The International Baccalaureate or IB is an international organisation whose aim is to create a better world through international education. IB schools can be found in over 150 countries around the globe with over 4700 schools registered with the IB. The IB believes in educational success, both academically and socially. Innovative, internationally minded inquiry-based learning is at the core of the IB, developing students with life skills that will better prepare them for the future.
At Trinity we offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) in the Junior Years. This is the overarching umbrella under which all learning occurs. Learning is holistic. The Learner Profiles and Attitudes are authentically embedded in everything we do, from devotions in the morning, reading, writing and collaborating on Maths tasks with peers and playing at lunch time to researching in the afternoon. Students are taught what each one means and what they look like. They see them modelled by their peers and teachers and they reflect on their own behaviours, continuing to grow and develop as caring, active participants in their life-long learning journey.
Students engage in Units of Inquiry under broad themes of global significance, called ‘transdisciplinary themes’. These themes span across learning disciplines. This allows students to explore large ideas and concepts, rather than learn facts in isolation, in separate subject areas. For example: A Year 4 unit at Trinity under the transdisciplinary theme ‘How the World Works’ has the central idea: Survival is connected to understanding how the earth changes. While inquiring into this unit the students look through the concept lenses of causation, connection and change. Within this unit students explore the relationships and consequences of natural disasters around the globe and the impact these have on the environment and society. Not only are they inquiring under the curriculum area of Science, but they are also inquiring through Design and Technologies, English, Maths and Humanities and Social Science.
Each inquiry unit follows an inquiry cycle. Beginning with tuning in, then moving through finding out, sorting out, going further, making connections, and taking action. The fantastic benefit of the inquiry cycle is that we can move forward, backward, across the circle, depending on where student and teacher questions and wonderings lead. For example, in the tuning in phase, a video of a volcano erupting might be viewed. The students ask questions and engage in finding out more about other natural disasters and sorting out key information. Part way through this, there may have been an earthquake in New Zealand and a student comes to school sharing information about this (taking action). This student may then collaborate with others, or the whole class and go back to the finding out stage of the inquiry cycle to answer wonderings about the effects (causation) of earthquakes on cities in New Zealand or how earthquakes change the way people live in these cities. And so the cycle continues…
IB PYP vs Traditional
How is the IB PYP different to traditional learning?
In a world of rapid change, we prepare our students to be creative, think critically and work effectively in groups. Students take charge of their own learning, with each child working on their own learning goals. The traditional model of students in rows, listening carefully to the teacher for the correct answer will not give our students what they need to flourish.