The PYP provides a balance between acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, development of positive attitudes and taking of responsible action.
- Knowledge - What do we want students to know?
- Concepts - What do we want students to understand?
- Skills - What do we want students to be able to do?
- Attitudes - What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?
- Action - How do we want students to act?
Students inquire into and learn about globally significant issues under the following six transdiciplinary themes each year.
WHO WE ARE
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
WHERE WE ARE IN TIME AND PLACE
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
HOW THE WORLD WORKS
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological; and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and ton the environment.
HOW WE ORGANIZE OURSELVES
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
SHARING THE PLANET
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
The PYP is a concept-driven curriculum. Each of the units of inquiry are driven by 2 - 3 of concepts below. Engaging with these concepts helps learners construct meaning, develop and improve critical thinking and transfer knowledge across disciplines, thus increasing coherence in learning for students.
- 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?
- responsibility – what is our responsibility?
- reflection – how do we know?
Within their learning throughout the PYP, students acquire and apply the following transdisciplinary skills. The development of these skills is fostered through authentic learning experiences embedded in the units of inquiry and single subjects.
- Thinking skills: Acquisition of knowledge, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation, Dialectical thought, Metacognition
- Social skills: Accepting responsibility, Respecting others, Cooperating, Resolving conflict, Group decision- making, Adopting a variety of group roles
- Communication skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Viewing, Presenting, Non-verbal communication
- Self-management skills: Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Spatial awareness, Organization, Time management, Safety, Healthy lifestyle, Codes of behaviour, Informed choices
- Research skills: Formulating questions, Observing, Planning, Collecting data, Recording data, Organizing data, Interpreting data, Presenting
The development of personal attitudes, towards people, towards the environment and towards learning, are explictly addressed within the taught and the assessed components of the PYP. Authentic demonstrations of these attitudes in personal interactions and the learning environment are evidenced by students and teachers at Seisen.
At Seisen, students are encouraged to act on their learning. We believe every student has the power to make a difference in and to their world. Opportunities for purposeful and beneficial student-initiated action are promoted within the PYP.
Students can show what they have learned by:
Purposeful, structured inquiry is the leading pedagogical approach of the PYP. This student-centered learning approach challenges students to engage with significant ideas and is characterized by students taking an active role in:
- exploring, wondering, questioning
- building on prior knowledge and making connections between previous understanding and current learning
- deciding on appropriate sources of information, evaluating and using it to extend prior knowledge
- collecting information from primary and secondary sources to support inquiries
- clarifying existing ideas and deepening understanding
- solving problems in a variety of ways
The starting point is students’ current understanding and the goal is the active construction of meaning.
At Seisen we use an inquiry process that is closely connected to the SOLO Taxonomy, which allows students to move from shallow thinking, where they are collecting information, to deeper processing where they are required to connect ideas and go further to think about these ideas in different ways.