At COPA we are beginning to implement the PYP (Primary Years Programme) of the IB (International Baccalaureate) Curriculum. This forms the basis of teaching and learning for subjects other than English, Maths and Reading. However, when these skills can be enhanced or taught and learnt through the PYP, we will provide those opportunities.
We are using the National Curriculum in its coverage of different subjects, but are not limited to this as we strive to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for our pupils.
The aim of the IB PYP is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
The IB’s Mission Statement explains: The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
This is developed through the following approaches to teaching and learning:
The student and teacher work collaboratively to explore different transdisciplinary themes throughout the year: who we are, where we are in time and place, how we express ourselves, how we organise ourselves, sharing the planet and how the world works. These six transdisciplinary themes capture human commonalities that are significant and relevant regardless of where students are in the world. When learning is organised around transdisciplinary themes, authentic and meaningful connections are made across, between and beyond subjects.
Concept based inquiry is the leading pedagogical approach of the PYP and is the basis for all learning and teaching. The PYP provides a framework for our curriculum, including seven key concepts. Concepts form a powerful curriculum component that inspires the teacher- and/or student-constructed inquiries that lie at the heart of the PYP curriculum.
These concepts are:
- Form – What is it like?
- Connection – How is it connected to other things?
- Function – How does it work?
- Perspective – What are the points of view?
- Causation – Why is it like it is?
- Responsibility – What is our responsibility?
- Change – How is it changing?
Inquiry is an authentic way for students to explore and understand the world, nurturing their curiosity as they move from current to new and deeper understandings, and embark on a lifelong journey of learning.
At COPA the programme of inquiry is collaboratively developed to reflect the unique aspects of our school’s community, from its geography to the needs and experience of its members. A well-designed programme of inquiry ensures our students experience a balance of subject-specific knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills, alongside opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and to take action. Play, problem-based learning, collaboration, experimentation, and explicit teaching all have a place within well-considered inquiry- based learning experiences.
Subjects play an important role in planning transdisciplinary units of inquiry. They can determine, support, enrich and connect learning.
Through the integrated subjects, students come to appreciate that there is a body of subject-specific knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills that can be drawn on to engage with global challenges and opportunities.
At COPA, through the teaching and learning within the IB curriculum, we are teaching the children to be:
Through the IB PYP, teachers plan for developing student skills throughout the learning opportunities they provide. These include:
- Thinking skills
- Social skills
- Research skills
- Communication skills
Throughout the process of becoming an accredited IB School, there are several steps and processes that need to be completed for accreditation to be awarded.
Implementing the PYP at COPA includes official training for the designated IB lead, meetings with other schools in the trust, as well as staff becoming familiar with the philosophy, structure and application of the PYP in order to implement it within their classroom setting.
This includes, but is not limited by, the following:
- Weekly Learner Profile assemblies – teaching children what these look like
- Learner Profile ‘Star of the Week’ being celebrated as a whole school
- Learning Journeys on display in each classroom for children to follow and contribute their inquiries as the theme is explored
- Collaborative planning and reflections amongst teaching staff
- Guided provocation events to promote children’s inquiries
- Lines of inquiry based on children’s questions
- Subject knowledge and skills taught through the designed curriculum, in reference to the National Curriculum
- Enrichment opportunities within and outside the school community (visitors, trips, workshops)
- British values being included through themes
- RE being taught termly, linking with the IB theme
- Action from learning being considered by pupils, or through the change in perspective of pupils
A more comprehensive breakdown in set out in our IB curriculum action plan (See Appendix 1)
Through an engaging, broad curriculum, children are motivated, active and have a voice through inquiry based learning.
The impact will be measured through the following ways:
- Pupil voice
- Books and learning journeys
- Reflections from staff
- Lesson observations and learning walks
At COPA, there will be ongoing reflection opportunities and monitoring to ensure that the curriculum is one that is demanding, progressive, broad and balanced.