IB Primary Years Programme
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Seoul Foreign School combines the best research and practice from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, challenging, engaging, and significant educational framework for all children.
The PYP is an international, transdisciplinary program designed to foster the development of the whole child by encompassing students’ social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs in addition to their academic welfare. In the PYP, students develop an understanding of important concepts, acquire essential skills and knowledge, develop particular attitudes, and learn to take socially responsible action. The PYP encompasses learning not just in the classroom but also other means of learning within the whole community.
Grade level guides
These grade level guides give a complete curricular overview for each each grade level at SFES. Important information about daily routines as well as contact information for each teaching team is also presented.
The Early Years at SFS
Pre-K 2 (Age 2)
We cultivate the development of inquiry, resilience and problem solving in our children.
We recognize the importance of play-based learning and its role in developing a variety of communication skills with a focus on language acquisition. Your child’s experiences in the Pre-K 2 program will help them successfully transition to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), which is the next step in their learning journey in the Elementary School.
Early Years - PYP
The approach to teaching and learning in the Early Years at SFS is centered around the belief that young children learn through play. Play provides children with a sense of well-being and opportunities to explore their world socially, emotionally and intellectually.
Learning in the early years is most effective when there is a balance of child-initiated play and teacher-initiated learning engagements.
We construct our daily schedules to ensure children have ample time to play in carefully created learning environments supported by adults.
The classroom is a learning environment that values students' unique perspectives. Collaborating in flexible groups, students discuss ideas, formulate questions, seek answers and construct understandings through local and global contexts. There is a balance of teacher-directed instruction and self-directed learning. Students and teachers embrace a culture of respect and trust, which is supported by the IB Learner Profile.
When possible, teachers pursue learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls by exploring our community’s rich resources through expert speakers, field trips and meaningful excursions that deepen the learning started in the classroom.
Within our Units of Inquiry, you will find a range of familiar subjects taught across all grades in the Elementary School. The school’s curriculum is structured to balance rigor with opportunities for self-expression and creativity. The foundation of our Elementary curriculum includes:
- Units of Study in Reading, Writing, and Phonics from Teachers College Reading Writing Project at Columbia University
- Math in Focus (based on the Singapore Maths model)
- Social Studies and Science embedded in the PYP Units of Inquiry
- Korean and Chinese World Language offerings
- Physical, Social & Emotional education (PSE)
- Physical Education (PE)
- Music, Band, Choir
- Visual Arts
- All Learning Outcomes and Success Criteria are aligned to the American Common Core, the Next Generation Science Standards and America Reaching Out Overseas (Social Studies) to provide a clear path for students toward growth and achievement
Elementary School - PYP
In the PYP, the knowledge and skills of traditional disciplines or subjects find links through transdisciplinary units of learning that identify concepts that link across subjects. This is supported by the development of social skills, communication, and thinking skills that are embedded in the curriculum.
Learning at a conceptual level of understanding ensures students can think critically and creatively and can construct and apply meaningful connections across the curriculum.
Building on the classroom experiences in the Early Years, learning is facilitated using technology as a tool. There is a balance of teacher directed instruction and self-directed learning. Classrooms are filled with a learning culture of respect and trust and this is supported by the IB Learner Profile.
Our location in Seoul provides students with many opportunities for developing their understanding of the curriculum by enriching their learning in a local cultural context.
Within our Units of Inquiry, you will find a range of familiar subjects taught across all grades in the Elementary School. The school’s curriculum is supported by learning outcomes for each grade which includes: Writers Workshop, Reading, Mathematics, Korean, Chinese, Science, Social Studies, Physical and Social education, PE, music, and arts. These outcomes provide a clear framework for students and parents to see progression and also potentially to facilitate transfer to other curricula or contexts.
Current research underpins our beliefs and teaching and learning practices. We believe learning, which is significant, relevant, engaging and challenging serves to motivate students to be curious, to question and to be self-directed in their inquiries and research. An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning provides a guiding structure with the flexibility to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners and provides for the creative expression of ideas.
One of the aims of successful inquiry is that it will lead to responsible action, initiated by the students as a result of the learning process. Learners are encouraged to decide on their action and to reflect on this in order to make a difference in and to the world.
Elementary School Programme of Inquiry
Transdisciplinarity is a curriculum-organizing principle to offer our students a broad, balanced, conceptual and connected learning experience. In order to engage students in transdisciplinary learning, we have created a programme of inquiry that maps the transdisciplinary themes students explore each year and throughout their time in the Elementary school. The programme consists of units of inquiry that span across, between and beyond subjects at each year level.
We are proud of our programme of inquiry that has been collaboratively designed by our teachers to ensure students experience a balance of subject-specific knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills, alongside opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and to take action.
Our programme of inquiry is a long-term plan that provides students the opportunities to evolve their theories, address misconceptions and deepen understandings. Through our programme of inquiry, they build upon what they have learned in previous years, extending their understanding of the transdisciplinary themes as they revisit them throughout the early and primary years of education.