International Baccalaureate

 

Our Journey to become an INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PRIMARY YEARS School…

In 2012, the Board of Trustees carried out a feasibility study to review the school’s current philosophy of education and the possibility of implementing the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). This process began the inquiry into how the PYP could enhance the delivery of the New Zealand Curriculum at Mt Pleasant School and future proof this for the years ahead.

The PYP framework consists of five essential elements — knowledge , concepts , skills , attitudes , and action- thatwefeltwouldprepareourstudentstoleadsuccessfullives,bothnowandinthefuture.These in turn contribute to the development of the Learner Profile Attributes that we aspire for all our MPS students to have developed upon graduation.

The PYP has six transdisciplinary themes that provide the framework for learning. These themes are globally significant and support the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills of the traditional subjects. They are revisited throughout the student’s time in the PYP.

The PYP Transdisciplinary Themes are:

 

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 PLACE AND TIME

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships 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 on the environment.

HOW WE ORGANISE 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 of 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 relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Students inquire into, and learn about, these globally significant issues through units of inquiry, each of which addresses a central idea relevant to a particular transdisciplinary theme. Please refer to the MPS Programme of Inquiry (POI) for more information on the school website.

In the PYP, learning is inquiry-based, meaning that the focus is on how students learn rather than what they learn (although we still value knowledge). IB students “learn how to learn”. They are encouraged to try different approaches to learning and to take responsibility for their own progress. Added to this is a focus on international mindedness or the idea that students are constantly working to solve global problems and understand other cultures. It’s real world learning. It is also about making connections across the subject areas. This is achieved by following a specific plan, our Programme of Inquiry, which is specifically designed to cover each of the six transdisciplinary themes (this is tracked across year levels).

In addition to the general curriculum, all IB schools teach a second language. All our students learn Te Reo and Mandarin as a regular part of the programme. These languages are taught in the class with the teacher also attending.

IB programmes also encourage students to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study.

We are committed to providing a range of programmes to suit the varying needs of our students – academic, sporting, the arts and social.