Primary Years Programme
Field Elementary was one of the first elementary schools in Missouri authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. IB PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child by offering an international, inquiry based curriculum of themes that go across all subjects in the school. All students receive weekly second language instruction in Spanish.
PYP is an approach to education which challenges each learner at his/her own level to become an internationally minded person. There are no test requirements for admission. PYP is for students and families who believe that education key to a successful life.
"The PYP aims to achieve a balance between the search for meaning and understanding and the acquisition of essential skills and knowledge."
- Kevin Bartlett, PYP Originator from The Vienna International School
An internationally minded person is someone who demonstrates the attributes of the Learner Profile. These are qualities determined to be most important in creating positive and productive citizens of the world.
• Inquirers - I am curious and know how to discover answers to many of my questions.
• Knowledgeable - I explore big ideas that are important.
• Thinkers - I use my thinking skills to make good choices and solve problems creatively.
• Communicators - I understand and share ideas in more than one language.
• Principled - I am fair, honest and responsible. I can make good decisions about what is right and wrong for me.
• Open-Minded - I am comfortable with differences. I welcome and respect other people’s points of views and ways of doing things.
• Caring - I am concerned about other people’s needs and feelings. I believe it is important to help others.
• Risk Takers - I try new things, love to explore, and confidently share my experiences.
• Balanced - To be healthy, it is important for me to balance the needs of my mind and body.
• Reflective - I think about and discuss my learning, skills, and products.
It means our students are taught why they should know something and how it connects to other subjects and the real world. We believe real learning always involves taking action. Learners are given skills to use their own process of learning rather than trying to memorize all of the answers. All learners at Field Elementary focus on powerful questions as a characteristic of good students. Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity (21st century skills) have always been a part of our school’s approach to education. It means opportunities to learn about global issues while we take action locally.
Transdisciplinary is the word that IB uses to describe learning and skills that apply across all subjects - it is interconnected and can be applied to real life. A transdisciplinary principle stretches across math, science, communication arts, social studies, health and ties it all together; it is not isolated to one subject.
Six Transdisciplinary themes organize our program of inquiry into units of study. They form the backbone of our curriculum and are each expressed by a specific central idea and inquiry statements.
• Who We Are
• Where We Are in Place and Time
• How We Express Ourselves
• How the World Works
• How We Organize Ourselves
• How We Share the Planet
A Unit of Inquiry usually lasts for about six weeks and each grade connects to each of the six transdisciplinary themes throughout the school year. The units are where everything comes together – Inquiry key questions, PYP attitudes and profiles, transdisciplinary skills and theme, and action.
PYP Attitudes are what learners do daily to become an internationally minded citizen. We think of attitudes as steps on the journey to become what the profile describes. As Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
• Appreciation - Seeing and being thankful for the wonder and beauty of our world.
• Commitment - Being responsible for my learning, showing self discipline and perseverance. Sticking with a difficult task until it is completed.
• Confidence - Knowing I can do it! Having courage to take risks, using what I have learned, and making good choices.
• Cooperation - Working with others and being willing to lead or follow as needed.
• Creativity - Using my imagination while thinking and doing things.
• Empathy - Being able to put myself in someone else’s place in order to understand her or him.
• Enthusiasm - Being excited about learning and life.
• Independence - Thinking and acting on my own.
• Integrity - Being fair and honest.
• Respect - Showing that I care for others, our world, and myself.
• Tolerance - Understanding, appreciating, and celebrating differences in each other.
Because the IB PYP philosophy believes that students learn best through authentic inquiry textbooks become a resource rather than the curriculum. Each PYP school will use a wide range of resources that best meet to students’ individual needs and learning styles. The IB PYP also recognizes that it is not knowledge alone that makes a learner successful, but the skills and attitudes they develop along the way.
Like most schools, students at a PYP school will have some homework. A misconception that many people have of the IB program is that there are extremes in homework. The homework assigned is not overwhelming and kids still have time for a variety of after school activities. Long-term and large projects are given ample time and warning to complete.
Portfolios are a regular part of documenting student growth and reflections at Boyd Elementary. Feel free to ask your child to see his/her portfolio often when visiting the school. When students complete 5th grade a copy of their portfolio will be presented to the family as an educational keepsake.
Other Springfield IB/PYP programs
- Central High School
- Boyd Elementary and Rountree Elementary Schools
- Pipkin Middle School