International Curriculum – Primary

Scientific research and ancient wisdom both hold that a child’s formative years set the foundational patterns for adult life. With this in mind, the Primary years programme aims to instill important values in learners including international-mindedness, inquisitiveness, reflectiveness and resilience, consequently embedding a winning mindset as they progress through their years of schooling.

With a clear educational philosophy guiding us towards Amazing Learning outcomes, where students improve to a level beyond that which they thought was possible, our educators are equipped with the tools and methods to make this crucial period in education a success.


The Primary years in the International Curriculum at Asia Pacific Schools includes two Key Stages – Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6), which provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences to students aged 5 to 11. Students learn from the International Primary Curriculum, which has been adapted to fit the Malaysian setting.

Core curriculum subjects during the Primary years are:

  • Art & Design
  • Computing
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Islamic Studies (for Muslims)
  • Malay
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Personal Social Health Education (for non-Muslims)
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Speech & Drama

While the subjects remain the same throughout the Primary years, the approach varies depending on the age of the learner. For example, the syllabus in Key Stage 1 is designed to provide a basis in key subjects while aiding the acquisition of core skills. Key Stage 2 then builds on this foundation by placing learning in context and challenging students to learn through active inquiry and investigation. Using different learning tools and methodologies, our teachers support students to internalise their lessons as they progress through the age groups.

Upon completion of their Primary years, students may then choose to continue their Secondary education in Asia Pacific Schools studying the International Curriculum (leading towards the IGCSE examinations) or switch to the Malaysian National Curriculum and work towards the SPM examination. See our academic pathways for more.

Beyond The Classroom

The Primary years are a time when students learn to take ownership of their own learning outcomes. As the years progress, teachers increasingly entrust students with the responsibility of identifying their own learning styles, reflecting upon their achievements, and setting new goals for themselves.

To ensure that learning is not confined to the classroom, students are also encouraged to participate in an extensive range of co-curricular activities and after school clubs and trips. These activities give students from both the International Curriculum and Malaysian National Curriculum the opportunity to engage with each other through sports, environmental work, community service, and the arts. Such shared experiences provide crucial opportunities for personal growth and a broader outlook on life.

Primary students can also take advantage of various other outside-the-classroom learning opportunities open to all our students, including:

Further exposure to new experiences such as competitions, specialist activities such as public speaking, and away-from-home activities such as outings and camps continue to support our children’s social and emotional development. These activities present students with new challenges and learning opportunities. As students experience, persevere through and overcome these challenges, Amazing Learning occurs. The cumulative effect of such experiences will help them become resourceful, confident, and responsible individuals as they grow towards their Secondary schooling years.

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