Click here to access a PDF document of our Program of Inquiry.
Mission Statement of the International Baccalaureate®
The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Mission Statement of Cotswold Elementary
Cotswold Elementary School strives for students to become lifelong learners by actively pursuing academic and social competence in a multi-cultural environment. Students are encouraged to be risk-takers and inquirers who develop understanding, tolerance, respect, and appreciation of diverse traditions and beliefs.
In order to accomplish these goals, we provide a nurturing and supportive atmosphere with high expectations to implement a challenging and comprehensive program of global education.
We are IB® learners and strive to demonstrate the attributes of the IB® Learner Profile. Teachers offer opportunities for students to be balanced, caring, communicators, knowledgeable, inquirers, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-takers, and thinkers. These attributes embody the mission statement of the International Baccalaureate® Organization and Cotswold Elementary. We recognize students who demonstrate the Learner Profile on a daily basis in the classroom and Connect classes. We also recognize students and staff each month for being an outstanding IB® Learner.
There are 5 essential elements of the IB® Primary Years Program, IB® PYP. These are: concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and action.
1. Concepts are the big ideas that intersect all the subject areas and allow students to make connections. These are the primary concepts we focus on in the IB® PYP:
Form – What is it?
Function – How does it work?
Causation – Why is it like 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?
2. Knowledge includes the traditional subject areas taught through units of inquiry. There are 36 units of inquiry as part of our school’s Programme of Inquiry – this is the curriculum based on 6 trans-disciplinary themes that cover the NC standard course of study and expand to include global issues appropriate for all students to understand anywhere in the world.
Who we are
Where we are in place and time
How we express ourselves
How the world works
How we organize ourselves
Sharing the planet
We teach through inquiry which develops questioning skills and includes wonderings, hypothesizing, problem solving, researching, and builds on children’s natural curiosities.
Foreign language is a required subject and all students attend Spanish class each week. In the classrooms, student continue to build on their language, use Spanish vocabulary, and have opportunities to communicate in Spanish at special programs and on our student led school news program.
Click on link to see our school’s Programme of Inquiry
3. Skills are what we want students to be able to do and incorporated within the units of inquiry. They include: thinking skills, social skills, communication skills, self-management skills, and research skills.
4. Attitudes are what we want students to feel, value, and demonstrate. These attitudes are exclusive to the IB® PYP and include: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance.
We teach students to be responsible citizens of the world by reflecting, choosing, and showing action. It is the intent that students will show action, small or big, after participating in a unit of inquiry. Some examples of student initiated action includes starting a compost at home, eating healthier, and searching for family homestead as a result of an inquiry started at school.
How will we know what we have learned?
We use a variety of assessment tools to measure student success, including student self-reflection, self-assessment, maintaining portfolios of work, along with student and teacher created rubrics and checklists, a variety of creative products, and tests.
This is the exit project for the final year of the PYP. Students work in collaborative groups to conduct an open ended inquiry and research an issue of interest. They present their findings at the exhibition each spring.
All students participate in the IB® PYP at Cotswold and 6 units of inquiry each year. If students choose to continue on to the MYP, Middle Years Program, foreign language, service, and inquiry based courses become requirements. Students must be on or above grade level to continue on to the MYP.
International Baccalaureate® Links
For more information, please visit the International Baccalaureate® website at www.ibo.org
For an online copy of the General Guidelines, click here: http://www.ibo.org/documentlibrary/regs_ibworldschools/documents/pypgenregs.PDF
*Making the PYP Happen, IBO® 2007