International School inThessaloniki
Greek - English Program
Fox in the Pine as an IB World School
Fox in the Pine is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) and is pursuing authorization as an IB World School.
IB World Schools share a common philosophy — a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision. Fox in the Pine, is committed to delivering the IB PYP programme from Nursery to 6th Grade.
Our Mission Statement
At Fox in the Pine, our mission is to provide an enabling environment which promotes learning and development of every individual student, as they build confidence, independence and resilience through play, exploration and all other learning experiences. Our integrated curriculum is designed to ensure all students develop cognitively, socially and emotionally as they acquire skills for life, required to become responsible and ambitious world citizens.
IB - Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Why the IB PYP
The reason for introducing IB PYP in our school is to ensure the highest quality of teaching and learning by using the framework of standards and practices provided by the IB PYP. The IB PYP uses an inquiry based model of learning which permits students to engage fully in the learning process. Transdisciplinary themes (global themes that cross many subject areas) frame the learning. The IB PYP provides written curriculum documents that foster understanding, knowledge, skills and the attitudes needed in future jobs by our students. Successful inquiry should promote ethical perspectives that will ultimately lead to responsible actions initiated by the student.
Fox in the Pine, sets out to meet the diverse needs of the students through the PYP, by ensuring that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. The school follows a transdisciplinary model, whereby themes of global significance frame the learning throughout the educational years from early childhood through to the completion of elementary. This means that students are encouraged to make connections between subject areas, and traditional curriculum areas are used as lenses to help students inquire into big ideas. The PYP is both a curriculum framework and a philosophy that facilitates structured inquiry. Through inquiry, the students are encouraged to question, wonder, doubt, speculate and generalize as part of their learning journey to construct meaning about the world around them. Students have the opportunity to explore significant local and global issues and are also encouraged to consider situations critically from multiple viewpoints.
At Fox in the Pine, opportunities to share experiences between students, parents and teachers are a critical element in developing a sense of international mindedness. This begins with each student’s ability to develop a sense of personal and community identity. We encourage all members of our community to share their personal histories as well as their cultural identities. In gaining an appreciation of themselves, the students are then exposed to other cultures, beginning by making use of our diverse student population. With this in mind, celebrations of our diverse cultures are encouraged throughout each year level. We invite students, their families and friends to lead these events.
The IB Learner Profile
The aim of the IB PYP programme is for students to develop and demonstrate international‐mindedness. It is a multifaceted concept that captures a way of thinking, being and acting. Internationally minded students are open to others and to the world, and are cognizant of our deep interconnectedness.
The IB Learner Profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.
As IB Learners we strive to be:
INQUIRERS: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
KNOWLEDGEABLE: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
THINKERS: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
COMMUNICATORS: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
PRINCIPLED: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
OPEN-MINDED: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
CARING: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
RISK-TAKERS: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
BALANCED: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
REFLECTIVE: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.
Learning through a Transdisciplinary Curriculum Framework
The PYP curriculum framework centres on transdisciplinary learning as the curriculum organiser for students to experience learning between, across and beyond traditional subject boundaries. It is an in‐ depth guide to authentic inquiry‐based learning and teaching that is engaging, significant, challenging and relevant.
The transdisciplinary themes mark the starting point of student inquiries. It is within the context of each theme that students explore related central ideas and assimilate knowledge. These themes engage the learning community in rich dialogues and ongoing collaboration to build an understanding of themselves, their wider community and the world. Designed to have enduring value regardless of the geography or background of IB World Schools and students, the six themes provide guidance for what students will inquire into.
Who we are
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human
Where we are in place and time
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations from local and global perspectives.
How we express ourselves
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the world works
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How we organize ourselves
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the planet
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Concept‐based inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas. This is central to the IB PYP philosophy. Meaningful inquiry is supported by a concept‐driven curriculum. A concept‐driven curriculum is the means through which students develop their conceptual understandings.
Students co‐construct beliefs and mental models about how the world works based on their experiences and prior learning. They integrate new knowledge with their existing knowledge and apply these understandings in a variety of new contexts. They learn to recognize patterns and see the connections between discrete examples to strengthen conceptual understandings.
