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IB PYP Program/Inquiry Learning

Daystar Academy elementary division runs a dual Chinese and English immersion program to nurture bilingual and bicultural 21st century learners. Daystar’s curriculum is grounded in national standards from China and the U.S., and is an authorized IB PYP program.

Grades One-Five (Sanlitun & Beigao Campuses)* 

For grades one to five, our approach is combining the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) five essential elements (concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and action), our character development that integrates the IB Learner Profile attributes with Chinese virtues, and a balanced, rigorous academic programming grounded in both the Chinese National Curriculum (Chinese and Math) and the U.S. Common Core Standards (English). 

Daystar Academy students ask questions, take action, and reflect on their learning and its relationship to the world in which they live. Our students actively engage in structured, in-depth inquiry into the PYP's six transdisciplinary themes within Daystar Academy's program of inquiry. Units of inquiry (UOI) address distinct central ideas, which are globally significant, academically rigorous, and standards-aligned. 

Students acquire standards-based and developmentally- appropriate skills, content knowledge, and conceptual understanding within and across the following disciplines: 

Discipline 

English Language Arts 

Chinese Language Arts* 

Mathematics 

Science 

Social Studies 

Visual Arts & Music 

Calligraphy 

Physical Education 

 

IB PYP Programme

Our students actively engage in structured, in-depth inquiry into the PYP's six transdisciplinary themes within Daystar Academy's program of inquiry. Units of inquiry (UOI) address distinct central ideas, which are globally significant, academically rigorous, and standards-aligned. Elementary visual arts, music, and physical education also have a standards-based articulated and documented curriculum with intentional connections to the POI. Individual PYP unit plans also provide evidence of transdisciplinary connections.

Following the IB PYP curriculum framework, Daystar has constructed a transdisciplinary Program of Inquiry (POI) that consists of 6 units of inquiry for every grade level in first through fifth grade, each falling under the heading of a globally significant transdisciplinary theme. The POI outlines the knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills, and attributes that students learn during their primary years. 

Daystar's elementary program reflects a transdisciplinary, or intensely integrated, approach to teaching and learning that aligns with International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) philosophy and practices, ultimately resulting in students using “interdisciplinary skills and disciplinary skills applied in a real-life context.”

Our taught curriculum not only focuses on the teaching and learning of content and concepts but also on the development of Approaches to Learning Skills (ATL). Throughout the PYP, students learn strategies to become self-managers, researchers, thinkers, collaborators, and communicators. These ATL skills equip students with the necessary tools to participate in transdisciplinary and disciplinary learning both inside and outside of the classroom

Units of Inquiry (UOI)

Students actively engage in structured, in-depth inquiry into six transdisciplinary themes within Daystar's program of inquiry. UOIs address distinct central ideas, which are globally significant, academically rigorous, and standards-aligned. Reflecting the transdisciplinary nature of UOIs, students develop skills, content knowledge, and conceptual understanding within and across disciplines including language arts, science, social studies, visual arts, music, and physical education. Supporting the school's mission in developing bilingual and bicultural global citizens, UOIs are explored through both Chinese and English as well as through Eastern and Western lenses, providing opportunities for students to consider multiple perspectives, make connections, and transfer learning that leads to and reflects a deep understanding of the central ideas.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Aligned with the pedagogical philosophy of the IB PYP, Daystar Academy practices an inquiry approach that is both constructivist and concept-based. Informed by a thorough understanding of the school's written curriculum, teachers provide students with opportunities to become active participants in their learning by guiding them to make connections with prior learning, develop critical thinking skills, and construct new meaning. 

When unit planning, teachers design a series of learning engagements that guide students through the inquiry cycle, encouraging them to question, make predictions, explore, research, gather and interpret data, draw conclusions, and reflect on how their thinking has changed. 

In daily lessons teachers plan for a gradual release of responsibility in the classroom following an ‘I Do, We Do, You Do’ lesson plan format beginning with an inquiry question to frame the learning of the day. Teachers then use mini-lessons that identify the learning targets with teacher modeling of the skill, strategy, and/or content knowledge. Students participate in small-group investigative inquiry-based practice and share back their findings. Teachers debrief with the whole class to co-create anchor charts that consolidate and visually document learning. This process scaffolds students’ understanding and ability so that they can demonstrate mastery of new knowledge and skills in independent application.

*The Sanlitun Campus follows a balanced, rigorous academic program that incorporates Common Core American standards (English) and the Chinese National Curriculum (Chinese and Math). The school uses units of inquiry to frame instruction and is in the process of pursuing IB PYP accreditation. 

 

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