The International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization provides a program of studies for students from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland this organization coordinates supports and accredits schools in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. There are currently 288 IB world schools in Canada.
The program which Lakecrest Independent School is currently preparing to adopt is the IB Primary Years Program (PYP). The PYP provides enrichment for all students from Kindergarten to Grade Six, regardless of their academic standing. Subsequently it is planned that the IB Middle Years Program for Grades Seven to Nine will be considered.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provides a provincial curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve, which specifies that grade level student learning outcomes are to be met by students at each grade level. The PYP provides for the completion of these grade level requirements as well as additional teaching and learning objectives. Learning through inquiry is the dominant teaching/learning strategy promoted by the PYP.
The PYP provides for six interdisciplinary “units of inquiry” at each grade level. These are developed using the provincial curriculum for much of the content. The interdisciplinary approach for the Kindergarten to Grade 6 levels provides for integration of much of the subject material which has been traditionally taught independently. Perhaps this change is most noteworthy in the fine arts and physical education. These traditionally separate subject areas now become integral parts of inquiry units taught at each grade level. Formal scheduled weekly meetings among physical education, music, art classroom teachers ensure that each unit of inquiry includes components of these subject areas.
As an international program the IB PYP promotes the development of a global view. However it is a strongly held belief in the IB program that in order to understand and appreciate other cultures a student must first understand his/her own culture. Thus the PYP at Lakecrest will include much emphasis on bringing students to a deeper understanding of our Newfoundland and Labrador culture as they learn about others.
Personal development is a required component of the PYP. For example students discover through inquiry and construct new concepts, but are then required to take action. Thus students understand the value of learning and how knowledge obtained can be used to make the world a better place.
PYP students, parents and teachers work collaboratively to encourage and develop the IB “student profile”. This is ensured by the required inclusion of planned activities which promote the development the traits of the PYP student profile in teacher daily lesson plans and the culture of the school. The PYP student profile includes the following traits: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.
The new International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program will be the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador. Lakecrest reflects the goals, beliefs, values and vision of both the provincial and IB curriculum and will thus provides for students an enriched program of studies for all students at all grade levels.