IB is short for International Baccalaureate, a world-renowned educational organization. The International Baccalaureate Organization was founded in 1967 to offer a strong educational program implementing best practices in education to children of European diplomats and ambassadors. It began as the Diploma Programme for high school, and in the 1990s, the organization developed a Middle Years Programme (middle school) and a Primary Years Program (elementary school). More information about the organization can be found at their website ( www.ibo.org).
More about Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The IB program for elementary students is called Primary Years Program or PYP. Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. It offers students from age three to twelve the following best practices in education:
An inquiry-based program
Students are actively engaged in all parts of the learning process. They learn how to ask questions that will give them a deeper understanding of the topic they are learning. Then they participate in activities designed to answer their questions. As they progress through the program, they share in the design of the learning activities. Textbooks and teachers become just two of many reference tools that students are encouraged to use to find information. IB classrooms are filled with dialogue, interaction, research, and presentations. Through these activities, students acquire skills valuable not only to learning, but also to life outside the school.
Students learn more than just facts. They are building an understanding of these five essential elements:
- Knowledge ~ Our content is structured around six themes that are part of life – who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves, and how we share the planet.
- Concepts ~ Learning to ask the right questions can lead a student to learn more about a topic and in turn, more about life. Exploring several facets of a topic can lead to a deeper understanding of that topic as well.
- Skills ~ Students learn social, research, thinking, self-management, and communication skills that can be used in any area of life.
- Attitudes ~ Our students think about behaviors they can show towards one another. We want them to show cooperation, respect, confidence, empathy, tolerance, creativity, independence, enthusiasm, integrity, commitment, appreciation, curiosity.
- Action ~ Students are encouraged to take action based on the learning they acquire. Action can be as simple as telling someone else what you’ve learned or continuing to inquire, and ultimately it might lead to service on a community or world-wide scale.
Taking action based on learning
In the Primary Years Programme, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. Students are encouraged to initiate action based on what they have learned. Action is not limited to community service. Any choice a student makes that reflects a better understanding of a topic is action. The important component is that it is student-initiated. Teachers and parents help facilitate the student’s idea, but the idea must belong to the child for it to be “action.”
Values for the 21st Century
The IB Learner Profile encourages students to “think globally, act locally.” Children are encouraged to improve the ways they interact with others, to reflect on their attitude toward learning, and to contribute to their own well-being and to that of a group. When these character traits are inherent in a person, he or she is better able to interact in the world. The mission of IB is to encourage young people to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
The desired outcome of any IB programme is to develop in students the attributes of the IB learner profile. Our students strive to be:
- Inquirers ~ To ask questions and not be satisfied with the easy answer
- Knowledgeable ~ To show interest in many things and be confident to share information
- Thinkers ~ To solve problems and make sound decisions
- Communicators ~ To express oneself in a variety of ways
- Principled ~ To work to be fair, honest, and trustworthy
- Open-minded ~ To listen to others and respect their ideas
- Caring ~ To show sensitivity to the needs of others
- Risk-takers ~ To have the courage to try new things
- Balanced ~ To participate in a variety of activities and live a healthy lifestyle
- Reflective ~ To think honestly about one’s actions and abilities in order to improve
Any questions about the curriculum should be directed to your child’s teacher or our IB Coordinator.