Steele Elementary School is a Candidate School* for the Primary Years Programme. This school is pursuing authorizations as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy - a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Steele believes is important for our students.
*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Years Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org.
As an International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School, we adhere to the six IB approaches to teaching, and five IB approaches to learning.
Approaches to Teaching
DEVELOPED IN LOCAL & GLOBAL CONTEXTS: Teaching uses real-life contexts and examples, and studentsare encouraged to process new information by connecting it to their own experiences and to the world around them.
FOCUSED ON CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING: Concepts are explored in order to both deepen disciplinary understanding and to help students make connections and transfer learning to new contexts.
BASED ON INQUIRY: A strong emphasis is placed on students finding their own information and constructing their own understandings.
FOCUSED ON EFFECTIVE TEAMWORK & COLLABORATION: This includes promoting teamwork and collaboration between students, but also refers to the collaborative relationship between teachers and students.
DESIGNED TO REMOVE BARRIERS TO LEARNING: Teaching is inclusive and values diversity. It affirms students’ identities and aims to create learning opportunities that enable every student to develop and pursue appropriate personal goals.
INFORMED BY ASSESSMENT: Assessment plays a crucial role in supporting, as well as measuring, learning. This approach also recognizes the crucial role of providing students with effective feedback.
Approaches to Learning
THINKING SKILLS: Including areas such as critical thinking, creative thinking, and ethical thinking.
RESEARCH SKILLS: Including skills such as comparing, contrasting, validating, and prioritizing information.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Including skills such as written and oral communication, effective listening, and formulating arguments.
SOCIAL SKILLS: Including areas such as forming and maintaining positive relationships, listening skills, and conflict resolution.
SELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS: Including both organizational skills, such as managing time and tasks, and affective skills, such as managing state of mind and motivation.
The PYP is a curriculum framework for young learners aged 3–12. Like all International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, the IB learner profile permeates all facets of school life in the PYP.
The PYP is based on the recognition of a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect. It generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture the whole child and foster a lifelong love of learning for all.
The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while inquiring into big ideas.
The PYP develops students’ academic, social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on international-mindedness and strong personal values. Students learn traditional subjects with emphasis on real-life situations, decision-making, problem solving, research, and action. The program incorporates local and global issues into the curriculum, asking students to look at related, transdisciplinary themes and to consider the links between them.
In the early years, students learn through doing (e.g., playing), as active participants in their learning. The power of play is the primary vehicle for inquiry, supporting thoughtful and intentional opportunities for child-initiated play, hands-on learning, and the co-construction of learning between teachers and young learners. Students learn to inquire as they build and test theories to help make sense of the world around them.
As students move through the PYP program, they’re asked to construct their own meaning independently, helping to develop a deeper and more profound understanding of the subjects they study. Within each unit of inquiry, students and teachers together identify together what they want to know, what they already know, what they need to know, and how they might best find that out. This encourages students to see connections between subjects.
The curriculum is guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance. This means that students deepen their learning by developing their conceptual understandings; strengthening their knowledge and skills between, across and beyond subject areas. The transdisciplinary nature of these themes allows the students to explore issues across the languages and subject areas, encourage them to engage in a curriculum that is engaging, challenging, significant, and relevant to the real world, while also incorporating the attributes of the IB Learner Profile.
The six themes are:
Who we are
Where we are in place and time
How we express ourselves
How the world works
How we organize ourselves
Sharing the planet
Each PYP unit begins by assessing students’ prior knowledge on a central idea and pre-determined lines of inquiry. Then the students formulate questions based on what they want to know about the topic.
Those student questions start the cycle of inquiry that guides every PYP lesson. Teachers support the student-led inquiry with age-appropriate resources and activities to guide and structure the learning. It’s an approach that works at every grade level to provide challenges for every student.
Phase one: Steele Elementary School was approved by the IB and District 11 Board of Education to become a candidate PYP school, 2022
During the candidacy phase:
the school completes the professional development (PD) required for authorization
collaborates to develop or update policies and unit of inquiry which follow the Colorado Academic Standards
refines or establishes new processes and practices, and
continues to explore how the IB will be implemented in its school context.
Phase two: Continue toalign the curriculum in grades K - 5, within the PYP curriculum framework. Develop the transdisciplinary themes at every level. Continue to provide professional development for teachers. Launch parent education programs.
Phase three: Complete PYP authorization; Estimated Time Spring of 2025.