Stamford American Elementary School Curriculum Guide - page 32

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Personal and Social Education (PSE)
PSE identifies some of the central ideas considered significant in the PYP and our
curriculum. PSE is included throughout the curriculumwherever applicable in addition to
opportunities found in units of the program of inquiry. Here, the content is arranged into
four main strands:
• Self-concept
• Health and safety
• Interaction with others
• Organization for learning
In self-concept, students develop an awareness of their feelings, beliefs and behavior.
They learn to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. In health and safety, positive
lifestyle choices to promote and maintain health are encouraged, and the development
of safe behavior practices at home, school and in the community are considered. In
interaction with others, social norms and values are considered, including strategies for
the management of conflict as well as the study and acceptance of cultural, racial and
religious similarities and differences. In organization for learning, strategies and choices in
relation to becoming a successful learner are developed.
Although these strands are considered separately, in practice they are inextricably
linked. Students develop aspects of PSE continually, across the strands, through different
disciplines and at their own pace.
PSE provides the models, processes and values for handling social and personal issues and
ensuring health and well-being. Through PSE, students will develop their self-identity, use
appropriate social skills when interacting with others in a range of situations, and learn
to communicate and manage their feelings, emotions and opinions. The expectations of
PSE emphasize attitudes, behaviors and skills that are closely aligned with the PYP student
profile. Students are given guidance to help develop positive attitudes and behaviors
in order to meet challenges, make healthy lifestyle choices and serve as responsible,
respectful members of society. This guidance is specific, explicit and continuous.
Through exposure to new and difficult issues in a non-threatening environment, students
are able to develop their own positive values and prepare for their role as international
citizens. The PSE curriculum encourages Personal and Social Education to be a way of
thinking that permeates the school. The values, attitudes and concepts advocated within
the PSE curriculum are reflected in all areas of school life via the relationships that exist
within and beyond the school. They are the founding principles of policies that direct
decision making at the school.
Second Step Social Curriculum
At Stamford, we want all of our students to be successful and to achieve more than they
believe they can. Success in school is not just about academic disciplines, it is also about
knowing how to learn and how to get along with others. The Second Step Program is
incorporated into our Personal, Social and Physical Education Program in Pre-Kindergarten
through Grade 5 classes. The program helps students to develop critical skills necessary
for success in school and in life and helps to prevent the development of problem
behaviors. The Second Step Program promotes school success, school connectedness
and a safe and respectful school climate by developing students’ self-regulation skills and
social-emotional competencies.
Second Step was developed by the Committee for Children, a non-profit organization
helping students develop skills that help them stay safe, manage their emotions, solve
problems, avoid risky behavior and improve their academics. The Second Step Program
received the prestigious “Exemplary” award from the U.S. Department of Education
and also received the highest rating from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and
Emotional Learning (CASEL). The Second Step Program focuses on building student skills
and empowering students to appropriately express themselves. Some key focus areas of
the program include:
Course Descriptions: Lower Elementary to Upper Elementary Program
- Kindergarten 2 to Grade 5 continued
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