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Youngest IB learners grow by helping environment

Global mindedness
Posted on 04/04/2019

Some of the youngest students at Christ the King Catholic Elementary School are now in the back half of their first year as an International Baccalaureate candidate school and are already finding ways to link the globally recognized curriculum with making their community a better place.

“We’ve already seen evidence of student growth and international mindedness happening in our building,” says Marta Marazita, the school’s principal. “Under the direction of our IB Coordinator and VP Laura Mills, our staff members have been working very hard to plan programs of inquiry around trans-disciplinary themes.”

Established in 1968, International Baccalaureate programs aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to succeed by offering specific programs that are geared to students in certain stages of their development. Schools must be authorized to deliver IB programs and currently, more than 4,000 schools around the world are established as IB schools.

Last April, the WECDSB announced that Christ the King, which also offers French Immersion, is preparing to be the first school in Windsor-Essex to offer an IB Primary Years Program. In September, the school began its candidacy by offering IB programming to students in JK to Grade 3 while working towards fulfilling all the requirements of becoming recognized as an IB World School. All teachers in the PYP section are provided with access to IB curriculum materials and the school has been assigned an IB consultant who ensures that it is meeting all the necessary criteria.

“How the world works,” which is one of those IB program’s trans-disciplinary themes, is linked to the Grade 1 social studies unit People and Environments: The Local Community

The central idea is to investigate the relationship between people and the natural built features of the community and students in Mme Bertrand’s SK/1 and Mme Martinez Grade 1/2 classes have been discussing the importance of the natural and built environment and what might happen if these features did not exist.

In order for the students to grasp the importance of the environment as well as service-related occupations like gardeners and waste collectors, which aid in maintaining a sustainable environment, the teachers decided to give their students first-hand experience by leading them in cleaning the school’s peace garden.

“The students were able to make connections to the importance of our community helpers, as well that a clean environment is necessary for plant and animal survival,” said Mme Martinez.

“The kindergarten students have been highly interested in transforming our dramatic play area into a flower shop,” added Mme Bertrand. “This has helped further our discussions and inquiry regarding our local community.”

The WECDSB has already been providing an IB Diploma Program at Assumption College Catholic High School for almost 15 years, and has recently established candidacy Middle Years Programs at Assumption College Catholic Middle School and Cardinal Carter Catholic Middle School in Leamington. Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School is also a Diploma Program candidacy school.


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