IB Primary Years Programme
BBIS provides its students with a cooperative, caring environment in which to learn through a challenging, comprehensive, and engaging curriculum.
The curriculum framework used throughout the Primary School is the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP).
Students in the Primary School are between the ages of three and eleven. Students in the primary years are placed in a grade level based on their age. Our ‘pre-school,’ Reception or Kindergarten is our Early Education section and serves children aged three to five. Grades 1 to 5 is for students aged 6 -11 and corresponds to the American system.
Our Early Education Department believes that our youngest students have potential, curiosity, interest in constructing their own learning and negotiating with everything that the environment brings to them… this is how they learn. Therefore, the environment is designed to allow our students to explore their learning in many different ways. There are three class teachers and three assistants who work closely with the students to inquire, hypothesize and develop their thinking.
An art teacher, German teacher, music teacher and physical education teachers also work with the students, and the team of teaching staff collaborate closely together to ensure that learning experiences are meaningful and developmentally appropriate to extend student thinking. Our language of instruction is English but to give our students more exposure to German our host language, our assistants speak German all the time so that it can be learned in a meaningful context. This supplements the regular small group German lessons that the students receive.
The Early Education Department is a purpose built area composed of areas designed to engage students in their learning: there is a designated art room which is staffed by our art specialist, loft areas, integrated play spaces as well as multi- purpose areas. There is easy access to our purpose built playground where students can develop gross motor skills in a safe environment. We take full advantage of our close proximity to the woods and enjoy learning in an outdoor environment.
We aim for a class size of 20 students and will accept a maximum of 24. Should we have to exceed 20, we will add a pedagogical assistant to the class. Time and effort are put into developing a sense of community within the class and the grade level. The homeroom teacher is responsible for delivering the content in Language Arts, Maths, Science, Social Studies, Art, Drama and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE). Students are involved in individual, pair and group work where they have the opportunity to create their own understanding through inquiry activities. The work is trans-disciplinary whenever this can be done in an authentic way and students focus on six in-depth units of inquiry over the course of the year.
In addition, students have classes in German, Physical Education, Art, Music and Library which are taught by specialist teachers. Information technology is used throughout the subject areas as a tool to support learning. Grades 4 and 5 take part in a weekly choir as part of the curriculum and Grade 5 have weekly instrumental lessons (students can choose from trumpet, flute, clarinet etc).
Students in the Primary School may choose from a wide range of exciting and challenging extracurricular activities each term. These may include soccer, sailing, cross country, biking, karate, calligraphy, instrumental ensemble and many other activities and clubs. The curriculum is supplemented by a number of field trips in and around Berlin and Potsdam, and each class in grades 1 to 4 takes an overnight trip in the Spring. Grade 5 go on a week long Field Trip in September which is designed to develop their leadership skills and consolidate their role as leaders of the Primary School.
Our aim is to nurture globally minded citizens who display the IB learner profile characteristics, which is a central part of all four of the International Baccalaureate programmes. We encourage our students to be leaders and to have a ‘voice’ in the school. Our Student Council play an important role in our school and are elected by their peers from all classes Grade 2 - 5.