The Primary Years Programme
In the primary school we offer a comprehensive, inquiry-based curriculum that provides pre-school and elementary students with opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and concepts to help them become internationally minded citizens. This is provided through the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), an international curriculum framework designed for children of elementary school age and is part of a continuing programme that leads into the MYP and culminates in the DP.
Education for a Better World: the IB Primary Years Programme
The transdisciplinary nature of the programme
The PYP acknowledges the importance of particular subject areas: language; mathematics; social studies; science; arts; personal, social and physical education. However, the PYP also recognizes that educating students in a set of isolated subject areas, while necessary, is not sufficient.
Of equal importance is the need to acquire skills in context, and to explore content that is relevant to students and transcends the boundaries of the traditional subjects. “To be truly educated, a student must also make connections across the disciplines, discover ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relate what they learn to life” (Boyer 1995: 82).
In the PYP, this idea of human commonalities shapes the transdisciplinary themes.
The programme defines transdisciplinary themes that identify areas of shared human experience and have meaning for individuals from different cultures and ethnicities. These themes are part of the common ground that unifies the learning in all PYP schools. They provide the opportunity to incorporate both local and global issues in the knowledge component of the PYP written curriculum—what we want students to know about.
There are six transdisciplinary themes.
Organised around those six transdisciplinary themes the School has developed a programme of inquiry, which we believe reflects the cultural diversity of the ISU school community. Each of these themes will be revisited throughout the schooling of the students, emphasizing those human commonalities and making connections between the six units of inquiry studied each year.
The skills students are able to develop within and across subject areas:
Specialist teachers are responsible for Art, Physical Education and Music as well as Mongolian A and B studies. Where possible specialist subjects are integrated into the unit of inquiry.
Children who do not have English as a first language are assessed when they enter the school. Those needing assistance have separate EAL lessons or in-class support from the EAL teacher.
Parents are informed of student progress through a parent teacher conference in November, a written report at the end of the first semester in January, a student led conference in March and a written report in June at the end of the second semester.
In addition, we encourage parents with queries or concerns to contact the classroom teacher at any time. There are also opportunities for parents to become involved in parts of the programme through workshops, teaching a language, acting as a class parent, or helping out in class or on field trips.
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