The educational programmes offered at CGS aim to highlight students’ individual talents and skills by providing them with the right conditions to develop their critical ability and to correctly formulate selection criteria. They combine learning experience with social reality, providing students with specialized and general knowledge through trans-disciplinary learning.
All IB PYP schools follow six large common trans-disciplinary units of global significance, as shown in the table below:
|Who we are||Where we are in place and time||How we express ourselves||How the world works||How we organise ourselves||Sharing the planet|
|An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.||An inquiry into orientation in place and time, personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilisations from local and global perspectives.||An inquiry into the ways we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, beliefs and values, the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity, our appreciation of the aesthetic.||An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.||An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organisations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.||An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities, peace and conflict resolution.|
For each trans-disciplinary unit, grade teachers design a corresponding Unit of Inquiry, which is adjusted each time according to the students’ requirements and needs. The Units of Inquiry include a series of experiential activities regarding different themes and disciplines which are connected to each other and to the real world so that learning is all-round and meaningful to the learner.
Approaches to Learning
In addition to the acquisition of knowledge, the basic goal of the PYP is to cultivate skills that aim to strengthen the learner’s autonomy and active participation in the learning process (“learning how to learn”).
More specifically, the skills cultivated are in the fields of Communication, Self-management, Research, Thinking and Social.
Inquiry Based Learning
Inquiry is the basic pedagogical approach of the PYP and requires students to have agency and to take an active role and initiative in the learning process. Through a combination of inquiry-based learning and trans-disciplinary learning, an authentic framework is created within which students make connections, explore and comprehend the world around them.
When learning follows the conceptual approach, it aids students in finding meaning, in making appropriate connections between previous and new knowledge and in dealing with the “big ideas”, the essence of what they learn.
The PYP identifies seven key concepts, in the form of questions, which drive inquiry-based learning and guide units of inquiry:
|Form:||What is it like?|
|Function:||How does it work?|
|Causation:||Why is it as it is?|
|Change:||How is it transforming?|
|Connection:||How is it linked to other things?|
|Perspective:||What are the points of view?|
|Responsibility:||What are our responsibilies?|
Assessment is an ongoing process of collecting and analysing information, reflection and redesigning in relation to the teaching objectives and concerns both the learner himself and teachers.
The teacher plays a key role in this through daily observation in the classroom, and the defining of clear learning objectives according to each student’s potential and needs.
The assessment methods vary according to subject, context, and age group, and, besides day-to-day classroom observation, include tools such as written assessments, presentations, debates, theatrical performances, assignments and projects, art, brochures or posters, etc.
Additionally, assessment tools are as follows:
Student Led Conference
The Student Led Conference is the process by which students take an active role and presents to their parents / guardians the work they have included in their portfolio and their self-assessment. During the presentation, they are given the opportunity to talk about their progress and personal goals, and also to show samples of tasks which they have chosen and which are related to the objectives of each lesson.
The Student Led Conference process is student-centred, but both the teacher and the parent(s) / guardian(s) are involved as well. The opportunities it offers to each one are outlined in the following table:
|· Shares and realizes the knowledge he / she has acquired.
· Becomes independent as he / she has to select assignments and justify his / her choice.
· Learns to present arguements and convince by documenting his / her point of view.
· Recognizes his / her interests, strengths and weaknesses, reflects and sets new goals.
· Develops communication and self-management skills.
|· Receives documentation of the student’s development and progress.
· Participates actively and understands the educational process and the student’s development.
· “Celebrates” knowledge and learning with their child.
|· Receives a clearer picture of the student’s cognitive skills and interests.
· Evaluates their self-management and communication skills.
· Sets goals together with the students and integrates them into the educational process.
· “Celebrates” knowledge and learning with their students.
IB PYP Exhibition
PYP Year 6 students complete their studies in the IB PYP programme with the Exhibition, whose primary and principal objective is the implementation of methods and procedures for the students to inquire into a specific trans-disciplinary theme. The inquiry process is largely defined by the students themselves as:
- They choose their topic.
- They determine the lines of inquiry.
- They identify reliable sources that they will make use of in their research.
- They analyse and compile data and information by demonstrating critical understanding and ability.
- They decide how the findings of their research are to be presented.
At the heart of the educational process are the teachers themselves, who undertake both in-house and out-of-school training in relation to pedagogical philosophy and their subjects. Moreover, on a regular basis they participate in Pan-Hellenic conferences where they share good practice and teaching approaches with teachers and schools from all over Greece.