International Baccalaureate School
Dear Parents/Guardians and Community members,
As staff at an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school (IB-PYP), we are often asked to describe the program to parents/guardians and community members. However, unless someone has attended rigorous training it can be difficult to understand the program as a whole because it is comprised of so many different components. Following is an attempt to better educate parents/guardians and community members about our program. Pages one and two give an overall framework, and Page three is a table showing a synopsis of the Programme.
First of all, let’s visit the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) and Kate Sessions Mission Statements:
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Kate Sessions Elementary School’s mission is to provide an international, trans-disciplinary program designed to foster the development of a well-balanced student. The Kate Sessions school community will work together to provide our students with a challenging and engaging learning environment that supports purposeful inquiry and builds positive attitudes towards learning.
The IB-PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a philosophy of teaching which emphasizes the inquiry method, a series of thoughtful and creative actions through which meaningful understandings are built over time. These new understandings are built on prior experience and knowledge.
· Encourages international-mindedness in IB students;
· Encourages a positive attitude to learning by engaging students in inquiries and developing their awareness of the process of leaning so that they become lifelong learners;
· Reflects real life by encouraging learning beyond traditional subjects with meaningful, in-depth inquiries into real issues;
· Emphasizes, through the Learner Profile, the development of the whole student physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
In the PYP a balance is sought between acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action.
The five Essential Elements:
Knowledge: significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding;
Concepts: powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding;
Skills: those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.
Attitudes: dispositions that are expressions of fundamental value, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people;
Action: Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behavior through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements.
The PYP emphasizes the development of the whole child by including a Learner Profile supported by Student Attitudes as part of the educational philosophy. The Learner Profile and Student Attitudes are promoted and modeled by the entire school community.
In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the students learning, or it may have a wider social impact.
The program is concept driven and promotes genuine understanding which challenges students to engage in the study of global concepts. The PYP is developed around six organizing transdisciplinary themes which provide the structure for the Program of Inquiry. These themes identify areas of shared experience that have meaning for individuals of different cultures. They promote an awareness of the human condition and an understanding that there is a commonality of human experience. As students explore these themes collaboratively, they increase their awareness of and sensitivity to others. This is crucial to the development of an international perspective.
The six Transdisciplinary Themes:
Who we are: an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including family friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it meant to be human.
Where we are in place and time: and inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of human kind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilization, form local and global perspectives.
How we express ourselves: an inquiry into ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the world works: an inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How we organize ourselves: and inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the planet: an inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Kate Sessions Elementary School
Program of Inquiry (Updated June 2012)