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To IB, or not to IB? That is the Question!

November 15, 2020 Posted by: Kidzapp Team Kids Activities

Education has truly come a long way from the good old days of sitting in class and taking notes. Schools that offer International Baccalaureate programmes have paved the way for educators to implement novel and creative ways of engaging students in their learning. Research shows how important it is that students engage with their learning in order for them to retain knowledge and, beyond that, develop critical thinking, creativity, independence, and global competency.

What is special about an IB Education?

IB programmes promote the education of the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through all subjects of knowledge. The focus is not just on knowledge-building but on engagement in learning in order to develop life skills that will serve a child throughout their educational experience and beyond, such as independence, critical and creative thinking, and international-mindedness. In this respect, IB programmes offer a truly holistic and world class education.

Fairgreen International School in Dubai is on track to becoming one of the few IB continuum curriculum schools in the world. This means they will offer the full spectrum of IB programmes that are available starting with the Primary Years Programme, including the Middle Years Programme, and up through to the post-16 level IB Diploma and Career-related programmes.

These four levels comprise the entire spectrum of an IB education. Having already completed the PYP and MYP authorization process, Fairgreen is expecting to complete their CP and DP authorization process by the year’s end. Fairgreen will have achieved this milestone in the shortest period of time ever, according to Fairgreen Director Graeme Scott. “To our knowledge and the IB's, few schools in the world will have succeeded in authorization for all four programmes in such a short period of time,” shares Mr. Scott.

We also spoke with Fairgreen’s Curriculum Director, David Gerber, and asked him to share the offerings and benefits of each of the different levels of an IB continuum curriculum school:

IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for 3 to 10-year olds prescribes a curriculum framework of essential elements comprising concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and action, each of which is reflected in the IB Learner Profile and is a reference point for the construction of a school’s curriculum.

The most significant and distinctive features of the IB PYP framework are its six trans-disciplinary themes, focusing on conceptual ideas and global issues that have meaning and importance for everyone. The programme offers a balance between learning about, or through, the subject areas and learning beyond them.
The six themes of global significance create a trans-disciplinary framework that allows students to "step up" beyond the confines of learning within a single subject area to reflect upon:

1. Who we are
2. Where we are in place and time
3. How we express ourselves
4. How the world works
5. How we organize ourselves
6. Sharing the planet

IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The excitement teachers and students feel when talking about learning in the MYP is frequently attributed to the way the program invites thinking more deeply about what we know, when we consider the possibility of what is yet to be discovered.

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) organizes teaching and learning through eight subject areas: Language Acquisition; Language and Literature; Individuals and Societies; Mathematics; Design; Arts; Sciences; and Physical and Health Education. The programme promotes interdisciplinary study to helps adolescents make important connections between academic subjects and six global contexts:

1. Identities and Relationships
2. Personal and Cultural Identity
3. Orientations in Space and Time
4. Scientific and Technical Innovation
5. Fairness and Development 6. Globalization and Sustainability.

Integrated teaching and learning helps students analyze complex issues and develop the habits of mind they need to participate in our increasingly interconnected world.

IB Diploma Programme (IBDP)

At the IBDP level (post-16), all IB course offerings have a mixture of internal and external assessments, and offer greater breadth and depth of learning than standard UK or American curriculum schools. At the core of the DP is the Theory of Knowledge, a capstone course where students will reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge. They will consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture and in the cultures of others and in the wider world.

Through an extended essay and presentation students will showcase their awareness of themselves as thinkers and responsible and concerned world citizens. They will do service-based projects that will ensure their understanding with many of the subjects they study. The majority of leading universities in the world prefer to admit students who have studied IB over those studying other qualifications.

IB Careers-related Programme (IBCP)

Across the world, most IB schools offer the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) because it has been offered since 1968. There are around 3,100 schools offering the IBDP. The new kid on the block is the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP), which was first established and offered to students in 2006 as the IB CC (Career Certificate) and renamed in 2014 as the Career-related Programme. There are only 167 schools worldwide offering the IBCP. By the end of this academic year, Fairgreen expects to receive authorization for both our IBDP and IBCP, making us one of a small group of schools worldwide to offer both programmes.

For students who want to focus study on a specific career path, the IBCP focuses a stream of academically rigorous coursework on a singular profession. Schools offer this pathway for specific careers they choose to feature. At Fairgreen, our focus is on careers with a focus on sustainability in its various forms, including environmental, economic and social.

We have partnered with the Sustainability Management School (SUMAS) of Switzerland in the development of our IBCP programme. IBCP programmes include service-led learning and personal and professional skills development, and these programmes are recognised by universities across the world as a pathway to direct entry into undergraduate study.

Fairgreen International School, located in The Sustainable City, is an IB Continuum Curriculum school with an emphasis on sustainability and a culture of care and wellbeing. Learn more about Fairgreen by scheduling a campus tour led by a member of their senior leadership team. Tours are offered on a weekly basis with a special schedule planned for Winter Break. Click here to schedule your visit!

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