How is the Curriculum structured ?
The PYP is mainly delivered via the Transdisciplinary Units of Inquiry
Most curriculum is taught through the Units of Inquiry. They draw together elements of different disciplines into a meaningful whole. Key concepts drive this inquiry. The PYP also identifies the range of knowledge students need to acquire by defining the following Transdisciplinary Themes, which are relevant within and across all subject domains.
- Who we are
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
- Where we are in place and time
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; then relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
- How we express ourselves
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
- How the world works
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
- How we organise ourselves
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
- Sharing the planet
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
In the Preschool 1 and Preschool 2 the students have 4 Units of Inquiry per year.
In Preschool 3 to PYP 5 they have all 6 Units of Inquiry each year.
“Central to the philosophy of the PYP is the principle that purposeful, structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas. Hence in the PYP there is also a commitment to a concept-driven curriculum as a means of supporting that inquiry.”
The Key Concepts
These are they key concepts :
- Form – Key Question : What is it like?
- Function – Key Question : How does it work?
- Causation – Key Question :Why is it like it is?
- Change – Key Question : How is it changing?
- Connection – Key Question : How is it connected to other things?
- Perspective – Key Question : What are the points of view?
- Responsibility – Key Question : What is our responsibility?
- Reflection – Key Question : How do we know?
The Concepts underpin student inquiries and can be applied and adopted as students deepen and develop their understandings during the units.
Skills – when learning about and through subject areas, students acquire the particular skills that define the disciplines. For example in language students become literate and in Maths they become numerate.
The acquisition of numeracy and literacy in its broadest sense is essential, as these skills provide student with the tools of inquiry.
Nonetheless, in order to conduct purposeful inquiry and in order to be well prepared for lifelong learning, students need to master a whole range of skills beyond subject specific skills.
The PYP has a set of transdisciplinary skills :
- Thinking skills
- Social skills
- Communication skills
- Self-management skills
- Research skills
These skills are valuable not only in the Unit of Inquiry but relevant to all subject areas and also transcend them to promote authentic learning within the classroom and in life outside the school.
THE ACTION CYCLE
In our school, it is believed that every student, in every year group, has the right and should have the opportunity to be involved in voluntary purposeful and beneficial action. This action can be taken by an individual student or by a group of students working collaboratively and will clearly look different within each age range.
Therefore we endeavour to offer all our learners the opportunity and the power to choose to act, and to decide on their actions in order to make a difference to a local, national or global issue.
More often than not action may not be witnessed by the teacher in school but rather happens beyond the classroom. An example of this is attached.
Action beyond the classroom
A parent reports to a teacher that her 4-year-old child has taken action at home, after having been on a school excursion to a recycling station/sewage treatment plant/centre.
Parent : On your trip did the children learn about water conservation?
Teacher : It was one component of our investigations. Why do you ask?
Parent : Because during the weekend I was starting the shower for my son. He ran out of the room and came back with a bucket, and put it in the shower. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied: “I’m catching the water that is not hot enough yet for my shower, so I can save it and give the garden a drink after my shower.”
Teacher : That’s really interesting. He is taking action as a result of what he learned. Please let me know if this continues and if you notice anything else.
The outcomes for each age group that appear in the ‘Handbook’ are examples of the kind of expectations appropriate for the class and are covered more extensively, in the school’s Scope and Sequence Guidelines for each year.
For every Unit of Inquiry you will receive an information leaflet. This will contain the main elements of the unit. It will also include any integrated Math and Language and any stand-alone Math or Language.
There will be suggestions of how you can support your child and useful resources including websites and app’s.