1. How is PYP Curriculum different from the other curriculum?
The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer: both in school and the world beyond. The PYP offers a transformative experience for students, teachers and the whole school communities and delivers excellent outcomes by providing an education that is engaging, relevant, challenging, and significant.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) of IB provides the curriculum framework based upon the elements of teaching and learning. It draws on how children inquire, question, wonder and theorize about themselves, others, and the world around them.
Throughout the PYP, students are agents for their own and others’ learning through the concept of learner agency. When learners have agency, the role of the teacher and student changes; the relationship between a teacher and a student is viewed as a partnership (from principles into practice). PYP students, through inquiry and reflecting on their own learning, develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills, and the attributes of IB learner profile to make a difference in their own lives, their communities and beyond.
It is carefully thought out to develop knowledge, skills, and concepts of a learner through relevant learning engagements. The transdisciplinary themes taken up are relevant and contextual to the learners thereby making learning interactive and meaningful. Under PYP, the same size does not fit all and hence every learner gets ample voice, choice, and ownership of his/her learning. It is application-based and practical and covers a broader learning spectrum for holistic development.
2. How does the transition from PYP to CBSE/ICSE and PYP of one school to PYP of another school happen? Is it convenient for the learners?
The transition from the national curriculum to the international curriculum at TSRA has been taken care of as we have mapped the learning objectives of the boards considering the minimum levels of learning. This allows us to eliminate any learning gaps that may come in when students move from one school to another or from one board to another. As for mapping with the students coming in from a PYP school, the programme ensures alignment between all schools offering the PYP.
3. Is IB recognized in India? What about its global recognition?
IB demonstrates rigorous standards and has been rated at par with ICSE, CBSE and AIU (Association of Indian Universities). The latest number of IB schools in India can be viewed by clicking on the following link. INDIA - International Baccalaureate® (ibo.org).
The recent development is that the states of Delhi and Maharashtra are in the process of offering IB Curriculum in government schools.
IB curriculum is universally accepted, having IB schools in more than 150 countries. The IBDP certificate is globally recognized and accepted in all the universities worldwide to pursue higher studies.
4. What is the transdisciplinary approach and how does it foster better learning?
The transdisciplinary approach is an approach to curriculum integration that dissolves boundaries between the conventional disciplines/subjects. The learning transcends the boundaries of subjects, and the curriculum revolves around issues of global significance. This is done through an Inquiry-based Approach.
In the IBPYP curriculum, students take the initiative, express interest, make choices and know their learning goals.
Each unit is developed keeping in mind the broader concepts, skills, and knowledge to be developed, desirable attitudes to be displayed by the learners, the knowledge to be constructed and further action to be taken upon. The themes transcend beyond the classroom walls and apply to real life. Thus, a PYP curriculum is defined by the six trans-disciplinary themes:
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet
- Have global significance for all students in all cultures.
- Offer students the opportunity to explore the commonalities of human experience.
- Are supported by knowledge, concepts and skills from the traditional subject areas but utilize them in ways that transcend the confines of these subjects, thereby contributing to a transdisciplinary model of teaching and learning.
- Will be revisited throughout the students’ years of schooling so that the result is an immersion into a broad-ranging, in-depth and articulated curriculum content.
- Contribute to the common ground that unifies the curricula in all PYP schools.
5. How can I, as a parent support my child?
- In the early years, parents can assist children with their self-management skills.
- In the primary years, parents can support the children to develop organizational skills by guiding them to complete their tasks at home with the support of a planner.
- Parents can spend quality time by having conversations to get updates and understand their child’s learning. Support what they learn at school by aligning and integrating with family schedules.
- Facilitate the children to reflect on their learning by holding think-aloud sessions at home and monitor the learners’ portfolio at regular intervals.
- Ask them about their day and the activities they did in school.
- Ask open-ended questions to develop their speaking and thinking skills.
- Ask direct questions so that they learn to respond specifically.
- Encourage the child to ask questions.
- Organize reading sessions at home with your child where every family member reads at a designated time.
- Help them put up their work as displays in their room.
- Encourage them to talk about tasks they find challenging and help them identify the strategies they can use to get better at the task.
- Encourage them to set their learning targets and review them each Friday.
- Supporting the development of their mother tongue and English, the language of instruction in school.
- Attend all the workshops and orientations planned for the parents.
- Be a part of the learning community.
6. What is PYP Exhibition?
A PYP Exhibition celebrates students’ knowledge and skills throughout their PYP experience. It is a culmination of a substantial inquiry involving self-reflection, collaboration, inquiry, action, and presentation to an audience.
It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the learner profile attributes that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP. The students research and choose a unit that is of local or global significance and inquire collaboratively and take action as a result of their learning. Hence, they develop individual problem-solving and social skills that are of utmost importance for the 21st-century learners.
7. Is the PYP Exhibition assessed? How?
Assessment plays a crucial role in any learning. Assessment of the exhibition takes place throughout the entire process of the exhibition. Learners are free to choose the medium through which they would like to exhibit their learning. The success criteria are continuously developed and discussed with the learner beforehand, which they need to meet through the medium they choose.
This assessment takes two forms:
Firstly, ongoing assessment of each student’s contribution to and understanding of the exhibition. Secondly, a summative assessment and reflection on the event itself through predesigned parameters.
8. What should I do when I am confused with the IB jargons?
Shri Connect, a parent portal provided by the school, will have an exhaustive glossary of the jargons for your reference. We will also support parents through various parent orientation programmes for understanding the programme in a detailed manner.
9. Is there a scope of studying specific subjects in IBPYP?
The IB is committed to ensure that students in IB programmes meet and exceed local or national standards. With the implementation of any IB programme, schools are required to scrutinize their curriculum to ensure that there is alignment with local, state, or national standards.
