What does it mean for a school to be an IB world School? What are the standards and practices that make up the framework of an IB education and how are those standards applied in our School?
Those are common questions we face as IB Educators. It is then important to highlight the principles and practices that compose the essence of IB education, which are also present at the SIS educational concept. With those questions in mind, we hosted a virtual meeting with members of our school community earlier this year, to explain what the IB continuum of Education is and how it is implemented in everyday school life. Held on the 23rd of June, the meeting focused on the common essence between the three IB Programmes present in our school, the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP), and the SIS educational philosophy.
At SIS, we promote continuity from Kindergarten to College. That is, a single unified learning concept that shapes and drives the whole academic life of our students. The IB continuum is deeply connected to this continuity, as it provides four essential elements that are present throughout the three programmes of the IB.
International-mindedness is a key concept to the IB philosophy, and it is closely related to our daily routine. Being an international school, with close connections to German, French and English-speaking cultures, there is a constant focus on forming students as global citizens, individuals with international awareness and strong connection to their origins.
A set of core values are developed throughout the IB programmes. The attributes known as the IB Learner Profile promote the values we foster in our students. Education is seen as holistic in nature, focusing on more than just cognitive development. Throughout the whole continuum, students develop the set of skills that will enable them to continue learning and engaging with others, with honesty, personal responsibility, and solidarity.
The IB education also proposes specific approaches to teaching and learning that have a common essence, that are developed throughout the student’s academic life. The inquiry-based education, focused on “learning how to learn”, enables students to envision learning as an elemental aspect of life, and to become autonomous, reflective learners.
Finally, each IB programme has its own curriculum, appropriate to each age group requirements, meaningfully assessed to support its curricular goals. Nevertheless, they all require the completion of a culminating project, that engages the student and demonstrates their learning skills: In the PYP - the PYP exhibition; in the MYP - the personal project and the community project; and in the DP - the extended essay.
Being an IB World School is much more than just providing an international diploma. It is about promoting education and forming world citizens, from kindergarten to college, from the PYP to the Diploma Programme.
Mauricio Drumond, DP Programme Coordinator