Kindergarten through 5th grade

Silicon Valley International School’s top bilingual elementary school program lays a strong foundation for students to become self-directed and independent lifelong learners, engaged global citizens, and inquirers with the capacity to see issues and ideas from multiple perspectives. Students explore, discover, and create through a series of rich and varied learning experiences all built around our bilingual curricula in Chinese (Mandarin), French, or German.

dynamic bilingual learning

Paired with our inquiry-based methods, Silicon Valley International School offers a dynamic bilingual education. An INTL education isn’t just about becoming fluent in two languages. More importantly, it is about learning through language. Every day, students are immersed in a rich multilingual and multicultural environment that allows them to develop the cultural literacy and communication skills they need to thrive in an international setting.

inquiry-based learning

As an IB (International Baccalaureate) World School authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Silicon Valley International School delivers its rigorous and dynamic curricula (Chinese, French, German, and English) through the PYP’s framework of Units of Inquiry. The six Units of Inquiry are based on global themes that provide conceptual connections across subject areas, such as Who We Are, How the World Works, and Where We Are in Place and Time.

Inquiry-based learning brings students to be fully engaged by asking questions, reaching for answers, making bigger-picture connections, reflecting on learning, and taking action.

social-emotional learning

Silicon Valley International School strives to create a nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to reach their full potential. Guided by the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile, social-emotional learning is woven into the fabric of the curriculum as well as taught explicitly.

As an added resource, INTL's Learning Support and Diversity Specialists support our faculty and staff to ensure thoughtful social-emotional integration into our program.

one of a kind International elementary school

List of 10 items.

  • bilingual teachers

    Our highly qualified and skilled teachers join our community from countries around the world.
  • bilingual programs

    Established, long-running, nationally-renowned bilingual programs (Chinese, French, and German).
  • innovative literacy program

    Excellence in English, French, Chinese, and German.
  • transdisciplinary approach

    INTL incorporates all subject areas into comprehensive learning experiences.
  • design thinking

    Design thinking curriculum and innovative MakerSpace that promotes hands-on learning and problem-solving.
  • coding & beyond

    Computer science (coding and beyond) for all students in grades 1 through 5, as part of an integrated technology curriculum and digital citizenship program.
  • one-to-one ipad program

    In grades 3 through 5.
  • overnight trips

    For grades 3 through 5, and international exchanges* in grades 4 and 5.
  • focus on culture

    Strong emphasis on Chinese, French, and German cultural literacy and competencies.
  • the arts

    Music, art, drama, and physical education woven throughout the curriculum.

curriculum overview

The school combines rigorous and dynamic language immersion education with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), an innovative framework for promoting inquiry-based learning through which students are active and engaged participants in constructing meaning for themselves.

Throughout our outstanding program, children are not just students – they are artists, writers, scientists, mathematicians, historians, linguists, and diplomats.

Students are consistently connected to the world beyond the classroom through field trips, virtual exchanges, service learning, and overseas exchanges with peer schools in other countries*. Throughout their educational experiences, they develop their social-emotional skills and attitudes towards learning, as described in the PYP Learner Profile.

*For the health and safety of our students and community, INTL has paused all international trips until the pandemic is resolved.

List of 12 items.

  • inquiry-based learning

    The PYP (Primary Years Programme) framework is based on a structured inquiry approach, where teachers facilitate the understanding of specific content and skills outlined in our curricula, but in ways that allow students to connect, be curious about, and build their own understanding of the content and skills through a deeper grasp of concepts.
  • learning through language

    Research consistently shows the cognitive and academic benefits of the bilingual brain. In comparison with their monolingual counterparts, bilingual individuals show greater mental flexibility and stronger executive function, in addition to the ability to see the world from multiple perspectives and consider problems from a variety of different angles. We provide immersive language learning experiences that build a strong foundation for students to become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural individuals. In Kindergarten through 2nd grade, students spend 70% of their time learning in French or Chinese. In 3rd through 5th grade, the program is balanced between English, and Chinese, French, or German, to begin preparing students for the academic work they will encounter in the most academically rigorous US high schools and universities.
  • literacy

    INTL uses a balanced literacy approach to building reading and writing skills in all of our languages (Chinese, English, French, and German). Teachers use a highly intentional approach to teaching literacy in meaningful contexts, and to allow students to develop a love of reading and writing. Students develop the ability to use a wide variety of reading strategies to decode and interpret texts alongside the ability to write for a variety of purposes. Students have ongoing opportunities to develop their literacy skills through small group instruction and guided reading opportunities. Both reading and writing instruction are woven into the PYP (Primary Years Programme) Units of Inquiry.
  • social-emotional learning

