Inspiring Learning in the PYP

We would like to take this opportunity to share with our community some of the wonderful, engaging and diverse learning engagements we have seen on campus during this first month of learning. The primary parents also receive the weekly updates, via Seesaw, for each grade level that highlight some of the learning each week.  

EY1 Social Emotional Learning 

The EY1 learners have spent their first month at school ‘exploring our interests’, their relationships with others, materials, spaces, and making discoveries through play and interactions. Play opportunities were planned and invitations proposed to inspire social emotional learning to help our youngest learners feel safe in their new environment. Along the way, the learners had explicit opportunities to practice their social skills by greeting one another, solving problems, negotiating plans, sharing resources, and asking for help. They were encouraged to practice self-management skills by allowing uninterrupted time for play, support with transitions by sharing a visual timetable and participating in tidying up the classroom before home time. It is fantastic to see our learners engaging in playful interactions and confidently exploring their ideas and interests. 

EY2 Making connections 

Engaged in social learning, the EY2 learners participated in experiences that supported learning through interactions and observations. While developing social and communication skills, they made sense of their experiences with others and the environment around them. They explored the concept of connection, bringing with them their own experiences and using language for thinking and communication. Through play, they interacted with each other and adults, learning to negotiate, share and take turns. Using their communication skills, they shared their family photographs and illustrations – confidently identifying the people who they are connected with at home. This experience helped them learn more about one another, discovering similarities and differences between them thus celebrating diversity within the class and developing respect for one another. 

EY3 Physical Health at School 

Thinking about ‘My physical health,’ led into a small inquiry into who is caring at our school. We went to many hidden places such as the secondary school and administration block to find out who cares for us. The children shared different perspectives on how these people look after us. They stated that Ms. Poonam is important, ‘she pays for things,’ making connections to the resources and toys within the classroom. The cleaning staff, ‘take away the dust, so that we don’t fall sick.’ Mr. Underhill, the counselor, ‘helps us feel happy.’ They even noted that Mr. Cohen and Ms. Helen, ‘take care of us (children) and the teachers.’ The children worked on their social and self-management skills by asking permission to take photographs of each person and held the devices with two hands. Following up on this adventure, we discussed academic honesty, by giving credit to the person who took the photograph demonstrating that we are principled.  

P1 Dig and Sow! How do plants grow? 

We are learning about life-sustaining resources and investigating the concept of sustainability by planting seeds and watching the plants grow on our classroom balcony. The core idea is to instill love and care in our most valuable life-sustaining resource – plants. Our P1 gardeners chose their seeds with great enthusiasm, then worked in pairs to plant and care for them reflecting the learner profile attribute of caring. We are also regrowing vegetables such as potato, onion, and garlic, and the learners are closely monitoring their growth, drawing pictures to record their observations, and caring for the plants. This learning, which is in line with our learning principle – experiential, deepens their understanding of the unit. 

Our emerging writers can be seen working to improve their writing skills in order to communicate information. They are taking their first steps toward writing by creating detailed and colourful illustrations to communicate their ideas and comprehension, demonstrating their growing communication skills through writing. 

Learners demonstrated their prior knowledge and observation skills by writing/drawing the procedure step-by-step and identifying the majority of the factors required to grow plants. We can see learners growing love for nature, putting love in what they grow and most importantly being responsible when it comes to taking care of the plant day after day. 

P2 Exploring and investigating into properties of materials 

Our P2 learners are trying to build on their critical thinking skills. In order to make learning visible. The students are beginning to use words, illustrations, and diagrams, to organize their thoughts. We are using a barrage of intentional tools that create opportunities for learner’s to engage in agency and choice.  

These powerful thinking tools organically spin themselves around a conceptual cocoon that then transforms and challenges thinking, helps connect ideas visually, and develops muscle memory.  

For our sorting out engagement, P2 learners compared different kinds of materials in the environment. We set out on a scavenger hunt and had P2 explorers walk around the school to observe, identify and categorize materials. We further had a meaningful discussion on all the discoveries they made. Modelling this investigation for materials helped our learners make strong connections to the task. 

Our budding scientists then consolidated their thinking by classifying materials in the classroom into metal, plastic and wood. They analyzed, evaluated properties of materials and exhibited their enduring understanding through text and illustrations.

P3 Celebrating Ganesha  

In the essence of Celebrating Diversity and making connections to global and local contexts, the original story of Lord Ganesha was shared with the P3 learners for a better understanding of the public holidays this month. Ganesha, also called Ganapati, the elephant-headed Hindu god is considered to be the god of new beginnings, wisdom and prosperity. 

Through the story and understanding Lord Ganesha attributes, the learners were able to make connections between him, themselves and the IB learner profile attributes. Lord Ganesha, like our young learners, was a balanced, reflective, knowledgeable, open-minded and caring thinker. 

P4 The Human Body 

P4 learners were engaged in a learner-centric and constructive engagement about the human body systems. Being inquires, they applied their research skills to conduct independent research on the digestive system, its organs and their functions. To inspire learning and make it more stimulating for all learners, they had their first scientific experiment of the year. They worked collaboratively in groups to create models of the digestive system to mimic the entire process of digestion. They communicated their knowledge through procedural writing using scientific vocabulary and time connectives to show the sequence of the digestion process.  

To emphasize learner agency, P4 were encouraged to develop as many questions as possible to guide their inquiry process. One of these questions was ‘How long is the digestive track?’ To address this question, Ms. Maya (MYP Science teacher) conducted a very interesting engagement where students measured the length of the esophagus, small and large intestines. They created body outlines and used woolen strings to represent these parts. Finally, P4 inquirers reflected on why the small intestine is the longest part of the digestive system, as well as comparing the hypotheses they made to the real measurement of each part.  

P5 World Humanitarian Day 

Staying true to the pillars of our school’s mission, P5 inquirers celebrated World Humanitarian Day with style! A discussion of this UN Day encouraged the class to share their thoughts about the origins of the word ‘humanitarian’ and how we are all inter-connected in more than one way.  Influenced by their interactions and relationships with each other, their teachers and others in the social environment, the P5 inquirers delved further into the concept of “being human”. Viewing a couple of insightful videos such as – What is a Humanitarian? and World Humanitarian Day 2022 – It Takes A Village, learners were able to identify how we all are humanitarians in our unique ways. 

For evidencing their learning and understanding, they opted to use their creative thinking and communication skills with the help of a human outline. While adding different words, phrases and sentences that came to mind as they watched the videos, they also gave an artistic touch to the human outline to replicate how they see themselves. Our 32 different humanitarians also worked collaboratively to create a replica of the world as they see it.  

What a true global connection! 

Work Cited 

Ehsan, Global. “World Humanitarian Day 2022 GER Promo.” YouTube, 18 Aug. 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SLBFxhO24U

Nations, United. “What Is a Humanitarian?” YouTube, 18 Aug. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uklyvd4pVAg

Nations, United. “World Humanitarian Day | United Nations.” United Nations, United Nations, 2022, www.un.org/en/observances/humanitarian-day