Elementary School

Preparing Students for the Future

The Dehong Elementary School curriculum allows students to experience a bilingualbiliteratebicultural education. It provides a well-balanced, holistic education covering all aspects of the Chinese National Curriculum (CNC) and more.

The Elementary School curriculum is underpinned by research on the importance of mother tongue, in the development of conceptual understanding, the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and the academic strengths of an inquiry-based education.

The Dehong curriculum consists of three interconnected, supporting strands:

  1. The compulsory years curriculum of the People's Republic of China.
  2. A holistic, inquiry and skills-based curriculum. 
  3. A high-quality holistic education which builds on educational innovation and excellence.

The English-medium learning (EML) curriculum is grounded in the inquiry approach, using four trans disciplinary themes to deliver the CNC in Science, whilst developing high levels of English language and a deep understanding of sustainability. In addition, we focus on the development of the whole child, including skills such as collaboration, communication, and confidence. Students are encouraged to explore a central idea, ask their own questions, develop their research skills and articulate their findings.

The Chinese-medium learning (CML) curriculum provides a strong foundationin Chinese language, literature, and culture. Mathematics is taught in Chinese to develop students' abstract and higher-order thinking skills in their mother tongue. A continual focus on structure, practice, knowledge and study skills ensures mastery and is the basis for future learning.

Trans Disciplinary Themes


Key points

  • Dehong follows a bilingual and bicultural curriculum.
  • The CML curriculum is based on the CNC, with a focus on practice, knowledge, memorization and study skills, work ethic, research and mastery
  • The EML curriculum is bespoke to Dehong, incorporating the CNC Science and English programmes into inquiry units that also incorporate real life contexts, problem solving, critical thinking, higher-order English skills and sustainability. Our curriculum is a holistic one.
  • All our teachers are teachers of language and use a CLIL approach.

Dehong Story

Bai Song joined Dehong in Grade 3. Although he arrived without a high level of English language, Bai Song soon began to work collaboratively with his new classmates and his teachers. The wide range of different ways of learning meant that Bai Song soon had the confidence to start practising his English. He quickly developed a keen interest in Science, in particular through the experiments and projects his class were working on.

In addition, through the delivery of a well-developed and structured Chinese curriculum, Bai Song was able to increase his knowledge and develop his literacy and thinking skills in his mother tongue.

Bai Song grew increasingly adept at switching between the EML and CML learning environments, developing a strong understanding of the connections between the Chinese and diversified cultures, embracing both differences and similarities.

Through opportunities such as leading flag raising as a young pioneer, participating in EML class assemblies, participating in school tripsand presenting his inquiry learning, he became confident in speaking in front of others in a variety of situations in both his mother tongue and English.

By the time he left Elementary, he was fully equipped for the challenges and opportunities that Middle School has to offer.