Dear Parents

EARLY YEARS: How We Organise Ourselves

In the Early Years, our Unit of Inquiry for the first part of this semester is, How We Organise Ourselves. Here, we are exploring the concept of family, school and transport. Some of the experiences our learners have been engaging in include exploring our campus to learn the functions of a school and the roles of various members of staff.

Our Early Learners ended the first week with a welcome assembly, where each member of the School community was encouraged to make a positive impact on others. We also had the pleasure of receiving and interacting with visitors from Australia, who shared in our learning

Since Week One, learners have been engaging in child-initiated learning,  where they have been employing their learning skills to role-play various family roles. This was in line with our Central Idea, Family Roles and Responsibilities.

To enable students to connect with the idea of walking, as a means of transport, they participated in an aerobic warm-up routine, before going for a short walk around our playground. They honed their gross motor skills while striving to keep in step with the various
exercises, accompanied with music. Each learner exercised Agency as they took turns to lead in these exercises.

Our first two weeks have progressed well with learners showing enthusiasm and heightened curiosity, as they participated in all planned and spontaneous activities.

A key feature of the enhanced IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is the increased focus on Learner Agency. At TIS Primary, we have gone through several training sessions to give us a good understanding of this concept.

We promote Agency by striving to find ways of growing students’ own, strong, personal urge to learn. We give learners the space, environment and liberty to express themselves openly, and in the specific directions of their learning. Students in our classes have Voice, make Choices and take Ownership of their learning. Our planning is such that the student Voice is embedded in the learning activities. We are, however, careful not to fall into the traditional thinking that Agency will get the teacher off the intended course of learning. Teachers work alongside students as they lay out the Scopes and Sequence documents. These clearly spell out the requirements and expectations to be achieved at specific levels. Learner Agency thus plays that key role of dictating the path to be taken so as to achieve these objectives.

Our design and thinking processes allow learners to be able to look through the expectations, and critically use Agency to collaborate and come up with effective learning activities and assessments/strategies/tools. Students play a very important role in designing their own
learning, as well as benchmarking their achievements. This in turn helps them gain a better understanding of themselves in terms of the way they learn best, and their unique approaches for effectiveness. When students own their learning, it becomes more intrinsic, learner-centered and effective.

The Onyx Class engaged in a Math activity on shapes and patterns. They applied Agency by selecting their preferred coloured papers and shapes.

Some Opal students exercised Agency by knitting their preferred items. Other students also chose their preferred non-standard measuring tools to estimate the length of the knitting wool.

Taking action is one of the aspects of PYP that students enjoy most. During Onyx Class’ fireless cooking project, Agency was demonstrated when learners decided among themselves the snacks they preferred to serve.

During students’ visit to the Archeological Museum of Ghana, they implemented Agency by making their preferred playdough replicas of museum exhibits.

Agency takes place all the time in and out of our classroom. Students may choose the best way they would like to learn.

GHANAIAN SIGN LANGUAGE:  Numbers in Ghanaian Sign Language

Being able to give numerical information in Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) opens many doors. For instance, you can count objects or make an appointment using non-verbal signs. This week the Topaz Class learned how to count numbers from 1- 10 in Sign Language.

Thank you for being part of the TIS family.