The ‘Scope and Sequence’ summarises what is to be taught, the sequence in which it will be taught and the learning outcomes that may be addressed in the intended learning. They provide a brief overview of the key concepts and ideas addressed in a learning and teaching program for an individual stage or year.
Grade-wise curriculum overviews and ensures levels of learning with concept clarity in Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts and PSPE (personal, social and physical education).
10. Will my child lag in the numbers/ranks race/competitive exams/ entrance test-IIT-JEE & NEET?
The IB places great value on external validation of its programmes, curricula, and professional development. A recent Global International Schools’ Assessment study found that PYP students outperformed non-IB students in mathematics, reading and writing.
Additional studies on programme impact, quality assurance, programme development and assessment research are available at www.ibo.org/research
Research key findings provide a quick overview of studies from worldwide that examine the impacts and outcomes of IB programmes on students, teachers and schools. Research key findings - International Baccalaureate® (ibo.org)
Furthermore, IB DP is not a preparatory programme for JEE or PMT. Students prepare for the entrance exam over and above their study for the DP.
11. How do I understand the PYP curriculum, routines and adapt to them?
At TSRA, FAQs, parent handbook, student handbook, a glossary of PYP jargons, curriculum overviews, grade-wise conceptual understandings, learning outcomes and anything related to policies will be available on Shri Connect. Regular orientations and events will be organized to handhold parents and students through this amazing learning journey.
Prospective parents can reach out to the enrolment office for any curriculum-related or process-related queries. You can expect a response within 24 hours. Parents of enrolled students can connect with the Programme Coordinator for any query.
12. When I compare my child with children from other curricula, will there be any gap in what my child is learning in the PYP? Is my child learning enough?
All children are unique and have unique talents. IB respects individual differences and guides them to move from one phase of learning to another, evident in its Scope and Sequence documents (Math, Language, Social Studies, Science, Arts & PSPE). The programme helps the child reach their maximum potential by getting an exposure to different approaches to learning.
At TSRA, thoughtfully crafted unique programme - The Merak Programme caters to the students’ diverse interests as well as make them future ready.
13. How competent are IB PYP teachers of TSRA?
TSRA ensures to rope in teachers with sound subject knowledge, attitude, skills and values during recruitment. Rigorous and robust training programmes in IB methodology through IB professional development modules and the Shri way of life are imbibed in our teachers. Allocated 80-100 hours per annum for professional development ensures that our teachers deliver the best classroom transactions through their continuous learning and upskilling process.
The IB professional development modules provide globally recognized IB certificates to teachers and provide platforms to collaborate with other IB faculty across the world to share best practices during different forums and by joining various PYP Networks. This facilitates bringing practices in the education world to our classrooms.
14. How will I know how much/what my child is learning?
Transaction reports will be posted on Shri Connect in regular intervals. Student portfolios will be an ongoing process in the classroom. Your child will showcase it during Student-Led Conference. Parents are involved in assessments as per requirement. Report cards will be generated twice in an academic year.
15. How can a curriculum be taught without any prescribed textbooks?
Standard prescribed books tend to promote learning linearly. As PYP is transdisciplinary, a prescribed book will not cater to the exploration of a unit. Hence teachers, students and the teacher-librarian curate resources needed for the specific unit of inquiry that is underway at any given time. In this way, a child is not restricted with limited content and gets an opportunity to go beyond the classroom, which is the beauty and uniqueness of the IBPYP curriculum.
16. How can my child be at par with other students from other curricula as well as be academically stress-free?
The Programme of Inquiry of the school entails well-defined unit of inquiry for each grade level, providing a broader scope for the students to inquire using various key concepts and related concepts. Each unit has a well-defined central idea that allows students to explore and make connections building upon their prior knowledge.
PYP focuses on developing of skills like social skills, self-management skills, research skills, thinking skills and communication skills. These skills are transferable in nature and would support the students in their holistic development and adjust to the changing present world scenario.
The IB PYP curriculum framework guidelines promote real-life learning and teaching experiences that involve experiential learning activities
17. How do we know that the curriculum is structured?
The documents that will act as solid evidence to show that the curriculum is structured are as follows:
- The school’s Programme of Inquiry
- Scope and Sequence documents for Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts and Personal, Social and Physical Education
- Curriculum overview documents
- Unit of inquiry documentation and reports
- Weekly transaction reports
18. What are assessments like in IB PYP?
We divide the assessments into two parts, formative and summative. Assessments are ongoing and that means that they are largely based on observations made by the teachers. ‘Learning to Learn’ and ‘Learning by doing’ are the two principles that guide assessment tasks planned by the teachers at TSRA.
19. The students seem to be having fun and seem to be friendly with teachers in the school. Are the students really learning?
- IB World Schools (the only schools authorized to offer IB programmes) are subject to a strict accreditation process and a five-year review process monitored by the IB, ensuring that schools provide a high-quality education.
- IB teaching methods and curricula are research-based and draw from the best educational practices from systems around the world.
- IB teachers are required to participate in many professional development opportunities to continually promote their awareness of current educational practices and new thinking.
- IB students develop a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it.
- IB programmes are recognized and valued internationally.
20. Do IB teachers receive special training?
All PYP teachers receive professional development in IB’s approaches to teaching and learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a mandatory requirement that every IB school must comply with. As the curriculum is updated every few years, all teachers are again expected to attend the required training to ensure successful programme implementation.
21. Does the PYP have a specific set of standards?
In the PYP, students explore significant concepts through units of inquiry. The six transdisciplinary themes that guide units of inquiry and compose a year of study are:
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet.
Units of inquiry interweave subject areas such as Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they learn in core subject areas and how it relates to their world.