The PYP identifies seven key concepts that facilitate planning for a conceptual approach to transdisciplinary and subject‐specific learning. Together, these key concepts form the component that drives the teacher‐ and/or student‐constructed inquiries that lie at the heart of the PYP curriculum.
The key questions associated with the key concepts in the table are a starting point. They represent an introduction to a way of thinking about learning and teaching. They can be used in any order and as regularly as the students and teachers require. There can be more than one concept in an inquiry. In collaboration with students, teachers identify and document the most relevant key concepts in each unit.
KEYCONCEPTS & KEY QUESTIONS
Form | What is it like?
The understanding that everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized.
Function | How does it work?
The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving thatcan be investigated.
Causation | Why is it as it is?
The understanding that things do not just happen; there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences.
Change | How is it transforming?
The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.
Connection | How is it linked to other things?
The understanding that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.
Perspective | What are the points of view?
The understanding that knowledge is moderated by different points of view whichlead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or subject-specific.
Responsibility | What are our obligations
The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, beliefs and values, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.
Approaches to Learning
The IB ATLs refer to the skills students develop when they are learning how to learn and think effectively, and how to process information and manage their emotions. At Fox in the Pine, students learn how to learn. Through the ATLs, they develop the skills to take responsibility for their learning. The PYP has identified five categories of interrelated skills that help students become self-regulated learners, ask good questions, set goals, and pursue their aspirations.
Critical-thinking skills (analysing and evaluating issues and ideas)
Creative-thinking skills (generating novel ideas and considering newperspectives)
Transfer skills (using skills and knowledge in multiple contexts)
Reflection/metacognitive skills ((re)considering the process of learning)
Information-literacy skills (formulating and planning, data gathering andrecording, synthesizing and interpreting, evaluating and communicating)
Media-literacy skills (interacting with media to use and create ideas andinformation)
Ethical use of media/information (understanding and applying social andethical technology)
Exchanging-information skills (listening, interpreting, speaking)
Literacy skills (reading, writing and using language to gather and communicateinformation)
ICT skills (using technology to gather, investigate and communicateinformation)
Developing positive interpersonal relationships and collaboration skills(using self-control, managing setbacks, supporting peers)
Developing social-emotional intelligence
Organization skills (managing time and tasks effectively)
States of mind (mindfulness, perseverance, emotional management, self-motivation, resilience)
Student Agency and Action
Our methodology and curricular framework are designed to help children have a voice, make choices and take ownership and responsibility for their own learning. We empower students to take action. This can be individual or collective action, through which the students understand responsibility and appreciate the benefits of working with others for a shared purpose. Examples of action in the PYP are: a change of attitude; a plan to take action in the future; involvement in school, local or global decision-making; or a positive contribution to the community.
When learners have agency, the role of the teacher and student changes; the relationship between a teacher and student is viewed as a partnership.
How teachers support agency
Students learn by doing. Teachers create opportunities for agency in the classroom by involving students in the following activities:
Establishing a respectful and welcoming culture. Collaborate with students to create shared agreements about how to interact with others to create a culture of respect and trust where all students feel welcomed, significant and emotionally safe.
Creating shared routines. Ask for students’ input into developing routines around arrival, transitions, communication signals, meetings, clean‐up and dismissal.
Setting up the learning spaces. Ask students to help set up and arrange learning spaces that make them feel safe physically and where they can access learning materials, make choices and take risks.
Making decisions about learning. Involve students in making decisions about what, why and how they learn—as co‐collaborators in the learning community. Allow time to respond to students’ ideas about action.
Communicating expectations. Clarify what knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and dispositions the students are learning, and why.
Role of the IB PYP Co ordinator
To be a pedagogical leader who ensures that all standards for successful implementation of the PYP are understood by the teaching team, and that the programme is planned, taught, and assessed collaboratively by an effectively trained PYP team of teachers.
To work collaboratively with all members of the teaching team;
To collaborate in whole-school planning;
To communicate effectively with all members of the PYP community (students, teachers and parents)
To communicate with the IB organization regarding support and adherence to the programme.