The learner profile at the heart of everything



PYP logo 2013Before the break, a group of parents explored the learner profile and discussed what this might look like at home. The profile needs to come home with children! We agreed that adults need to serve as models and guides for children and show them what these attributes look like in different settings. please click on the link below to see a summary of what parents came up with:
Profile Attribute from parents


Welcome to another school year at IST


Hello and welcome (back) to IST. My name is Leah Bortolin. I am the PYP coordinator at the elementary school. I am looking forward to seeing and getting to know as many parents as possible. This year I will offer a number of workshops:

September 12 – An introduction to the PYP
October 10 – The learner profile
November 21 – The six traits of writing
January 16 – Inquiry
February 27 – Writing text types
March 27 – Approaches to learning (skills)
April 17 -Action
May 22 – What to do in the holidays

I welcome you all to come and have a chat anytime in room 4b!

Key Concepts in the curriculum


One of the five essential elements of the PYP curriculum is conceptual understanding. Rather than focusing on learning and remembering a range of content knowledge, we aim to use the knowledge we choose to cover as a vehicle for developing understanding of concepts. So, for example, instead of learning facts about dinosaurs, children might use the knowledge learned through such a study to generalize their understanding of the concept of extinction.

“Conceptual development is a lifelong developmental process… a higher-level, integrative thinking ability… the ability to insightfully draw patterns and connections between related facts, ideas and examples, and to synthesize information at a conceptual level.”Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Beyond the Facts by H Lynn Erikson

In the PYP curriculum framework, eight key concepts have been identified, along with an open-ended question for each, to promote focus and deeper thinking about the enduring understandings that we hope will develop from the study of each unit of inquiry.

Form: What is it like?

Function: How does it work?

Causation: Why is it the way it is?

Change: How is it changing?

Connection: How is it connected to other things?

Perspective: What are the points of view?

Responsibility: what is our responsibility?

Reflection: How do we know?

A useful array of questions for deepening thinking, try applying them to an everyday object or situation (I had a friend who used these questions to examine her marriage!). Using them with your children will help them develop their thinking and give you an opportunity to discover what they understand.

Here is just some of the conceptual questioning I encountered today as I wandered through classrooms. 

Form: What are the features of signs and symbols? What is the difference between a sign and a symbol?

 Reflection: How do I know that the information on this website is accurate?

Function: How can the long e sound be spelled?

Causation: What has caused the problems for living things in game parks in Tanzania? Responsibility: What can we do about these problems?

 Change: How have animals adapted to extreme climates?

 Perspective: How does the same event make different people feel?

 Connection: Where do I find these shapes in real life?

Function: How does my portfolio work?  Connection: How is it connected to my learning?

 Reflection: What do I do to work out a tricky word?

 Connection: How are written symbols connected to spoken sounds? Function: How is this word spelt?

Form: How is my classroom organized? Causation: Why is my classroom organized this way?

Perspective: Are there different ways to work out the same algorithm?

Try looking for evidence of the key concepts in your child’s learning.