Elementary/ Early Years Curriculum Overview
Our innovative curriculum framework combines the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) with the New Brunswick (Canadian) provincial curriculum to bring an enriched educational experience to children from Pre-Kindergarten through to Grade 5.
The IB PYP at CISB is intended for students aged 3-11 years and focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both inside the classroom and in the world outside. The PYP programme is a trans-disciplinary, inquiry-based programme designed to promote critical and open-minded thinking, innovation, creativity, and global mindedness.
Curriculum in the IB PYP is common throughout the world. It doesn’t replace New Brunswick curriculum outcomes; rather, it provides our students with an international perspective, which relates to their lives in Beijing and the larger global community.
International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP)
The IB PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. It is a student-centered approach to education for children aged 3-12. It reflects the best of educational research, thought leadership and experience derived from IB World Schools.
The transdisciplinary model extends across all three pillars of the PYP curriculum framework and can be further explored through reading the learner, learning and teaching, and the learning community.
The Learner Profile – The International Baccalaureate mission statement in action
The aim of all IB programmes is for students to develop and demonstrate international-mindedness. It is a multifaceted concept that captures a way of thinking, being and acting. Internationally minded students are open to others and the world and are cognizant of our deep interconnectedness (IB 2017)
The attributes of the learner profile represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that encompass intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. At CISB, the development and demonstration of these attributes are encouraged through a student’s daily life and are embedded into learning engagements on a regular basis.
Teachers and students at CISB work together to identify appropriate learner profile attributes relevant and meaningful to specific units of inquiry. Students may choose particular attributes that resonate with them or that they can further practice and develop. Different attributes may be relevant at different times for each student depending on, for example, personal learning goals, phases of development, or skills focus.
Approaches to Learning – an integral part of an IB education
Approaches to learning (ATL) are an integral part of an IB education and complement the learner profile, knowledge, conceptual understanding and inquiry. These skills are grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s education. At CISB, we aim to support students of all ages to develop these skills as they progress through grade levels. In addition, we believe these skills help to support students’ sense of agency, encouraging them to see their learning as an active and dynamic process.
Learning through the Transdisciplinary themes
Students at CISB complete units of inquiry which are organized under the six IB PYP transdisciplinary themes. In the Early Years, students will investigate and inquire into four of the IB PYP transdisciplinary themes. In contrast, Elementary students will investigate and inquire into all six IB PYP transdisciplinary themes. It is within the context of each theme that students explore related central ideas and assimilate knowledge. Designed to have enduring value, the six themes provide guidance for what students will inquire into. They:
- encapsulate our shared commonalities
- indicate the complexity and the connectedness of the human condition globally
- invite students to engage in dialogues about real issues in the world
- allow for authentic embeddedness of subject areas
- contribute to the uniqueness of the PYP.
Agency, Self-efficacy, and Action
Agency and self-efficacy are fundamental to learning in the PYP. At CISB, learners are encouraged to be agents for their own and others’ learning. They are encouraged to ask questions and to follow their interests and passions. This encouragement helps to build a strong sense of identity and self-belief within our students and to build a sense of community within our school
Action, the core of student agency, is integral to the PYP learning process and the programme’s overarching outcome of international mindedness. At CISB, students are introduced to various forms of action and are encouraged to through their units of inquiry to take action in ways that are authentic to them.
Learning in Early Years (PreK 3 – Kindergarten)
The IB PYP early years at CISB is intended for students aged 3-6 years and focuses on inquiring through play which promotes learners’ agency and provides opportunities to inquire into essential concepts and personal interests.
Four transdisciplinary themes that form the curriculum of the programme of inquiry for early years reflect local and global contexts and connect learning experience, alongside opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and to take action. Early years learners explore four themes through play supported by adult-and student-initiated learning engagements. They learn through questions and curiosity that go across and beyond subjects.
Our learning community provides healthy learning environments and supportive relationships to support this active learning process. In so doing, children respond with curiosity, imagination, creativity and agency. Through this dynamic inquiry process, they naturally develop language ability, practise symbolic exploration and expression, and become self-regulated learners. Simultaneously, the Approaches to Learning Skills (Thinking, Communication, Social, Self-Management and Research skills) are informally developed.
Learning in Elementary (Grades 1-5)
Students in the PYP at CISB learn through an inquiry-based, concept-driven transdisciplinary approach, anchored in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and combined with the New Brunswick (Canadian) provincial curriculum. Transdisciplinary learning happens when students experience authentic learning experiences within homeroom and specialist classes through subject matters such as English language arts, Mandarin language arts, numeracy, science, social studies, the arts, and PSPE. These experiences engage and guide students in and out of the classroom and encourage students to explore concepts through transdisciplinary themes and develop new knowledge, skills, and understandings.
English & Mandarin Language Arts
Students at CISB learn to become confident readers, writers, speakers, listeners, and presenters who display agency and independence.
Students at CISB explore six strands of numeracy, including number, pattern & function, measurement, shape & space, data handling, and financial literacy are taught separately and within units of inquiry.
Science & Social Studies
Students at CISB inquire and gain a balance of subject-specific knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills, alongside opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and to take action.
Personal, Social, & Physical Education
Students at CISB develop their passion for sports and fitness via units of work, including movement composition, games, adventure challenges, swimming, and health and fitness, which are taught by specialist PSPE teachers.
Students at CISB explore, with specialist art teachers, how to create and respond to artworks as they develop their knowledge and understanding of the elements of art and the principles of design.
Students at CISB investigate how to create and respond to music through investigative units. They develop an understanding of elements of music such dynamics, tempo, rhythm, and more through interactive experiences in music classes taught by specialist music teachers.
Completing the Primary Years Programme through the IB PYP Exhibition
The PYP Exhibition is the culminating, collaborative experience for our students in their final year of the PYP. At CISB, our G5 students demonstrate their understanding of an issue or opportunity they have chosen to explore. They undertake their investigation both individually and with their peers, together with the guidance of a mentor. Through the PYP exhibition, our CISB students demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their learning, take action, and are actively engaged in the planning, presenting and assessing of their learning. While the PYP exhibition concludes with our G5 students sharing their learning with the community, great value is placed upon the PYP exhibition learning process and journey.
What our kids are saying
“ CISB is a very fun place where I go every day. There are lots of people to meet from all over the world! I like coming every day to school because I can play with my friends outside. My teacher is so nice, she teaches me new words and she lets me do a lot of quite reading, and I LOVE READING!”
“CISB is an amazing school, because you get to work with many inspiring peers and teachers.”
“CISB provides me and my friends with many opportunities and resources to grow, develop, and achieve our academic and personal goals through different activities, facilities and teams.”