From 1stto 6th
Methodology and curriculum in Primary
Primary School Curriculum
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) is for children aged 3 to 12 years. Our school applies this curricular approach in Early Years and Primary School, based on the five essential elements of this program.
Inquiry-based learning empowers students to find answers to their own questions, while promoting the development of skills, attitudes and conceptual understanding of our lifelong learners.
From the very beginning, children begin participating in International Baccalaureate PYP units of inquiry as protagonists of their own learning, developing analytical and critical thinking skills that form the basis of their future learning.
Our school values our students’ prior knowledge that they bring to class and then encourage students to use it as the foundation upon which to continue building their own learning.
We implement a variety of strategies to promote visible thinking through routines that generate high levels of thinking and help students identify their metacognitive processes.
The curricular program that is carried out in Early Years and Primary School combines the Peruvian National Curriculum with the expectations of the International Baccalaureate. As a result, we have a Program of Inquiry that covers the six transdisciplinary themes of the PYP as well as the Peruvian Government’s standards.
From 1st to 6th grade of Primary
Through our new math program, students develop an understanding not only of the mathematical processes, but also the important concepts and applications of the mathematical principles they are studying. They observe, construct, analyze, and solve mathematics through practice and relevant learning, enabling deeper understanding, critical thinking, and strong problem-solving skills. Using mathematical situations from the units of inquiry, students build on their prior knowledge, learn to overcome obstacles applying a variety of new strategies, and use mathematics to explore the world around them. Students do not simply memorize an isolated mathematical skill, but put into practice the application of mathematical principles in a logical way explaining their reasoning, coming to their own conclusions, and communicating their findings in their own words.
For example, Primary School students collect and analyze data about healthy habits using concepts related to area and perimeter to construct models of solar panels and plan a budget and recipes using fractions and decimals.
Bilingualism in Primary School
Learning a second language at an early age not only increases a student’s ability to achieve oral and written fluency, but also a variety of other academic aspects including critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility. Our youngest students are most able to comprehend the rules of a language intuitively and correctly imitate the sounds and pronunciation. This is especially true before eight years old, after which the brain has more difficulty processing the exact accent of new languages naturally. We are very pleased to help our students learn instinctively through songs and fun experiences.
In Primary, we focus on ensuring our students learn using both languages, English as well as Spanish. They develop a love of reading answering their own questions and, for pure entertainment, appreciating literature. Students also do their own writing planning, outlining, and publishing their own works. They use their creativity creating multi-media presentations and dramatizations in both languages while they also explore a variety of oral texts inspired by the units of inquiry.
Holistic Approach in Primary School
We strive for academic, social, and emotional success. Our school seeks to offer a variety of opportunities for each student to demonstrate what he or she is good at, discover the skills they’ll need to achieve their future goals and learn to strengthen weaknesses. In addition, we differentiate classroom activities in order to take into account and respect different learning styles.
The variety of activities and forms of assessment is part of our interest in reaching all of our students. In this sense, we hold three-way meetings (family, teacher and student) twice a year, in which our students have the opportunity to communicate their achievements in addition to their short and medium term goals. They also make commitments to improve where necessary, involving their families in this process. These meetings also allow teachers to maintain fluid communication with families and students.
Workshops in Primary School
We seek to develop students who are good communicators, understanding and expressing their ideas with confidence and creativity in different languages and forms of communication. Developing artistic abilities is an integral part of an IB education that develops balanced students who understand the importance of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Primary School students take part in weekly art, music, theater, and Physical Education workshops that are integrated with each grade’s unit of inquiry.
Every year we produce artistic presentations to showcase to families what students have developed during the weekly workshops. First through Fourth graders participate in an annual play showing families what the students have learned in the workshops throughout the year. The Fifth and Sixth graders, as a culmination of the music workshops in which they take singing, guitar and percussion classes and perform in an annual concert alongside Secondary students.
Technology in Primary School
Our school incorporates technology with our students as a strategy to strengthen learning. We understand that the real difference in the use of technology lies in supporting methodologies that prioritize the creation of communities of learning, differentiated instruction, and collaborative creation of knowledge; above all, technology allows our students to access valuable tools for solving real-world problems.
The use of technology is gradually increased from Early Years to Primary School. The classrooms have technology that allows access to increasingly dynamic and motivating resources.
Primary School students have computers in their classrooms and the library as well as access to tablets provided by the school. Students use these devices to access age-appropriate interactive programs. They also develop ever strengthening research skills that support the unit of inquiry.