In the PYP a balance is sought between acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action. The PYP incorporates these 5 “Essential Elements” to make up the written curriculum. These elements of the written curriculum are common to all schools in the PYP community worldwide (IBO 2002). These essential elements drive learning in all units of inquiry and transcend all the subject areas.
To parents and students, new and returning, welcome to the Primary Years Programme (PYP) at ASW. As students, parents and teachers, we have a great year of learning ahead of us. As we begin our candidacy as a PYP school we will thoughtfully transition our community to implementing the PYP in what is already a vibrant and exciting place of learning here at ASW. Faculty, students and parents alike will be working hard to explore what it means to be a PYP school and we will be putting the building blocks in place to ensure a smooth transition while preserving the great things at ASW that are already up and running. We will continue to aspire to the ASW Mission using the PYP as a framework as our driving force.
In the coming months, we will be hosting PYP parent workshops and contributing articles to our school website supporting learning about the PYP. We will also be working hard to outline our strategic transition plan. It is our aim that we develop a collective understanding of what it means to be a model American school offering the PYP as a curriculum framework and we work towards implementation collaboratively over the coming years.
What is the PYP?
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework for learners aged 3–12 designed by the International Baccalaureate (IB). Founded on a philosophy that recognizes a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect, the PYP generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture those assets and foster a lifelong love of learning in every child. The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while investigating big ideas. This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they learn in core subject areas and how it relates to the world around them. The school outlines its specific knowledge content and academic curriculum. At ASW our core curriculum and learner outcomes are already in place. We will work to align these with the PYP framework and continue the tradition of offering a rigorous academic curriculum that supports the development of the whole child.
As we launch our implementation of the PYP here at ASW, you will see our first steps will involve building a common language related to who we are as learners and who we aspire to be. At the heart of all IB Programmes is the IB Learner Profile and as we become an internationally minded learning community this becomes the core of how we (parents, faculty and students) work towards achieving our ASW mission.