Years 4-6 (ages 8-10)

In Years 4-6, the children in our Upper Primary Programme further develop their independence and heighten their critical-thinking skills, all necessary for their successful transition into our Secondary programme.


Two teachers at YCIS Shanghai teaching a lesson in a Primary classroom

Unique Co-Teaching Model

Our Upper Primary classes each have two fully-qualified Co-Teachers, one International teacher and one Chinese teacher, who work together to implement a co-cultural and bilingual learning environment in both English and Chinese. The Co-Teachers collaborate on all aspects of learning, which in turn models excellent collaborative skills for the students.

The Co-Teachers share equal authority in the classroom, and together they plan and implement lessons that are stimulating and interactive, and that promote students’ critical thinking. They draw on students’ interests to create units of study that follow the standards of the National Curriculum in England.

With two Co-Teachers in each classroom, every child benefits from personalised attention as the teachers are able to cater for each student’s needs to deepen their understanding, embed concepts, and provide choices and a differentiated environment to help them thrive.


A YCIS Primary student holding up a festive couplet with chinese characters

Chinese Language and Studies Programme

In our renowned Chinese Language Programme, our Years 4-6 students study one hour of Chinese language every day, based on their learning level. Our oldest Primary-aged children also start to learn about Chinese culture in more depth, and as in Lower Primary, they participate in one hour of Chinese Studies lessons with their Co-Teachers each week. The Co-Teachers also support their English and Chinese language development over a range of subjects by teaching some materials in both languages.


A group YCIS Shanghai primary students play together on a field trip

Educational Trips and Excursions

For our Upper Primary students, we host a number of educational trips and excursions throughout the school year that are integrated directly with their classroom learning. Our Year 5 and 6 students also have the chance to develop independence and collaboration skills outside of the classroom during overnight camps during the school year.


A boy and girl in YCIS Shanghai primary playing piano together

Music Programme

During weekly music lessons, our Upper Primary students sing songs and play instruments with increasing confidence, skill, expression, and awareness of their own contribution to groups and school performances. At this age, our students also start to develop their own musical compositions, helping to strengthen their personal involvement, independence, and creativity in the area of music and beyond.


Boys and girls admiring painting at an art show at YCIS Shanghai primary school

Visual and Performing Arts

In Art lessons, our students in Years 4-6 develop their creativity and imagination through more complex activities. Our Art programme builds on students’ skills and helps to improve their use of materials, tools, and techniques. Students also explore various artists and the purpose and history of art and design at various periods and throughout a range of cultures in more depth.

In Years 5 and 6, students also have the opportunity to learn about the Performing Arts by taking part in the annual school musical. This experience helps them develop teamwork skills, discipline, and confidence in a fun way, culminating in a series of performances for the school community.


Students high five after a rugby game at YCIS Shanghai primary

Physical Education Programme

Our Upper Primary students enjoy being active and using their creativity and imagination in Physical Education (PE) classes. Whether on the field, court, or gymnasium, students learn new skills and find out how to use them in different ways to make actions and sequences of movement. Our students enjoy the opportunity to communicate, collaborate, and compete with one another as they also develop an understanding of how to succeed in different activities and evaluate their own performance. Students in our Upper Primary years also have the opportunity to join competitive team sports through our Co-Curricular Programme.


A primary student at YCIS Shanghai playing golf

Co-Curricular Programme

On both weekdays and weekends, our Upper Primary students are actively engaged in the Co-Curricular Activities we offer at our campuses. With such a large number of options available spanning a huge variety of interests, students are able to try different activities throughout the year, allowing them to develop new skills and hobbies. To learn more about our Co-Curricular Programme, please click here.


Two girls and a boy at YCIS primary speak on stage during a wellbeing assembly

Character Education and Student Wellbeing Programme

As a school committed to offering its students a global education, our Character Education and Wellbeing Programme helps foster confident, balanced, and socially responsible individuals. Our students participate in meaningful lessons focused on developing critical character values such as kindness, diligence, and responsibility, and Co-Teachers encourage and reinforce these qualities through lessons, activities, and teachable moments.

The programme also helps teach students about the importance of helping others and making a difference in the world around them. With many opportunities to get involved in and run activities that benefit charitable organisations, our Upper Primary students are able to put their learning to use first-hand.


To learn more about the Upper Primary programme at YCIS or to schedule a tour of one of our Primary campuses, please click here to contact our Admissions team.

To learn about the programme for Secondary students at YCIS Shanghai, please click here.

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