At Glenealy School we put students’ learning and well-being at the heart of all that we do. Our wish list for students and our mission statement of ‘Empowering learners to flourish and make a positive difference’ help to guide our curriculum. Our curriculum is designed to be personalised, relevant and meaningful to all. Offering appropriate challenge whilst supporting all students academic, social, physical and emotional needs. We draw upon latest research, technology and the expertise of a highly qualified teaching staff including specialist teachers to enrich the curriculum. One of the features of this is specialist lessons in Mandarin, physical education and music.
As an IB world school we use the Primary Years Programme (PYP) as our curriculum framework. This enables us to develop a curriculum that is not tied to one country but is relevant and meaningful to our international community, embracing global citizenship. The inquiry based approach we use has ensured that our students do not only achieve strong academic results but also understand themselves as a learner. Developing the transferable skills, conceptual understandings and attitudes that equip them with a love of learning.
Learning in the primary school
Through the PYP:
• students’ learning, social and emotional well-being needs are effectively met,
• students develop independence and take responsibility for their own learning,
• students gain understanding of the world and learn how to function effectively within it,
• students develop personal values on which international-mindedness will flourish.
The PYP provides schools with a curriculum framework of five essential elements that
students need to equip them for successful lives, both now and in the future:
• approaches to learning (skills)
Schools work with the five elements to construct a rigorous and challenging primary curriculum that is engaging, relevant and significant for learners in the 3–12 age range. The curriculum organises learning across subject areas.
How does learning take place?
The PYP provides structured, purposeful inquiry which engages students actively in their own learning.
The programme supports students’ efforts to construct meaning from the world around them by:
• drawing on their prior knowledge
• providing provocation through new experiences
• providing opportunities for reflection and consolidation.
This approach respects students’ developing ideas about how the world works. It encourages them to question, consider and refine their understanding of the social and natural world.
Students learn how to learn, helping them to interact effectively with the learning environments they encounter and
encouraging them to value learning as an essential and integral part of their everyday lives.
How are students assessed in primary school?
Learning is viewed as a continuous journey. Teachers use assessment to identify students’ needs and use assessment data to plan the next stage of their learning. They identify what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the teaching and learning process and then use this evidence to inform next steps in learning.
Teachers use a wide range of assessment strategies to collect information on each of the elements represented in the curriculum: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of positive attitudes and the ability to take responsible action.
Year 6 students carry out an extended, in-depth, collaborative project known as the PYP Exhibition. This involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real-life issues or problems. Students share their learning within the five essential elements of the PYP with the whole school community. The PYP Exhibition provides an opportunity for teachers to assess students’ learning across the five essential elements.
Our school’s Programme of Inquiry (Below) provides an outline of the different Units of Inquiry our students experience from Years 1 to 6. This has been designed to be significant, engaging, flexible, broad and balanced. Fostering a developmental progression of the students skills, attributes and abilities both across and within each year group.