What is your memorable early learning experience? If you’re like many adults, you have fond memories of kindergarten. We now know, though, that children actually need to begin their education before kindergarten. Those early years are key. Children are active in the learning process and preschool lays a solid foundation for future learning.
Primary Years - PYP
Primary Years Programmes
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 -10 (including Early Years). The curriculum focuses on nurturing and developing young students into caring, active participants in their lifelong journey of learning.
The IBPYP consist of 6 themes which encourage students to research, discuss, challenge, share, and present their ideas in relation to their own lives.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) also focuses on key concepts and world issues that empower students to become global citizens, whilst providing them with values and dispositions for lifelong learning and the life skills to sustain them as the leaders of the future. Our students are placed at the centre of learning and teaching. They will learn through authentic inquiry, supported by a secure framework for learning as outlined in the IBPYP. Inquiry based learning enhances learning for all students by engaging them in activities that respond to particular interests, learning needs, strengths, and preferences. It is effective in supporting and challenging the full range of ability levels in the classroom. Students develop a genuine and enthusiastic desire for learning; learn how to learn and have fun along the way. Students have the flexibility to adopt, adapt and extend sub-skills most relevant to their abilities as early learners and primary aged students. Some examples of sub-skills include:
Thinking – Critical, creative, transfer
Research – Ethical, media and information literacy
Communication – Listening, speaking, interpreting
Social – Interpersonal, social and emotional intelligence
Self-management – Mindfulness, time management, organization
The IBPYP at Notion International School
The International Baccalaureate Curriculum PYP is taught through carefully orchestrated inquiry. Learners are presented with the resources, opportunities and the facilities to be able to research and respond themselves, supported by skillful adult interventions, making the learning real and interesting.
Play, problem-based learning, collaboration, experimentation, and explicit teaching all have a place within well-considered inquiry-based learning experiences. Students can explore transdisciplinary themes or subject-specific knowledge to help them become critical and creative thinkers, researchers, collaborators and communicators.
By giving students the freedom to share their learning through a variety of recording and reporting methods, varying from planned ‘student centres’ to project-based inquiries, learners build their skills throughout the inquiry and then showcase their own understanding through the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition.
Want to know more about PYP?
Research by the Centre on the Developing Child, Harvard University, also underlines the importance of preschool. It indicates that for children to reach their full potential, they need stimulating and appropriate experiences in the earliest years, when their brain is optimally programmed to benefit from these experiences.
These very young learners need stimulating, supportive interactions with their peers and teachers and the effective use of curricula. The early years settings of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides schools with a thoughtfully designed way to give 3-to-5-yearolds exactly that. The PYP was created 17 years ago by the International Baccalaureate (IB), which also offers the Middle Years, Career-related and Diploma Programme for older students.
The IB knows that young learners are intelligent, resourceful and creative individuals who grow, develop and learn at different rates. They explore their environment and learn about their world through play and relationships with peers, teachers, family and community members. Early learning in the PYP is a holistic learning experience that integrates socio-emotional, physical and cognitive development. In the PYP classroom, it takes place in dynamic environments that promote play, discovery and exploration..
Parents whose children have experienced the PYP in an early years setting like how the programme acknowledges that each child is unique. One parent sees “an appreciation of the fact the children develop differently, so one-sizefits- all doesn’t apply with the kids and that’s quite key.” Teachers are enthusiastic, too. For example, one says, “It’s quite amazing in the sense that … all the curriculum areas encourage inquiry.” And teachers appreciate the opportunities for professional development that the IB offers them. Online and face-to-face workshops are available year-round, including ones such as “Making the PYP happen in the classroom in the early years” and “Play-based learning.” Both practitioners who have no formal qualifications in education or child services and those with such qualifications find workshops designed for them. Research supports the effectiveness of the IB’s PYP in an early years setting. A study by researchers from Deakin University in Australia of four such programmes in Australia and Singapore found that the literacy skills were fairly developed; children were performing at levels commensurate with or better in terms of school readiness; and children were developing learning skills at higher rates than a comparative sample. The IB works with schools large and small, government-funded and private, to begin and support their early years programmes.
IB describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities
The IB learner profile
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) learner profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success.
They imply a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.
Each of the IB's programmes is committed to the development of students according to the IB learner profile.
The profile aims to develop learners who are:
We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others.
We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.
We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems.
We express ourselves condently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways.
We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice,
We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others
We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service,
We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively
We understand the importance of balancing dierent aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—
We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience.