IB Primary Years Programme
IST was authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) in May of 2006. The PYP includes a curriculum designed to inspire young minds and challenge students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, whilst encompassing their social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development within a caring, international environment.
The PYP curriculum has an international perspective where we recognise and welcome the diversity of student experiences and backgrounds. A PYP school strives towards developing an internationally minded student who demonstrates the attributes of the Learner Profile:
Inquirers. They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable. They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We use an inquiry-based approach where our teaching methods build upon individual understandings, knowledge and interests, emphasizing how to learn and how to delve deeper, while developing critical thinking skills. The Units make up the Programme of Inquiry and are developed under the IB's Transdisciplinary Themes, making learning for understanding more effective.
Each Unit allows the students to explore Key Concepts such as
- Form: What is it like?
- Function: How does it work? and
- Reflection: How do we know?
Different subjects are integrated through the Units, but subjects are also taught as distinct learning areas. The PYP includes the core subject areas of English (Language Arts), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, as well as Music, Art, Information Technology, Personal and Social Education, and Physical Education. In addition, students receive instruction in Italian as a second language, or Italian as a first language, depending on their Italian language proficiency.
The PYP also requires the development of transdisciplinary skills which transcend the individual subject areas. These include thinking, communication, social, research and self-management skills.
The curriculum also aims to develop appropriate attitudes, including appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.
Finally, students are encouraged to apply all that they have learned through practice, not only in the School community, but also in the wider world. Effective action is voluntary and involves the students in exercising their own initiatives and taking on responsibilities.