17 Sep What makes IB PYP Program unique ?
What do you “marvel” most about early education? Me? Well, let me share my experience.
I’m Sudiksha Gouda, studying in Sharanya Narayani International School (SNIS), a leading residential and day school in Bangalore offering the IB Primary Years Programme. Four years ago, back in Grade 1, in my previous school, my learning journey seemed much like “getting dumped with a colossal amount of ‘content’” with no ecosystem to understand and learn the things at my own pace. My curiosity was always killed because during the classes, even with children as young as 5-year-olds, we were expected to maintain silence. All we were supposed to do was memorize and get marks in exams. But did we ever have the understanding of what we learnt? Nobody cared. Most of the times, this problem is not noticed in traditional old fashioned schools.
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” – Albert Einstein
Well, he knew it back then! Fortunately for me, though, Einstein’s wish came true! After noticing the above challenges, my parents felt the need to switch schools. A switch to an environment with freedom of inquiry and expression, brimming curiosity, and creativity.
This is exactly what happens with IB PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, an International curriculum). This is what happens in SNIS. IB inculcates the foundation for learning to make a difference in a way that it aligns with your aspirations and ambitions! It assimilates our blossoming curiosity, willingness to learn, desire to find the answers ourselves and finally take ACTION (a critical word for us) in our own innovative and personal way. We along with our peers then work assiduously towards taking Action. For instance, when we were working on the Conflicts Unit in grade 3, our group brainstormed and organized a campaign to solve conflicts in our school, by making posters and presenting them in the school campus!
At SNIS, along with learning we also comprehend how to learn ourselves through research-based inquiry. Once we acquire understanding, we get to showcase, apply, and take action or initiative on what we learn and to try and find a possible solution to the situation and make goals to apply it in our future. We understood this at whole new level in Grade 4 when we learnt about Biomes and what is causing the imbalance in our ecosystem. I want to be a scientist and impact the way humans do things -which is pollute- and try and reduce it.
This sets a path for us to reflect and see what we could improve which would make it better for everyone in the community and later in our own lives. This way we students, become the center and drive our own learning at our own pace.
At SNIS, our teachers support us with different types of learning. They teach in every which way so that we all understand – like the time in Estimation unit, we estimated the number of trees in the SNIS’ green campus and I predicted that there would be 100 trees…but I was WAY off, because when we walked through the campus and counted them there were 1,973 trees, and in addition there were multiple shrubs, herbs and “trees-to-be” that we did not count!
At SNIS, we are always encouraged to ask questions and share our knowledge.
Our understanding is helped by quadrillion different things – models, different forms of writing, presentations, debate, group work and even miniature inventions – once, in grade 2, in Simple Machines unit, I created a new type of Lever which can be used to pick up things in “not so reachable” places, using house-hold items! This way of learning keeps us engaged and willingness to learn increases in us day-by-day, and which in my opinion makes SNIS one of the best IB PYP schools in India.
Another important aspect of IB learning is the personality development through the IB learner profiles. This is an integral part of the learning by connecting with the concepts, example Risk Taker, where we try new things and ideas though we are initially not sure of the result. For example, in Grade 4, while we were learning about stereotypes, we had an online Expression Day with hundreds in the audience and we really pulled it off, with skits which we scripted ourselves guided by our teachers! These help enhance one’s personality and behavioural development along with the academics and extra-curricular activities.
Here, everyone gets an avenue to showcase their own talents, understanding, and qualities in a free environment, without being judged. In Grade 4, I was able to show my research skills by taking 5 to 10 minutes of the class everyday speaking and teaching my classmates and my teachers about Astronomy, the subject of my interest, which even started to interest others including my teachers!
Albert Einstein once said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a FISH by its ability to CLIMB a TREE, it will live its whole life believing that it is STUPID.” IB PYP staunchly believes in this – where we can learn the way we want to!