On Tuesday, October 15, we welcomed our Nursery and JKG parents to OISJVLR for some information about the early years at JVLR and then a chance to play. We discussed the major elements of the early years PYP programme: relationships, learning environments, symbolic exploration and expression and play. Parents had an opportunity to learn more about the early years and their child's learning. The session followed by classroom play with children. Parents were building blocks with their kids; they were messing around with paints, playing jump rope, singing and dancing. A lot of laughter and a lot of silliness by all. When parents were asked what was surprising or inspiring, they said over and over again that they enjoyed the creativity, the enthusiasm, how children explored, listened, constructed, organized, made connections. See the photos below for some insights into the early years curriculum morning. To see the slideshow and investigate some of the great resources on play, please see the Parent Workshops in the right hand column.
"Language wraps itself around, in through and between everything that we teachers and learners do in the classroom." (Ritchhart 2002:141 Language and learning in the IB programmes-September 2011)
In our school, we want to nurture lifelong learners who can apply English but also other languages at increasingly complex levels. English is our medium, but students have the opportunity to take Hindi, starting in grade 1 and then follow up with Spanish and French, starting in grade 3. When students move into middle school, they focus on an additional language and then carry this with them throughout their secondary years.
Why different languages?
Language is important in all learning and provides the support for inquiry and the way that children construct meaning. The IB and OIS want to ensure that students are competent in a language so they can think critically, collaborate with others and make sense of the world around them. In IB programmes, students at the age of 7 have the opportunity to learn in more than one language.
International mindedness is the overarching goal of all for all of our learning community. "We aim to create responsible, global citizens who show understanding, compassion and acceptance of the differences in the world. "
Across all of the curriculum at OIS, students will be immersed in language. From our youngest learners to our grade 5 students, students are learning the language of skills, of learning attributes and specific academic language. In PSPE, they are learning how to communicate as individuals and teams. They are learning the language of specific sports as well. In music, they are communicating about tempo and rhythm but also about practicing the language of risk-taking. In Visual Arts, they are learning about perspective, about design, artistic elements.
All is language. In the early years, we think about the 100 languages of the child.
Language underpins everything we do.
For more information about language at OIS, please see our school Language Policy.
Parent questions from ‘Parents New to PYP Session and New Admissions’
Where are the unit links for Grade levels?
Please ask your child’s homeroom teacher for any links you feel you are missing; they will be able to point you in the right direction.
How are the subjects like Mathematics interwoven in these units of inquiry, that predominantly feel more open ended?
The IB tell us that wherever possible Mathematics should be taught through relevant and realistic units of inquiry that are directly taken from the schools Programme of Inquiry (POI). Sometimes, students need a series of strategies for learning mathematical skills in order to progress in their mathematical understanding rather than struggling to proceed, and these are taught directly.
Assessment is part of our Action Plan for this Academic year. During the course of the year, we will share with the learning community many different aspects of assessment such as:
How we can assess without grades
Different ways of assessing
Our Assessment Policy
The reason behind the 8 day cycle is quite simply to avoid students missing the same subjects, should there be school holidays.
With regards to curriculum, rigour and content knowledge and learning outcomes for specific subject, we will share these at our next PYP Parent Meeting. Through Seesaw, please get a glimpse into the curriculum. Also, unit letters at the beginning of each unit will share learning outcomes for each subject in the unit, including single subjects. Furthermore, parent workshops will take place throughout the year. For example, there will also be a maths workshop nearing the end of Semester 1. Curriculum presentations will also be posted on the blog, if you are unable to attend the meetings.
Differentiation is a vast concept to explore. Parents should be able to ask teachers how learning engagements are differentiated for their child and what does learning look like for your child.
The Role of Parents
Parents asked about their roles, and in particular, their role in the learning process. We do post a variety of articles, tips, hints and advice on our blogs and we will do so on a weekly basis. Every parent has their own approach to parenting; we can merely provide some tools for parents who wish to think differently about their role as a parent.
We have room parents in Early Years and the PTA for Primary. Please reach out to these groups of people to see how you can help. We have also recently shared a ‘parent database’ so please add your area of expertise for us to contact you. If you ever want to know how you can help with a unit, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.
At the beginning of every unit, you will be shared a slide of resources you can use for discussion at home.
Parents - please if you have any questions about your child’s understanding, knowledge, skills please make time with the homeroom teacher; don’t just leave it until conference time.
We have already run a boot-camp for parents on how we use the iPads in education for Grade 5. We will provide more digital webinars for parents to show exactly what this means for our Primary learners. We also have a session planned for our Early Years learners.
Some parents asked about the role of sports (PSPE) and Music. We have recently posted on the blog an overview as to what we do with these subjects. If you wish to have a one-to-one parent conversation with a single subject teacher, they are available by appointment only and their email addresses can be found on the school blog.
If you have any other questions please forward them to your child's homeroom teacher.