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Single Subject Lessons

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Single Subject Lessons

Single Subject Lessons

Every week your child attends single subject classes taught by teachers who have expertise in specific subject areas. Please see the Lower School curriculum for further curricular information on each single subject area.

Single Subject Lessons - German (International Pathway only)

Single Subject Lessons - German (International Pathway only)

Kindergarten to Grade 5 students in our International Pathway have single subject lessons in German. As children get older, the time spent in German classes increases. The amount of minutes is based on authority guidelines. Time for weekly German class are as follows:

  • Kindergarten: 90 minutes
  • Grades 1 to 3: 180 minutes; four classes
  • Grades 4 and 5: 225 minutes; five classes

In Kindergarten, German takes place in the child’s homeroom class. From Grade 1, our German program is organized into two distinct tracks: a Fluent Speaker Track and a Foreign Language Track according to assessment data. Within the Foreign Language Track, proficient speakers typically form their own class made up of students from different homeroom cohorts.

If you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to contact us. Please email Elena Salassa at

Single Subject Lessons - Arts

Single Subject Lessons - Arts

Creative Arts

In Preschool and Kindergarten, children are taught as part of an integrated Creative Arts experience which includes dance, movement, music and visual arts. Your child will perform at least once per year. These performances are part of the curricular program and serve to demonstrate growing knowledge, skills and confidence. All students are required to attend these performances.


All children in Grades 1–5 attend a general music class, which include experiences in creating, performing, producing, responding and connecting through music. Any instruments required for general music lessons will be provided by the school. All general music classes meet once per week for 45 minutes and cover the following topics:

  • Grades 1 and 2: singing in unison as a class choir, differentiating between rhythm and beat, keeping a steady beat, reading rhythmic notation, melodic playing with Orff instruments, and an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra and how they are divided into families
  • Grade 3: singing in harmony as a class choir, learning to read staff notation and equating it to an instrument (recorder), and expressing specific themes or moods through instrumental composition
  • Grades 4 and 5: reinforcing the reading of staff notation and also learning to read tabs through ukulele playing, learning to accompany oneself while singing (solo or small group), learning to understand chord progressions, more complex composition projects that integrate technology, and songwriting

For Grades 4 and 5, children participate in an additional 45-minute ensemble each week. A choice of concert band, string ensemble or choir is offered.

  • Participation in ensemble is a year-long commitment
  • Children who enter ZIS after the first nine weeks may enter the curricular ensemble program only when they have demonstrated instrumental proficiency at the level of their grade-level peers currently in the program. Private instruction through the ZIS Music Academy or a local music school is recommended to reach this level. Until proficiency is met, those children will participate in the choir ensemble program.
  • Transfers to instrumental ensembles of such students of sufficient proficiency usually occur at the beginning of the second semester.

Lower School general music classes and music ensembles generally perform once per year, with Grade 5 ensembles performing twice per year. These performances are part of the curricular program and serve to demonstrate growing musical knowledge, skills and confidence. All students are required to participate in these performances.

Students also have the possibility to have private music tuition at their own cost. You may find a list of these teachers here. ZIS will do its best to arrange for the private music tuition pursuant to your request but can only do so within the given availability. Any such private tuition does not replace the curricular lessons.

Visual Arts

All children in Grades 1–5 attend a visual arts class:

  • Grades 1 to 3: 45 minutes
  • Grades 4 and 5: 60 minutes

All children in Grades 1–4, in the Bilingual Pathway, also attend an additional 90-minute textile and technical design class. Art units are planned for students to have experiences in creating, performing/ presenting/producing, responding and connecting.

Single Subject Lessons - Physical Education

Single Subject Lessons - Physical Education

All children attend Physical Education (PE) classes twice per week, two classes of 30–45 minutes. All students are taught in their homeroom mixed ability groups.

Students should come to school already changed into ZIS PE clothing on PE days and change into sports shoes before PE. This saves precious time and changing room space is minimal.

Requirements for all Preschool to Grade 5 to wear the following clothing and sports shoes for PE:

Upper body – exclusively ZIS clothing

  • ZIS t-shirt or ZIS polo shirt or ZIS long sleeved t-shirt 
  • ZIS hoodie or ZIS sweatshirt or ZIS fleece or ZIS tracksuit top

Lower Body

  • ZIS shorts (worn when weather is appropriate or with leggings underneath) or
  • Other appropriate sportswear: leggings, sweatpants, track pants (this does not need to be ZIS clothing, however it is advised.)
  • Sports shoes with Velcro or laces (recommended indoor and outdoor)
  • Water bottle – reusable and non-breakable bottle


  •  ZIS athletic leggings tights, ZIS sweatpants, ZIS track pants, ZIS long polo
  • ZIS sun cap, ZIS wooly hat, ZIS water bottle, ZIS bag
  • All ZIS PE clothing can be bought through the online store on the main ZIS website through the community portal and it is delivered directly to your home. ZIS clothing in different sizes is displayed next to the Lower School office.

PE Health and Safety

  • Short term illness or injury: please email the PE teacher directly to inform them your child will not be participating. Students will still attend PE and learn in an alternative way.
  • Long term illness or injury: please email the doctor’s letter and a plan will be made with the PE teacher and parents on the best learning approach for each child.
  • Long hair: must be tied back for all activities
  • Jewelry: All jewelry must be removed prior to the lesson (e.g. necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings)

Selection to our competitive sports program

Selection is an integral part of our competitive sports program. We provide opportunities for all students to be able train, and be included as part of a group, Often, we are able to offer a competitive experience for all by hosting an inter school event. However, not everybody is able to travel and participate in the additional fixtures and tournaments. For the integrity of the competitions we enter, we aim to select a team which is as strong as possible. Selection will take into consideration performance in training and in physical education as well as behavior and attitude around school. There is no rotation policy and the students are made aware that coaches will make final selections based on a combination of the following:

  • individual ability level
  • physical readiness of the athlete
  • an ability to listen, understand and apply instruction
  • the need to be a good team member
  • the specific needs of the team (athlete combinations, positions, etc.)