Teaching & Learning
At BIS-NY we focus on the development of the whole child in the classroom but also in the world outside, through other environments where children learn. Using the content of the English National Curriculum and the IB Primary Years Programme philosophical framework to deliver a dynamic 21st century inquiry-driven education of the highest standard, we aim to inspire young individuals to develop their intellect, creativity and character to grow into adaptable, socially responsible global citizens.
The IB Primary Years Programme is an internationally designed model for concurrency in learning and incorporates guidelines on student learning styles, teaching methodologies and assessment strategies.
Combined with contemporary, dynamic and innovative educational practice, focused on the development of the whole child the PYP offers a framework that meets children’s several needs: academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural. The IBPYP defines the characteristics of students who are aware of and sensitive to the experiences of others. . These attributes or attitudes culminate in a PYP Learner Profile, which helps teachers and students to establish goals, plan units of inquiry, and assess performance. In PYP, the Learner Profile, the ten aspirational qualities that inspire and motivate the work of teachers, students and school exemplifies “the international-minded person”. http://www.ibo.org/pyp/curriculum/profile/ The IB learner profile provides a common language for our community of learners with the aim of developing internationally minded people who will help create a better and more peaceful world.
The IB philosophical framework and the National Curriculum serve four purposes
Secure for all pupils, irrespective of social background, culture, race, genre, differences in ability, an entitlement to a number of areas of learning and to develop knowledge, understanding , skills and attitudes necessary for the development of active and responsible citizens
Make expectations for learning and attainment explicit to teachers, children and parents and establishes national standards. These standards can be used to set targets for improvement and measure progress towards those targets
Promote curriculum continuity and is sufficiently flexible to ensure progression in pupils’ leaning. It facilitates the transition of pupils between schools and phases of education and provides a foundation for lifelong learning
Provides a common basis for discussion of educational issues among lay and professional groups
Inquiry is one of the main vehicles through which the curriculum is delivered and through which a learner moves from their current level of understanding to a new and deeper level.
BIS-NY students are therefore:
- Exploring, wondering and questioning
- Researching and seeking information
- Collecting data and reporting findings
- Choosing and defending a position
- Using critical thinking skills to understand and distil a concept
- Making and testing theories
- Experimenting and playing with possibilities
- Extending and applying a solution to other situations
Using this inquiry-based approach we are able to engage and challenge students, encouraging them to develop the character, determination and flexibility to succeed in their lives, and work towards the creation of a better and more peaceful world.
English as Additional Language
The school endorses the IB’s philosophy on inclusion and therefore inclusion at our school is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers. This is achieved through building a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, support and problem solving. Inclusion is the learner profile in action. At BIS-NY inclusion is about responding positively to each student’s individual needs. Our curriculum encourages all students to be active, compassionate and lifelong learners. It is designed to be accessed by all children. We consider language learning integral to exploring and sustaining personal development, cultural identity and intercultural understanding as well as the major medium of social communication. Some of our students have varied and complex language histories and are learning in a language other their mother tongue. As it is our responsibility to ensure all the students reach their full potential we provide for the language needs so that such students can fully participate in our curriculum. Our English as Additional Language teacher supports these students through an in-class and pull out programme. The learning of the students is scaffolded with the use of visual and practical aids, graphic organisors and demonstrations. Collaboration between the EAL teacher and class teachers allows for the building of background knowledge when planning new units of work, consolidation of skills in a small group setting and opportunities for students to share their learning and practice their language with different adults.
We provide an environment that is inclusive, effective, friendly, welcoming, healthy, protective, and gender-sensitive for all learners. Enhancing the motivation to learn from multiple perspectives through a collaborative teaching approach we believe can lead to positive outcomes. The Learning Support coordinator facilitates this process through collaboration with teachers. Our curriculum is coherent, relevant, stimulating, challenging and effective. Our units of inquiry/study address the diversity of our society, and reflect the areas of the National Curriculum. Differentiation within the classroom is considered a relevant and necessary part of every teacher’s professional expertise. Differentiation helps our learners access the content at an appropriate level through a variety of resources and is an integral part of each teacher’s curriculum planning. Learning needs can arise from a multitude of factors across all ability levels, including those learners who are gifted and talented. In order to show their full potential some children require individual intervention that helps to identify their learning styles and enhance their learning. Where a teacher has concerns regarding the progress and development of a learner teachers follow the identification and assessment procedures as outlined in the learning support policy. Through ongoing communication parents are kept informed of the learning needs and the level of support necessary for their child. Support is allocated according to the level of intervention that is necessary to meet the child’s needs.
Personal Social Physical Education
PSPE at the British International School of New York is concerned with the individual’s well-being through the promotion and development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to this well-being. Well-being in its broadest sense is taken to encompass emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual and social health and development and is intrinsically linked to all aspects of a student’s experience at school and beyond. Personal and social education supports the development of well being and relationships with others and their role in a local, national and global community. It encompasses the concept of citizenship. Physical education promotes and enhances the personal and social education within the curriculum creating learning environments which allow students to recognize: the importance of establishing positive working relationships, an awareness of their personal physical development and the merits of specific skills which will allow them to integrate within communities.
At BIS-NY, all teachers and members of staff are recognized as being instrumental in a student’s well being. It is transdisciplinary in nature, persuasive in every subject area and has a special role to play in students’ development.
PSHE is integral to teaching and learning at BIS-NY and is embodied in the IB learner profile that permeates the IB programmes and represents the qualities of internationally minded students and effective lifelong learners. We believe that students need to feel empowered by their learning, to value and take responsibility for their learning; so that they are able to reflect on themselves, their experiences, and the process of learning to support their own personal growth and their ongoing commitment to personal, social and physical well-being. Students learn best when PSHE is an essential part of the curriculum. As they engage with it across and between disciplines, they come to a deeper understanding of its relevance and applicability to their daily lives. We want our students to develop an understanding of ethics, excellence and engagement so they are able to investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, to recognize perspectives other than their own, to communicate ideas effectively and take action to improve conditions .