Stamford American Elementary School Curriculum Guide - page 5

designed for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years. The program focuses on
the total growth of the developing child addressing social, physical, emotional and
cultural needs in addition to academic achievement.
The PYP combines the best research and practice from a range of national systems
with a wealth of experience from international schools to create a relevant and
engaging educational program. The PYP offers a comprehensive, inquiry-based
approach to teaching and learning. It incorporates guidelines on student learning
styles, teaching methodologies and assessment strategies.
Language and Literacy
The PYP emphasizes the importance of children making connections between their
experience and the incremental pieces of new information they encounter. The
program supports the child’s need to gain understanding of the world and to learn to
function comfortably within it, to move from not knowing to knowing, to identifying
what is real and what is not real, to acknowledging what is appropriate and what is
not appropriate. To do this, the child must integrate a great deal of information and
apply this accumulation of knowledge in a cohesive and effective way.
Inquiry based
Teaching methods build on students’ prior knowledge and emphasize learning
“how to learn” and “how to find out”, using both traditional and contemporary
media. Inquiry, as the leading but not exclusive pedagogical approach of the PYP,
is recognized as being intimately connected with the development of children’s
comprehension of the world.
Inquiry is the process initiated by the learner or the teacher which moves the
learner from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level
of understanding.
This can mean:
• Exploring, wondering and questioning
• Experimenting and playing with possibilities
• Researching and seeking information
• Collecting data and reporting findings
• Clarifying existing ideas and reappraising events
• Deepening understanding through the application of a concept or rule
• Making and testing theories
• Making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
• Elaborating on solutions to problems
Inquiry involves an active engagement with the environment in an effort to make
sense of the world, and consequent reflection on the connections between the
experiences encountered and the information gathered. Inquiry involves the
synthesis, analysis and manipulation of knowledge, whether through play for younger
children or through more formally structured learning in the primary years.
The subject areas of Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Art,
Personal and Social Education, Physical Education and Modern Languages are taught
through interdisciplinary units in order to help the students make connections
between the subjects, thereby facilitating more effective learning. Technology is
integrated across our curriculum to enhance student learning, and build student
confidence in their ability to effectively use technology to acquire, process and
communicate information. Stamford aligns challenging AERO standards in subject
areas with the PYP framework to set learning goals.
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