The Elementary Program at The Discovery School inspires students socially, academically, physically, and emotionally while encouraging ownership of their actions and beliefs.
The Discovery School offers an Elementary program that is designed using the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme framework. This program serves children first through sixth grade. The Elementary program is comprised of six classrooms which provide a full-day class (from 8:15 am - 3:00 pm).
While offering an authentic PYP program within the IB framework, we are also mindful of the state standards. We use these standards as benchmarks to monitor our learners’ progress. Each year, learners are immersed in six strategic IB units. These six units provide learners’ opportunities to explore topics of interest. Curriculum strands are woven together into thematic units of study. Project work stimulates learner motivation towards culminating IB showcases.
The Elementary program consists of core instruction in math, language arts, and unit inquiry time during science and humanities. In math, students strengthen their procedural skills and develop conceptual understanding of topics. In reading, novel studies provide learners with exposure to sophisticated vocabulary, comprehension strategies, and fluent reading. Unit inquiry time provides students with opportunities to explore topics related to our current unit of study through project-based learning.
Best practices follow the IB standards to educate children holistically, differentiating instruction according to their interests and individual pace. We use formal and informal assessments to plan and guide instruction. Formalized reading and math assessments are administered throughout the year to monitor learners’ progress. This is done alongside informal assessments: checklists, anecdotal records, and observations. Learners use metacognitive skills by keeping planners to record and reflect upon their daily work. This enables them to set challenging goals and monitor their progress toward achieving those goals.
We are continually striving to bring authentic experiences into our classroom as well as extend it beyond our doors. This is achieved through field trips (including separate overnight trips for Lower and Upper Elementary), performing arts, service learning, local and international partnerships, philanthropy, showcases, and community involvement.
We realize we are part of a community and as such, we plan curricular activities and invite learners’ families to participate and celebrate their child’s learning. Progress reports, parent-teacher conferences, and culminating evening events further the parent/community involvement. Elementary teachers attend local and national conferences and read professional journals to integrate best practices and current trends within the IB PYP framework.