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As an IB World School, Fernbank joins over 4,700 schools worldwide in delivering IB programmes,  and is part of a community of educators that is growing and developing constantly.


The IB’s unique implementation is strengthened through the relationships with schools, governments and international organizations globally.


Taught in over 109 countries around the world, the PYP curriculum framework is uniquely adaptable to state and national standards.


Guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, students deepen their learning by developing their conceptual understandings; strengthening their knowledge and skills across and beyond subject areas.


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 programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right 


The PYP is a transformative experience for students, teachers and whole school communities.


PYP students learn how to take control of their learning, teachers collaborate to deepen student- learning and increase their confidence and self-motivation.


The whole school community, including parents, are viewed as partners in learning, and actively contribute to a holistic educational experience


Often terms are used that are unique to IB which can make it very confusing to someone new to the program. 

To better understand the lingo, below is a primer on key terminology: 

IB= International Baccalaureate 

PYP = Primary Years Program
(Pre - K - 5th grade) 

POI : Program of Inquiry.

The POI shows the horizontal and vertical articulation of our curriculum for grades PreK-5. Each grade has its own color.


UOI : Unit of Inquiry.
Each phase contains a unit of inquiry. There are six units throughout the course of a school year.
You will find a UOI planner outside of each core classroom. This will give specific information on the current UOI the class is working on.
Inside the core classrooms you will find current unit information post-ed. Each teacher has his or her own way of providing this information. 

C.I. = Central Idea.

This is the theme or focus for the unit.
Trans-disciplinary Themes - Six trans-disciplinary themes of global significance provide the framework for exploration and study: 

• 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 

Key Concepts:
Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them. Students must explore and re-explore these ideas in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding. 

Key Concepts Include:

perspective, connection, change, causation, 

responsibility, reflection, function, and form

Approaches to Learning Skills: :
Those capabilities, which may be disciplinary or trans-disciplinary in nature, that the students must demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or trans-disciplinary in nature.  

Skills Include:

self-management, research, social, thinking, and communication

Formative Assessment:

Part of the instructional process. It is an assessment for learning. Formative Assessments are on-going throughout a unit.

Summative Assessment:

An assessment of learning. This takes place at the end of a unit.

Essential Agreements:

Most schools have “rules.” IB schools, however, have Essential Agreements. The Essential Agreements in a classroom are created by the entire class and teacher. They promote a safe and positive learning environment.

Essential Elements

The five essential elements of the IB are concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and action.
The Essential Elements help students: 


Gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance 


Develop an understanding of concepts, which allows them to make connections throughout their learning 


Acquire trans-disciplinary and disciplinary skills 


Develop attitudes that will lead to international mindedness  


Take action as a consequence of their learning. 


The aim of the IB program is to develop internationally minded people who are:

• recognizing their common humanity and  shared guardianship of the planet 

• helping to create a better and more peaceful world. 


inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective.


Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs, and feelings about learning, the environment and people: 

curiosity, integrity, creativity, enthusiasm, appreciation, respect, cooperation, empathy, tolerance, confidence, independence, and commitment 

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