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Curriculum

Math

At Dolphin’s Academy we see mathematics as a skill that develops in much the same way building does. First, strong foundations need to be laid, if the entire construction is to be stable. Later on, new building blocks can be added easily.

Teaching math is all about teaching the students to think logically and this is what we are trying to convey to our students. Our teachers use multiple strategies and tools to explain mathematical concepts to children in such a way that it feels natural and clear to them. We also believe that adding a little fun to the kids’ daily routine helps keep them interested and motivated to achieve even more. Our teaching philosophy can be expressed by quoting the Chinese proverb: “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. This is why our students can expect to be able to see, hear, touch, and even taste math. Last, but not least, we make sure the students use their skills outside school, helping them to appreciate the importance and usefulness of mathematics.
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Geography

The students of Dolphin’s Academy School are a wonderful mixture of different cultures and nationalities. They come from many different countries and represent different traditions and customs, bringing a great amount of diversity to our school.

We believe this is a great advantage for the children to be able to learn about other cultures through contact with people coming from different countries. We perceive our geography courses the same way; it is a chance for the students to learn not only about the geographical features of the world, but also to learn about other cultures and traditions. We don’t focus on only one country, or continent. We teach world geography in a manner which affords the students an opportunity to learn as much of the world and its variety as is possible. Learning about other cultures and their history in a multinational environment also provides the students with the opportunity to develop tolerance, empathy, and a great understanding for others.

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ESL

At Dolphin’s Academy we use the natural approach to learning English. The children are taught in English, use the same books native English speakers use, and even acquire knowledge in the same order.

The natural approach is a full immersion method and has been proven the most successful method of teaching English as a second language. We do recognize, however, that non-native English speakers frequently employ different strategies to study various elements of language. It is our goal to make learning English as easy and pleasant as is possible, so using ESL teaching strategies is an obvious choice to help the students learn the language effectively.
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Values

The program of Values offers a high range of stories aimed at raising awareness, reflection, discussion, opinions for or against an action, and dramatizing situations of everyday life, thus confirming the commitment of the student population in the practice of the values needed to live in peace and joy.


The boys and the girls will have the opportunity to develop many skills that will help them analyze and understand the values shown by people in actions or thoughts. Also, we discuss the conflicts of interests, needs and values presented in daily life, and explore possible solutions and reach agreements.

It takes a sense of responsibility in children to be able to react if they see that someone is acting inappropriately. We will have the possibility to give them some tips to help them improve their behavior, thus giving them better behavior to help them live in harmony.

The values program offers teaching methodology consistent with the educational needs and challenges of our times. The values studied are: Friendship, order, respect, responsibility, trust, cooperation, sharing, justice, solidarity, tolerance, honesty, freedom, peace, among others, allowing complete development of the students.

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Spanish

The Spanish program has several resources that develop various skills, which are achieved through small sections and a collection of activities, classified according to the objectives to be achieved. It has several facets, starting with a diagnosis where recreational activities have been developed to assess each student’s prior knowledge.


Next, during the learning process, the program complies with the following aims:

  • Master the curriculum, plan, anticipate problems and solutions, and review phases of the learning process.
  • Facilitate meaningful learning, and thus enrich the basic skills to overcome difficulties.
  • Share learning experiences to promote thoughtful discussion and foster empathy with the group.

The methodology of this program promotes the development of skills such as forming their own opinions, generating ideas, developing skills, building oral and written messages with coherence and cohesion, making decisions, communicating and conversing appropriately in different contexts, and reading and understanding different types of texts according to reading level (literal, inferential, recreational, etc.). This thereby stimulates the development of language skills, aptitude and attitude in order to achieve an integral formation through different types of exercises: Practicals, challenges, reviewing work , mini-projects, and information searches.

Last but not least, there is an evaluation that included proposals or strategies aimed at teaching the children to achieve knowledge transfer and production.

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Social Studies

Our Social Studies program, involves all the history, geography and culture of our beloved Costa Rica. Our goal is to enrich cultural and historical learning in our students while forming them civically, with respect toward diversity and the country in which they live.


We have designed this beautiful program in a way that develops the content through sketches, diagrams, concept maps and charts, to respond to a visual learning style. It addresses, in small sections, the issues of ethics, aesthetics and citizenship proposed by the MEP. It contains activities at various levels of complexity, which stimulate skills development, activities to encourage student interest and activate prior knowledge, values and exercises to work metacognition, learning activities, and social research projects in which the scientific method is applied for the social sciences.

