- Brandon Elementary School
The International Baccalaureate Program
The International Baccalaureate – Primary Years Program (IB-PYP) is the official school reform model for Morris Brandon. Throughout the school, each grade level teaches six integrated units called the Program of Inquiry, each with an international perspective and focus on specific themes. The state curriculum is woven throughout the six units of instruction for each grade level. These units are taught throughout the school year through an inquiry-based approach. This allows teachers to carry out the state’s curriculum and at the same time, elevate the level of discussion for a deeper dimension of learning.
It takes a school four years of preparation to learn the standards of an IB-school and develop its curriculum to meet those standards. During this time, our teachers were required to take the Georgia Performance Standards and create units of study that meet stringent IB requirements as well as Georgia requirements. A school actually has to “pass” both on paper and in presentation with a formal campus walk-through by IB officials. The heart of the IB-PYP philosophy is a commitment to structured inquiry as the vehicle for learning. In other words, the central focus of IB-PYP is on developing each child to be an inquirer both within the classroom and in the world at large.
That’s a sophisticated advantage for elementary school education. IB-PYP actually fosters character education too, with a formal student profile that encourages children to become inquirers, open-minded, knowledgeable, caring, communicators, principled, thinkers, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. Along with the student profile, the IB-PYP attitudes of appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance are taught daily via in-class instruction, presentations, speakers, and other more progressive and creative forums.
Then each spring, our fifth grade students culminate their IB experience by carrying out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, known as the IB-PYP Exhibition, synthesizing the program’s essential elements and presenting them to the whole student body.
Morris Brandon became designated as an IB school in 2007. And today, thanks to strong support from our PTA, we are able to uphold and advance the IB-PYP concepts through on-going staff support and development. Funding from the PTA ensures that our teachers attend workshops and relevant events to stay current on the most effective IB strategies. As a program, it all adds up to a big bonus for Brandon students: becoming the best they can be by instilling the skills necessary to excel, along with the responsibility required to become leaders.
CLICK HERE to see grade-level specific information about the IB Programme and ways you can get involved.