Being an IB World School

Posted 21 June 2019 12:25pm

Canberra Girls Grammar School is proudly an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, offering two IB programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP) from Reception to Year 6 and the Diploma Programme (DP) in Years 11 and 12. We are one of 5,088 IB World Schools in 156 countries that shares in the vision of empowering young people with the knowledge, skills and values to create a better and more peaceful world.

Each of the IB programmes is universal in its outlook, providing an education that crosses disciplinary, cultural, national and geographical boundaries. As IB educators, we aim to develop internationally-minded people who recognise human commonalities and the importance of shared guardianship of the planet.

At the heart of each of the IB programmes is the IB learner profile, which consists of ten attributes that reflect the holistic nature of an IB education: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers. These cognitive, social, emotional and physical well-being attributes are developed over time, helping our students learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.

IB programmes provide a curriculum framework that is broad, balanced, conceptual and connected. In the PYP, learning aims to transcend traditional boundaries between subject areas. Content (knowledge and skills) is drawn from the Australian Curriculum and explored under six transdisciplinary themes of 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. As IB educators, it is our aim to create a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, significant and challenging.

The approaches to teaching in an IB school are grounded in contemporary educational research. In all IB programmes, teaching is based on inquiry and focused on conceptual understanding. Students are provided with opportunities to engage in sustained inquiries into a range of local and global issues. Conceptual understanding allows students to make connections in their learning and transfer understanding to new contexts. We focus on effective teamwork and collaboration - between students, and also between students and teachers. IB educators use assessment to inform teaching, and understand the crucial role of providing students with feedback in order to ‘feedforward’, thereby helping individuals to achieve their personal learning goals.  

Learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s education. To support the development of self-regulated learners, there are five categories of transdisciplinary skills in each programme: thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, social skills and self-management skills. The development of these interrelated skills helps to foster students’ sense of agency, their metacognitive skills, and their understanding that learning is active and dynamic.

As an IB school, we are committed to fostering inquiring, knowledgeable and caring students, in the hope that they will build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.

Alex Galland
Director of Learning and Innovation (Junior School)

Photo above: Students undertaking Science experiments within the IB PYP theme of ‘How the World Works

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