By Lourdes Barceló, head of Education
Allow me to leave the topic of COVID aside for a while to tell you about the exciting course ahead of us in terms of the content we will be teaching and the methodology that will be implemented in the classrooms at St. Peter’s this course.
The school is immersed in the process of accreditation for the continuum of the International Baccalaureate, which conforms to national and international university standards. This means that following the implementation of the Diploma Program in the pre-university courses with great success – as evidenced by the results obtained – this year we will extend the program throughout all levels of the school:
Primary Program (PYP ) and Secondary (MYP). Both programs allow us to teach the most relevant and current content with a modern, effective and international methodology based on inquiry and research.
This year the classes will work on topics such as transhumanism, post-truth, the latest scientific innovations or the blockchain; we will talk about global politics and the formation of the layers of the Earth; we will read Shakespeare, Haddon, Shaw, Unamuno or Dahl; stories will be written, songs will be sung, and many students will express their joys and anxieties through painting and art. In all cases, this learning will be authentic because it will be related to the world around us, which will allow students to learn common aspects of the human experience.
In the PYP, teachers will organise meaningful activities for students so that each student builds a portfolio with all of their learning experiences. These activities will revolve around a central theme, around which students and teachers will plan a structured inquiry and research process.
What do we mean by inquiry? In a broad sense, we refer to the ability to move from a superficial to a deep level of knowledge through experimentation, play, questioning what is established, predicting or obtaining data and communicating it. In this way, teachers and students use important concepts (function, cause, perspective, responsibility, reflection, among others) to generate key questions with which to carry out research, acquire knowledge and develop essential skills. Doing so involves a shared assessment between teachers and students and a deep awareness of the construction of each individual’s cognitive progress and of the course in general.
In the MYP, despite the interdisciplinary nature of Primary, the areas of learning are specified in several subjects. Nevertheless, both the work by concepts (change, identity, systems, global interactions or aesthetics, among others) and the questions related to a topic regarding its relation to reality are maintained, which allows the student to establish connections between different learning and develop their capacity for abstraction. In other words, conceptual learning focuses on powerful ideas that transcend national and cultural boundaries and allows us to transfer what we have learned to other contexts.
We are in an exciting time of pedagogical innovation and the implementation of 21st-century content. As always, throughout this course, we will keep you informed of the different activities of the school. Indeed, we have already started! There is nothing that excites a child more than understanding their environment and expressing it. It is the enjoyment of learning; and that of teaching. Let us share it with you.