepts fostered through open-ended questioning and discussion and visualization of mathematics.

English Language Arts

Immersing students in language and promoting the joy and value in reading are hallmarks of our English Language Arts program in the elementary school. The program emphasizes skills’ development in reading literature and informational texts, writing narratives, opinion and informational pieces, knowing and using English language conventions and vocabulary, and in listening and speaking. A variety of classroom structures and instructional approaches are used to develop these skills including the reading and writing workshop, book clubs/literature circles, small group instruction, one-to-one coaching, and centers. English language arts, science, and social studies are integrated (wherever possible) to provide connections and optimize understanding.


Exploration and application of science concepts and processes using hands-on materials and investigations are the emphases of science in the elementary school. Grounded in a coherent sequence of content and skills from Kindergarten through Grade 5 using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) framework across the three areas of science—life science, Earth and space sciences, and physical science.

Social Studies

Within an international and host-country/Myanmar context, students in social studies in the elementary school engage in learning about culture and geography, change and conflict, and government and economics. Learning is built upon the AERO (American Education Reaches Out) concept-based social studies standards developed for international schools.
Early Learning

Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten

The Early Childhood grade levels provide a learning environment for over 100 students where young children feel happy, safe, nurtured, and challenged academically.

Educational practices of the highest quality take place in every classroom as students are encouraged think creatively and critically. Children learn to communicate effectively and to develop problem-solving skills while they are actively engaged in academic activities based on developmentally appropriate standards-based curriculum.

Our faculty consists of highly experienced and highly qualified professionals who are committed to the learning and the development of each student. Every classroom teacher has a teaching assistant, which allows individual and special attention for every child.

The Early Childhood Program offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities wherein children have an opportunity to further develop physically, socially, and cognitively.

Our parents play an integral role in the life of our school; they are partners in the education process. Parents help to make the school a welcoming and warm family environment.

It is a great pleasure to be a part of this beautiful learning environment that we all collectively foster here at ISY. We welcome you to visit our campus and feel the warmth and kindness that creates the uniqueness of our educational offerings.


Specialist Programs

Providing a well rounded, balanced education for all students, the elementary school offers the following specialist programs: World Languages, Physical Fitness and Health, Computer Technology, Music, Visual Arts, and Library.

World Languages

Beginning in Grade 2, ISY offers instruction in French or Mandarin designed for students learning an additional language who do not have native fluency in the language. Instructional emphasis is on speaking, listening, reading, and writing and learning about the culture of the target language via these skills. ISY believes that learning an additional language is integral to the development of internationally minded students who are confident, reflective, and multi-lingual communicators. Language development in more than one language advances cognitive growth, cultivates lifelong learning, and promotes cross-cultural communication.


Physical Fitness and Health

Elementary students from Pre-K through Grade 5, engage in a wide variety of physical fitness activities and games all of which are designed to promote good health, self-esteem, confidence, and a physically active lifestyle.

Technology & Library

To prepare students for success in an increasingly connected world, ISY has adopted the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Students. These standards are designed to ensure information literacy, empower student voice and ensure that learning is a student-driven process. Technology Integration Facilitators (TIFs) will work with all teachers and students in their regular classes to provide expertise and support as the students integrate technology into their core curriculum learning. 

Our Head Librarian will also work with all teachers and students across the curriculum in all classes to ensure that students are able to work with and critique literature and media that engages them, furthers their learning, provides them with multiple perspectives, and supports the development of the ISTE standards in all of our students.


The purpose of music education at ISY is to provide an avenue for creative expression, to nurture aesthetic awareness, to foster a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of music, and to develop the important life skills that come with the discipline and practice involved in improving and gaining musical aptitude. In the Elementary School music classes, students develop the building blocks of music literacy and learn a repertoire of music through singing, playing instruments, dancing, listening and performing. Classes are designed to promote the joy of creating, making, and experiencing music by involving children in developmentally appropriate and holistic learning experiences.

Visual Arts

The Elementary School visual arts program promotes the exploration of a wide range of creative processes involving visual art techniques, language, and principles to build confidence and skills in students. Describing, evaluating, and reflecting upon artworks allow students to make art connections to oneself, to other subject areas, and to the world. All elementary school art students create portfolios and display their work to the community.


Student Support

The Elementary School at ISY provides a caring and nurturing environment where students feel safe to learn, play, and take on new challenges. It is committed to supporting the individual needs of students in an academic environment.

Guiding Principles and Beliefs About Responding to Students’ Individual Needs

At ISY we believe that—

  • Differentiation of instructional practices is inclusion put into practice.
  • All students learn in different ways and have unique learning styles, therefore, all students benefit from a personalized, differentiated approach to learning.
  • The meaning of differentiation is “a teacher’s response to the to the diverse learning needs of a student.” (Tomlinson, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2008)
  • The uniqueness and diversity of the ISY community is valuable and enriches the experience of all students.
  • Incorporation of research-based effective instructional practices provides equal access to the curriculum for all students.
  • Differentiation is most successful in a culture of collaboration.
  • Student success is amplified with partnerships forged between the school, teachers, parents, and students.

For more information about inclusionary practices, procedures, and communication at ISY, please view our Inclusion Policy.


Tomlinson, Carol A. The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999. Print.

Tomlinson, Carol A. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-ability Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001. Print.

Tomlinson, Carol A., and Caroline Cunningham Eidson. Differentiation in Practice: A Resource Guide for Differentiating Curriculum, Grades 5-9. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003. Print.

Tomlinson, Carol A., Kay Brimijoin, and Lane Narvaez. The Differentiated School: Making Revolutionary Changes in Teaching and Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2008. Print.


The elementary school provides a comprehensive counseling program that assists students in reaching their personal, social and academic potentials. The program utilizes a holistic approach where teachers, administration, parents, and community members (when appropriate) are involved to collaborate and develop an environment where students become responsible global citizens and contributing community members. The elementary school counseling program delivers classroom instruction on life skills and offers individual counseling to students with a variety of social-emotional needs.

Areas addressed through the elementary school counseling program are:

  • Skills in communicating, cooperating with others and resolving conflict
  • Building of social-emotional competency
  • Developing student leadership capacity to serve local and global communities
  • Promoting critical thinking and creative problem solving
  • Fostering behaviors that support good physical and mental health
  • Student goal setting
  • Helping students work through challenges

To view the ISY Counseling Philosophy and Beliefs, click here.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) program in the Elementary School provides specialized instructional support to ensure that EAL students simultaneously develop academic English and have full access to a rich curriculum across disciplines. EAL instruction encompasses skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language all the while striving to respect the integrity of each student’s cultural identity.

The EAL program can be characterized by providing both push-in and pull-out support: In Grades 1-5, EAL students attend classes during the World Languages blocks two times a week for 40 minutes. EAL support classes are self-contained, but activities and materials are related to those being used in the grade-level classroom. In addition, EAL teachers support their students within each EAL student’s homeroom classroom (push-in support).

Grading and Reporting

The primary purpose of reporting grades at ISY is to fairly and accurately communicate student achievement of standards (learning outcomes) and the ISY Learner Attributes to students, parents, school administrators, and other institutions. Elementary report cards document student achievement at the end of each quarter and provide information regarding strengths and areas to improve. The intent of report cards at ISY is to provide a fair and accurate picture of a child’s progress and to facilitate that child’s growth.

Downloads Center


Elementary School Handbook

Click to download the Elementary School Handbook

Student Technology Handbook

To find about technology at ISY download the Student Technology Handbook

Inclusion Handbook

Click to download the Inclusion Handbook

Elementary Blog Posts