    INTL strives to create a nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to reach their full potential. Guided by the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile, social emotional learning is woven into the fabric of the curriculum, as well as taught explicitly. Classes work collaboratively to create Essential Agreements in the beginning of each year, which work in tandem with our Citizenship Standards to guide all community members in common behavior expectations. Our international and bilingual approach to education reinforces the idea that each person is a unique and valued member of our learning community.
  • chinese program

    INTL has one of the leading Chinese immersion programs in the country. Using a highly integrated curriculum that balances inquiry-based learning through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), second language acquisition, and individualized and small group reading instruction, the program nurtures the development of students’ Chinese language skills in natural and meaningful contexts. Through partnerships with schools and universities in China and Taiwan, and collaborations with other Chinese immersion schools, INTL’s Chinese program fosters a culture of continuous improvement and field leadership. By the end of 5th grade, students in the INTL Chinese program are already reading, writing, and speaking on sophisticated literary, historical, and cultural topics in Chinese.
  • french program

    The French Program at INTL has long been a leader among French-American schools. The curriculum is delivered by highly trained, credentialed French teachers and combines the French national curriculum of the Ministry of Education with an inquiry-based approach through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). The program maintains a robust network of connections to peer institutions in France and worldwide, provides a wide array of opportunities for students to connect and collaborate with their peers in France, and to interact with French artists, writers, musicians, and scholars. By the end of 5th grade, students in the INTL French program are already reading, writing, and speaking on sophisticated literary, historical, and cultural topics in French.
  • german program

    The German Program at INTL has been offering a holistic German-immersion experience to students for more than 30 years. Within the framework of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), our native German teachers provide an outstanding education that enables students to become not just bilingual but active global thinkers. The curriculum integrates German curriculum expectations as well as the curriculum guidelines for the State of California. Students in the program are well prepared to take official German-language assessments (Deutsches Sprachdiplom) in middle and high school, giving them the possibility to attend universities in Germany or other German-speaking countries. German-speaking students who return to their home country after attending the program report that they are well prepared for the transition into the German, Austrian or Swiss school system and are often ahead of their German-speaking peers in certain subject areas.
  • art, drama & music

    At INTL, artistic expression is considered another “language”, another way for our students to communicate. Students are engaged through multiple medias, senses, and sounds. From full theatre performances to gallery-like exhibitions to classroom projects and activities, students are encouraged to explore their creativity. INTL takes great pride in its arts program, which includes visual arts, music, and performing arts.

    Beginning in 1st Grade, the arts (visual, music, and performing) classes are instructed by a specialist teacher and are based in the French, Chinese, and German cultures. The arts teachers collaborate with the classroom teachers to incorporate the arts into the Primary Years Programme Units of Inquiry wherever possible, as well as take an inquiry-based approach to the arts overall. Students collaborate, create, and perform throughout the year, and their work is often highlighted in community events.
  • math

    Students at INTL have the unique opportunity to learn mathematical skills and concepts from a variety of different angles and perspectives. The inquiry-based curriculum follows the International Baccalaureate Scope and Sequence and draws from core resources such as Singapore Math, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and French and Chinese approaches to mathematics education. The math program emphasizes the importance of learning mathematical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. It integrates math concepts with their real-world applications through inquiry-based units that ask students to utilize their math reasoning and skills to investigate and solve issues and problems both within and beyond the classroom.
  • physical education

    Physical education, health, and wellness are key elements of the INTL elementary school program. In Kindergarten through 2nd grade, students do PE in French or Chinese and the program emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and the development of motor skills. In 3rd through 5th grade, students work with a Physical Education specialist to continue developing their motor skills, alongside learning more specific athletic skills through their participation in a variety of different sports and games. Social development is central to this program as students learn to work both independently and as part of a team. The students also continue their explorations into health and wellness with the overall aim being to develop lifelong learners who lead a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
  • science

    Science is a core component of the INTL elementary school program and students have the opportunity to learn and apply the scientific method in a wide variety of contexts within the Primary Years Programme Units of Inquiry. The science curriculum integrates the physical, biological, and earth sciences through an investigation of Living Things, Earth and Space, Materials and Matter, and Forces and Energy, with an emphasis on students learning to develop and test hypotheses, design and create experiments, analyze data, and use deductive and inductive approaches to scientific reasoning through real world connections. In addition, all students in grades 1 through 5 have the opportunity to learn computer science in a hands-on, engaging, and age-appropriate way.
  • social studies

    INTL’s Social Studies curriculum is an essential element of each Primary Years Programme Unit of Inquiry. Students become acquainted with human systems and economic activity, social organization and culture, continuity and change through time, human and natural environments, and resources and the environment. They learn to understand today's world and act upon it as a free and responsible individual, be active citizens in a diverse world, and confront history and geography from a variety of perspectives.