As parents, we want the best education for our children. When deciding between the best private schools in the Bern region, consider the following ten reasons to choose a school, which offers the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP):
- From a young age, your child learns a variety of subjects.
“Children are like sponges.” We hear this phrase often, but the fact remains that young students learn mass amounts of information from their environment, and quickly. Enrolling your child in a programme like the IB PYP ensures that they get the best education possible during this crucial point in their life, because of the programme’s breadth of the curriculum. Students start becoming multilingual sooner, express themselves creatively in art classes, get active in outdoor learning and learn all of the key subjects at an accelerated pace. Moreover, while some non-IB programmes are similar, only the IB Primary Years Programmes ensures that the best specialists, with extensive qualifications, are teaching your child.
- The IB Primary Years Programme curriculum is engaging and creative.
How the wide range of subjects is taught is critical to your child’s understanding of the 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 typical classroom setting, 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 programme, where student engagement is valued and recognised as an integral part of effective learning.
- The IB Primary Years Programme emphasises 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 programmes. They also are inspired to apply new concepts to the real world, making the curriculum more tangible, memorable and relatable to them.
- Each child receives personalised learning.
The IB prioritises an individualised 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 student unique support that is tailored to their needs, making the material easier to understand for students with different learning styles. The IB PYP individualised approach also makes 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, each student is given the opportunity to participate and make the most of their experience in the classroom.
- The IB Primary Years Programme students are taught essential life skills and interpersonal skills.
Unlike many other academically rigorous programmes, the IB PYP incorporates essential 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 inclusive as well as to aspire to create 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.
- Students in the IB Primary Years Programme are prepared well for the next steps in their educational journey.
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.
- 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 abilities. Most standard programmes ignore this aspect of learning and focus solely on teaching the material alone. Children in the IB PYP benefit significantly 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.
- 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, organisational skills, research and cooperation. This lays a strong foundation for the rest of a pupil’s academic career. In essence, it familiarises them with essential learning habits that often students don’t hone until high school or even later. Encouraging excellent study skills from as young as pre-kindergarten age is an invaluable, unique aspect of the IB PYP.
- 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 individualised learning but also programming that is designed specifically for younger students. While teachers or the curriculum itself are essential, ultimately, the student should always be the number one priority. The IB achieves a learner-focused programme, which moulds the whole student, builds personal confidence and responsibility, attends to individual needs and engages with creative teaching.
- The IB programme is recognised 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 programmes are so successful around the globe. In over 5,000 schools, in 150 countries, the IB continuum education programme flourishes and only continues to grow every school year.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of the IB Primary Years Programme or the IBO, visit the organisation’s website here.
Founded in 1961, the International School of Berne (ISBerne) is a private, non-profit day school providing education for students aged 3 to 18 in Switzerland’s capital city. We are proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School. Learn more about the PYP at ISBerne.