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The Early Years & IB Primary Years Programme (EY - G5)

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The IGBIS Early Years and Elementary School curriculum is based on the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP is an international curriculum framework designed for all children aged 3-12. The programme focuses on the well-rounded growth of the developing child, affecting hearts, as well as minds, while addressing social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare.

Our PYP team teaches through concepts as opposed to pure content in other educational settings. The concepts are used in the form of key questions that are broad and open-ended. The key concepts of form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective and responsibility, help teachers and students consider different ways of thinking and learning about the world. These acts provoke thinking to extend and deepen student learning. 

Our learners develop ‘international mindedness’ through regular reflection on their choices and actions as they learn to embody the attributes of the IB’s Learner Profile so that they are:

  • Balanced
  • Knowledgeable
  • Caring
  • Open-minded
  • Communicators
  • Reflective
  • Principled
  • Risk-takers
  • Inquirers
  • Thinkers

Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Programme at IGBIS includes our Fireflies (2 years of age), Early Years 1 and 2 (3-5 years of age), and Kindergarten (5-6 years old) classes. The programme promotes holistic, child-centred teaching and learning that nurtures the emotional, social, physical, creative, and cognitive development of each child. Our young learners experience a culturally diverse setting where a carefully planned balance of play, teacher and child-initiated inquiry and provocations (engagements that encourage curiosity and thoughts) stimulate their learning in a safe and nurturing environment.

Our early years learning journey includes a written, taught, and assessed curriculum. The written curriculum is a developmental continuum that comprises social-emotional and physical development; numeracy and literacy; and understanding and application of the Arts and Sciences. The taught curriculum centres on daily planning, observation, and reflection, with a focus on attitudes that build relationships and play (inquiry) that stretches all learners. Our taught curriculum is built together with our students in order to reflect their voice, choice and ownership. The assessed curriculum is based on the ongoing process of observing, documenting, and reflecting on each child’s daily routines, relationships, and building of new meaning and understanding.

 

The principles that guide teaching and learning in the Early Years include:

  • Children develop at different rates and learn in different ways.
  • The process of learning is more important than the product.
  • Play is essential to learning and enhances children’s cognitive, motor, language and social-emotional skills.
  • Real-life and life-like activities enhance learning.
  • The learning environment is safe, secure, and one in which each child is valued, challenged, and can take control of his or her own learning.
  • The building of each child’s self-esteem and self-worth is extremely important.
  • Learning is a lifelong process.

 

Students in the IGBIS Early Years programme will:

  • Learn to interact and negotiate with each other by direct and indirect modelling of caring, sharing, and respecting one another;
  • Be provided with the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills in many settings;
  • Be given the freedom to express their opinions, thoughts and feelings; and
  • Develop independence, responsibility and leadership through everyday activities and routines.

 

All of these values, elements and practices give our students — your children — a developmental edge they would not otherwise be offered in traditional daycare, preschool or kindergarten setting. Being able to create environments, and bringing together elements of the most impactful teaching and learning research of the last century, we are able to offer your child an exceptional learning and growing experience that will hone in on their unique personality traits, learning styles and talents.

The IGBIS Early Years and Elementary School curriculum is based on the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP is an international curriculum framework designed for all children aged 3-12. The programme focuses on the well-rounded growth of the developing child, affecting hearts, as well as minds, while addressing social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare.

Our PYP team teaches through concepts as opposed to pure content in other educational settings. The concepts are used in the form of key questions that are broad and open-ended. The key concepts of form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective and responsibility, help teachers and students consider different ways of thinking and learning about the world. These acts provoke thinking to extend and deepen student learning. 

Our learners develop ‘international mindedness’ through regular reflection on their choices and actions as they learn to embody the attributes of the IB’s Learner Profile so that they are:


  • Balanced
  • Knowledgeable
  • Caring
  • Open-minded
  • Communicators
  • Reflective
  • Principled
  • Risk-takers
  • Inquirers
  • Thinkers

Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Programme at IGBIS includes our Fireflies (2 years of age), Early Years 1 and 2 (3-5 years of age), and Kindergarten (5-6 years old) classes. The programme promotes holistic, child-centred teaching and learning that nurtures the emotional, social, physical, creative, and cognitive development of each child. Our young learners experience a culturally diverse setting where a carefully planned balance of play, teacher and child-initiated inquiry and provocations (engagements that encourage curiosity and thoughts) stimulate their learning in a safe and nurturing environment.

