Documenting our journey as a PYP school within Rocky View Schools

November Update

This month, IB launched their new programme models for all levels of the programme, PYP, MYP, DP and the new International Baccaluareate Career-related Certificate (IBCC).


The latest Primary Years Programme Blog (November 15, 2012) explains some of the changes made to the model:

The new PYP model differs from the old PYP model in the following ways:

The core circle remains illustrative of the learner’s position at the heart of the PYP curriculum framework.

The innermost circle unites the pedagogy of the PYP with its essential elements:

  • The three components of the PYP curriculum cycle (written, taught and assessed) now embodied in Approaches to Teaching and Approaches to Learning, aligns with MYP, DP and IBCC programmes. It reinforces the PYP pedagogy of authentic learning that is inquiry-based and conceptually driven
  • The essential element of skills (subject related and transdisciplinary) represented on the new model as Approaches to Learning, is also in alignment with MYP, DP and IBCC
  • Concepts feature separately to show the alignment with MYP
  • Attitudes remain one of the PYP essential elements.

As a school, we spent time on our Professional Learning day on Monday November 12 looking closely at the transdiciplinary skills – which, are now represented as Approaches to Learning. Students acquire and apply these skills throughout their time in the Primary Years Programme. These skills are valuable not only in the units of inquiry, but also for all learning that goes on both within the classroom, and in life outside the school walls. The development of these skills will help prepare our learners for their ever-changing future.

The skills are a part of the essential elements of the Primary Years Programme and in order to plan a successful Unit of Inquiry, teachers must carefully think of the specific skills that they will be focusing on during each Unit. These skills are recorded in their planners and drive their planning of learning engagements throughout the unit.

The Transdiciplinary Skills of the PYP are:

  • Thinking Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Self-Management Skills
  • Research Skills

Within each skill set, there are different levels of acquisition – based on Blooms Taxonomy that teachers can use to bridge from one grade level to the next. These skills are also in complete alignment with the skills listed in Rocky View Schools Portrait of a 21st Century Learner.

One of IB’s requirements is that we report to parents and students on their progress throughout the programme. While there is no specific format provided or preferred by the IB for the reports, we as a school will need to work on formulating our own report that will accompany our Progress Reports. The IB suggests that assessing and commenting on the skills that are focused on in each Unit of Inquiry within each term is one useful way of reporting to parents the elements of the PYP.

As our reporting committee meets, and as we fill out our Action Plan for IB, this is one objective that we have included to work towards implementation.


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