World of ABC, The Waldo School is proud to be an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Primary Years Program (PYP) for children aged 3 to 11. The IB is a prestigious academic organization based out of Geneva, Switzerland, that offers programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. The PYP aims to develop students who respect and care for others, who understand both the differences and the commonalities among people all around the world, and are committed to creating a better and more peaceful world. PYP students are able to demonstrate, not only to their teachers but also to themselves and to others around them, the attributes of the learner profile, which is as follows:
Inquirers: We are curious and try to find out about many things.
Knowledgeable: We know about many things that have both local and global significance, and we make connections across many subject areas.
Thinkers: We think critically to solve problems.
Communicators: We express ideas and information in different ways, and work well with others.
Principled: We act with honesty and fairness, and we accept responsibility for our actions.
Open-minded: We seek out and listen to various perspectives in order to make informed decisions.
Caring: We treat others with compassion and find opportunities to help others in need.
Risk-takers: We try new things and have the courage to stand up for what we believe.
Balanced: We care about the physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being of ourselves and other people.
Reflective: We think about our work and consider both our strengths and our weaknesses.
In order to develop these internationally-minded students, the PYP ascribes to specific teaching model and philosophy that World of ABC, The Waldo School has in turn adopted. We believe that students must take an active role in the learning process. Students must be able to ask questions about topics that are relevant to them and others around the world, and must have opportunities to work collaboratively with their peers to gain new perspectives. Teachers must then work to guide students towards the resources needed and design differentiated learning engagements meant to answer students’ driving questions. Teachers play a fundamental role in not only helping students to learn new concepts and ideas, but also to develop important communication, thinking, research, self-management, and social skills.
Within each IB world school, high importance is placed upon the core subject areas, which include language arts (reading and writing); mathematics; science; social studies; personal, social, and physical education; and the arts (including music and visual arts). Each PYP school must then develop or adopt standards for each of these subject areas to ensure consistency and a level of rigor. However, the PYP also believes in exposing students to content that is not bound by any single subject, and that is relevant to people across the world. To do this, the PYP has developed a set of six transdisciplinary themes that are globally significant and utilize skill sets from multiple subject areas. These themes are as followed:
Who We Are: Exploring the nature of the self, human relationships, and personal health.
Where We Are in Place and Time: Exploring human history, homes and journeys, and discoveries and explorations.
How We Express Ourselves: Exploring how we express our ideas, culture, beliefs, and values and appreciate creativity.
How the World Works: Exploring the natural world and its laws, scientific advancement, and the relationships between human societies and science.
How We Organize Ourselves: Exploring human systems and communities and their interconnectedness.
Sharing the Planet: Exploring natural resources and the range of life on Earth, the relationships between people and other living things, and peace and conflict resolution.
Each year, students inquire into all six of these themes in the context of units of inquiry. Each unit of inquiry focuses on a specific facet of each theme (for example, in regards to the Who We Are theme, PreK 4 students study people’s many relationships with each other, while Kindergarten students study student health). The six units of inquiry for each grade level is collectively known as a school’s Program of Inquiry. The result is, that by the time a student graduates from our school, they would have explored each theme in-depth.
Parents are encouraged to learn more about the Primary Years Program by visiting the International Baccalaureate website at http://www.ibo.org/.