International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme
Amy Giles, IB Coordinator
Fork Shoals School is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program School. We received this distinction in the spring of 2005.
The IB Primary Years Programme is designed to help students meet international expectations of a learner. Students are taught to reflect and assess their role as learners using profile traits such as Inquirers, Thinkers, Communicators, Risk-Takers, Knowledgeable, Principled, Caring, Open-minded, Balanced, and Reflective. These traits make up the Learner Profile.
The curriculum framework at Fork Shoals addresses South Carolina State standards and IB standards. Units of instruction are developed around attitudes, concepts, knowledge, skills, and action. Units of Inquiry and daily lessons incorporate as many of each of the attitudes, concepts, knowledge and skills as possible.
The written curriculum
The IB Primary Years Programme consists of six transdisciplinary themes.
These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The program offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to "step up" beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet
The taught curriculum
The six transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a program of inquiries–in-depth investigations into important ideas, identified by the teachers, and requiring a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks.
The assessed curriculum
Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher's feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.
Concepts-What do we want students to understand?
Eight fundamental concepts, expressed as key questions, propel the process of inquiry and help to encourage a transdisciplinary perspective. These concepts drive the units units of inquiry.
The concepts are the following:
- Form: What is it like?
- Function: How does it work?
- Causation: Why is it like it is?
- Change: How is it changing?
- Connection: How is it connected to other things?
- Perspective: What are the points of view?
- Responsibility: What is our responsibility?
- Reflection: How do we know?
Approaches to Learning - What do we want students to be able to do?
The Approaches to Learning skills acquired in the process of structured inquiry are: thinking, communication, social, research, and self- management skills.
Attitudes - What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?
The program promotes and fosters a set of attitudes that include tolerance, respect, integrity, independence, enthusiasm, empathy, curiosity, creativity, cooperation, confidence, commitment and appreciation.
Action - How do we want students to act?
Students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices and to take action that will help their peers, school staff and the wider community.
For more information about the International Baccalaureate Primary Program, please visit www.ibo.org.