The Primary School at BES utilises a bilingual approach to learning, in which approximately 50% of the program is delivered in English and approximately 50% in Italian.
In the Primary School, learning is achieved through a constructivist model. We believe that students learn best when they are directly involved in their learning and connect with it through rich, meaningful experiences. Learning in the Primary School is therefore based on the strengths, uniqueness and complexity of learners and at BES students are encouraged to learn through play, mistake making, reasoning and by being actively involved in the learning process.
The school day starts at 8.30 am and finishes at 4.00 pm.
HOW DO WE LEARN AT BES
At BES we believe that students learn best when constructing their own understanding through personalised experiences. As such, learning at BES firmly places the student in the centre of the programme.
The aim of the IB PYP is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. (IBO, 2013)
As IB learners, BES students aim to be:
Inquirers, Risk Takers, Caring, Reflective, Balanced, Open Minded, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators and Principled. The Learner Profile promotes the development of students at all levels: physical, intellectual, emotional, social and ethical. BES students take responsibility for their learning and are encouraged to use a variety of learning styles and approaches which support and guide their development, promoting their sense of global understanding and issues in the process.
Students “learn how to learn” by becoming acute observers, formulating hypotheses, connecting ideas, analysing perspectives, sharing the conclusions and taking informed, responsible action. Students develop a personal knowledge of how the world works, acquiring skills which are transferable among disciplines. We help our students to acquire their own, personal level of academic knowledge in both languages.
The BES Primary School is proud to offer the IB Primary Years Programme. This world class curriculum framework challenges students to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions and create positive change in local and global contexts. The PYP framework is recognised as a world class curriculum which is adaptable to the needs and requirements of the Italian National Curriculum prescribed by the Ministero dell'Istruzione dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR).
The PYP curriculum is a conceptually based, student centred curriculum which is taught through six transdisciplinary themes, each of which allow students to inquire into local and global contexts. These themes are:
- Who We Are: An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, 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 relationship 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: 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 other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
These six transdisciplinary themes of global significance are explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subjects areas, as well as transdisciplinary skills, through a focused emphasis on inquiry. The six subject areas are identified as:
- Social Studies
- The Arts
- Personal, Social and Physical Education
The overall expectations for each subject area are defined for each year of the programme and have been integrated with the grade level expectations for Italian schools in our unique, dual language program.
THE BRUNO MUNARI ®️ METHOD
The BES Art Department is designed to integrate a comprehensive artistic education with the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes through theoretical investigations and practical experiences.
Our approach to art is based on constructivist learning theory, suggesting that learners construct new knowledge on previous experiences, on the PYP methodology based on units of inquiry, and on the Bruno Munari Method®, which enhances creativity and imagination through observation and hands-on experiences.
Our art classes provide students with opportunities to inquire into a wide range of themes using a variety of traditional art tools, unconventional resources, and multimedia applications.They use their creativity to help construct their understanding of the concepts presented in their units from a drastically different perspective, adding new layers of depth to their learning.
PHYSICAL, SOCIAL AND PERSONAL EDUCATION
Physical Education at BES offers children the opportunity to explore the capabilities of their bodies and the variety of ways in which they are able to use their bodies to solve simple problems, tackle appropriate physical challenges, manipulate equipment or apparatus and express themselves in a range of situations.
Physical Education at BES offers children the opportunity to explore the capabilities of their bodies and the variety of ways in which they are able to use their bodies to solve simple problems, tackle appropriate physical challenges, manipulate equipment or apparatus, and express themselves in a range of situations.
Students participate in a number of activities that develop gross motor skills which they apply to various sports. Students are aware of safe behaviour practices when engaging in physical activities, recognize the importance of fair play, cooperative behaviours and the ability to function as part of a group.
PSPE in the Primary Years Program at BES is concerned with the individuals well-being through the promotion of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to well-being. Physical Education and well being is intrinsically linked to all aspects of our student's experience at BES and beyond. Students participate in activities and lessons which are defined by three strands: Identity, Active Living and Interactions. These strands are concept driven and interact with each other to support and develop the overall well-being of students at BES.
In the Primary PSPE Program each class participates in 1 hour per week of Physical Education. In these lessons students will learn about movement through movement. BES has a balanced PSPE curriculum which includes.
- Individual Pursuits - Students develop basic motor skills through locomotor and manipulative skills and experiences. The techniques, rules and purpose of a range of athletic activities. For example, track and field.
- Movement Composition - Students recognize that movement can be linked together and refined to create a sequence of aesthetic movements. Movement can communicate feelings, emotions and ideas. For example, gymnastics, dance and martial arts.
- Games - Students recognize the challenges of games; the importance of manipulating space; the categorizing of games; the importance of rules; modifying games and creating new games; teamwork.
- Adventure Challenges - Students participate in a variety of tasks requiring the use of physical and critical thinking skills by individuals and groups; challenges that require groups to work together collaboratively to solve problems and accomplish goals.
- Health Related Fitness - Students recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle; the body's response to exercise and the interaction of body systems and development of physical fitness.
Regular visits to the BES library introduce our children to a variety of good books, promote a love of reading, stimulate their intellectual curiosity and aim to develop life-long learners.
These objectives are pursued by implementing and enriching the educational curriculum of the school, providing access to a wide range of materials in varied formats and working with teachers to design learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students. Each week, BES children are provided with opportunities to spend time at the library and choose from our growing collection of more than 7000 titles – both in English and Italian.
Make-believe and the imagination play an important role in a young person’s development.
The BES Drama program brings these powerful forces into the classroom, fostering the students’ growing self-confidence, enhancing verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and developing the ability to work collaboratively in groups. It also helps students reach a deeper understanding of their environment and their own feelings.
The drama curricular program provides students of all academic years with opportunities to explore themes and ideas dynamically through role-playing and movement, as well as sensory and transformation games to stimulate their creative thinking and encourage them to problem-solve by looking at questions from multiple perspectives. Through cooperative planning with classroom teachers, many of the themes and concepts addressed in drama are directly connected to the students’ classroom studies.