Our early years learning journey includes a written, taught, and assessed curriculum. The written curriculum is a developmental continuum that comprises social-emotional and physical development; numeracy and literacy; and understanding and application of the Arts and Sciences. The taught curriculum centres on daily planning, observation, and reflection, with a focus on attitudes that build relationships and play (inquiry) that stretches all learners. Our taught curriculum is built together with our students in order to reflect their voice, choice and ownership. The assessed curriculum is based on the ongoing process of observing, documenting, and reflecting on each child’s daily routines, relationships, and building of new meaning and understanding.

 

The principles that guide teaching and learning in the Early Years include:

  • Children develop at different rates and learn in different ways.
  • The process of learning is more important than the product.
  • Play is essential to learning and enhances children’s cognitive, motor, language and social-emotional skills.
  • Real-life and life-like activities enhance learning.
  • The learning environment is safe, secure, and one in which each child is valued, challenged, and can take control of his or her own learning.
  • The building of each child’s self-esteem and self-worth is extremely important.
  • Learning is a lifelong process.

 

Students in the IGBIS Early Years programme will:

  • Learn to interact and negotiate with each other by direct and indirect modelling of caring, sharing, and respecting one another;
  • Be provided with the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills in many settings;
  • Be given the freedom to express their opinions, thoughts and feelings; and
  • Develop independence, responsibility and leadership through everyday activities and routines.

 

All of these values, elements and practices give our students — your children — a developmental edge they would not otherwise be offered in traditional daycare, preschool or kindergarten setting. Being able to create environments, and bringing together elements of the most impactful teaching and learning research of the last century, we are able to offer your child an exceptional learning and growing experience that will hone in on their unique personality traits, learning styles and talents.

In the PYP, most of the teaching and learning centres around the design of the transdisciplinary units of inquiry (six bodies of knowledge that the IB has identified as essential for learning) that involve multiple areas of study being woven together instead of subjects being taught separately all the time. Each unit:

  • is an engaging, challenging, relevant, and significant experience;
  • contributes to a school-wide programme of inquiry that is framed in terms of transdisciplinary themes (bodies of knowledge) of global significance;
  • draws together elements of different subject areas to support the exploration of a central “big” idea;
  • is planned by teams of teachers working in collaboration, guided by a set of key questions that focuses on concepts
  • involves students in a range of learning experiences planned in response to the lines of inquiry;
  • builds 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; and
  • requires students to reflect on and take responsibility for their learning.

At IGBIS we believe in the importance of assessment and reflection informing our teaching and learning. Student progress is monitored and documented in many ways to help teachers build a picture of each student’s growth, knowledge, skills and big understandings. A range of assessment tools and strategies are used to 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 students can do and inform our teaching and learning experiences we design and implement. Assessment includes:

  • assessment for learning: identifying what students already know in order to clarify the starting point for teaching and learning experiences.
  • assessment as learning: ongoing assessment which helps the teacher to plan for student needs and the next steps for student learning.
  • assessment of learning: finding out how far students have progressed at the end of a unit of teaching.
  • self and peer assessment and feedback: students are involved in making assessments about their own progress and that of their peers.

In the final year of the PYP, students engage in an exhibition—a student-led inquiry—into a subject of interest to them. This is both a demonstration of student agency [their own “voice”] and a reflection on students’ capacity to orchestrate their own learning. The exhibition offers students the opportunity to put their interests, transdisciplinary thinking, knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and attributes of the learner profile into action. They undertake their investigation both individually and with their peers, together with the guidance of a mentor, who can be from within or outside the school community. Our PYPX focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as students use the SDG’s to generate a meaningful project that can help make the world a better place ranging from issues that include the environment, human rights, climate and environmental science, and more.

Through the PYPX, students develop “real-world” competencies to further their education and connect with life beyond school. The exhibition and its benefits are important reminders of the powerful educational effect when student agency, and the agency of the community, are combined with a transdisciplinary curriculum.

(PYP Prinicples into Practice, 2018)

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