The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP)
Notre Dame Academy is an Authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for Pre-K through 5th grade. It uses the framework of this program for the curriculum. This program directs the manner in which classes are taught by encouraging hands-on learning and by teaching concepts across different subjects. (i.e., learning about aging in science, English, math etc.)
At Notre Dame Academy, the Primary Years Programme (PYP) will:
- be for students from Pre-K to Grade 5
- promote in-depth guided inquiry in teaching and learning by building on students’ own knowledge and interests
- explore the construction of knowledge through personal experience
- be transdisciplinary, in that it fosters the development of the whole child, addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs
- at the same time give children a strong foundation in all of the major areas of knowledge: mathematics, social studies, drama, language, music, visual arts, science, personal and social education, and physical education
- strive to help children develop an international perspective - to become aware of the points of view of people in other parts of the world
- study a second language (Spanish) and gain an understanding of the cultures in which the language is spoken
- develop attitudes that are socially responsible and that are positive learning experiences
"The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of National Systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all schools." The curriculum framework consists of five essential elements:
The knowledge component is developed through inquiries into six transdisciplinary themes of global significance supported and balanced by six subject areas:
- Who were are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize oursleves
- Sharing the planet
Primary Years Programme at a Glance,International Baccalaureate Organization, 2005
These themes are intended to help children make sense of themselves, of other people, and of the physical environment, and to give them different ways of looking at the world. The curriculum framework is further structured around three interrelated questions.
- What do we want to learn? The written curriculum.
- How best will we learn? The taught curriculum.
- How will we know what we have learned? The learned curriculum.
At the very heart of the programme, IB learners strive to be: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective.