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The International Baccalaureate

Richland Academy / The International Baccalaureate

Richland is proud to be an International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School. Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programmes of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

More than 4,000 schools so far have chosen to teach International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes, with their unique academic rigour and their emphasis on students’ personal development. Those schools employ over 70,000 educators, teaching more than one million students worldwide.

Why IB is Different

International Baccalaureate (IB-PYP) programmes provides a detailed and developmentally appropriate curriculum or curriculum framework that is broad, balanced, conceptual and connected.

IB programmes offer students access to a broad and balanced range of academic studies and learning experiences. They promote conceptual learning, focusing on powerful organizing ideas that are relevant across subject areas, and that help to integrate learning and add coherence to the curriculum.

The programmes emphasize the importance of making connections, exploring the relationships between academic disciplines, and learning about the world in ways that reach beyond the scope of individual subjects. They also focus on offering students authentic opportunities to connect their learning to the world around them.

In the Primary Years Programme, learning aims to transcend traditional boundaries between subject areas. Students explore six transdisciplinary themes of global significance: who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves, and sharing the planet.

The IB Learner Profile

The IB learner profile places the student at the centre of an IB education. The 10 attributes reflect the holistic nature of an IB education. They highlight the importance of nurturing dispositions such as curiosity and compassion as well as developing knowledge and skills. They also highlight that along with cognitive development, IB programmes are concerned with students’ social, emotional and physical well-being, and with ensuring that students learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them. IB educators help students to develop these attributes over the course of their IB education, and to demonstrate them in increasingly robust and sophisticated ways as they mature. The development of these attributes is the foundation of developing internationally minded students who can help to build a better world.

Click here for the details of IB Learner Profile

What is the PYP?

The IB Primary Years Programme from International Baccalaureate on Vimeo.​The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is for students aged 3-12.

The PYP prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.

Find out more about the PYP
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About international-mindedness

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Central to this aim is international-mindedness.

International-mindedness is a multi-faceted and complex concept that captures a way of thinking, being and acting that is characterized by an openness to the world and a recognition of our deep interconnectedness to others.

To be open to the world, we need to understand it. IB programmes therefore provide students with opportunities for sustained inquiry into a range of local and global issues and ideas. This willingness to see beyond immediate situations and boundaries is essential as globalization and emerging technologies continue to blur traditional distinctions between the local, national and international.

An IB education fosters international-mindedness by helping students reflect on their own perspective, culture and identities, and then on those of others. By learning to appreciate different beliefs, values and experiences, and to think and collaborate across cultures and disciplines, IB learners gain the understanding necessary to make progress toward a more peaceful and sustainable world.

An IB education further enhances the development of international-mindedness through multilingualism. All IB programmes require the students to study, or study in, more than one language because we believe that communicating in more than one language provides excellent opportunities to develop intercultural understanding and respect. It helps the students to appreciate that his or her own language, culture and worldview is just one of many.

International-mindedness is also encouraged through a focus on global engagement and meaningful service with the community. These elements challenge the student to critically consider power and privilege, and to recognize that he or she holds this planet and its resources in trust for future generations. They also highlight the focus on action in all IB programmes: a focus on moving beyond awareness and understanding to engagement, action and bringing about meaningful change.

The components of an IB education described in this document work together to support the IB’s overarching aim of developing international-mindedness.

Approaches to learning

Our focus on approaches to learning is grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s education.

The five categories of interrelated skills aim to empower IB students of all ages to become self-regulated learners who know how to ask good questions, set effective goals, pursue their aspirations and have the determination to achieve them. These skills also help to support students’ sense of agency, encouraging them to see their learning as an active and dynamic process.

The same five categories of skills span all IB programmes, with the skills then emphasized in developmentally appropriate ways within each programme. The five categories are:

• thinking skills, including areas such as critical thinking, creative thinking and ethical thinking

• research skills, including skills such as comparing, contrasting, validating and prioritizing information

• communication skills, including skills such as written and oral communication, effective listening, and formulating arguments

• social skills, including areas such as forming and maintaining positive relationships, listening skills, and conflict resolution

• self-management skills, including both organisational skills, such as managing time and tasks, and affective skills, such as managing state of mind and motivation.

The development of these skills plays a crucial role in supporting the IB’s mission to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners. Although these skills areas are presented as distinct categories, there are close links and areas of overlap between them, and these categories should be seen as interrelated.

Assessment in the PYP

Through assessment, the IB helps schools teaching the PYP to identify what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the teaching and learning process.

In the PYP, learning is viewed as a continuous journey, where teachers identify students’ needs and use assessment data to plan the next stage of their learning.

The purposes of assessment in the PYP are to:

• promote student learning

• provide information about student learning

• contribute to the successful implementation of the programme.

Teachers use a wide range of assessment strategies to collect information on each of the elements represented in the written curriculum: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of positive attitudes and the ability to take responsible action.

The PYP Exhibition

Encouraging in-depth, collaborative inquiry, PYP students carry out an extended, in-depth, collaborative project known as the PYP exhibition in their final year of the programme.

The PYP Exhibition involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. Students collectively synthesise all of the essential elements of the PYP in ways that can be shared with the whole school community.

This provides teachers with a powerful and authentic process for assessing student understanding. The exhibition also represents a unique and significant opportunity for students to showcase the attributes of the IB learner profile developed throughout their engagement with the programme.

The PYP Exhibition provides schools and students with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the transition of learners to the next phase of their education.

If you have any questions call (905)-224-5600