Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is International Baccalaureate?
International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. It offers the Diploma Program for students aged 16 to 19, the Middle Years Program for students in the 11-16 age range, and the Primary Years Program for students aged 3 to 12 years.
What is the Primary Years Program?
The Primary Years Program (PYP) is an International Baccalaureate program designed for children age 3 - 12 that focuses on the development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside. The program uses guided (teacher supported) inquiry as a way of learning.
What will students learn?
Students will learn the typical subject areas (language, social studies, mathematics, arts, science and technology, personal, social, and physical education). Instead of approaching each subject area on its own, students learn by integrating these subjects using broad themes in ways that are designed to be more authentic and engaging. The Primary Years Program also includes an additional language.
How will students learn?
The Primary Years Program uses a guided inquiry approach to student learning that involves students in questioning, exploration, research, and critical thinking with the guidance of their teacher.
What is the big chart on the first hall?
This chart describes the units of inquiry that the students will be studying at each grade level. The units of inquiry allow the students to inquire into, and learn about, globally significant issues and gain a deeper understanding of the organizing themes. This chart summarizes what is called the Program of Inquiry.
What will the typical day look like?
- Students arrive excited to learn and explore, knowing they have an important role to play in their own learning.
- Students will be working across subject areas to gain a deeper understanding of the central idea for their unit of inquiry.
- Students will explore each theme.
- Students will also be exposed to a new language and will make connections with world events and issues.
How are students assessed?
The main objective of assessment in the PYP is to provide feedback on the learning process. Teachers and students are actively engaged in assessing student progress. Self-reflection is an important component of on-going assessment and final assessments for each unit of inquiry. This approach recognizes the importance of assessing the process of inquiry as well as the products of inquiry.
How do you become an International Baccalaureate school?
Upon authorization from International Baccalaureate. Typically, this is a three-year process that culminates with a successful authorization visit. This process includes planning, training of teachers, developing the curriculum, and coordinating the program (within the school, with the community, with International Baccalaureate). Authorized schools are revisited and evaluated three years after authorization and every five years after that to review the effectiveness of the program.
Does the Primary Years Program fit the needs of different students?
Yes, in fact, authorized schools report increased student engagement for all types of learners due to the guided inquiry concept-driven approach. All students participate in the program of inquiry.
What happens after my child leaves Falkener?
Several of our students attend Hairston who is in the authorization process. Participation in International Baccalaureate is optional, giving families a choice about whether or not they want to continue in an International Baccalaureate program. Guilford County Schools has several high schools who also offer a diploma program for high school students who are interested in continuing on the IB path.