Baldwin School is authorized to offer the Primary Years Program (PYP) in grades Pre Pre Kinder through Fifth. The PYP serves as a curricular outline that includes five components referred to as the 5 Essential Elements. With the Learner Profile as the guiding light, these components, described below, facilitate the creation of the school’s curriculum providing a framework and foundation to support teaching, learning, and assessment.
The PYP is also characterized by its transdisciplinary approach, exploring ideas through a conceptual lens that integrates and moves beyond the disciplines to address real world problems and situations. The focus of the curriculum is providing learning opportunities that allow for hands-on inquiries that engage and empower learners to construct knowledge, deepen understanding, and develop skills.
The traditional subjects are integrated and worked on through the units of inquiry. Units of inquiry are in depth explorations into a Central Idea (for example: Personal decisions affect how we can lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle.). These units last several weeks and include a purposeful integration of the 5 Essential Elements, the Learner Profile, and the knowledge, concepts, and skills of the relevant subjects. Teachers strive to balance a transdisciplinary approach with direct instruction of the core skills in each of the subjects.
Transdisciplinary themes: The knowledge component includes the significant, relevant content that the students explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding. Knowledge is framed by six transdisciplinary themes:
Who we are
How we express ourselves
How we organize ourselves
How the world works
Where we are in place and time
Sharing the planet
Each grade level K - 5th works on one unit of inquiry for each of the six themes every school year. In PPK and PK they work on four units, including Who we are and How we express ourselves. Our Program of Inquiry (POI) includes all the grade level units of inquiry (include link here). In addition, single subject teachers also develop subject specific units of inquiry that complement the POI as well as further develop the knowledge, content, and skills of that particular subject.
Concepts: An emphasis on conceptual understanding is based on powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them. Students explore and re-explore key and related concepts in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding. In the PYP there are eight key concepts and many related concepts. Examples of related concepts are conflict, harmony, exchange, conservation, location, roles, relationships and so forth.
|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?|
|Reflection||How do we know?|
|Responsibility||What is our responsibility?|
|Self management skills||
Attitudes: Explained below are the dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people. These habits of mind and behavior facilitate successful learning. When practiced in daily interactions and experiences the twelve attitudes are understood to develop the attributes of the Learner Profile.
The Learner Profile includes ten (10) attributes that are understood to describe an effective lifelong learner. As the guiding light of all IB programs, we intentionally weave learning opportunities that develop these attributes throughout the curriculum. This development of these attributes begins with our youngest learners, however it is understood to be an ongoing process - not a goal to be reached and checked off by year’s end. All constituents are expected to be aware of the Learner Profile, as well as to engage in the purposeful reflection of one’s strengths and areas of improvement within it. (PYP Attitudes have been marked in the descriptions below.)
Inquirers We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
Knowledgeable We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
Thinkers We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
Principled We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
Open-minded We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
Courageous (Risk-takers) We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
Balanced We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives — intellectual, physical, (spiritual) and emotional — to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
Reflective We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.