The International Baccalaureate Organization was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation. Its original purpose was to facilitate the international mobility of students preparing for university by providing schools with a curriculum and diploma recognized by universities around the world. Since then its mission has expanded, and now seeks to provide students of all ages with truly international education—an education that encourages an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages and points of view. IBO today works with 2,800 schools to develop and offer programs in 138 countries to approximately 760,000 students.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is designed for students in grades K-5. The curriculum framework provides for the development of the whole child. The PYP is a uniquely international program focusing on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs in addition to academics. The PYP provides a shared curriculum for primary schools throughout the world. It does not replace the district standards or the state requirements. It expands on them providing breadth and depth to understanding for primary age children. The skills for each discipline are directly taught and emphasized. In addition, the PYP provides the students with an international perspective that relates their world in the U.S. and Washington to the larger global community.
At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle for learning. Six organizing themes help teachers and students explore the Washington State curriculum within a broad global perspective:
Function: How does it work
Causation: Why is it like it is?
Change: How is it changing over time?
Connection: What is its relationship to other things?
Reflection: How do we know?
Perspective: What are the points of view?
Responsibility: What are my role and obligations?
PYP students are given the opportunity to reflect and take action in response to their learning. In doing so, the following attitudes are specifically encouraged:
As a result, students acquire and learn to apply transdisicplinary skills to perform well across a spectrum of challenges–from academics to arts and culture, from athletics to citizenship. The results, documented throughout the world are:
To view our series of video responses to parent questions on the IB program here at King Elementary, go to School Tube.