Teachers took the time to do some essential curriculum work today at XLIS. The IB Primary Years Programme recently updated its skills of Approaches to Learning (ATLs) as they are known. It is a significant program change that is of huge benefit to students as the development of skills is as important as the knowledge components. Teachers mapped these new skills from our three-year-old early years classes to our P6 classes. This enabled students to develop their skills in a developmentally appropriate way over the years. The PD which Ms. Maria Zialcita developed, our PYP Coordinator, will now be thoroughly checked in our grade level meetings before being implemented in August.
Teachers also took the time to do some transdisciplinary planning. Units of inquiry in the PYP are transdisciplinary, meaning that students engage with the same concepts, ATLs, learner profile attributes, and other program elements in their different classes. This kind of transdisciplinary learning is powerful when teachers take the time to make explicit conceptual connections in the various subjects. During this period, teachers looked to the final two units of the year. They identified concepts that would be taught in the homeroom and specialist lessons. Teachers then planned how to explicitly make these connections so that students were set up to make the conceptual connection.
Six of the main academic policies at XLIS are our policies on child protection, assessment, language, inclusion, academic honesty, and admissions. Teachers read these policies in six groups. At each group, an expert was identified. The expert stayed while all the other group members rotated to the others. The activity enabled teachers to have professional discussions around these key policies.
One of the exciting developments at XLIS this year has been the introduction of the XLIS Child Protection Code of Ethics. This is a document that outlines the behavior that is expected of each adult who works with children at XLIS. Every teacher, security guard, janitor, ECA provider took the training and signed the agreement. The primary school teachers were the last group to be trained. The day was a powerful time for the team to come together and dig into the curriculum to reach our vision to lead education through innovation and a student-centered, community-driven approach.
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Author: Brian Lalor (Primary Principal)