Top reasons for choosing IB pyp curriculum for your child

K P Sheeja
May 20, 2021
Admission Tips

Most parents are looking for a curriculum that brings out the student in their child as he/she starts schooling. After all, what will be sown now, will reap in the future. So every parent wants to give a good educational foundation to their child without stressing them out too much or compromising on their childhood.  

Of the many choices parents have to achieve this, enrolling them in a school which has an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, is considered a popular choice. 

Here is why most parents prefer IB PYP: 

1. The programme

IB PYP curriculum is an inquiry-based programme that is designed to trigger independent learning in students through an inquiry-based approach. The approaches in an IB PYP classroom are different from a traditional classroom, and the teaching and learning styles also differ. For eg: Unlike a traditional classroom, PYP students do not sit facing the blackboard or the teacher, but they sit in circles facing each other. This is to encourage them to interact and be equal partners in the process of learning through collaboration. 

2. Framework and Concepts

IB PYP framework is different from other conventional school curricula that are based on textbook and blackboard-based learning. The Primary Years Programme is crafted in such a way that the student takes the ownership of his/her learning and paves his/her own path gathering the knowledge through a series of questions designed by themselves. Teachers are facilitators of classroom activities and thinking, while most studying is done through self-learning and enquiry-driven activities. 

3. Visual thinking

Before students start the cycle of inquiry through self-learning, teachers introduce a central idea to the class through visual thinking routines like a graphic organiser, photograph, poster etc. Through the visual thinking exercise the students deconstruct the key terms associated with the main idea. They get to the process of finding out, sorting out and digging deeper into the information presented to them. This could include visiting the library, researching online, taking notes and discussing data.

4. Going one step further

Students engage in a variety of individual and group activities to conduct research and uncover the theme to find out more information about the topic of inquiry. They organise the information that they have gathered, and integrate it with other subjects. For example:  A simple theme of nutrition can be presented with pictures, data, pie charts and audio-visual content. This helps in transdisciplinary skills like knowing the scientific, artistic, mathematical and statistical aspect of the concept. The teachers also typically arrange for field trips or expert talk sessions to further their understanding and technical knowledge on the subject.

5. Assessments

This is an essential component of the IB PYP component. Assessments for the PYP students is the internal prerogative of the school, and is aimed to provide constructive feedback on the students’ learning process. Tools used include examples, rubrics, anecdotal records, checklists etc. Assessment tools measure and support students’ successful achievement, while they are learning. These tools transcend subject areas and are designed to accommodate a variety of intelligences and ways of knowing

Students undergo two types of assessments: 

a. Formative Assessments :

This type of assessment is used when planning the next step in teaching/learning. It is directly linked with learning, and helps teachers to find out what students already know and are capable of. They function purposefully together and promote learning by providing consistent feedback which helps improve student knowledge and understanding. Formative assessment is a necessary and important part of the learning process. 

b. Summative Assessment :

These assessments are a culmination of the teaching and learning process. Summatives are given to gauge the student’s progress in major concepts or areas of instruction. They provide teachers and students a clear image into understanding the progress in learning. During summative assessments, students have the opportunity to comprehensively demonstrate what has been learned. Multiple elements are assessed simultaneously during this time, and is an experience which draws upon the wide-range of knowledge gained throughout the unit of study. It evaluates and informs student learning and the teaching process, measures understanding of the central idea and lines of inquiry, and promotes students towards taking meaningful action.

As a well-thought out framework for the formative years, the uniqueness of the Primary Years Programme is that it helps students build curiosity and intent to learn and know more. As the students are not bound to learn in conventional ways, they get more involved in the learning process and remain self-driven throughout the process.

K P Sheeja

Is the Academic Supervisor for CBSE at the GIIS SMART Campus. One of the pioneer generation of teachers with GIIS, she comes from a family of educators and has been teaching English to students for the past 25 years. She believes her job as a teacher also includes mentoring and being a friend to her students.

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