All units taught within our homeroom classes may be found on our Programme of Inquiry. Early Years students inquire into four units throughout the year. When students move into primary one (P1) students have the opportunity to study five units of inquiry. From P2-P6 students study the full six Units of Inquiry.
Each unit addresses one aspect of the transdisciplinary theme under which is it placed. The central ideas of the units cover all aspects of the theme as the students progress vertically through the programme. Concepts, knowledge, and skills are carefully planned horizontally across each grade level.
At the end of each academic year, teachers reflect on these units. They ask for input from students and other stakeholders. Changes are made to ensure our curriculum is authentic and relevant to our students in their current place in time.
It is transdisciplinary – meaning the programme strives to balance between traditional stand-alone units and transdisciplinary units. Stand-alone units are usually taught in isolation in the areas of Mathematics, Physical Education or other single subjects. Transdisciplinary units combine different subjects. This way the students make connections in their learning across different disciplines. Each unit, whether it be a stand-alone or transdisciplinary unit contains aspects of Knowledge, Concepts, Approaches to Learning (ATLs), Action and IB Learner Profile attributes. This way our students experience consistency in the program and make connections across disciplines. This continues into middle and high school.
The PYP is concept based – meaning that each unit is based around a central idea. This is a guiding statement that contains concepts the students will be inquiring into. The program is also driven by six key concepts (form, function, connection, causation, perspective, change & responsibility). Each unit’s lines of inquiry are connected to three of these key concepts.
The PYP is an inquiry-based curriculum – meaning the programme is driven by students’ interests. The students are taught to research information on topics of their interest, within the boundaries of the unit of inquiry. One of the main theories the PYP is based upon is constructivism. Students are taken from their current level or understanding to a new level of understanding at differentiated paces. Differentiation is very important at XLIS and our teachers have received extensive professional development in this area.
The PYP values play – throughout the programme a high importance is placed on play. Play is what children enjoy most and PYP teachers skillfully guide learning through play. Careful provocations are set up so students can interact with content and concepts through play.
Assessment in the PYP is based on Understanding by Design – meaning a backward planning approach to assessment is utilized. Each unit’s summative assessment is planned at the start of the unit. Lines of inquiry are formatively assessed throughout the unit and planning is adjusted regularly in accordance to students’ needs. XLIS also uses standardized testing to track our students’ progress. Three times a year our students are assessed in the areas of Mathematics, Reading and Writing.