The IBO Primary Years Programme provides an international curriculum that aims to meet a full range of needs of learners from Pre-school to Fifth Grade. The PYP presents a balanced curriculum, emphasizing the development of concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes and self-initiated action in students.
The PYP is founded on the belief that learning occurs when students build on their prior knowledge and engage in activities that help them construct new understandings. This process involves continuous self-reflection, the freedom to ask questions, the motivation to take risks and the desire to take action based on what one has learned.
The PYP emphasizes internationalism and identifies what students from all cultures should learn in six subject areas: languages, social studies, mathematics, science and technology, the arts, and personal, social and physical education.
The PYP is structured around six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are about issues that are significant and meaningful to all students. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to go beyond the confines of learning within single subject areas. These themes are:
- 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; the 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 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 organize ourselves - An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societial 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.
The Learner Profile
The IBO promotes international education, which is the foundation of the IB Learner Profile. The IBO philosophy believes that schools should develop and promote in students the qualities expressed in this profile. It represents the qualities of internationalism which will develop in students the ability to live, work and socialize anywhere in our global society.
Inquirers - They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research, and they show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Thinkers - They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators - They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Risk takers - They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Knowledgeable - They explore concepts, ideas and issues which have global relevance and significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Principled - They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Caring - They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Open-minded - They understand and appreciate their own cultures, and personal histories and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Balanced - They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective - They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
The International School of Florence views assessment as directly linked to student achievement and as an essential element for the success of our junior school program. Assessment is the gathering and analysis of information about student performance. It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at different stages in the learning process. Everyone involved with assessment must have a clear understanding of the reasons for the assessment, what is being assessed, the criteria for success and the method by which the assessment is made.
Many methods of assessment are used to provide a balanced view of the child such as:
- performance assessment of tasks with established criteria that are authentic challenges and problems;
- process-focused assessments of trandisciplinary skills using checklists and inventories;
- selected response assessments such as tests and quizzes;
- open-ended tasks in which children are presented with a stimulus and asked to communicate an original response;
- portfolios of children's work.
Visit IBO's Primary Years Programme web page.