You may have already heard a performance of the Learner Profile song in assembly – and might be wondering what the story is behind it.
Here’s the story, in the words of Stephanie Brook:
Last year, when I arrived at the school, I wanted to do my part in the Arts to help students learn the attributes of the Learner Profile. I went online to the OCC and found a song that had been written by Eden Atwood for the learner profile, and set to music written by Carl Orff. This fit really well with my approach, and I taught the song to the younger grades last year.
This year at the opening assembly, our school principal challenged the students to really learn the attributes of the learner profile more thoroughly. More than that, he challenged them to really strive to understand what each of them meant. I discussed it with my Music colleague and we decided to take on the challenge of breaking down the attributes throughout this academic year. We started by teaching the song that I had found on the OCC to all the students in the school, from early childhood up to the last year of the PYP. We added the actions, as written in the music.
Then I sat down and wrote the music for a verse, so that we had a melody to use. I had only two criteria for myself: I wanted it to be simple, and I wanted it to be easily accompanied by Orff instruments (pitched percussion) and/or Ukelele. Once the music for the verse was determined, we decided on how we would get all the students involved. We decided to ask each of the grades to write the lyrics for the verses, giving the three upper grades (Grades 3, 4 & 5) two attributes each. All of the other grades (EC, KG, Grades 1 & 2) were given one verse each and that worked well to cover all ten attributes. Next, we took our first group of students and began to look at the first two attributes in the song. It was decided that Grade 3, who have an upcoming assembly, would write the lyrics for our verses about CARING and BALANCED.
We set about doing this by asking the students to tell us what they thought the attributes meant. We compiled a list of adjectives and descriptors for each attribute, with examples of what each attribute might look like in practice. Then I played the melody for the students and had then sing the verse to the word “LA”. Once they knew the tune, I asked them to try and create the words to go along with the first line, then the second, the third and the fourth. They came up with beautiful lyrics and were very proud of themselves. Most of them had never written any music like this before!
We decided to add some dramatic art to the mix by having some of the students act out what they were singing, to illustrate it to the audience. Grade 3 presented their two verses to the school at an assembly, using music and drama. All of the students at the assembly joined in on the chorus with the actions that they have learned.
I am excited about the deeper understandings that the students will gain about the learner profile attributes through this project, and I hope that it is something that can be carried on into the future.
Stephanie Brook, Music Teacher
And here are the words so far…
Caring, Balanced, Principled.
Knowledgeable, Risktakers, Thinkers too.
We Communicate and are Inquirers.
VERSE 1 (G3R)
To be caring means that we can help each other,
We can share whatever we have.
To be honest and be truthful, this is caring,
When we’re kind and we lend a helping hand.
VERSE 2 (G3N)
When you’re balanced, your brain works in different ways,
Learning math, science, music and PE.
Fitness and intelligence go hand in hand
And they help us to be all that we can be.