The IB at NIS: The Primary Years Programme
Nagoya International Primary School is a an IB PYP school. The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 12, and provides the curricular foundation for the NIS ELC Preschool, ELC Kindergarten, and Elementary School.
The inquiry-based nature of the PYP encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning. Children are taught to ask the right questions, make predictions and test their beliefs and assumptions. They seek-out information and collaborate with others in interpreting their findings; they elaborate on ideas and delve deeper into problems, and in so doing, create and evaluate solutions. Students in the PYP gain a unique understanding of their world by learning to take action in improving it. They consider their common humanity, recognize their shared guardianship of the planet, and strive to create a better and more peaceful existence for all.
The PYP provides NIS teachers with a framework through which they can offer a truly student-centered, inquiry-based curriculum. It provides guidelines not only on what students should learn, but also how they should learn. It also establishes a school culture that helps student learn how they should interact with their communities. The PYP draws on research and best practices from a range of national educational systems and has been informed by a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools. The result is a relevant, engaging and challenging framework for all students.
“Programme of Inquiry” Utilizes Six Transdisciplinary Themes
Six transdisciplinary themes guide learning throughout the PYP years. These globally significant themes provide the opportunity to incorporate both local and global issues and enable students to "step out" beyond the confines of subject areas and instead see the world with a wider perspective. The themes encompass traditional subjects such as Science and Social studies and are embedded in “Units of Inquiry”, a series of connected learning experiences which enable students to explore a central idea relevant to a particular transdisciplinary theme. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks - often taking learning in directions that are student-centered and student-led. In Preschool students are required to complete at least four units of inquiry each year. Two transdisciplinaty units that must be included are: Who We Are and How We Express Ourselves.
The six 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 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 on 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 other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.