The International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes may be internationally recognised, but they’re also known for being challenging and rigorous.
The programme for elementary school students – the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) – is for those aged three to 12 and is said to “challenge students to think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts”, notes its website.
What’s unique about the IB PYP is that it’s transdisciplinary – meaning it focuses on issues that go across subject areas. Some parents may have some trepidation over whether or not to enrol their child in an IB PYP, considering the high cost and whether the qualification is better than that of a state or federal school.
So how do you decide whether the programme is right for your child? Here are some of the potential benefits of an IB PYP to help with your decision:
IB is internationally renowned and recognised by universities worldwide. IB schools undergo a strict accreditation process so parents can be assured that the quality of education their children are receiving is one that has been thoroughly vetted.
Students who enrol in a regular school curriculum may struggle to adapt to a new country’s curriculum if their families are frequently on the move. An IB PYP can be ideal for such families as the format is the same whether you study in the US or the UK. This means less disruption and a seamless transition for third culture kids.
According to studies, students who undergo the IB PYP are better at Math Literacy, Reading, Narrative Writing and Expository Writing in the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) compared to their non-IB peers across Asia, Oceania, Europe, Americas and Africa.
21st century skills
A lot has been said about preparing students for the future of work, with soft skills playing an increasingly important role. Despite its academic rigour, the IB PYP aims to nurture students to develop skills beyond their academic content. Its website notes that the profile aims to develop learners who are: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective, which are among the crucial skills of the 21st century.
Curriculum based on research
The IB curriculum and teaching style is based on research and best teaching practices while teachers undergo ongoing professional development to ensure high standards are maintained.