*DOES THE PYP HAVE A SPECIFIC SET OF STANDARDS?
In the PYP, students learn about significant concepts through units of inquiry. The six transdisciplinary themes that guide units of inquiry and compose a year of study are:
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet
Units of inquiry interweave subject areas such as mathematics, language arts, science and social studies. This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they learn in core subject areas and how it relates to the world around them.
The school outlines its specific knowledge content and academic curriculum, guided by the following five essential elements:
- The knowledge content is organized under the transdisciplinary themes. Each school decides which specific topics to study under each theme.
- The learning skills aim to help students become independent, well-functioning, self-motivated learners. •
- The learning attitudes aim to develop a lifelong love of learning and nurture a child’s curiosity and confidence.
- The action component emphasizes the need to connect the student with his or her own potential and responsibility for using what was learned.
- The rigorous guidelines for classroom practices to match the educational philosophy and values of the IB are communicated through professional development and a school’s internal reflection process.
*WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AN IB EDUCATION?
The PYP offers students and families the following benefits:
- It is a recognized programme throughout the world
- It guarantees transferability and continuity of learning
- It offers a concept-based, inquiry-driven curriculum which values student agency thus fostering the growth of self-motivated life long learners
- It is reinforced by continual and extensive research into pedagogy and curriculum by the International Baccalaureate Organization and IB teachers throughout the world
The PYP learning style is focused on understanding rather than memorizing. Children are taught how to learn and see the relevance of their studies. This makes learning more meaningful and more interesting. This paves the way for creativity, choice and problem-solving, which helps build independence and confidence while encouraging students to think critically. PYP students also learn to understand other people’s views and are internationally-minded and open-minded.
Primary Years Programme
IB PYP focuses on an inquiry-based approach to learning that allows students to engage in the process of knowledge gathering. All learning experiences in PYP are customized to fit an environment that keeps students at the center of the process while encouraging them to be involved through active participation. Teachers become observers and facilitators in this learning process.
IB PYP is also focused on giving tasks, projects and assignments to students that allows them to work in groups, to collaborate as well as share information. All learning happens in an interactive and fun manner and students learn the value of teamwork and collaboration.
With this, students are encouraged to find answers to crucial questions such as, “Who am I? Where do I belong? What is the importance of the environment which is around me?” This process creates a phase that moves from one subject to another to teach the students the importance of each topic.
The programme itself is well structured and executed, which allows students to investigate and explore every child’s inquiries and interests. This is something that does not usually happen with traditional curricula.
*DO IB TEACHERS RECEIVE SPECIAL TRAINING?
Our teachers at Parkside receive professional development in IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the PYP.
*ARE IB PROGRAMMES CONSIDERED “GIFTED” PROGRAMMES?
The PYP is implemented schoolwide and adapted by teachers to meet the learning needs of all students. All our teachers participate in collaborative planning and reflection to make their teaching practices consistent and to foster a holistic approach to education.
*DOES IMPLEMENTING AN IB PROGRAMME MEAN MY CHILD’S SCHOOL WILL NOT TEACH STATE STANDARDS?
The IB is committed to making sure that students in IB programmes meet and exceed state standards. With the implementation of any IB programme, schools are required to examine their curriculum carefully to ensure that there is alignment with local, state or national standards.
*HAVE STUDIES BEEN DONE ON THE IMPACT OF THE PYP?
The IB places great value on external validation of its programmes, curricula and professional development. A recent Global International Schools’ Assessment study found that PYP students outperformed non-IB students in mathematics, reading and writing.
*ARE THERE MEEINGS AND/OR EVENTS WHERE PARENTS CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PYP AT PARKSIDE?
Parent workshops are offered throughout the year to assist parents in a better understanding of how the PYP curriculum is delivered at Parkside. Our Elementary principal, vice-principals, and PYP coordinator are also available to answer any questions as needed.