Frequently Asked Questions about the International Baccalaureate Organization and the Primary Years Programme

                                   at Cloverleaf Elementary School 

  • What is it?

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) was founded in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland to establish a consistent curriculum for international students. IBO offers four programmes: Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students in grades K-5; Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students in grades 6-10; and, Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) for students in grades 11-12. The IB Programmes focus on best teaching practices and provide education for more than a million students in over 146 countries.

  • Why explore IB PYP here at Cloverleaf Elementary School?

Cloverleaf educators realize the value of a school wide educational program which prepares all of our students to become better thinkers, reflectors,

problem solvers and global citizens. The IB Primary Years Programme blends well with the content we teach and the teaching methods we use each day. The PYP will allow all students to dig deeper into concepts and make crucial connections across the disciplines, thus better preparing them for lifelong learning.

  • What is the timeline?

The initial phase of becoming an IB PYP school is the consideration phase. Our school investigated, researched, and trained in order to prepare to request candidacy. Our candidacy application has been approved; therefore, we are in the candidate phase. The candidate phase includes additional teacher training, trial implementation of practices, a consultation process, and site visits.* This phase takes at least a year to complete. If all requirements are met, the next step is to request school authorization. The school authorization phase includes a verification visit by the IBO World Organization which makes the decision to authorize the school, have the school continue candidacy, or refuse authorization.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP).

Candidate status provides no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

  • How will we learn?

The primary teaching model for all IB PYP schools is inquiry-based instruction. Inquiry includes research, wondering, questioning, experimenting, developing curiosity, and much more. We will continue to use the model for reading and math instruction which allows teachers to group students by ability levels, teach mini-lessons, and engage learners in hands-on activities appropriate for their needs. We will use the inquiry cycle to organize our lessons: ask, engage, create, discuss, and reflect.

  • What will we study?

Being a public school, we will continue to follow the NC State Standards in English Language Arts and Math, along with the NC Essential Standards in Science and Social Studies. These standards will be incorporated into our Programme of Inquiry, organized around the six transdisciplinary themes:

· Who We Are

· Where We Are in Place and Time

· How We Express Ourselves

· How the World Works

· How We Organize Ourselves

· Sharing the Planet

Each grade level participates in six units of inquiry that connect all subject areas through big ideas or key concepts (form, function, causation, connection, change, perspective, responsibility, and reflection). Beyond integrated studies, teaching and learning in a transdisciplinary way connects ideas both in and out of the classroom.

  • How will we teach students to be internationally minded?

The aim of IB programmes is to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect by developing the IB Learner Profile. IB learners strive to be: balanced, caring, communicators, inquirers, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-takers, and thinkers. These attributes give students the tools to be successful anywhere in the world. The IB Learner Profile traits align nicely with the Leader in Me program within our school. The IB philosophy also suggests that the best inquiry should lead to positive action. Community service is just one of the ways students may take action. Actions may be big or small, like continuing to research a topic following a class discussion or by addressing a local need. The IB PYP encourages more student led action and less adult driven service.

  • How is character developed?

The IB Learner Profile and IB Attitudes develop strong character and support student citizenship.

-IB Learner Profile Traits: balanced, caring, communicator, inquirer, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-taker, and thinker

-IB Attitudes: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance

  • What about the Leader in Me program?

Cloverleaf students will continue to emphasize Leadership through application of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Leadership principles embedded in the 7 Habits are aligned with the IB Learner Profile traits.

  • How are students evaluated?

We will continue to follow all state and district testing schedules and grading policies and will also document student progress in the IB PYP through portfolios, work products, and written reflections. We want students to become reflective, and one of the ways to develop this attribute is by teaching students to evaluate their own work and make revisions for improvement. Writing is also an emphasis in the IB PYP and helps to develop communication skills as students explain their thinking using reflective writing.

  • What about language learning?

An additional language will be offered at Cloverleaf. Students will participate in an exploratory study of the language and its related culture.

  • Will the IB PYP be offered to all students at the school?

Yes, this will be a school wide program. All students who attend Cloverleaf will participate in the IB PYP.

  • By participating in the IB PYP, is my child guaranteed a spot at an IB MYP middle school?

No. At this time your child is only guaranteed a spot at your home middle school. To attend an IB MYP middle school, your child would still need to complete the MYP application, meet the requirements, and be selected by lottery, if necessary. Plans are underway to increase the number of seats available for the IB MYP middle school programs in Iredell-Statesville Schools. Your child will be better prepared for the IB MYP experience through the second language of study they will receive in the PYP as well as the exposure to the Learner Profile and Attributes, written reflections, and thinking with a global outlook.

  • Where can I get more information about the IB Primary Years Programme?

School contact:

Dr. Alison Whitaker

Instructional Facilitator/ PYP Coordinator

Cloverleaf Elementary School


Visit the IBO website for further information and details: http://www.ibo.org