At the beginning of the school year, Lausanne became a fully accredited International Baccalaureate World School. Within the IB, is the Primary Years Programme. This article, which is also featured in the fall 2018 Lausanne magazine, gives some background on the PYP and summarizes what our students are learning in the program.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP), designed for students three to 10 years old, is a leading academic system that introduces students to international primary education. The goal of the PYP is to enhance a child’s performance in the classroom and in the world around them as they actively become lifelong learners.
"The PYP gives students a broader perspective and encourages them to ask questions about the world they live in,” said Head of Lower School, Kara Barbour. “As a result, students become individuals who can engage in life with a respect and understanding for themselves and others.”
Students in the PYP are encouraged to engage in six transdisciplinary units of inquiry that focus on global significance: who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves and sharing the planet.
Starting in JK, students are led through each of these units as they explore the connections between subjects. Each year, the students’ capacity to understand the world around them grows. Students deepen their learning by developing their conceptual understanding; and strengthening their knowledge and skills across and beyond subject areas.
In the fourth grade, students complete a culminating project that showcases what they have learned during the course of the PYP.
Students who participate in the Primary Years Programme become prepared for the next step in their education as they enter the IB Middle Years Programme. Research shows that Lower School students who participate in the PYP reach higher levels of achievement overall compared to peers who come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds but didn’t participate in the IB curriculum. (Gough, A, Sharpley, B, Vander Pal, S and Griffiths, M. 2014. The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in Victorian Government primary schools, Australia. Bethesda, MD, USA. International Baccalaureate Organization.)
“The PYP allows students to immerse themselves in what they are learning, by applying the curriculum learned in the classroom to their everyday life,” said PYP coordinator Erica McBride, Lausanne’s Assistant Head of Lower School. “Most importantly, we’re showing them their role in their education and helping them grow a desire to investigate their world.”