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Elementary School - A PYP IB School

In the PYP the knowledge and skills of traditional disciplines or subjects find links through transdisciplinary units of learning that identify ‘big ideas’ or concepts that link across subjects.

This is supported by the development of: social skills, communication and thinking skills that are embedded in the curriculum. Learning at a conceptual level of understanding ensures students can think critically and creatively and can construct and apply meaningful connections across the curriculum.

International Elementary School Students

  • An SFS elementary classroom is a rich mix of multiple perspectives
  • The social context for learning sees students, collaborating in flexible groups, discussing ideas, formulating questions, seeking answers and constructing understandings together whilst fostering an understanding of our global context
  • Learning is facilitated using technology as a tool
  • There is a balance of teacher directed instruction and self-directed learning
  • Our classrooms celebrate a learning culture of respect and trust and this is supported by the IB Learner Profile

The location of the school in Seoul provides students with many opportunities for developing their understanding of the curriculum, enriching their learning in a local cultural context. This is evidenced:

  • within our units of inquiry, you will find a range of familiar subjects taught across all grades in the Elementary School at SFS
  • in the school’s curriculum is supported by learning outcomes for each grade which includes, Mathematics, English, Korean, Chinese, Science, Social Studies, Physical and Social Education, PE, Music and the Arts
  • through the outcomes which provide a clear framework for students and parents to see progression and also potentially to facilitate transfer to other curricula or contexts

What is important to note, is the way in which PYP frames the learning for students. With a strong focus on the needs of our learners, current research underpins our beliefs, and teaching and learning practices.

  • We believe learning which is significant, relevant, engaging and challenging serves to motivate students to be curious, to question and to be self-directed in their inquiries and research
  • An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning provides a guiding structure with the flexibility to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners and provides for the creative expression of ideas
  • One of the aims of successful inquiry is that it will lead to responsible action, initiated by the students as a result of the learning process
  • Learners are encouraged to decide on their actions; and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world

Grade Levels and Classrooms

Seoul South Korea Elementary Student and TeacherSeoul Foreign Elementary School is organized by grade levels. Within each grade, students belong to a class taught by a highly qualified classroom teacher. Each class is heterogeneously grouped and has a maximum of 14 (Pre-K2), 14 (Pre-K3), 14 (Pre-K4), 20 (Kindergarten), 20 (Grade 1), and 22 (Grades 2 to Grade 5) students.

The classroom teacher instructs the core subject areas: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and Christian studies. Elementary students also attend specialized classes in the areas of physical education, library, art, music (including band and choir for upper grades), and Korean. The amount of time spent in these special classes varies from grade level to grade level due to the developmental age of the students.

Computer Technology instruction is integrated throughout the curriculum by two full time technology integrationists. They utilize computers (laptops on carts and desktops), iPads, and iTouches to provide enriching integrated lessons. Fifth Grade students are part of the SFS 1:1 laptop program. Each student is required to have a parent-owned laptop computer to use each day as one of their learning tools.

A full complement of specialists provides support to children with a range of learning needs. Learning support specialists, ESL teachers, and counselors work closely with classroom teachers to further facilitate student learning.


International Elementary School in SeoulTo maximize usage of SFS’s outstanding facilities, SFES operates on a six-day scheduling cycle. Each day of the school year is designated by a number “Day 1” through “Day 6.” These days are independent of a day of the week. Specialist classes such as art, music, Korean, and PE are assigned according to these various “number” days.


Children in Pre-Kindergarten2 (Pre-K2) to Grade 5 start school at 8:10 am and are dismissed at 3:00 pm (Pre-K2 children have the option of going home at 11:10am). Our younger students (Pre-K2 to Grade 2) have at least three breaks a day: mid-morning snack/recess, lunch recess, and mid-afternoon recess. Our older students (Grades 3 to Grade 5) have two breaks throughout the day: mid-morning snack/recess and lunch recess. After school SWEP activities run from 3:15 – 5:00 and are offered for children in Kindergarten to Grade 5.

39 Yeonhui-ro 22-gil, Seodaemun-Gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea 03723

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Welcome to Seoul Foreign School, a K-12 IB World School, founded in 1912. We are widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. We are a non-profit school where 100% of your tuition directly impacts student learning. Of the international schools in Seoul, we offer an unrivaled 100-year+ legacy of educational excellence, international diversity and commitment to educating the leaders of the future.

About SFS

Welcome to Seoul Foreign School, a Pre K-12 IB World School, founded in 1912. We are widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. We offer an unrivalled 100-year+ legacy of educational excellence, international diversity and commitment to educating the leaders of the future. We are a non-profit school where 100% of your tuition directly impacts student learning. 


We welcome the opportunity to meet you and show you a firsthand look at our campus. Contact us by email or by telephone to make an appointment. We understand a visit is not always possible. The entire admissions team is ready to help you in any way we can. 


The Elementary and Middle Schools follow a US-style curriculum. The British division follows the National Curriculum of England. In the High School Gr. 9-10 students may choose to take the IGCSE Program and for Gr. 11-12 we offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Namsan Int'l Kindergarten is a PYP candidate school.


SFS athletes develop character, responsibility, dedication, commitment, teamwork, leadership, and experience applicable in all areas of life.  While our teams enjoy winning results in competitive conferences, we measure success well beyond the win-loss column.

Fine Arts

Seoul Foreign School enjoys a long history of rich curricular and co-curricular performing and visual arts programs.  Over 90% of our students are involved in the arts each year and are showcased in our visual arts displays and over 40 annual public performances put on by our music and drama departments.  

Student Life

At SFS we care about the development of each individual student academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. There are many choices for participation at SFS. We encourage students to not try to do them all, but to choose wisely. 


With a history of over one hundred years, SFS has provided education for extraordinary Alumni. Today, more Alumni are becoming a part of our parent community. Having ‘Legacy’ students at SFS is a compelling testament to our tradition of excellence.


The Annual Fund provides additional resources to help continue the tradition of excellence at SFS. Your support provides many needs throughout the school, further enhancing our academic and extracurricular programs – setting us apart from other international schools in the world.

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