Making the PYP happen in the classroom

As a new teacher to Prem, the philosophy, and organisation behind the PYP (Primary Years Programme) can, at first, be quite overwhelming as we integrate Inquiry, Differentiation, and Concept-based approaches while encouraging the development of the whole child.

To facilitate our transition into the PYP, the Junior School provides us with regular training opportunities. It starts with our PYP coordinator, Mark Bowyer. Following in school training, A.Noina, A.Rafa and myself were registered for the “Making the PYP happen in the classroom” workshop at the IB Asia-Pacific conference in Bangkok 

The initial day went over the essential elements of the PYP through different group activities. Learner Profile, Concepts, Attitudes, Programme of Inquiry…were analyzed, deconstructed then put back together. It was a rather theoretical day, filled with jargon and abbreviations; but it surely reinforced our understanding of the PYP framework.

The second day was much more practical and focused on designing lesson plans, then incorporating them into our unit plans.

Grouped by disciplines, we were asked to create an authentic lesson based on the PYP approach. Starting from a common central idea, we developed lines of inquiry; which were linked to concepts. We then generated “provocations” and concrete class activities; eventually reflecting on the entire process. This proved to be hugely beneficial for all of us and remain, to my eyes, the highlight of the workshop.

On the last day, we first learned about Constructivism, Assessments then Differentiation. Carla, our workshop leader, eventually demonstrated an activity where 5 groups were simultaneously working on 5 different topics, then wrapped us up back together. This was another valuable session as we got to analyze the different strategies Carla used to ensure all learners were fully engaged regardless of their respective needs.

Altogether, it surely was a very demanding and productive three days. Not only did we expand our knowledge and gained relevant experience for making the PYP happen; but we also got to make friendships with other teachers out there sharing the same values, working towards the same goals, encountering the same challenges… Truly inspiring!

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