<[if lte IE 8]>

Send Us a Message


* Required

Primary School 

The Primary School has over 400 students in grades 1 through 5 with two certified/degreed teachers in each classroom. Average class size is 1:14 with no classes having more than twenty-three students. Housed in Building “A”, the school is large with expansive hallways geared towards mini assemblies, concerts, art shows and rainy day indoor games. All subjects are taught in English except for Chinese language and Shanghai Math. In grade 5 the students begin to transfer math in Chinese into English. By Middle School all Math is taught in English.

Primary School children are active, happy, and very curious and love their lessons, teachers, surroundings and daily activities. With a beautifully maintained campus, extensive buildings, electronic boards in each classroom, swimming pools, large bilingual library with two librarians, and expansive playground, the students thrive in a caring and resourceful environment.


English is the primary language of instruction in the International Division. At SCLS we follow the USA's Common Core Curriculum (click here for further information). We utilize the highly regarded reading materials from McGraw Hill (Treasures) which is accompanied by the McGraw Hill's Phonics Workbook and Grammar Workbook.  The spelling program is from GradeSpelling.com and presents 10 to 20 words per week.  Students are tested each Friday on their grade's spelling words of the week. 

Children write in their student journal daily. Additionally, they also write in their Humanities and Science journals when focusing on those subjects. The SCLS students write reports, poems, essays, descriptive paragraphs, book reports, interviews and nonfiction stories. In grades 2-5 the writing process includes at least 1 to 2 drafts before the final product is posted.

In grades 1-5 the teachers also have Literary Circles using chapter books. Often these titles include award winning novels from Newbery, ML King, Moonbeam, American Library Association Award Winner, Scholastic, or Caldecott selections. Books such as Frog and Toad Are Friends, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Freckle Juice are used in grade 2.  Grade 3 reads Ramona Quimbly, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.   Babe The Pig, The BFG, and Charoltte's Web are read in grade 4. How To Train Your Dragon, The Dog, and Shel Siverstein's Falling Up are read in grade 5.

English comprehension and vocabulary development are extremely vital skills which are reinforced through daily conversations, Treasures, the grade level novels and a Modern Press workbook, Comprehension Plus. The Common Core curriculum dictates that students read with depth and understanding and not just memorize a book.  Reading to deeply understand character development, setting, plot and sub-plot, environment, author's intention, inferences, prediction, outcomes are only some of the deeper understandings students must take away from reading in Treasures and/or novels. 

Oral speaking and conversation are worked on daily.  All lessons, conversation and interactions take place in English (except for math, Chinese language).  Both the Western teacher and  the Chinese teacher follow the mission of the school which is to have the students think, reflect, converse, write, enjoy and understand all elements of the English language.

For students needing extra support we offer a Super Kids Program (grades 2 through 5), Phonics Monsters (grade 1) and English Plus (Middle School) if needed. Treasure Chest Club (grade 1) and Fast Track (grades 2 through 5) are offered for accelerated readers.


Students in Soong Ching Ling School International Division use Shanghai unified teaching materials to learn Chinese, which largely distinguishes it from other Schools in Shanghai. Younger students have seven periods of Chinese every week while higher grade students have five periods a week. We integrate ancient poems into the lessons, allowing students to learn over two-hundred poems in five years. In addition, we have meaningful  thematic activities for the students to learn and appreciate Chinese traditional culture. Studying these classics improves their comprehension and also increases their joy in learning Chinese. All of our students contribute to  the SCLS Chinese Writing Competition.  Chinese learning in International Division is fun, interesting, practical and flexible!


We use Shanghai unified teaching materials which is student-oriented with more practical knowledge and less repetitive practice. Additionally, more integration between Math and other subjects is emphasized . In grades 1 and 2, students build good learning habits along with skill development and in grades 3 to 5, we focus on shaping mathematical concepts and increase the use of practical real like application.


Humanities are taught in grade 1 to grade 5. The curriculum focuses on identity and community with the smaller children and then moves into the history of China, ancient history and modern world history. There is a heavy emphasis on map skills, continents, countries, cultures, oceans/rivers, farming, economic developments, technology, environmental issues and better world understanding. 

Information Technology (IT)

Students taking any of the IT classes are exposed to keyboarding, practical use of Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and webpage design. Practical and ethical use of computer programs is stressed. Students are guided to useful search engines and the strengths and weaknesses of such sites. The computer lab is open all day for student use and is always overseen by a teacher in order for students to receive appropriate help and guidance.


Art classes consist of sculpture, ceramics, paper Mache, painting and drawing, paper creations, crafts, mural painting and other age appropriate activities geared towards a variety of styles and methods. Art history, artists, lectures, visiting artists and learning how to display work, round out the full course of activities. All students have art all year.


Music is required of all students in the Primary School. We believe in challenging students to achieve beyond their imagination. Combined with dance, the music performances are an integral part of life at SCLS. Having two major productions each year and several smaller productions our music teachers (coming from China, UK and America) provide the students with an international menu of music opportunities. We also host a choir and a “Glee Club.” The Music classes peak in their performances at the SCLS Holiday Program in December and the Arts Festival at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in downtown adjacent to People’s Square. This annual performance attracts not only the parents of the students but citizens of Shanghai to see the dances, singing and narratives put on by the students of SCLS.


All students alternate dance and music classes each week. Dance is composed of traditional Chinese dance, hip-hop, jazz, modern and creative dance. Through the dance classes we help student develop their self-confidence and work together in a group performance while nurturing their own personal dance skills. Our performing arts classes culminates in December with a holiday program for parents and in May with a large Arts Festival at the prestigious venue, the Shanghai Grand Theater in People’s Square in downtown Shanghai.

Physical Education

All students have P.E. lessons based on the Shanghai Education Bureau and the UK/American standards of child development and physical activity. We emphasize the importance of healthy living, teamwork, personal skill development, organized team skill, leadership, sportsmanship and winning and losing gracefully. Students are exposed to volleyball, football (soccer), swimming, basketball and other local and international activities.


Unique to some schools in China we too offer “elective” classes to students in grades one through five. Students select from a menu of classes they would like to take for eighty minutes each week. Offerings are sometimes quite consistent such as chess, origami, erhu, choir, soccer, basketball, journalism (writes for the student newspaper, Dragon Tales), and so on. Other electives are new and also exciting brought by the teachers and his or her talent. We have offered Glee Club, Hawaiian hula, cello, filming, herbal gardening, survival skills, mapping, current events, architecture, model airplane building, roller blading (inline skating) and more.
  • June 2021
    • MonJun14 Dragon Boat Festival
powered by finalsite