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What Exactly is an International Baccalaureate World School?

What a term it has been so far. All students, staff and parents have been learning deeply about themselves, our systems, our processes, our community as well as the programmes that our students are involved with. What has come out is a deep understanding of each other and of the values we hold dear as a community. Good Shepherd Lutheran College is an International Baccalaureate World School. This means that for those students in the Middle Years the framework of learning that we follow, and are held accountable to, is the IB Middle Years Programme, otherwise known to most of us as the MYP. For your information as at 7 May 2020, there were 5,284 IB World Schools in 158 different countries. At Good Shepherd, with our mission statement at our foundation, our students aim to become internationally-minded flourishing learners. As an integral part of our community you are part of our IB family and part of the international network of schools. However being part of it does not always mean we understand the associated language, acronyms and terminology that our teachers and students use every day. So here is a quick overview because within our community we are all learners first.

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. At the heart of all IB programmes are the 10 Learner Profile attributes which are the attributes we continually strive to develop in our community of learners. These attributes are valued by all IB World Schools around the globe. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities. So as IB Learners we strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.

Teaching and learning in the IB explores the many ways people construct meaning and make sense of the world. Represented as an active process of asking (inquiry), doing (action) and thinking (reflection), this approach leads towards open classrooms where different views and perspectives are valued. The approaches to teaching taken by our teachers therefore reflect the same 10 Learner Profile attributes that we wish to promote in our students. As teachers, we encourage depth of thinking through exploring the bigger ideas (our key concepts) that go beyond straight content knowledge and allow depth of learning due to that exploration being from more than one perspective, more than one situation, more than one subject area, and at more than one time.

We give relevance to our learning opportunities through our focus on a  global context which allows our learners to see the authentic basis and purpose to their learning. And we have a strong focus on the acquisition of skill which all come under the umbrella of the Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills. Literacy and numeracy hold an explicit place in our skill development journey, but joining these are the skills our students need to be able to achieve beyond the scope of our educational institution. Skills such as communication, research (information and media literacy), self-management (organisation, time management, managing our state of mind), reflection, thinking (critically and creatively), and social skills such as collaboration. It is through the development of these skills that our learners, learners just like you, attain the skills necessary to become self-directed learners that promotes engagement, deep understanding, transfer of skills and academic success.

Katie Cummins - MYP Coordinator

 

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