Primary parents attended an interactive workshop in the Treffpunkt yesterday at 08:30 to explore why the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) at ICS is ideal for students to become active, lifelong learners.
After a welcome by the Primary Leadership Team, the first question parents were asked to respond to was "what does an "active learner" mean to you? At their tables, parents spoke in small groups about engaged, involved learning and viewed a video called "What is a learner?" Elements of the Learner Profile and questions such as - what do we want to learn, and how can Primary students best assimilate knowledge, were also addressed.
The PYP for students aged 3-12 is unique because of its academic and personal rigour. It focuses on the development of children as inquirers within a framework of 6 transdisciplinary themes: who we are; where we are in place and time; how we express ourselves; how the world works; how we organize ourselves; and sharing the planet. It also provides the best preparation for students to continue to the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and beyond.
Parents at the workshop learned that the PYP encourages children to inquire, fostering their natural curiosity in creative and collaborative environments. Students gain an understanding of a complex and interdependent world and are able to better understand real-world issues. PYP students are also confident communicators in a variety of ways and often in more than one language. By "learning how to learn" students work collaboratively with others to plan, present and asses their own learning and are encouraged to see things from different perspectives.
An understanding of Primary students' culture own as well as the culture of others – or international-mindedness – is another important focus in the PYP and supports students as they learn to be respectful, caring and responsible citizens. In thinking about issues, PYP students are encouraged to take action by making appropriate choices and responding to new and perhaps unexpected challenges.
In order to better understand one concept of a transdisciplinary theme from a PYP unit of inquiry, parents were given a "mystery box" containing parts to build "a machine that could make their lives easier". As they assembled their machines, parents experienced how their children learn in an inquiry process that moves students from their current level of understanding to a new and deeper level – and parents clearly enjoyed the process!
Shortly before the workshop came to an end, one parent commented to the group, "...I see that here you are talking about people...not only about curriculum. You are explaining to us how our children will acquire the tools they will need."