Our teachers are working very hard to implement the International Baccalaureate Organization‘s Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme. They meet every week in Departmental and Grade Level meetings to understand the two programmes, implement PYP & MYP teaching principles in class rooms and to devise a new curriculum.The key features of the IBO’s PYP and MYP are as follows:
IB: PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME
The Primary Years Programme (PYP), for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child, in the classroom but also in the world outside, through other environments where children learn. It offers a framework that meets children’s several needs: academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural.
The PYP serves as an excellent introduction to the Middle Years Programme, but it is not a prerequisite for this or for the Diploma Programme.
The programme is a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning: an international curriculum model that provides guidelines for what students should le arna teaching methodology, which includes a profile of the PYP studentassessment strategies
After consultation with the International Baccalaureate Organization, and provided certain conditions are met, schools enjoy much flexibility in terms of language of instruction and languages taught.
At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle for learning. Six organizing themes help teachers and children explore knowledge in the broadest sense of the word.Teachers and students use key questions that are concept-based to structure the units of inquiry.They acquire and apply transdisciplinary skills while developing an understanding of these important concepts.
The development of explicit attitudes and the expectation of socially responsible behaviour are also essential elements of the programme.
The PYP Curriculum
At the centre of the PYP curriculum are five essential elements: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action. The aim of the programme is to help students acquire a holistic understanding of six main themes, shown on the outside of the curriculum model, through the interrelatedness of these essential elements.
The PYP identifies a body of knowledge for all students in all cultures, in six subject areas: languagessocial studiesmathematicsscience and technologythe artspersonal,social, physical education. In the spirit of internationalism students are required to learn a second language in addition to the language of instruction of the school.
Six transdisciplinary themes
The essential elements at the centre of the curriculum model are developed and applied in a context defined by the six transdisciplinary themes: Who we areWhere we are in place and timeHow we express ourselvesHow the world worksHow we organize ourselvesSharing the planet
Teachers and students from the school assess student work; there are no examinations or external moderation of student work by the IBO. There are two types of assessment:
This is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what the students already know in order to plan the next stage of learning. Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other.
This happens at the end of the teaching and learning process. It gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned.
The PYP requires that individual portfolios of student achievement be kept, as an important mechanism for documenting progress. Students aged 10 to 12, in the final year of the programme, are expected to participate in a culminating project, the PYP exhibition. This is designed to demonstrate their proficiencies in all areas of the programme.
The Profile of a PYP student
The PYP defines the characteristics of students who are aware of and sensitive to the experiences of others. These create a profile of the PYP student, which helps teachers and students to establish goals, plan units of inquiry, and assess performance:
Their natural curiosity has been nurtured. They have acquired the skills necessary to conduct purposeful, constructive research. They actively enjoy learning and their love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to make sound decisions and to solve complex problems.
They receive and express ideas and information confidently in more than one language, including the language of mathematical symbols.
They approach unfamiliar situations without anxiety and have the confidence and independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are courageous and articulate in defending those things in which they believe.
They have spent time in school exploring themes which have global relevance and importance. In doing so, they have acquired a critical mass of significant knowledge.
They have a sound grasp of the principles of moral reasoning. They have integrity, honesty and a sense of fairness and justice.
They show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a sense of personal commitment to action and service.
They respect the views, values and traditions of other individuals and cultures, and they are accustomed to seeking and considering a range of points of view.
They understand the importance of physical and mental balance and personal well-being.
They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and analyse their personal strengths and weaknesses in a constructive manner.
IB: MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME
The IBO’s Middle Years Programme (MYP) provides a framework of academic challenge and life skills for students aged 11-16 years. The five-year programme offers an educational approach that embraces yet transcends traditional school subjects. It follows naturally the Primary Years Programme and serves as excellent preparation for the Diploma Programme.
Schools may subscribe to any or all of the programmes; however, none is a prerequisite for another.
The framework is flexible enough to allow a school to include other subjects not determined by the IBO but which might be required by local authorities. After consultation with the IBO, and provided certain conditions are met, schools enjoy much flexibility in terms of language of instruction and languages taught. The MYP, like the other two programmes of the International Baccalaureate Organization, is based on the premise that education can foster understanding among young people around the world. Intercultural awareness is central to the programme, to enable future generations to live more peacefully and productively than we do today.
Students at this stage—early puberty to mid-adolescence—are in a particularly critical phase of personal and intellectual development. This is a time of uncertainty, sensitivity, resistance and questioning. An educational programme needs to provide them with discipline, skills and challenging standards, but also with creativity and flexibility. The IBO builds its programme around these considerations but it is also concerned that students develop a personal value system by which to guide their own lives, as thoughtful members of local communities and the larger world.
The MYP programme provides a thorough study of various disciplines (see curriculum model). It also accentuates the interrelatedness of them, acknowledging the role of the subject disciplines and transdisciplinary study.
At the same time, the IBO recognizes the importance of respecting the independence and integrity of each discipline.
Areas of interaction
Five perspectives known as the areas of interaction are at the core of the MYP programme. These are: approaches to learning; community service, health and social education, environment, and homo faber. These pervade and recur throughout the five years of the MYP, through the eight subject groups, but also through interdisciplinary teaching and projects, whole school activities and the MYP personal project. The areas of interaction are not directly assessed nor awarded individual grades, since they are themes rather than subjects. They are, however, indirectly assessed through the personal project.
This is an independent piece of work that is intended to be the culmination of the student’s involvement with the five areas. It may be an essay, an artistic production or other form of expression, with the topic chosen in consultation with teachers.
Academic disciplines: the subject groups
The emphasis is on a conceptual framework with objectives that are oriented towards skills and the learning process. The areas of interaction are addressed within these disciplines.
language A – the student’s best language, usually the school’s language of instruction
language B – a modern foreign language learned at school
humanities – history and geography
sciences – biology, chemistry, physics
mathematics – course including the five branches of mathematics: number, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, probability and statistics, and discrete mathematics
arts – visual arts and performing arts
physical education – course, including health and fitness, individual and team sports
technology – computer and design technology
All MYP schools are responsible for organizing their own student assessment and reporting procedures according to the objectives of the programme.
Teachers assess student work with guidance from the IBO according to prescribed, published criteria that state final levels of achievement in each discipline.
The programme places special emphasis on formative assessment, which is used at different stages of the learning process to measure the progress of the student and make necessary adjustments to teaching plans and methods. The students are also involved in formative self-assessment of their work and they reflect on their own approaches to learning.
The final result – A portfolio of achievement
The student’s accomplishments, measured during the school’s assessment process, are recorded by the school in a portfolio of achievement. The IBO provides a portfolio for each student who completes the MYP. It includes documents from the IBO as well as papers and certificates from the school that reflect the content and nature of the local programme. The portfolio, which has a self-evaluation by the student, may contain academic results, information about community service, the personal project and extracurricular achievements. A student’s achievements in subjects that are not part of the MYP may also be recorded.
Schools often opt for an MYP certificate, accompanied by a record of achievement. These are formal documents limited to schools that elect to have their own assessment of their students validated by the IBO.
Teams appointed by the IBO carry out on-site evaluations that assess the effectiveness of the delivery of the MYP at a school. The evaluation process does not assess individual teachers or students. Evaluators include IBO personnel, teachers who work with the Middle Years Programme or professionals in education who are familiar with the programme.
The evaluation must follow a process of self-study at the school, guided by the regional office of the IBO.
Courtesy : www.ibo.org Official IBO site