The learning framework in our Junior School


The learning framework in our Junior School

Monday the 16th of May, 2016

Head of the Junior School Suzanne Brewin explains the International Baccalaureate program offered in our Junior School.

Our Junior School delivers the NZ curriculum through an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme framework. But what is the Primary Years Programme?

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the Junior School is designed for students from the Foundation Centre to the end of Year 6. Through both the curriculum and teaching it aims to develop the intellectual, emotional and physical potential of each child, in a secure and stimulating environment.

International perspective: A driving force behind the PYP is the philosophy of international mindedness. The IB’s mission statement strives to nurture young people who recognise that they are global citizens and who are motivated to make changes to and in the world.

Integrated: the subject areas of maths, language, science, social studies, information technology, the arts, physical education and library are taught through transdisciplinary themes, where applicable, in order to help students make connections between the subjects, thereby facilitating more effective learning.

Individualised: Teaching and Learning is differentiated for the students’ needs. Students are asked to make connections between life in school, life at home and life in the world. These connections contribute to the development of the attitudes that contribute to international mindedness.

The PYP fosters the development of thinking, communication, socialising, research and self-management skills. Students are encouraged to put what they have learned into practice through service to the school community, the local community and the global community.

The PYP provides a curriculum framework of 5 essential elements:

  • Knowledge - content in math, language, social studies, science and the arts
  • Concepts - important ideas that have universal significance regardless of time or place within and across disciplines. Concepts are presented in the forms of questions that drive the inquiry
  • Skills - specific capabilities in thinking, social interactions, communication, self-management, and research
  • Attitudes - dispositions, values, beliefs and feelings towards learning
  • Action - Making changes to and in the world

For new students and families this may be a very different approach to learning. However, with a focus on developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect, the PYP programme aligns well with the Diocesan philosophy and approach to learning.