PYP Guiding principles
At the Vilnius International School (VIS) we follow the beliefs and values of the International Baccalaureate, Primary Years Programme. Our guiding principles are:
- A focus on the development of the whole child;
- The provision of a secure, safe and caring environment where students take risks;
- The belief that educators, parents and the community work collaboratively with teachers in order to grow our young learners;
- Preparing children of the 21st century and becoming lifelong learners; and
- In the early years, a play-based approach to teaching and learning where children have opportunities to learn in authentic, real-life situations.
PYP Curriculum Overview
The curriculum for grades pre-K3 to 5 is organized through our Programme of Inquiry.
- In Pre-K3, there are four Units of Inquiry.
- In Pre-K4 and Kindergarten 5 and 6, there are five Units of Inquiry.
- From Grade 1 to 5 there are six Units of Inquiry per grade.
Students engage in conceptual learning facilitated through inquiry. Teaching and learning seeks to offer students an array of experiences both within and beyond the classroom. Specifically, the development of play and inquiry in the early years has led to the following learning designs:
- Structured inquiry where the teacher provides students with hands-on problems to investigate;
- Guided inquiry where the teacher provides parameters to develop key skills focused on the IB learner profile; and
- Open inquiry through sustained, uninterrupted play to explore concepts, ideas and issues
There has been an effort to balance and integrate the teaching of different subject areas within the Unit of Inquiry where relevant and appropriate. In the area of Math and Language, further development of the scope and sequence documents have been made. While honoring the rigor and conceptual objectives in the IB documents, VIS has merged the Lithuanian National curriculum and the IB scope and sequences to produce Math and Language documents that apply better to our context. This occurred in the autumn of 2013. The teaching of Lithuanian follows the same Language scope and sequence. Additionally, VIS had adopted the Math scope and sequence document to suit the early years.
When single-subjects or specialist classes do not integrate in the Unit of Inquiry, we offer standalone units of study.
- In Physical Education, five units have been developed based on the IB PYP PSPE scope and sequence.
- In Visual Arts (Art), six units have been developed based on the IB PYP Arts scope and sequence.
In addition to unit development, the VIS Primary School has also developed planning documents. A long-term literacy plan has been developed for grades 1-5. Year-long plans delineate unit sequence.
In the Primary School, we also utilize several frameworks to support our Units of Inquiry. The 6+1 Writing Traits and Words Their Way support language instruction.