At the heart of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle for learning. Six organizing themes help teachers and students explore knowledge in the broadest sense of the word. Teachers and students use key questions that are concept-based to structure the Units Of Inquiry. They acquire and apply trans-disciplinary skills while developing an understanding of these important concepts.
The PYP identifies a body of knowledge for all students in all cultures. Six subject areas: language, social studies, mathematics, science, the arts, and personal/social/physical education are interwoven throughout the six trans disciplinary themes:
- Who We Are
- Where We Are In Place And Time
- How We Express Ourselves
- How The World Works
- How We Organize Ourselves
- Sharing The Planet
Assessment in the PYP
All curriculum documents and approaches used in our Primary Years Programme are woven into the curriculum planning process, and are used to inform and guide children’s interests and development. Teachers and students at the school assess student work; the assessment and reporting is qualitative in nature and criterion-referenced. There are no examinations or external moderation of student work by the International Baccalaureate Organization until the Middle Years and Diploma Programmes.
This is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what the students already know in order to plan the next stage of learning. Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other.
This happens at the end of the teaching and learning process. It gives students opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned.
The PYP requires that individual portfolios of student achievement be kept as an important mechanism for documenting progress. Students’ aged 11 - 12, in the final year of the programme, will participate in a culminating project - the PYP Exhibition. This is designed to demonstrate their proficiencies in all areas of the programme.
In addition, Parent-Teacher conference meetings and individualized goals for children are incorporated into programming and are an important part of assessment in the PYP.