The Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) has been specifically designed for students aged 3 – 11 years. This internationally recognized programme provides students with the opportunity to learn and explore through the use of inquiry, promoting an academically challenging curriculum which fosters international mindedness, making it the ideal curriculum for KIS students. The PYP is committed to inquiry as the preferred approach to teaching and learning. Inquiry encourages students to examine the world around them and form their own ideas and generalizations about a topic. It also encourages students to be both problem solvers and problem posers.
To effectively inquire students need to:
- Identify what they want/need to know
- Locate the appropriate sources for information
- Present the information in appropriate ways
- Reflect on what they have learned
The IB PYP focuses on the growth of the whole child, encompassing the academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs of each student. The PYP provides an international curriculum consisting of 5 essential elements that have been developed to ensure students are engaged in a holistic programme that nurtures, challenges and supports all aspects of learning.
The 5 essential elements include:
The PYP promotes learning through inquiry, by developing and asking questions structured around key concepts students research answers, pose and solve problems, and engage in meaningful learning experiences that promote the acquisition of knowledge. The PYP also supports the development of a wide range of skills as an essential part of the curriculum, enabling students to be effective life-long learners and succeed in a challenging world. Positive attitudes towards learning, the environment and the people around us are viewed as being essential to student success in an ever changing world.
The KIS curriculum has been developed around three key questions, each subject curriculum document has been developed to respond to these questions:
- What do we want students to learn?
a written set student expectations, learning outcomes and concepts for each subject area
- How best will they learn?
teaching and learning strategies that promote inquiry, encourage student ownership of their learning, support best educational practice and cater to the learning needs of all students
- How will we know what they have learned?
the use of effective assessment practices that monitor individual student progress and guide future planning and learning experiences
1. Knowledge: The KIS Primary Curriculum
The PYP is a transdisciplinary programme, meaning learning is not separated into isolated strands of knowledge or subject areas, but integrated into meaningful learning experiences wherever possible. The programme incorporates the core subject areas of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Students also study Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) promoting self-help skills, cultural awareness, health and safety. Visual arts, music and drama are seen as a means for students to express themselves as well as to communicate their learning and experiences. IT and Library studies are integrated throughout and support students in their research projects. Thai studies are integrated into the programme and are all taught by qualified and experienced teachers.
The Written Curriculum at KIS has documented specific learning expectations, learning experiences and sample assessments in all learning areas. These are based on the PYP Scope and Sequence and other high quality curriculum documents, combined to provide a consistent, coherent and challenging programme for the students.
The PYP classrooms at KIS are arranged to enable students to work in a variety of group sizes and settings according to their learning requirements and the current focus of the inquiry. These groups vary from all class discussion to individual, personalized investigations. The aim of all our class activities is to develop transdisciplinary skills as a means to reach established curricular goals. The purpose of grouping the students in this manner is to develop cooperative learning strategies and skills that will enhance learning and independence. The role of the teachers is to facilitate the learning experience, guiding the students towards meeting their objectives through the continual assessment and refection of student progress and daily conferencing according to student needs.
The Programme of Inquiry
The Primary Years Programme is structured around six transdisciplinary themes that are developed into the schools‟ programme of inquiry (POI); within these themes students are exposed to units of learning that promote inquiry and investigation.
These units integrate subject areas, and provide meaningful learning experiences for students, connecting their learning to the real world, both locally and globally, as they
develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and topics being studied.
The Trnsdisciplinary themes 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
2. The PYP Attitudes
Positive attitudes towards learning are also encouraged; we emphasize traits such as appreciation, commitment, confidence, independence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, respect, tolerance, integrity, empathy and enthusiasm and encourage students to reflect, choose wisely and act responsibly with other children and their teachers, wider community and their environment.
3. The Key Concepts:
The PYP includes a set of eight concepts that help to drive the programme and structure inquiry in the transdisciplinary curriculum. They are central to the curriculum and are presented in the form of key questions. It is these questions that shape the unit of inquiry giving it direction and purpose. The concepts have been carefully developed to encourage students to develop further open ended questions and think more broadly and deeply as they develop their inquiries and understandings. These concepts are form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility and reflection.
4. The PYP Skills
As well as ensuring students are well versed in all subject areas the PYP also incorporate skills. These skills are organized into five key areas and are seen as essential for the development of life-long learners, these are:
- Social Skills – including accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperation, resolving conflict, decision making and adopting a variety of group roles.
- Communication Skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing and non verbal communication skills
- Thinking Skills including acquiring knowledge, comprehending, application analysis, synthesis, evaluation, thinking about different points of view and thinking about how we learn.
- Research Skills including formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting, organizing recording and interpreting data, presenting findings
- Self Management Skills including gross and fine motor skills, special awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyles, codes of behaviour and making informed decisions
Taking action is a core component of the programme. Students apply their knowledge to the real world and further develop their sense of commitment, demonstrating that they have the power to affect change. Student action can manifest itself in many ways, showing that the children have understood and want to further involve themselves in the learning.
The IB Learner Profile
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet help to create a better and more peaceful world. Making the PYP Happen, 2007.
Through working in learning centers and cooperating with their peers and teachers the students are directly exposed to many of the characteristics of the IB Learner Profile,
qualities that are important to the development of internationally minded and effective
world citizens. Characteristics such as inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk takers, knowledgeable, principled, balanced, being open minded, caring and reflective are naturally promoted through this style of learning and throughout the entire programme.