The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers a continuum of international education. The programmes encourage both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development.
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children aged 3 - 12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
PSI believes that students learn best when education is authentic, conceptual and transdisciplinary. We have chosen the IB PYP because it provides a framework for PSI to develop a coherent programme of international education that places the student in the centre of the learning process. The PYP offers a balanced approach to developing relevant knowledge, skills, concepts and positive learning attitudes that can lead students to take action.
PSI ensures that student learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. The School's programme of inquiry is transdisciplinary in that it recognises a range of global themes that incorporate the traditional subject areas of math, language, social studies and science. The programme of inquiry is developed from six themes that allow students to explore concepts from a variety of perspectives, both local and global. The programme of inquiry ensures that students will:
- Develop conceptual understandings
- Research issues of personal, local and global significance
- Develop positive attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning
- Develop a range of transdisciplinary skills
- Have a range of opportunities to engage in meaningful action
Mathematics and literacy are taught within these themes. In addition, 'stand alone' maths and literacy topics are taught as well.
The units of inquiry are developed in the School's programme of inquiry, which is reviewed each year. Each grade, Kindergarten to Grade 5, implements six units of inquiry, one for each of the transdisciplinary themes. Our Early Childhood (EC) programme for 3 and 4 year olds implements a programme of inquiry with four units of inquiry each year.
Early Childhood Programme – EC3 and EC4
For children of pre-kindergarten age (3 and 4 years old by 1 September), PSI offers a curriculum emphasising developmentally appropriate practices through play. Children have the opportunity to develop their creativity, interests, social skills and basic learning competencies that will prepare them for successful entry into Kindergarten. There is a focus on speaking and developing English language, as well as on early maths concepts and skills for emergent readers.
The Early Childhood Programme is taught through carefully designed conceptual units in a programme of inquiry. The content of each unit is built around active daily routines, which include centre / task time, story time, music, singing, and physical education.
The school day begins at 8:25 and ends at 15:00 day with a daily dedicated daily nap or rest time for EC3 students. EC3 and EC4 have their own independent programme of inquiry, but on occasion, they do work together to facilitate children's learning. There are two teachers and three teaching assistants working with a group of up to 30 students. Children in our EC programme also benefit from lessons with specialist teachers for both Physical Education and Music. They also have Art and Host Country Culture Classes.
Kindergarten to Grade 5
From Kindergarten to Grade 5, the PYP continues to provide students with a strong academic foundation through units of inquiry that teach language, mathematics, social studies, and science. Information technology and library skills are integrated within the units. Single subject teachers also teach Visual Art, Music, Physical Education and Additional Languages and Host Country Culture classes.
The language of instruction is English. Depending on the grade level, non-native English speaking students receive English language classes up to five times a week, as well as support from our English teaching staff. Beginning in grade one, students with a good level of language competency in English may take classes in Ukrainian (either for native speakers or as an additional language), or may take Russian or Spanish as an additional language up to five days a week, depending on the grade level. Beginning in the 2020/21 school year, French will also be available.
The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a five-year programme for students aged 11 - 16 (Grades 6 - 10). It was started by international school teachers in response to a perceived need for a truly international curriculum.
Currently, over 1,300 schools worldwide are authorised to run the MYP, and many more are in the process of gaining authorisation.
The MYP helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. It teaches students to become independent learners who can recognise relationships between school subjects and the world outside, and who can adapt to new situations and combine relevant knowledge, practical and social intelligence to solve problems alone and / or in groups.
The MYP aims to prepare students for the challenges faced at the IB Diploma level. In each of the five years of the MYP, students study eight subjects: Language and Literature (taught at native language level), Language Acquisition (or second language), Individuals & Societies (formerly Humanities), Science, Mathematics, Arts (Visual Art, Music, and / or Drama), Design, and Physical & Health Education. Although the MYP Subject Guides identify concepts and skills, the IB gives the School the flexibility to organise the curriculum according to its own requirements and context. However, all MYP schools must structure their curriculum to allow their students to achieve the aims and objectives of each subject group in terms of the final achievement at the end of the programme.
Many of the concepts, programme elements, and the underlying philosophy found in the MYP are consistent with those found in both the IB Primary Years Programme and the IB Diploma Programme.
Teachers organise their curriculum through Global Contexts (Identities and Relationships, Orientation in Space and Time, Personal and Cultural Expression, Scientific and Technical Innovation, Globalisation and Sustainability, and Fairness and Development), so that students learn how these contexts help to bring meaning to each subject area.
A unique part of the programme is the Service & Action component, which helps students develop the following skills: feeling empathy towards others, making small-scale changes to their behaviour, undertaking larger and more significant service projects, acting on their own, acting collaboratively, taking physical action, suggesting modifications to an existing system to the benefit of all involved, and lobbying people in more influential positions to act. Students become more aware of their own strengths and areas for growth; undertake challenges that develop new skills; discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities; persevere in action; work collaboratively with others; develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding; and consider the ethical implications of their actions.
In the final year of the programme, the students undertake a Personal Project, the culmination of their learning experiences in the MYP. The Personal Project encourages students to practice and strengthen their skills, consolidate prior and subject-specific learning and develop an area of personal interest. The Personal Project revolves around a challenge that motivates and interests individual students. It is a perfect finish to a great programme.
Students in Grades 11 and 12 follow a two-year, college preparatory programme designed for those seeking to enter higher education in universities world wide.
Students select an individually tailored learning programme that includes a Mother Tongue language (English, Russian or a self-taught language), a Second Language (English, Spanish, French, or Russian), an Individuals & Societies subject (Business Management, Economics, Geography, Global Politics, History), an Experimental Science subject (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Design Technology, or Environmental Systems & Societies), Mathematics, and an Arts subject (Visual Art, Music or Theatre) or an elective subject, drawn from one of the other non-Maths areas. Students also participate in a Theory of Knowledge class, write an Extended Essay (a 4,000-word research paper) and participate in Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) projects.
Based on their performance, interests and needs, students may work toward the full IB Diploma Programme, a selection of IB Certificates and / or the PSI High School Graduation Diploma.
The IB Diploma option is the most demanding of the three tracks in terms of student motivation and commitment, class and independent study time, study skills and application.
The certificate track offers more flexibility than the IB Diploma track, as students may select the number and level of courses in which they will sit exams.
As long as they satisfy the requirements for graduation, all three tracks allow students to qualify for a PSI High School Diploma. This is equivalent to a North American diploma and is therefore valid for admission to universities that require such a qualification. The PSI graduation option includes the same flexibility as the IB Certificate option, but is designed to allow students to receive a High School Diploma without sitting any external examinations.
It is important that the admission requirements of colleges and universities are taken into account when deciding which track is the most suitable.