Our Curriculum

Introduction to the Curriculum at Kowloon Junior School

Kowloon Junior School is an authorised school for the IBO Primary Years  Programme. Our curriculum follows the Primary Years Programme (PYP) which emphasises “the importance of children making connections between their experience and the incremental pieces of new information they encounter. The programme supports the child’s struggle to gain understanding of the world and to learn to function comfortably within it, to move from not knowing to knowing, to identifying what is real and what is not real, to acknowledging what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. To do this the child must integrate a great deal of information and apply this accumulation of knowledge in a cohesive and effective way” (IBO, 2007).

 

The IB Primary Years Programme is a curriculum framework that aims to achieve a balance between the search for meaning and understanding and the acquisition of essential skills and knowledge. In addition to the academic program PYP offers encourages nonacademic learning that supports the development of the whole child including social, physical, emotional and cultural awareness by teaching the PYP attitudes and Learner profile attributes.

The PYP uses six themes and are taught as six transdisciplinary units of inquiry at each grade level that transcend the traditional subject disciplines to create “big ideas” that are universally relevant and therefore could be studied in any school around the globe. The instructional approach for these units is inquiry-based which extends the students prior knowledge and provokes further inquiry on the part of the student.

Click here to view our current POI

 

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is built around six Transdisciplinary Themes.  They are:

Who Are You
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where we are in place and time

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes  and journeys; the discoveries, explorations  and migrations  of humankind; the relationships  between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How we express ourselves

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the world works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How we organize ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure  and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

To find out more about the IB PYP, please go to http://www.ibo.org/pyp

 

 

We aim to inspire our students to be active members of their environment and challenge them to think, create and develop the world around them.

 

At KJS we focus on the IB Learner Profile and strive for our students to be:

Inquirers

They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives. (IBO,2007)

Knowledgeable

They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines. Thinkers They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions. (IBO,2007)

Communicators

They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others. (IBO,2007)

Principled

They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them. (IBO,2007)

Open-minded

They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience. (IBO,2007)

Caring

They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. (IBO,2007)

Risk-takers

They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. (IBO,2007)

Balanced

They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others. (IBO,2007)

Reflective

They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development. (IBO,2007)

 

The Primary Years Programme focuses on five essential elements.  They are:

 

Concepts - What do we want students to understand?

Eight fundamental concepts, expressed as key questions, propel the process of inquiry and help to encourage a transdisciplinary perspective. These concepts drive the units of inquiry which teachers and students design and which lie at the heart of the curriculum model.

The concepts are the following:

  • Form: What is it like?
  • 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?

 

Approaches to learning skills:

What do we want students to be able to do?

The five sets of skills acquired in the process of structured inquiry are: thinking, communication, social, research and self management skills.

 

Attitudes:

What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?

The programme promotes and fosters a set of attitudes that include tolerance, respect, integrity, independence, enthusiasm, empathy, curiosity, creativity, cooperation, confidence, commitment and appreciation.

 

Action:

How do we want students to act?

Students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices and to take student initiated action that will help their peers, school and the wider community.

 

Knowledge:

The Primary Years Programme identifies a body of significant knowledge for all students in all cultures, in six principal subject areas: language; social studies; mathematics, science and technology; the arts; personal, social and physical education.

A PYP school provides for the teaching of an additional language other than the school’s language of instruction in order to support the international perspective of the curriculum. The additional language offered at Kowloon Junior School is Mandarin.