Mr. Simon Millward
Elementary School Principal
Mr. Simon Millward
Welcome to Elementary School
I am extremely pleased to be able to share with you the beliefs and professional practices of our teachers at IGBIS. The processes we have all worked through to ensure we will deliver an excellent learning environment for your children has been exciting and all encompassing. Teachers and administrators have worked on curriculum, resources and policies and guidelines so we can provide a challenging, relevant and engaging programme.
The heart of a good school is the relationship between the students and their teachers. We have been impressed with the calibre of our enrolled students; they have shown us they are capable and inquisitive. I am proud to say our teachers are all highly experienced, dedicated and passionate IBPYP educators who have shown that they truly care for their students and can help guide their academic as well as their personal and social growth.
Facilities have been designed to support the inquiry based programme, with a large Elementary Library that includes areas for small and large group activities, quiet reading and research. Grade level classrooms are bright and airy and grouped together with a communal lounge and wide open corridors. There are numerous spaces for indoor and outdoor PE activities; we have dedicated Music and Art rooms for Elementary students and a covered adventure playground area.
Students have access to iPads, laptops and Interactive Smartboards to support their learning. Technology is seamlessly embedded into the curriculum with students learning how to use and select the appropriate device for their specific needs.
International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP)
The curriculum of Elementary School is based on the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP is an international curriculum framework designed for all children between the ages of 3 and 12 years. All classroom teachers from Early Years to Grade 5 are experienced and passionate IBPYP teachers who confidently deliver the IBPYP Units of Inquiry in unique and challenging ways. They use the essential elements of the IBPYP: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action to provide an engaging, challenging, relevant and significant programme.
In the PYP there is a commitment to a concept driven curriculum as a means of supporting inquiry. The concepts are central to the curriculum and are in the form of key questions that are broad and open-ended. Key concepts of form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility and reflection help teachers and students consider different ways of thinking and learning about the world and act as a provocation to extend and deepen student inquiries.
Units of Inquiry
In the PYP most of the teaching and learning centres around the design of the transdisciplinary units of inquiry. Each of these units:
- Stands alone as an engaging, challenging, relevant and significant experience
- Contributes to a coherent, school wide programme of inquiry that is framed in terms of transdisciplinary themes of global significance
- Draws together elements of different subject areas to support the exploration of a central idea
- Is planned by teams of teachers working in collaboration, guided by a set of key questions that is conceptually driven
- Involves students in a range of learning experiences planned in response to the lines of inquiry
- Build’s on prior knowledge of the students
- Is constructed and conducted in a way as to promote positive attitudes and provide opportunities for socially responsible action
- Requires students to reflection and take responsibility for their learning.
Students will be assessed in many ways so that teachers can build a picture of a student’s achievements, knowledge and understanding. A range of assessment tools and strategies are used which allow students with different learning styles to succeed.
All assessments are based on criteria for success, which are shared with the students in an age appropriate manner. Assessments focus on what student can do and inform the teaching and learning experience. Students will be assessed on the five essential elements of the PYP.
Assessment will include:
- Pre-assessment: identifying what students already know in order to clarify the starting point for teaching and learning experiences.
- Formative assessment: ongoing assessment which helps the teacher to plan for the ongoing needs of the students and to help to plan the next steps for student learning.
- Summative assessments: finding out how far students have progressed at the end of a unit of teaching.
- Self and peer assessment: students are involved in making assessments about their own progress and that of their peers.
Together with my teaching colleagues I invite you to be part of the three way partnership between students, parents and teachers and I can assure you that this partnership will be open, transparent and supportive.