The values and educational beliefs that comprise Springhurst Elementary School’s culture mirror the International Baccalaureate (IB) philosophy and reflect it emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. With the addition of a Middle Years Program (MYP) in grades 6-10, the next sequential step and long-term goal for
Springhurst would be to follow suit and adopt the exemplary IB Primary Years Program (PYP).
In brief, the overarching IB Diploma Program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who have the 21 Century skills and drive to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. When examining this goal and the requirements for the PYP, it is easy to see the alignment between those attributes and Springhurst’s current practices. Although Springhurst is not pursuing the PYP program at this time, we are excited about this possibility down the road.
Instituting the PYP would require that the school commit itself to a collaborative approach to curriculum development, which is something that Springhurst is already engaged in school-wide. Additionally, the program supports an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning across an interdisciplinary curriculum, also something that teachers are continually striving towards. Primary Years schools make provisions for students to learn a language beginning from the age of seven. Springhurst’s well-regarded FLES program in Spanish, which begins in second grade, thoroughly supports this concept as well. The international perspective of the IB curriculum also complements the long-standing District strategic plan goal of increasing global awareness and understanding among students.
With IB aligned-curriculum already in place at Springhurst, the school’s current content areas and instructional practices will help to prepare graduating fifth graders for a Middle Years Program. Springhurst’s teachers offer differentiated instruction and in-depth learning within their own classrooms and across multiple subjects including reading, writing, math, science, social studies, physical education and the arts that support the MYP “Areas of Interaction” as does the Elementary School’s extracurricular offerings and community outreach projects.
It is extremely important to have consistency and connectivity in the District so that students can smoothly transition from one school to the next. The IB Diploma Program, the Middle Years Program and the Primary Years Program offer students a robust curriculum with an international foundation that extends across content areas, and explores learning through inquiry-based instruction.