About the Junior School
Educating the minds of future global leaders requires a commitment to developing the skills necessary for this enormous task. Children who arrive at the Junior School each day are met with engaging, inquiry-based tasks that require them to think deeply about issues of global significance while simultaneously learning the key foundational skills necessary to access a higher level education.
In the UNIS Junior School, teachers are committed to delivering academic excellence while honing investigative skills and critical thinking. Students are asked to use design thinking principles in integrated subject areas throughout the day. Our learning environment fosters intellectual growth, independence and acuity, purposeful curiosity and skills for the future. Our teachers are engaged in their students' lives, and take a team approach to a child's academic and emotional development.
Junior School teachers are also focused on the socio-emotional growth of the children. They have a genuine affection and strong commitment to helping them succeed in school and in life. We have a strong pastoral care program which uses both Responsive Classroom morning meetings as well as the five foundations of character development: Responsibility, Organization, Persistence, Resilience and Getting Along.
Philosophy of the Junior School
The United Nations and its guiding principles help shape the UNIS curriculum and are a common thread. Inspiring our students to become an active force in shaping a better world is at the heart of everything we do and strive for. In the Junior School, we stand by former Secretary-General, Kofi Annan’s, belief that “knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”
The Junior School Community, parents, teachers, administration, shares a common understanding of the essence of learning, a process that leads to a sustained and demonstrable consolidating of conceptual understanding, competencies, and character. And beyond the content of our curriculum, the Junior School teachers focus on necessary life skills: thinking skills, communication skills, social skills, self-management skills and research skills.
The ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of our student population and connection with the United Nations makes the global stewardship aspect of a child's experience come alive. Our students are steadily exposed to a variety of speakers and travel opportunities related to the United Nations. They leave the Junior School as strong advocates for the Rights of Children across the globe. Our students move on to the Middle School with values of honor, courage, trust and compassion strongly embedded.
And to support our students in their quest to be the strong IB students they aim to be by joining UNIS, the Junior School fosters and nurtures a close partnership with our parent community, an essential key to the success of our shared mission.
"Education is enabling students to develop into thinking citizens who communicate, who are responsible, who are sensitive to otherness, and who respect diversity - whilst retaining their individual, unique attributes. A critical spirit and independence of thought, facilitated by the acquisition of methods, skills, and the apprenticeship of knowledge."
Pascal Vallet Junior School Principal Our Principal
The Junior School use of technology aims to be balanced and is incorporated when we know that it will benefit our students. While we believe that technology can enhance teaching practices and expand learning beyond what we can do without it, we are also aware of its impact. Teaching in this digital age requires that our students learn today tomorrow’s skills and be able to adapt to technologies which do not yet exist; being thoughtful about when and how using technology can be a key element of our practices.
At UNIS, we agree with Paul Cezanne when he said that, “a work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art”. We believe that the Arts not only begin but end with emotions. But not only. While teaching the Arts, we ensure that our students acquire the skills and techniques to create and to express themselves. But not only. The Arts are also a fantastic support for learning soft skills: creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, non-verbal communication, receiving constructive feedback, collaboration, dedication, accountability.
"UNIS is a very nice and cool school! The teachers taught me so much. My favorite thing was math because they showed me examples."
Dorothy Junior School Student
"We learn a lot of things, math, science, music, humanities, sports, French, and English. The teachers are kind and helpful, also fun. I loved the visit to the museum and when we went to explore nature. When we go out of the class, we go very fast and run, but the teachers always catch up and take care of us.
I have many friends from different countries. When I was new at UNIS I had a buddy, who showed me around. My friends and I play soccer at break time and we make each other laugh. When I started at UNIS it was difficult to understand English, but I found friends and teachers who spoke French and help me learn English very quickly."
Assefa Junior School Student
"I love the first day of school at UNIS. I'm excited to see my friends and meet my new teacher. Because UNIS has elevators and access ramps, my big brother and I can go to the same school - and this makes me very happy."
Remi Junior School Student
"I love my first grade teacher Mrs. Turner. She makes learning fun. She teaches us so many things and she helped make my handwriting very pretty and taught me to love to read. I love Mrs. Turner."
Delailah Junior School Student
"All of my teachers are very kind! They teach us important things that give us knowledge, even though it takes a lot of effort."
Ishaan Junior School Student