Critical questions are important to us. They are the foundation of the inquiry-based learning in our classrooms. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) guides our work ‘with a philosophical perspective on international education’, and ‘a curriculum framework of essential elements – knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action (IBO, 2007).
Together, our teachers and students generate questions to guide their inquiries into a variety of significant topics of study. As they develop their abilities as inquirers, students gain essential knowledge and skills and are encouraged to engage in responsible action. Their work is supported by a school climate that fosters positive attitudes and develops children’s capacity to be internationally-minded.
Through their learning experiences in the PYP, students:
• develop an understanding of important concepts;
• conduct research that has local and global significance;
• acquire a range of essential skills;
• develop positive attitudes towards learning, the environment and other people; and
• have the opportunity for involvement in responsible action.
Benefits of the PYP Program
• KFS students are given ownership of the learning process and are encouraged to actively participate in their own education by setting personal goals and practicing ongoing self-evaluation.
• KFS students are nurtured to become well-rounded, individuals with an internationally-minded outlook.
• KFS students are consistently encouraged to take constructive action in their community.
• KFS students respond to the high standards and high expectations of the PYP.
• The PYP provides opportunities to include parents and other members of the community in the learning process.
• The PYP creates a common framework for schools and students around the world. As a result, families can move easily from KFS to any PYP school anywhere in the world and know that the learning philosophies and values will remain consistent.
• The PYP is part of a continuum of international education offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization. The approach to learning and teaching in the PYP is ideal preparation for the IB’s Middle Years Program (MYP) and the IB’s Diploma Program (DP).
• The International Baccalaureate is dedicated to training and supporting international teachers, which means that students receive high quality instruction from well-prepared teaching professionals.
The Primary Years Program allows students to participate in large, transdisciplinary units each year, called Units of Inquiry (UOI). Each of these units:
• is a significant, relevant, engaging and challenging learning experience;
• builds on the prior knowledge of the students;
• involves students in a range of learning activities;
• requires students to engage in positive action; and
• integrates diverse subject areas whenever meaningful and appropriate.
Through these Units of Inquiry, the classroom becomes a center of structured inquiry through which students acquire and practice skills and build new knowledge. These units are outlined in our school-wide Program of Inquiry (POI) and are carefully designed to build from one year to the next as a student progresses through the school.
We utilize the diversity in our student body to enhance the learning of the entire school, and we recognize and celebrate many different cultures. In doing so, we strive to develop students who are internationally-minded citizens with an understanding of their responsibility to the world.
Assessment is an ongoing process. Teachers use a variety of summative and formative assessment tasks to evaluate student performance and plan for further student learning. Feedback from assessment allows for the improvement of the overall program. Both students and teachers are engaged in assessing student progress. The reason for the assessment, as well as the criteria for assessment, is communicated to the students. Students frequently engage in self and peer assessment activities as they are important stakeholders in this process