10 Reasons to Choose the IB Primary Years
Education Editor, St. Jude’s Academy
As parents, we want the best for our children. When deciding between the best private schools in the GTA and Mississauga region, consider the following ten reasons to choose a school offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP):
1. From a young age, your child learns a variety of subjects.
“Children are like sponges.” We hear this phrase thrown around a lot, but the fact remains that young students learn mass amounts of information from their environment, and quickly. Enrolling your child in a program like the IB PYP ensures that they get the best education possible during this crucial point in their life, because of the program’s breadth of curriculum. Students start becoming bilingual sooner, express themselves creatively in art classes, get active in Phys. Ed. and learn all of the key subjects at an accelerated pace. Moreover, while some non-IB programs might have a similar variety, only the IB Primary Years Programmes ensures that the best specialists, with extensive qualifications, are teaching your child.
2. The IB Primary Years Programme curriculum is engaging and creative.
How the wide range of subjects is taught is critical to your child’s absorption of material. The IB PYP is specifically designed to be as interactive and hands-on as possible, so that students connect with the curriculum, and participate in engaging activities and discussions. In a standard primary years classroom, students sit back and listen to a teacher for most, if not all, of the time spent learning. This is never the case in an IB program, where student engagement is valued and recognized as an integral part of effective learning.
3. The IB Primary Years Programme emphasizes global, real-world contexts.
Along with incorporating interactive activities, the IB PYP curriculum is designed to engage students with real-world applications and global, cultural conversation. Children in the IB PYP gain an invaluable intercultural understanding that is not found in other private or public school programs. They also are inspired to apply new concepts to the real world, making curriculum more tangible, memorable and relatable to them.
4. Small classes mean extra attention to each individual child.
The IB prioritizes an individualized approach to learning. For children, especially young children, extra attention could make all the difference in getting a supportive and comprehensive education. The IB PYP teachers are able to give each unique student unique support that is tailored to their needs, making material more digestible to students with different learning styles. The IB PYP smaller class size and individualized approach also make education more personal, allowing students to bond with and trust teachers more, and teachers to understand and get to know their students more. In conjunction with an interactive environment, a smaller class of students ensures that each student is given the opportunity to participate and make the most of their experience in the classroom.
5. The IB Primary Years Programme students are taught important life skills and interpersonal skills.
Unlike many other academically rigorous programs, the IB PYP makes sure to incorporate life skills along with academics. Students who learn more than standard curriculum through the encouragement of interpersonal skills, self-management and strong communication are equipped with lifelong skills that become second-nature to them. Moreover, they are encouraged to be open-minded and tolerant of diversity, and to aspire to creating a better world. The IB PYP goes far beyond academic subjects as it acknowledges the long-term benefits of teaching children life skills and ethical decision-making.
6. Students in the IB Primary Years Programme are prepared well in advance for higher grades.
The non-academic skills that IB PYP students learn go hand-in-hand with advanced curriculum to prepare them for middle year grades and onward. Although they will inevitably expand on fundamental skills in later grades, the IB PYP offers a solid base ground and kickstart into a student’s educational journey. By fostering a sense of growing responsibility and independence, the PYP gives students an exceptional preparation for what’s to come.
7. Students are encouraged to ask questions, be curious and be confident.
The IB PYP students are taught in a supportive, intimate environment where they are encouraged by teachers to inquire for themselves and to be confident in their own abilities. Most standard programs ignore this aspect of learning and focus solely on teaching the material alone, but children in the IB PYP benefit greatly from this all-inclusive approach. Students who are encouraged to ask questions are naturally more likely to seek out answers for themselves and develop creative solutions. Similarly, the growth of confidence inspires bigger aspirations, more consistent work ethic and an enthusiasm to learn.
8. Students in the IB Primary Years Programme are taught how to learn.
One of the most integral parts of IB education is its focus on the “how” of learning. Students are taught how to learn effectively using critical thinking skills, organizational skills, research and cooperation. This lays a strong foundation for the rest of a pupil’s academic career — it familiarizes them with essential learning habits that oftentimes students don’t hone until high school or even later. Encouraging good study skills from as young as pre-kindergarten age is an invaluable, unique aspect of the IB PYP.
9. The IB Primary Years Programme is centred on the student, and not on the teacher or the curriculum.
The International Baccalaureate is intended to put the student first, always. Being taught in the IB PYP means not only individualized learning but also programming that is designed specifically for junior students to connect with. While teachers or the curriculum itself are essential, ultimately, the student should always be the number one priority; the IB achieves a learner-focussed program which molds the whole student, builds personal confidence and responsibility, attends to individual needs and engages with creative teaching.
10. The IB program is recognized around the world for its achievement.
The final reason to choose the IB PYP is its impressive reputation, being renowned by institutions worldwide. There is good reason — beyond these ten — that the IB programs are so successful around the globe. In over 5,000 schools, in 150 countries, the IB continuum education program flourishes and only continues to grow every school year.
Choosing the best private school program for your child can seem daunting, especially in the communities of Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Meadowvale and the rest of the GTA, where there are so many options to choose from. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of the IB Primary Years Programme or the IBO, visit the organization’s website here!
St. Jude’s Academy (JK-Grade 12) is the leading private university preparatory and IB School (PYP, MYP, DP) in Mississauga. Our faculty are world leaders in IB education, providing fundamental skills. Phys. Ed, Arts and language specialists nurture the whole student which ensures 100% of our graduates are accepted into their chosen university. Supported by faculty and parents, our students are inspired to confidently make their mark in the world. Visit us at stjudesacademy.com.