In Early Years we deliver the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) which aims to cultivate international mindedness in our pupils by developing the attributes of the Learner Profile. The PYP is constructivist and inquiry-based and encourages pupils to discover new knowledge by making connections with previous knowledge. It is also concept-based and fosters enduring understanding of central ideas of global relevance.
The Early Years units of inquiry focus on relevant and meaningful central ideas for pupils of this age. For example, in Level II they discover various, practical ways of taking care of our planet; in Pre-Kinder they examine how families are organised differently according to cultural beliefs; in Kinder they evaluate how countries are connected through traditions.
Each unit of inquiry follows an inquiry cycle. This starts with a provocation activity during which children explain what they already know about the topic and what they would like to know about it, asking questions which they will investigate later. Inquiry is as experiential as possible and thus, pupils often receive a visit from specialists on the topic or visit a site related to it. They then present their findings to their classmates and respond to additional questions –a very important life skill, which teaches pupils how to organise, synthesise and present information in an engaging manner.
Whenever possible, pupils will put their findings into practice -the action component of the unit. From a very early age they must understand the connection between learning and citizenship. In Early Years our constant goal is to create more learning engagements that lead to community action.