QAK has started implementing the IB Primary Years Programme as a candidate school. The aim of the PYP is to create a curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. It is achieved through inquiry based learning and the development of the 5 essential elements of the PYP: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action.
The IB Primary Years Programme is aimed for students aged between 3 to 12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It prepares students to be lifelong learners and internationally minded. An internationally minded person is a person who demonstrates the attributes of the IB learner profile who strives to be Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Thinker, Communicator, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective.
The six PYP Transdisciplinary Themes are:
1-Who we are: An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
2-Where we are in place and time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
3-How we express ourselves: An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
4-How the world works:An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
5-How we organize ourselves: An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
6-Sharing the planet: An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolutions.
The key concepts are used to support and structure the inquiries. The exploration of concepts leads to a deeper understanding and allows students to transfer knowledge learned in one area of the curriculum to another. The concepts are form, function, causation, connection, change, perspective, responsibility and reflection.
Throughout their learning in the Primary School, students acquire and apply a set of skills which are valuable not only for the teaching and learning that goes on with classroom, but also in life outside the school. The skills are thinking skills, communication skills, social skills, research skills and self-management skills.
The school encourages attitudes to the wellbeing of the individual and of the group. The attitudes that the school encourages are appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.
Students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning in the classroom and beyond it in real life situations. Teachers can know about these outside actions from parents.
The six subject areas identified within the IB Primary Years Programme are language, social studies, mathematics, arts, science and personal, social and physical education.