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Our vision is to ensure that the Primary School at ISB is not merely a teaching school, but a learning school. That is not just a play on words but a clear statement of intent. Together, we create an environment where every member of staff has the opportunity to engage in meaningful educational research and has the opportunity and capacity to implement it. We ensure an ethos of shared best practice in which all members of the team become an expert in their field.

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Education research is the field of study that examines education and learning processes. At ISB, we continue to ensure that evidence-based research improves outcomes for all students. 

Projects run for academic year. At the end of the project, the outcomes and areas of learning are implemented across the school and continue for years to come. 


Continuing Project for August 2023

Metacognition and self-regulation approaches to teaching support pupils to think about their own learning more explicitly, often by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning.

Interventions are usually designed to give pupils a repertoire of strategies to choose from and the skills to select the most suitable strategy for a given learning task.


Self-regulated learning can be broken into three essential components:

  • cognition – the mental process involved in knowing, understanding and learning

  • metacognition – often defined as ‘learning to learn’

  • motivation – willingness to engage our metacognitive and cognitive skills


Continuing Project for August 2023


Continuing to develop students’ understanding of Brunei History and Culture is a vital element of our broad and balanced curriculum. This research project has the aim of further enhancing links with local museums, businesses and cultural centres. Ensuring all students who attend ISB, whether local and long term or expatriate and short-term, benefit from a deep understanding of Brunei History and Culture.

  • Curriculum development

  • Local visits

  • Visitors in school

  • Local experiences

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New Project for August 2023


We know ISB has a very strong international identity and wonderfully committed students, staff and families. We plan to further nurture this culture into next year and cement into the fabric of the school what it means to 'be ISB'. We will also have a continued focus on the wellbeing of all students and staff as we explore even more ways to care for the 'whole child'.

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New Project for August 2023


Science is a core subject within the curriculum. However, Science has clearly been ‘downgraded’ in some Primary schools in recent years. This is likely to have a serious impact on the depth and breadth of science understanding and knowledge that students take with them into Secondary, which may in turn stifle students’ later curiosity and interest in Science. This year will see an increased focus on the teaching of Science.

  • Create a ‘buzz’ around Science

  • Ensure excellent staff knowledge of the curriculum

  • Experiment, take risks and be creative with Science teaching and learning

  • Ensure sufficient learning time is dedicated to Science weekly

  • Ensure that at least 40% of Science lessons are practical and hands-on

  • Ensure that progress reporting in Science is robust

Through experiment, practice and discussion, students gain core knowledge around:

  • Scientific vocabulary

  • ‘Working scientifically’ skills including systematic and careful observations and following practical scientific methods

  • The gathering and interpretation of straightforward scientific evidence

  • The use of everyday materials and scientific equipment to solve science problems

  • Articulating scientific concepts and using five types of science enquiries

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“In Mathematics, you know you’ve mastered something when you can apply it to a totally new problem in an unfamiliar situation.”


Dr. Helen Drury, Director of Mathematics Mastery.

Maths Mastery is a teaching and learning approach that develops deep conceptual understanding of Maths. The whole class group moves through the content at the same pace; keep up, not catch up. This approach enables students to think deeply about Maths and builds self-confidence. Differentiation is achieved through depth rather than acceleration.

In Maths, we aim to ensure that all students:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that students develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately

  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language

  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

Our Maths curriculum is being further developed to ensure students build on prior knowledge and have a secure understanding of concepts before moving on. Mastery learning enables students to move forward at their own pace as they master new concepts and skills. Core elements include:

  • Diagnostic pre-assessment and pre-teaching

  • High-quality, group based initial instruction

  • Progress monitoring through regular formative assessments

  • High-quality corrective instruction

  • Second, parallel formative assessments

  • Enrichment or extension activities

Our aim is to increase confidence: numerate is the new literate.

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The focus is on self-efficacy relating to the 17 Goals for People, for Planet as adopted by all UN Member States in 2015.

UNESCO stated in 2015 that the role of educators is crucial as they are in the best position to provide their students with the appropriate sustainability concepts and practices. Therefore, as a school we will ask:

Our key areas of development are:

  • What is sustainability?

  • What does sustainable mean?

  • Why do we need to develop it?

Our Key ares of development are:

  • Increase confidence in the area of sustainability

  • Collaborate in an action research project to determine the best way forward

  • Further enhance student voice opportunities (i.e. Eco Warriors)

  • Establish meaningful global links with other institutions

  • Development criteria for measuring success in this area

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Enabling our students to be globally aware and international citizens remains a key priority. One area of Primary curriculum development will be to balance the work on Brunei History and Culture with a programme focussing on global citizenship and intercultural learning.

