Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The International Baccalaureate® prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
Learning for the Real World
At SEK International School Qatar this means our students are taught WHY we should know something and HOW it connects to other subjects and the real world. It means high quality teaching and learning-challenging instruction and worldwide knowledge. It also means opportunities to study abroad for college/university, as well as opportunities to make friends with others at IB schools around the world.
At SEK International School Qatar, we are committed to international mindedness. According to the International Baccalaureate (IB), an internationally minded person is someone who demonstrates the attributes of the Learner Profile, which are the qualities determined to be most important in creating positive and productive citizens of the world.
SEK International School Qatar is an authorized school to offer PYP, MYP and DP programmes.
The aim of the PYP, to create a curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant, is achieved through structured inquiry and the development of essential elements: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action.
Knowledge: What do we want students to know?
While the Primary Years Programme acknowledges the importance of traditional subject areas (language, mathematics, social studies, science, personal, social and physical education, and the arts), it is also recognized that it is equally important to acquire a set of skills in context, to explore content that is relevant to students, and transcends the boundaries of the traditional subjects. The Primary Years Programme has six transdisciplinary themes that provide the framework for learning. These themes are globally significant, support the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills of the traditional subjects. They are revisited throughout the students’ time in the PYP.
The PYP Transdisciplinary Themes are:
Concepts: What do we want students to understand?
The following key concepts are used to support and structure the inquiries. The exploration of concepts leads to a deeper understanding and allows students to transfer knowledge learned in one area of the curriculum to another.
Form: What is it like?
Function: How does it work?
Causation: Why is it like it is?
Change: How is it changing?
Connection: How is it connected to other things?
Perspective: What are the points of view?
Responsibility: What is our responsibility?
Reflection: How do we know?
In addition to the above key concepts, children will inquire into related concepts in all curriculum areas.
Skills: What do we want students to be able to do?
Throughout their learning, students acquire and apply a set of skills which are valuable not only for the teaching and learning that goes on within classroom but also in life outside the school. There are five transdisciplinary skills identified within the Primary Years Programme:
Attitudes: What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?
The school encourages attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group. Students develop personal attitudes towards people, the environment and learning. At SEK International School Qatar we encourage: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.
Action: How do we want the students to act?
Students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning. Action can be a demonstration of a sense of responsibility and respect for themselves, others and the environment. Action usually begins in a small way but arises from genuine concern and commitment. Action as a result of learning often happens beyond the classroom, and teachers are always keen to know about action students take within the family.
The MYP provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement—essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders.
The MYP consists of eight subject groups: Language Acquisition (Arabic and Spanish), Language and Literature (English, Arabic and Spanish), Individuals and Societies (Humanities), Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Mathematics, Arts (Music, Visual Arts), Physical and Health Education, and Design. The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community.
MYP teachers organize the curriculum with appropriate attention to:
In Grade 8, students complete the Community Project. This project encourages students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community. Students may complete the community project individually or in small groups.
In Grade 10, each student develops a Personal Project independently, producing a truly personal and creative piece of work that stands as a summative review of their ability to conduct independent work.
The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay.
Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.
Students must select six subjects to study, either one from each of the six groups or one from each of groups 1 – 5 and one other from groups 1 – 5. Three must be studied at higher level and three at standard level.
The DP is a two year programme beginning in September of year one and ending in May of year two. Assessment takes place internally at intervals throughout the two years and culminates in externally moderated exams in May of the second year.
Information on the IB Programmes has been extracted and adapted from IB publications.
If you want more information about the IB, please visit www.ibo.org