Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back to Basics: PYP 101

The International Baccalaureate's (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) is a comprehensive, yet sometimes complicated, educational framework. Those of us who work in PYP schools must work hard to communicate to the entire learning community what the PYP is in an easy-to-understand way without oversimplifying this complex program.

To better understand the PYP and how it benefits children, let's get BACK TO BASICS and look at a broad overview of the PYP.

To learn more about the different aspects of the PYP, click on the bulletin board below. Specifically, click on the:

  • circle in the middle to read an overview of the PYP.
  • yellow posters on the left to learn about the Essential Elements (what we learn).
  • blue posters on the right to learn about the Approaches to Teaching (how we teach).
  • green poster in the middle to learn about the Exhibition, completed by students in the last year of the PYP.
  • large poster all the way to the right to learn about the IB Learner Profile.
  • large poster all the way to the left to learn about our district's strategic plan and how it fits into our implementation of the PYP.

Similar information found in the electronic bulletin board is summarized here:
  • I've heard of IB. What's PYP?
    • IB stands for International Baccalaureate. The IB is for students aged 3 to 19. The Primary Years Program or PYP is IB in the elementary school.

  • In the PYP, what do we want kids to learn?
    • We teach our students balance between learning essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action.

  • In the PYP, how will we teach?
    • Teachers work together to write, teach and assess transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging, significant, inquiry-based and concept-driven. Informed by assessment, we offer students differentiated opportunities to explore issues in local and global contexts.
You can also watch this short video published by the IB about the PYP.

After learning a little bit about the PYP, what questions do you have? Make sure you ask those at your child's school: your school's PYP Coordinator, your children's teachers and the school's administration are all here to help you better understand this framework for international education that has countless benefits to its students.

*Note: over the last several years, the PYP has been undergoing an update, with the "enhanced PYP" set to be released soon. Although there may be some changes that will undoubtedly change some of the specific information detailed above, students, educators and families can be assured that the essential nature of the PYP will remain unchanged.

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