The Kindergarten to Year 6 Curriculum in New South Wales is defined in terms of 6 key learning areas:
> Science and Technology
> Human Society and its Environment
> Creative and Practical Arts
> Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Foundation Statements help teachers manage the curriculum effectively by describing clearly the statewide common curriculum requirements and prioritising what needs to be taught in all primary schools.
The six key learning areas (KLAs) and the Board’s syllabuses remain at the core of planning and programming.
In 2007, the School investigated the need to adequately provide a meaningful education for boys who will learn, live and lead this generation throughout the 21st Century. Our children are increasingly exposed to the world around them in this modern age. Easy access, through technology and global information systems, has created the need to provide our students with the skills and abilities to interact with a world at their doorstep.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) was the School’s choice to meet this need. The NSW Board of Studies Curriculum is taught through this framework for learning. Foundation statements and syllabuses are consulted and used in conjunction with the PYP Curriculum framework to meet the academic needs of all students.
The School is a fully authorised IBO PYP school having achieved this distinction in 2010.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.
The boys at the Junior School benefit from caring, experienced, motivated, creative, highly-trained teachers interested in each student as an individual.
Specialist teachers in Personal Development, Health & Physical Education, Music, Visual Arts, Christian Studies a language other than English and Christian Studies support classroom teachers to deliver appropriate curriculum to all students.
The Trinity Educational Support Services (T.E.S.S.) Department provides Gifted and Talented Educators, Literacy and Numeracy Support teachers, as well as English as a Second Language teachers to assess, monitor and support the needs of each child.
The School's languages other than English (LOTE) is Mandarin. Mandarin is commenced intensively in Kindergarten and is continued at a maintenance level through to Year 6 and is available through the Middle and Senior Schools.
The Middle and Senior School ICT labs are utilised by individual classes for ICT lessons, and banks of laptops and iPads are available through the Library to assist the boys with their learning.
PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME
At the heart of the PYP is structured inquiry. Inquiry learning gives ownership of learning to the students and develops their research and critical thinking skills. It allows them to pursue their own interests, within the planned curriculum framework, and make meaningful connections with what they are learning to their home, community and the world. The inquiry model provides the opportunity to develop explicit attitudes and the expectation of socially responsible behaviour. The overall aim of the programme is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK?
The curriculum framework consists of five essential elements: concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, action. The knowledge component is developed through inquiries into six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, supported and balanced by six subject areas.
This is illustrated by the diagram below.
The curriculum framework is further structured around three interrelated questions.
> What do we want to learn? The written curriculum.
> How best will we learn? The taught curriculum.
> How will we know what we have learned? The assessed curriculum.
“The PYP curriculum model is dependent on a commitment to a particular belief about how children learn, encapsulated most clearly in the constructivist approach. It is acknowledged that learners have beliefs about how the world works based on their experiences and prior learning. Those beliefs, models or constructs are revisited and revised in the light of new experiences and further learning. As we strive to make meaning of our lives and the world around us we travel continually on the cyclic path of constructing, testing, and confirming or revising our personal models of how the world works.” (Making the PYP Happen, IBO 2007 p6)
Structured inquiry allows teachers to make the necessary connections between the learners’ existing knowledge and their individual learning styles. Inquiry allows students to be actively involved in their own learning and to take responsibility for that learning. Inquiry allows each student’s understanding of the world to develop in a manner and at a rate that is unique to that learner. Inquiry involves the synthesis, analysis and manipulation of knowledge through a combination of individual investigation and more formally structured learning. The student is at the centre of that learning. Learning is transdisciplinary and is not bounded by traditional subject-specific areas.
“An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. This action may extend the student’s own learning, or it may have a wider social impact.” (Making the PYP Happen, IBO 2007 p25)