Global Citizenship:

  • Sustainable Development

  • Environmental Sustainability

  • Economic Sustainability

Intercultural Learning:

  • Education in intercultural contexts

  • Languages and intercultural language learning 

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We will undertake a multi-dimensional study to improve our already healthy school culture, focussing on the wellbeing of all stakeholders. Our key areas of development are:

  • Wellbeing audit to identify strengths and areas for improvement

  • Embedding of our Global Life Skills curriculum (GLS)

  • Explore the use of wellbeing and engagement scales, zones of regulation and mindfulness

  • Parent workshops

  • Teaching and Learning Community project with a focus on staff wellbeing (whole school)

The introduction of a new GLS curriculum in Primary has ensured that we have a coherent and spiral curriculum, developing student progress.

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Ensuring all students develop early literacy and oracy as a result of access to a language rich environment. A focus on the development of oral language during the transition from Early Years, into Primary and beyond. A particular focus on Phonics to ensure all students have the skills and knowledge they need to decode new vocabulary. 

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We will ensure that we nurture a love of reading in a language rich environment. This year, there will be a particular focus on Phonics across our Early Years and Key Stage 1 provision, with a continuation into Key Stage 2 where appropriate. An additional emphasis on writing will ensure that students achieve in line with the other core subject areas. The profile of writing will be increased across the school to match that of Maths. The visibility of writing and writers will be increased across the school, with work being published more frequently. It is well understood that an audience for writing is an important aspect of continued progress and engagement.

Our areas of development are:

  • Parent workshops and online phonics materials produced and shared

  • Raised profile of writing across the school

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Developing a love of language across all areas of ISB. What is Mastery Learning and what does it look like in all areas of the curriculum?


A focus on formative assessment to ensure all students continue to progress from their current level of attainment. Targeted interventions to ensure all students excel. High quality resources to inspire all students to develop a love of words and language. Development of language as we know well that if a student can't say it, they are unlikely to be able to write it. 

Free Writing to enable students to use their skills and knowledge. Frequent rewards for excellence and an opportunity for students to share their writing on a global stage. 

Language Comprehension:

  • Vocabulary: breadth, precision and links

  • Language Structures: syntax and semantics

  • Verbal Reasoning: inference and metaphor 

  • Literacy Knowledge: print concepts and genres


Word Recognition:

  • Sight Recognition: familiar words

  • Decoding: alphabetic principle, spelling-sound correspondences

  • Phonological Awareness: syllables and phonemes  

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Inquiry is a mindset and it's a way of being as a learner. For teachers it's a pedagogical approach to helping students make sense of the curriculum it helps students build a love of learning and provide them with the toolbox of skills and attitudes that they can draw on throughout their schooling and on into the wider world. It is a 21st century learning and teaching approach that brings the rigours of our curriculum knowledge together with the range of competencies and skills that prepare students to be successful in an ever-changing world. Think of your childhood if you're an adult and the amazing changes that have occurred in that short space of time. Technology advancements, climate change, a pandemic. 


  • What jobs are now part of our world that were not thought possible when we were young? 

  • What jobs and roles in society are no longer needed that were around before? 

  • How do we prepare our children to become resilient reflective leaders, innovators and personally successful in a world whose rate of change accelerates as every year passes?


An inquiry approach helps students to unpack the curriculum to make sense of this world, developing the confidence to critique, reflect, design, innovate, create and be successful in a way that is meaningful to them individually. There are many world leaders in education who have documented and shared strategies for inquiry and the significant impact this has on wellbeing, personal achievement and academic outcomes for students.


Know the impact of what you're doing on the outcomes you want to achieve, whether those are personal outcomes or outcomes in an academic sense. At its core Inquiry is cultivating curiosity, it's problem solving, leadership, teamwork and critical thinking. It's learning to give and receive constructive feedback and being able to reflect on your own learning and make next steps. It's about encouraging evidence and analysis about what you are learning. It's building your learning muscle, just like you would build the muscles that you needed for a sport. it is more kids, doing more figuring out, more of the time.

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Early Years provision at ISB is play-based and open-ended with resources available to encourage and stimulate creativity. Provision is mainly child-led with limited whole-class teacher-led learning sessions generally centred around Literacy and Maths. Early Learning Goals are developed and assessed through play. With a focus on transition from Early Years to Primary, we will ensure that the concept of play is not merely considered ‘only for fun’.  With a focus on the role of talking in learning, we will continue to explore and develop Interthinking: the joint engagement with one another’s ideas to think aloud together, solve problems or make mutual meaning.

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Continuing to ensure that everyone excels across the school, our areas of development are:

  • Further development of the Primary Student Council

  • Further development of the Primary House Captains

  • Further development of the House Points system (student led)

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