Fork Shoals SchoolIB Parent Information January 2013
In 2005, Fork Shoals School became an authorized InternationalBaccalaureate Primary Year Program School. The IB program is aphilosophy and not a curriculum. We teach the same standards asany other South Carolina school. The approaches are what maylook different.The purpose of this video and slideshow is to give you a glimpse ofwhat an IB education looks like for your child. After watching thevideo or reading the slideshow, if you should have any questions,please contact me, Mrs. Reid, principal, or Mrs. Giles, ourInstructional Coach/IB Coordinator.In January, we will offer a parent workshop to give furtherinformation for those who are interested.
The learner profile is the heart of the IB program. Our visionis that our students will be principled, knowledgeable, open-minded, balanced, caring, inquirers, thinkers,communicators, risk-takers, and reflective. Our studentslearn these words which become a part of daily lessons anddiscussions. Each nine weeks, teachers acknowledgestudents who exemplify these attributes. The idea is that ourstudents will be a person who exhibits each of these traits.We want our students to be internationally-minded. Whenstudents exhibit these attributes, they ARE internationally-minded and should be able to work with anyone in the world.Reports are sent home twice a year with feedback on howstudents are progressing with the learner profile.
Students are often asked to reflect each week on how theyare doing with the profile. For example, teachers may askthem to write how they have been a thinker this week.You can help by using this vocabulary at home and askingyour child to give you examples of how they are exhibitingthese attributes.Principled InquirersKnowledgeable ThinkersOpen-minded CommunicatorsBalanced Risk-takersCaring Reflective
So what are the IB attitudes that you hear students andteachers talk about? How are they different from the profile?The attitudes are meant to SUPPORT the DEVELOPMENT ofthe learner profile. When students show the attitudes, theyare exhibiting the attribute of the profile. The attitudes are:Respect CooperationCommitment ConfidenceIntegrity EnthusiasmTolerance EmpathyAppreciation CuriosityIndependence Creativity
How do the attitudes support the profile? An example is the definition ofan inquirer. It states that “an inquirer develops their natural curiosity.They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research andshow independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this loveof learning will be sustained throughout their lives.” As you can see, theATTITUDES of curiosity and independence help a learner to be anINQUIRER.Our behavior management system also involves the attitudes. We are aschool who implements the behavior management program known asPositive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Students receive starcards for following the school wide expectations which is by showing theIB attitudes.When your child tells you that they got a star card, ask them whatattitude he or she was showing.
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme arethe six transdisciplinary themes.What does transdisciplinary mean?Transdisciplinary is the word that IB uses to describe a discipline that applies acrossall disciplines—it is an interconnectedness and can be applied across all subjects andapplied to real life. A Transdisciplinary concept stretches across math, science,language arts, and social studies and ties it all together; it is not isolated to onesubject. For example, the idea of change affects all subject areas—the IB PYP strivesto demonstrate this through learning, giving understanding to a real life world.These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate localand global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up”beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.The six themes are:
Who we areInquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person,physical, mental, social and spiritual health; humanrelationships including families, friends, communities, andcultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human. Where we are in place and timeInquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories;homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations andmigrations of humankind; the relationship between and theinterconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from localand global perspectives.How we express ourselvesInquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas,feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in whichwe reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciationof the aesthetic.
How the world worksInquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interactionbetween the natural world (physical and biological) and humansocieties; how humans use their understanding of scientificprinciples; the impact of scientific and technological advanceson society and on the environmentHow we organize ourselvesInquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systemsand communities; the structure and function of organizations;societal decision-making; economic activities and their impacton humankind and the environment.Sharing the planetInquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to sharefinite resources with other people and other living things;communities and the relationship within and between them;access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.Each theme is addressed each year by all students.
Inquiry Instruction: Why is this effective for my child?In a PYP classroom, teachers use inquiry based instruction to deliver content andknowledge to the students. Using inquiry based instruction is based on educationalbest practices research. Inquiry based instruction can be done on three levels. Thereis open ended inquiry, guided inquiry, and teacher led inquiry. In open ended inquirystudents make the choice on what topic or concept to inquire about. With guidedinquiry the broad concept to be studied is chosen by the grade level teaching team.Students can then take this broad concept and explore it using their own priorknowledge, interests, and needs. Teacher led inquiry is similar to guided inquiry butthe teachers control the inquiry more by guiding students to specific inquiries.Research is a wonderful way to conduct inquiry but it is not the only method. Someother methods used include: experiments, collecting data and reporting findings,interactive play, discussions and debates, solving problems, making connections andpredictions, and completing individual or group challenges. These are not the onlyother methods but are a sampling of what your child might encounter.Inquiry is effective in teaching students because individual student’s needs are builtinto their inquiry. Students use their own background knowledge and strengths intheir studies and therefore can look very different to the child sitting next to them.Because of this, inquiry is a very natural way to differentiate instruction for allabilities. Often when students enter school they stop exploring on their own and relyon others, namely the teacher, to learn. In the PYP we foster the child’s natural wayof learning by allowing them to explore and ask questions.
In order to conduct purposeful inquiry and to be well prepared for lifelonglearning, students need to master a whole range of skills beyond thosenormally referred to as basic.Thinking SkillsAcquisition of knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis,Synthesis, Evaluation, Dialectical thought, MetacognitionSocial SkillsAccepting responsibility, Respecting others, Cooperating, Resolvingconflict, Group decision-making, Adopting a variety of group rolesCommunication SkillsListening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Viewing, Presenting, Non-verbalcommunicationSelf-Management SkillsGross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Spatial awareness, Organization, Timemanagement, Safety, Healthy life style. Codes of behavior, InformedchoicesResearch SkillsFormulating questions, Observing, Planning, Collecting data, Recordingdata, Organizing data, Interpreting data. Presenting research findings
The goal is that students will take ACTION based on what theyhave learned. Sometimes action comes from what they havelearned. For example, a first grader learning about seeds maycome home and say that he wants to plant the seeds from theapple that he has just eaten. A fifth grader may learn aboutimmigration and decide that she wants to research more aboutwhat country her ancestors were immigrants from. Other times, achild may learn about slavery and that in some countries it stillexists. He may then decide that he wants to get information out tothe public speaking against this act. Students may also showaction with the profile. Grade levels have posted action boards atthe end of their hallways for students to write about and/or postpictures about their action. Teachers may also have action boardsin their classroom. You can help your child by encouraging him orher to take action with their learning.
We hope that by watching this video or reading our slide show thatyou are more knowledgeable about IB. General information isavailable on our website www.greenville.k12.sc.us/forksh underthe parent link. You can also access the IB website atwww.ibo.orgPlease look for our parent workshop that will be coming up andplan to attend for additional information. We will give you theopportunity to let us know what specific questions you may haveabout IB and how it affects your child.Do not hesitate to ask your child’s teacher or contact one of usshould you have other questions. Thank you for your help as wepartner to provide the best possible education for your child! Fork Shoals School-a rich heritage of cultivating world-class learners!