What is the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB)?
The Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The PYP for children aged 4 – 10 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning through a student-centred approach to education. The Learner Profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st Century. It unites individuals with a common focus on the whole person, as a lifelong learner.
As IB learners, one strives to be the following:
- Open Minded
- Risk Takers
The above are a vital focus in the development of positive attitudes towards people, the environment and learning. These are the day-to-day attitudes we use; appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.
PYP programme can also be illustrated by the six transdisciplinary themes surrounding six subject areas as follows:-
- Social Studies
- Personal, Social and Physical Education
One of the most integral parts of IB education is its focus on the ‘how’ of learning encouraging excellent study skills from as young as kindergarten age. It is an invaluable, unique aspect of the IB PYP. The IB Primary years is centered on the learner, and not on the teacher or the curriculum. It is a good preparation into the Middle Years Programme of the IB.
The Middle Years Programme (MYP)
A challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world, the MYP is inclusive by design; students of all interests and academic abilities can benefit from their participation.
The IB MYP has eight subject groups:
- Language Acquisition
- Language & Literature
- Individuals & Societies
- Physical & Health Education
The IB MYP is a challenging framework that embraces practical connections between studies and the real world. It aims to develop active learners and internationally-minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning.
The MYP curriculum framework includes:
- Approaches to learning (ATL) helps students learn how to learn by developing skills for research, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and self-management.
- Key and related concepts help students explore big ideas that matter.
- Global contexts, helps students understand the relevance and importance of their study for understanding their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.
The MYP culminates in an independent learning project. Students complete a significant piece of work over an extended period of time, encouraging them to consolidate their learning and reflect on the outcome of their work.
School-based Assessment focuses on tasks created and marked by classroom teachers who are well-equipped to make judgements about student achievement. These tasks are rigorous and embrace a variety of assessment strategies. The External Assessment in the MYP final year sees the student developing a personal project independently, which is externally validated by IB. The MYP is a key path to the IB Diploma Programme.
The Diploma Programme
Research suggests many benefits to choosing the DP. The programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
Students working toward an IB Diploma must study across six subject groups (3 Higher and 3 Standard Level) as follows:
- Language & Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individual & Societies
IBDP students are also required to do a ‘core’ set of disciplinary approaches commonly known as the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) , an extended essay, and CAS that stands for Creativity, Activity and Service.
For the CAS, all IB Diploma candidates are required to complete a minimum of 50 hours in each of the three CAS categories during Grades 11 and 12.
In the CAS project, students could start a club, engage charity initiative or make a movie for instance. The purpose of CAS is to enable students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience. It provides opportunities for self-determination and collaboration with others, fostering a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from their work.
Benefits of an IB Education
Through the IB, students are given a unique education that helps them develop strong academic, social, and emotional characteristics. They are also likely to perform well academically – often better than students in other programs and often more likely to be recruited by top universities worldwide.
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