Why Choose an International Curriculum like the IB PYP at GIIS?

Why Choose an International Curriculum like the IB PYP at GIIS?

If you're a parent searching for a quality school in Singapore, the Global Indian International School (GIIS) with its International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) is an excellent choice. The IB PYP is an inquiry-based programme that puts students in the driver's seat of their own learning. Additionally, it emphasises the valuable skills children need to succeed in school and in life.

How the IB PYP develops higher-order thinking skills in students

The Primary Years Programme is designed for children aged 3 to 12. It uses a transdisciplinary approach that examines concepts from multiple angles. For example, a unit that focuses on a historical event may encompass work in history, geography, science and health. 

Instead of simply lecturing to students on the events of the past, teachers allow children to brainstorm topics related to local lore that they find most interesting. Children may be encouraged to interview elderly friends and relatives or visit local museums and memorials to glean more information. They might use movies, music or news articles to broaden their knowledge of major events, or perhaps spend time in a kitchen, cooking up traditional dishes of their ancestors. 

Through this transdisciplinary approach that examines a single topic from multiple vantage points, students learn more than just memorisation skills. Instead, they learn the skills needed to become active, invested learners, including:

  • Investigation
  • Discovery
  • Communication
  • Questioning
  • Theorising
  • Drawing Conclusions

In addition to this transdisciplinary approach, students in the IB PYP develop skills in inquiry-based learning that give them the tools needed to understand complicated concepts, even those with which they have no experience. Children develop the mental framework to question and explore. From this, they're able to build a sort of cognitive scaffold that allows them to advance to ever-higher levels of understanding. Students in the IB Primary Years Programme learn, but more importantly, they learn how to learn, even from a young age.

Benefits of the IB PYP

In many classrooms around the world, students sit quietly working on laptops or listening to lectures. Afterwards, teachers challenge their skills of memorisation and test-taking. Grades are earned, and subjects are passed, but often little information is retained.

To remember what they've learned, students must be interested and engaged in the information being presented. Or better still, they must play an active role in how that information is explored. Students who follow an inquiry-led curriculum have many advantages over those who use more traditional methods of learning. These include:

  • A sense of ownership over their progress
  • Increased motivation and engagement
  • Increased feelings of self-confidence and validation
  • Enjoyment in research and exploration
  • A better understanding of the world through student agency

Children who follow the IB PYP in their early years develop solid foundations of learning and find pride in their accomplishments. They're more social, more well-adjusted and own their progress and achievements. Additionally, they master the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.

Taking the IB PYP Out Into the World: GIIS’ learning approach 

A GIIS classroom looks little like the classroom you, as a parent, may have attended. There's conversation instead of quiet, and students are often mobile, moving from learning station to learning station or interacting with the teacher or other students. Our classrooms include open-air spaces and conference areas, custom-built studios and labs, indoor and outdoor sports areas and auditoriums. 

Even the furniture in an IB PYP classroom is arranged in non-traditional ways, with open areas for role-playing or discussion to take place. Other differences include the way our students reveal what they've learned. Through student agency or student ownership, our children take the concepts they've learned outside the classroom and apply them to real-life situations. They may spend time with the pets at the local shelter or help organise a fundraiser as part of a unit on preventing animal cruelty. GIIS students have experiences and make contributions, as opposed to memorising facts and taking tests.

Lastly, the school environment of GIIS helps students increase their knowledge of other cultures, traditions and places, and develop a sense of international-mindedness. Students at GIIS come from diverse backgrounds with different perspectives, having lived in various parts of the world.  Through daily interaction with classmates from different areas of the world, GIIS students gain a keen understanding of how the world works and how to communicate with other cultures effectively. These skills, along with those nurtured by the IB Primary Years Programme, put our children in an advantageous position.

If you're interested in learning more about GIIS and our IB PYP Programme, call today to schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of our friendly and knowledgeable admissions counsellors. At GIIS, our students are learning the skills needed to become the leaders of tomorrow. We'd love to include your child, too. Contact us today for a consultation.

24 Jun 2021
Singapore Expats

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