PYP pupils at Princess Margaret International School are the agents of their learning.
At Princess Margaret International School, the 2021 Academic year has started with a change in the Early Years stage. Classrooms have been reshaped and aligned with the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, with a new proposal of learning corners in the room to respond to each child’s learning needs and interests.
Classrooms have been transformed into stimulating environments divided into different learning corners to embrace independent exploration and freedom of movement and choice. As IB students, children should be open-minded and free to take action and make decisions. The new dynamic tables allow teachers to set different activities adapting to each area’s objectives.
Every learning corner responds to different areas of knowledge. As forward PYP inquirers, pupils are always aware of every scope’s purpose and recognise the various tasks or games proposed in each corner at all times. Children have the opportunity to experience different activities to extend the knowledge acquired during class discussion and taught through the teacher’s explanation. Every space is a meaningful and contextual task that allows the child to master and grasp the contents of knowledge they are working on in their units of inquiry.
There are four bare learning corners in each class: the Numeracy area where they find numbers, logic and reasoning, equivalent to a mathematics corner; a site focused on reading and writing, equal to a language corner; a creative area with a wide range of artistic materials to manipulate and use, equivalent to an arts and crafts corner; and a symbolic play corner, which activities related to the unit of inquiry are proposed.
The areas will be in constant transformation throughout the year, fitting the objectives of each session. The students will be active agents, as teachers will modify them by observing the children take action during their corner exploration time. Before and after this examination, children will always have a guided class discussions time with the teacher. They will contribute with their ideas, reflect on their successes and mistakes, become aware of their learning, and have agency in their actions. The teacher will constantly observe, listen, and question to push their thinking forward. This communicative methodology will allow teachers to know the next learning steps to modify and upgrade the different corners, making them further every new course. They will always be according to the children’s interests and curiosities that arise in group discussions and daily inquiries.
Princess Margaret International School provides classroom experiences that encourage students to acquire the IB learning profile attributes: Principled, Thinkers, Caring, Knowledgeable, Inquirers, Reflective, Balanced and above all, open-minded. When students enter the classroom, they face different learning challenges to explore and achieve an objective in their way.
This dynamic methodology ensures the development of self-management and spatial awareness skills and becomes responsible for their classroom. Children learn to investigate and critically think when looking for solutions in different areas. They share ideas with their peers and acquire social and communication skills to agree and work together to achieve the other corners’ objectives.
In front of each proposal, students open their minds and learn to appreciate different approaches to face challenges. They learn to reflect together and build knowledge collaboratively. Teachers create situations where children need to apply the insight learned previously and demonstrate that they have fully understood the academic contents; children realise what they know and what they need to enhance. Afterwards, during exploration time, there is a class plenary where teachers encourage children to talk about what they have acquired, and as a group, they commit to achieving new objectives. Being aware of their skills and needs will help them undertake their actions and empower themselves, gaining self-knowledge and contributing to positive self-esteem.
Carma Ayuso Clemente
Community & Admissions Team