PSI believes that students learn best when education is authentic, conceptual and transdisciplinary. We have chosen the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) because it provides a framework for PSI to develop a coherent programme of international education that places the student in the centre of the learning process. The PYP offers a balanced approach to developing relevant knowledge, skills, concepts and positive learning attitudes that can lead students to take action.
PSI ensures that student learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. The School's programme of inquiry is transdisciplinary in that it recognises a range of global themes that incorporate the traditional subject areas of math, language, social studies and science. The programme of inquiry is developed from six transdisciplinary themes, which allow students to explore concepts from a variety of perspectives, both local and global. The programme of inquiry ensures that students will:
Mathematics and literacy are taught within the transdisciplinary themes. In addition, 'stand alone' maths and literacy topics are taught as well.
The transdisciplinary theme titles and the aspects that define the scope of the themes are:
|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
|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 civilisations, from
local and global perspectives
|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
|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
|How we organise ourselves|
An inquiry into the
interconnectedness of human-made
systems and communities; the
structure and function of
organisations; societal decision-
making; economic activities and their
impact on humankind and the
|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
Taken from Making the PYP Happen (IB 2009)
The units of inquiry are developed in the School's Programme of Inquiry. Each grade, Kindergarten to Grade 5, implements six units of inquiry, one for each of the transdisciplinary themes. Our Early Childhood (EC) programme for 3 and 4 year olds implements a programme of inquiry with four units of inquiry. The School's programme of inquiry is reviewed each year.
For children of pre-kindergarten age (3 and 4 years old by 1st September) a curriculum emphasising developmentally appropriate practices through play is offered. Children have the opportunity to develop their creativity, interests, social skills and basic learning competencies that will prepare them for successful entry into Kindergarten. There is a focus on speaking and developing English language, as well as on early maths concepts and skills for emergent readers.
The Early Childhood Programme is taught through carefully designed conceptual units in a programme of inquiry. The content of each unit is built around active daily routines, which include centre/task time, story time, music, singing and physical education.
The school day begins at 8:25am and ends at 3:00pm each day. There is a dedicated daily nap or rest time for EC3 students. EC3 and EC4 have their own independent Programme of Inquiry, however on occasion they do work together to facilitate children's learning. There are two teachers and three teaching assistants working with a group of up to 30 students. Children in our EC program also benefit from lessons with specialist teachers for both physical education and music.
From Kindergarten on the PYP continues to provide students with a strong academic foundation through units of inquiry that teach language, mathematics, social studies and science. Information technology and library skills are integrated within the units. Single subject teachers also teach visual art, music and physical education classes.
The language of instruction is English. Non-English speaking students receive English language classes up to five times a week as well as support from our English teaching staff. Students with a good level of language competency in English may take classes in Russian (either for Native Speakers or beginners), Spanish or Ukrainian each day.