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Lifestyle

We familiarize the children with practical life and everyday household tasks, giving them the opportunity to do tasks from daily life, and even to do tasks that are normally restricted in their house due to the “danger” or care that must be taken when doing some of them.


This same prohibition in the homes of the children give them an enormous curiosity and interest in implementing the tasks, giving us an opportunity to be part of this delicate task. The Montessori method gives the children the opportunity to undertake these activities (always under adult supervision) and to achieve them with a sense of productivity based on focusing their energy in real life games and activities.
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Language Arts

The English Language Arts classes study all subjects essential for communication within this content area. Classroom materials and resources focus on developing students’ skills in the primary subjects of reading and comprehension, writing, spelling and grammar for all grades as well as phonics in the primary grades.


The textbooks are the same books used in public school districts in the United States that are well researched and developed for each grade level. The Language Arts course is taught in a style where the students are in an English-only environment to practice and improve listening and speaking skills. These classes are emphasized to provide the fundamentals for our dual language program.

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Science

The subject of science is one we attach great importance to here at Dolphin’s Academy.  In the 21st century, one cannot afford to disregard science at the expense of the development of our society.  If our students are to enter the world on the same footing as other developed countries, we need to endow them with all of the knowledge and skills that are required to obtain a scientific mindset.

We make sure to provide our students plenty of practice in the skills of Observation, Experimentation, and Analysis.  We have classes both inside and outside, utilizing the knowledge that exists in textbooks and the Internet, as well as the knowledge that is outdoors and all around us every day.  We want our students to want to learn, so we create a fun environment with interesting activities and experiments to challenge and inspire them.  The most important skill a student leaves us with is the thirst for knowledge.

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Bilingual Education

Studies have shown that a bilingual program achieves the best academic performance. Many students reach the goal of performing at grade level in both languages. With a continual bilingual education, some students will perform above grade level in both languages! Taking part in a developed bilingual education program provides the student with several advantages:

  1. The ability to communicate in other English-speaking countries
  2. Development of support and relationships within the family
  3. Perfection of pronunciation (mostly among younger students)
  4. Multicultural education/acceptance/equality
  5. Improvement of problem solving skills
  6. Greater access to future career opportunities

The student has equal access to a well-rounded education in order to contribute to the growth of his/her own society, whether the primary language is English or Spanish. In addition, the student will develop skills and tools that are important for learning their second language and will use these same skills to reach a higher level of success in their first language.

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Computing

In computer classes, we at Dolphin’s Academy make the students well versed in the use of several programs that they will need for the future.  First we teach the younger children to use such basic programs as Word Processing and Paint.  This allows them to practice at a young age the valuable skills of typing and mouse manipulation.

For the older students, we practice more advanced techniques in Word Processing, as well as starting to use programs such as Excel, Powerpoint, and web browsers.  Through the use of these programs, we strive to make the students ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

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Additional Courses

In order to fully round out the education of our students, we here at Dolphin’s Academy have inserted several subjects into the curriculum that we think are necessary for the thorough education of a child.  First, we have a physical education course that combines sports, exercise, and fitness with a fun environment.  In addition to the outdoor field activities, the students go to a local swimming pool to receive instruction in swimming.

We feel that a fit mind is equally important as a fit body, so we also provide classes in French, Art, and Music.  Studies show that knowledge of multiple languages increases capacity and creativity in the classroom, so in concert with our bilingual approach to education, we thought French would be a nice addition.  Also, keeping with our goal to increase creativity in our students, we find that both classes in art and classes in music contribute beautifully.  We have the students use a variety of materials and musical instruments in both classes and provide an environment where creativity is king.  All in all, we have provided a school environment where all kinds of knowledge and styles of learning are welcome.

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Guide Hour

Three times a week we allow the students time to reflect, revise, and ready themselves for the day.  This is our guide hour, where the guide teacher supervises a 40 minute period where the students can work on any project or homework assignment they wish.  The purpose of this time is to give the students time and space to finish what needs finishing.

This keeps them from having to take too much homework home with them and allows them to ask questions of the teacher.  Lastly, the guide hour also allows the guide teacher to disperse information, news, and significant daily reminders to the students in a structured environment.

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