Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

Horizon Academy’s Language Arts program is a progressive version of the classic Integrated approach to the teaching of Language Arts. It includes Comprehension, Grammar, and Writing, taught as individual subjects under the encompassing block of the daily Language Arts period, and Spelling, Phonics, and Handwriting, taught separately to ensure that focus on these basic skills is not lost. A blend of Language Arts texts is used to provide ample opportunity for exposure to and practice in all these critical components of Language learning.

Reading

Because we recognize the importance of reading, the Language Arts program also has a separate reading component designed to first build and then enhance and strengthen each child’s reading and comprehension skills while inspiring in them a love of literature. Students at Horizon are first exposed to formal reading instruction through the use of an online reading program which easily lends itself to differentiation, then they move on to read age appropriate chapter books in a variety of topics to ensure they spark the students’ interest. The underlying goal is to help children develop fluency in and facility with the speaking, reading, and writing of English.

Math

Horizon’s Math program is a well-structured and truly student-centred one in which students are given an opportunity to explore math concepts and practice math skills in truly hands-on ways. Students are challenged to think and to develop reasoning skills, and they are able to master problem solving techniques and core mathematical applications in a fun atmosphere. The Horizon Math student sees Math as both practical and enjoyable.

Social Studies

The Horizon Social Studies program follows the National Curriculum, moving students from a child-centred recognition of their world to a broader awareness of their family, their community, their country, and the world. The National Curriculum includes the study of Belize and highlights our African and Maya heritage. Our school
curriculum broadens the scope and starts students on the road toward being true global citizens by also teaching them about other major regions and cultures of the world.

Science

Science at Horizon Academy epitomizes a holistic approach to learning about life and all things that affect it. Divided into the two main areas of General Science and Health, this program integrates healthy lifestyles and scientific processes. Students get hands-on experiences that allow them to discover and apply new concepts. Horizon Science students explore all aspects of Science, from weather to body processes. They learn to appreciate the value of practical learning through supervised, memorable experiences.

Spanish

In compliance with Belize’s Language Policy and Education Goal #12, which states that students should acquire functional skills in the Spanish language by the end of primary school, Horizon Academy includes the teaching of Spanish from Kindergarten upwards. The course is designed to enable each student to be functionally literate
by placing emphasis on conversational Spanish and by including a variety of children’s books either written or translated into Spanish to get children used to listening and speaking, reading and writing Spanish.

Information Technology

Horizon Academy realizes and respects the importance of technology and its role in progressive education and has decided to integrate technology into all subjects at all levels. Doing so will utilize the level of computer literacy that students as young as four years old come to school with and develop the skills they will need for higher level application. Structured classes in IT are given from Infant 2 onwards, where students learn basic computer programs as well as more advanced practical applications. Special IT classes are also offered during Expressive Arts time for students who have demonstrated special facility with computers.

Character Development

Horizon Academy’s creed states the commitment to teach to the heart and soul of each child, and so the Academy has developed a unique plan of action which effectively blends character education and religion. As a multi-denominational school, Horizon focuses on the teaching of character and virtues through the use of Bible stories, songs, readings and common prayer as well as through the creative use of stories, songs, and activities which model and encourage the development of sound Christian values. Character development is emphasized daily by Horizon’s positive approach to discipline and its Character Bees program.

Organic Gardening

To underscore one of Horizon Academy’s core values, Respect for the Environment, and to include the many facets of this core value, a complete curriculum in Organic Gardening has been included for all levels, from Kindergarten onwards. Enriched with many cross-curricular links, this course takes the students from a basic understanding of the wonders of plant life to a broad respect for the earth and the virtues of healthy living and on to an awareness of entrepreneurial skills and opportunities. Students take complete responsibility for their garden, learning how to build beds and make signs, how to plant and weed, how to harvest and utilize the products of their garden, all while they learn the science and cultural lore of whatever fruit, vegetable, or herb they plant.

Physical Education

In keeping with true holistic development, a school needs to blend efficiently both physical and academic activities. Horizon Academy offers two PE classes every week to allow for a mix of fitness and the development of skills in various sporting disciplines. The curriculum is based on the National PE Curriculum and allows for students to learn both theory and practical development of skills in like football, volleyball, basketball, and track and field.

Art Program

Horizon Academy’s art program is innovative and exciting. It challenges students’ creativity through art and provides a solid visual arts foundation through its comprehensive art lessons. This standard-based art education program teaches students to critique, compare and contrast, and analyze and positively discuss their own art work. Grades are determined not by artistic ability but by application of the learning process and the technique being taught.  Students are exposed to techniques and works of art by master artists the world over and they learn how to create their own art pieces through modeling and adaptation.

Music Program

Horizon Academy recognizes the many facets of learning which are integral to the make-up of students and so has developed a music program which teaches them to celebrate the joys. Students learn to read music notes starting from Infant 1 and they are introduced to the bells, the recorder, and the keyboard as starting instruments. The goal is to someday provide students with the opportunity to move on to deeper instruction in a particular instrument.