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April 2018

Classroom Volunteers

We are looking for community members to share their expertise with classes as they embark on their fifth unit of inquiry for the year.  If you or anyone you know can share your expertise, we welcome your help!

Kindergarten: Plants and gardening (Ms Pender, Ms Allan)

Grade 1: Animal growth and survival, habitats (Ms Swain, Ms King)

Grade 2/3: Heroes and role models (Miss Beck, Ms Mok, Ms Prins)

Grade 3/4/5: Body systems and lifestyle choices (Ms Lightburn, Ms Scott, Ms Kim)


The two grade 6/7 classes will be embarking on their Exhibition after spring break.  The exhibition is a collaborative inquiry process that involves the students in identifying, investigating, and offering solutions or actions to real-life issues or problems.  The students will be working in small groups and investigating issues that interest them under the theme Sharing the Planet. Once the issues have been identified, we will be looking for experts and field trip opportunities, so please stay tuned.  We really hope members of our community will be able to share their expertise with the various groups. The Exhibition presentations will be held on May 24 and 25th and we really hope parents of all grades will attend.  This is meant to be a celebration of learning that involves the entire community.


For the month of April, we will be focussing on the Learner Trait knowledgeable.  Learners who are knowledgeable develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.  They also engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. By expanding their knowledge base, students better understand their world, and are more equipped to make successful choices at school and in their daily lives.

Knowledge is one of the five essential elements of the PYP.  At Southlands, our expectations for specific student knowledge is based on the BC Curriculum, where several Big Ideas are outlined for each subject area, as well as specific Content.  (Curricular competencies or skills, are also outlined in the curriculum and these are blended with the PYP Approaches to Learning.) While some of the content specific knowledge is taught through stand-alone units and/or lessons, much much of it is integrated into the six units of inquiry, where students explore content that transcends traditional subject areas.

For a list of books you can read with your child about characters who were knowledgeable, please click here:

PYP Written Curriculum

In the Primary Years Programme, the written curriculum incorporates five essential elements.

Knowledge: What do we want students to know?

Key Concepts: What big ideas do we want students to understand?

Approaches to Learning: What do we want students to be able to do?

Attitudes: What do we want students to feel, value, and demonstrate?

Action: How do we want students to act in response to their learning?

Attitudes (from Making the PYP Happen)

The PYP recognises that knowledge, concepts, and skills are important, but that an internationally minded person also needs to develop certain attitudes towards people, the environment, and learning.  IB recognises that the PYP is a values-laden curriculum. Students are supported as they reflect on and develop their own set of values within the context of those being modelled and demonstrated. The PYP attitudes are:

Appreciation: Appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people.

Commitment: Being committed to their learning, persevering and showing self-discipline and responsibility.

Confidence: Feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, apply what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices.

Cooperation: Cooperating, collaborating and leading or following as the situation demands.

Creativity: Being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas.

Curiosity: Being curious about the nature of learning and of the world, its people and cultures.

Empathy: Imaging themselves in another’s situation, in order to understand their reasoning and emotions, so as to be open-minded and reflective about the perspectives of others.

Enthusiasm: Enjoying learning and willingly putting the effort into the process.

Independence: THinking and acting independently, making their own judgements based on reasoned arguments, and being about to defend their judgements.

Integrity: Being honest and demonstrating a considered sense of fairness.

Respect: Respecting themselves, others, and the world around them.

Tolerance: Being sensitive about differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others.

PYP Videos

Here are two videos that explain a bit more about the PYP:

(Scroll down the page;  This video features staff and students at Capilano Elementary School in North Vancouver)

Book Donations

We are continuing to expand our small collection of multilingual books, and we gratefully welcome donations of new or gently used books in languages other than English.  This is an ongoing project, and we really want our collection to represent the languages spoken by our school community.