The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Curriculum

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The Lakes International curriculum is modeled on the IB PYP, which focuses on the development of the whole student as an inquirer in the classroom and in the world community. This unique international program of guidelines encompasses these principal domains: Languages; Mathematics; Science and Technology; Personal, Social, and Physical Education; Social Studies; and Arts. It sets high standards for instructors and high expectations for our students. The Minnesota Department of Education acknowledges the benefits of the IB program, stating on its website, "International Baccalaureate (IB) is recognized as a superior education, preparing students for rigorous academic work so they may succeed at postsecondary institutions around the world. The program encourages students to think from an international perspective, while first developing an understanding of their own cultural and national identity. Students learn a second language and develop the skills to live and work with others internationally—essential for life in the 21st century (read more >)."

The Learner Profile

The IB cornerstone is the Learner Profile, a set of attributes that we strive to develop in our students. Through the curriculum, LILA encourages learners to become:

  • Inquirers
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Risk-takers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Principled
  • Caring
  • Open-minded
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

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At LILA, our teachers model these attributes while promoting learning, using a variety of strategies. The Learner Profile also helps teachers and students establish goals, plan learning (called Units of Inquiry), and assess performance. Each classroom creates rules based on the learner attributes, and students reflect on their behavior and effort using the Learner Profile as a guide.

LILA’s PYP Curriculum Focuses On Units Of Inquiry

PYP uses powerful strategies of inquiry to build students’ knowledge and to deeply study particular topics. In a nutshell, students and teachers work toward answering a few broad questions using many resources and a combination of subject areas. Students practice reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and other skills in the process. This adds relevance to the learning experience and a sense of a product, rather than a seemingly unrelated collection of facts and skills.

These Units of Inquiry form the foundation of the PYP curriculum. Teachers and students pursue learning together based on a series of fundamental concepts:
• Who we are
• Where we are in place and time
• How we express ourselves
• How the world works
• How we organize ourselves
• Sharing the planet

Research results have led the PYP to conclude that clusters of important ideas can usefully be grouped under this set of overarching concepts, each of which has major significance, regardless of time or place, within and across disciplines.

At LILA, our Programme of Inquiry explores the primary concepts according to grade levels, building on the students’ knowledge of themselves, their communities, and the world. Fifth-graders present their culminating projects during an evening of displays and discussions, called Exhibition.