The implementation of the PYP at our School observes the philosophy and values expressed in the Mission Statements of both Athens College and the IB Organization, while respectful of the National Curriculum.
The Elementary Schools have completed the application and pilot phases of the programme and are in the process of achieving full certification. In order to optimize the implementation of the PYP Programme, the entire community of educators is constantly undergoing training both in Greece and abroad.
Below is an indicative example of the development of a Transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry.
TRANSDISCIPLINARY UNIT OF INQUIRY
Transdisciplinary theme: Who We Are
“Am I what I chose to be?”
This unit explores our nature, our beliefs and values, our physical and mental health, human relationships, and our obligations.
Personal, everyday choices play a role in a person’s well-being.
Lines of Inquiry:
Our daily habits affect our health.
The space we live in serves our daily needs.
Human relationships contribute to “well-being”.
Form: Students realize that the space we live in affects well-being, that it has a specific form and specific characteristics.
Function: Students first learn how the human body works and then identify those habits that provide longevity and health.
Connection: Students gradually realize that our daily lives and our well-being are also affected by our relationships with others.
Through the transdisciplinary unit:
- We research (students are invited to research, organize the results, and present them)
- We communicate (students need to communicate their ideas and exchange views)
- We acquire knowledge (students are invited to research and become acquainted with new ideas and fields)
- We think (students are invited to approach the subject from many perspectives and reach conclusions)
- We reflect (students are invited to redefine their attitude)
- We are balanced (students understand the importance of a balanced attitude towards life)
ATL (Approaches to Learning) Skills
- Critical thinking skills (knowledge-analysis-synthesis)
- Research skills (observation-recording-processing-presentation)
- Communication skills (report-update)
- Self-Management Skills (codes of conduct-safety-healthy lifestyle)
INDICATIVE TRANSDISCIPLINARY ACTIVITIES
Locate, analyze and organize facts from a scientific article and literary texts on the nutritional value of breakfast, home organization, and human relations.
Write a text (argument): “Ready meals or home cooked meals?”
Students discuss and record the pros and cons of home-cooked food and ready-made food.
Experiments related to how the respiratory and circulatory systems function and written instructions for the better performance of those systems.
Talk (lecture) about smoking by the school physician.
Organization of an event in the school theater aimed at 5th and 6th grade students on the consequences of smoking.
Information on their rights and obligations as consumers.
Create a datachart to organize daily life in different parts of the world and the description of an imaginary room in one of those places.
Analysis-use of historical sources related to the organization of daily life during the Ottoman rule.
Create a thinking chart related to family relationships: Rights – Obligations – Challenges, from the Elementary School 6th grade Social and Political Education textbook
Cultural program on the use of the weaving loom in the 19th century in order for students to understand the importance that people placed on the organization of their daily lives many years ago.
In our School’s Library:
By reading the book, “The Lie,” by Georges Sari, we realize that our choices affect our interpersonal relationships. Also, by reading the book, “Journey to the Cave,” by Giannis Papasarantos, we learn to change the way we think, to review our thoughts about people, and to examine our existence from different perspectives.
In English lessons:
- We identify what emotional, physical, and psychological well-being is.
- We inquire into the interconnectedness of the most important body systems.
- We discuss food choices and exercise habits.
- We come to a consensus based on the current school menu and students make suggestions during class/group discussions.
- We take an interview with a human organ.
In German and French lessons:
- We recommend a weekly menu for our school’s dining hall based on healthy eating.
- We plan and verbally present a healthy meal.
- We take a photograph of our breaksfast, describe what it consists of, and discuss the good habit of eating a healthy breakfast.
- We play the food recognition game.
- We create concept maps on nutrition, sports-exercise, and wellness.
- We construct a food pyramid.
- We make a poster that reflects healthy lifestyles.
- We describe a normal day that includes activities that bring about health and well-being.
In IT lessons:
- We calculate the calories of our weekly breakfast using Excel’s calorie counter.
In Aesthetic Education lessons:
- We describe or illustrate our thoughts and feeling through activities that are part of the Free Activities Workshops.
- Using a mind map, we record our choices, as if on a map of our lives and ourselves, in which emotions and logic are conjoined and connected to our choices.
In Physical Education lessons:
- We train for the cross-country race.
Final Assessment Activity:
Creation of a booklet with instructions to the whole student body for the Full Day School Excursion. Students create a booklet addressed to all the students in the school with instructions and tips to enjoy their day. They are expected to include tips on foods they can bring along, how to organize their space, and the way to handle interpersonal relationships so that everyone can have a pleasant time.
Actions resulting from the research
- Present and discuss correct choices with first graders.
- Come up with rules and set goals for self-improvement.
- Look carefully at dilemmas and make decisions.
- Influence their parents to change their attitude and stop smoking.
- Design and create posters to convince their classmates.
Students comprehend that our choices affect our lives. They realize that man has the ability to choose, as well as to build his own values, his self-esteem, his relationships, and his responsibilities. In the end, they conclude that “I am who I chose to be.”
Students ask questions that are used to conduct research (e.g.. What is the nutritional value of specific foods (favorites) that are eaten for breakfast?)
They suggest and implement improvements to their daily breakfast (They begin to think about possible changes to their breakfast choices).
Students suggest changes to the layout of their classroom (Some of which may be implemented).
Students create an instruction booklet for the Full Day Recreational Excursion. They share it with their classmates and take snapshots of different moments during the excursion to check if their suggestions were implemented.
Students become aware of the different perspectives on smoking (tobacco industry, state, public health, environment, passive smokers, smoker) and consider the value of choices that lead to a balanced lifestyle.
- From the classroom to real life
- At home, children and their parents:
- record their family’s eating habits and discuss which ones they could improve.
- discuss changes that the child’s room may require to make the space more enjoyable and functional.
- discuss how they can deal with difficulties that may arise when communicating with friends and other family members.
IB Programmes Director: Eleni Vasileiou Athens College ΡΥΡ Coordinator: Georgia Mega
Psychico College ΡΥΡ Coordinator: Vasilis Zosis