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IB Corner

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.  We want our collection to represent the languages spoken by our school community.

Classroom Volunteers Needed

Classes will soon be launching into their next unit of inquiry.  As always, we are always looking for parents and community members to visit our school and share their expertise with our students, as well as for field trip opportunities.  If you, or anyone you have connections with, are able to share with our students, please contact Ms Wood or the appropriate classroom teacher.

The upcoming units of inquiry are:

Divisions 9 & 10 (Ms King & Ms. Swain): Patterns and cycles occur on Earth and in the sky.  (focus on day/night, tides, seasons, etc, including traditional explanations for these patterns and cycles)

Divisions 6, 7, & 8 (Ms Prins, Ms Beck, Ms Mok): The history and geography of a nation shape its culture. (focus on Canada)

Divisions 3, 4, & 5 (Ms Lightburn, Ms Scott, Ms Kim): Indigenous knowledge and values are passed on through oral history and traditions. (focus on weaving and story telling) 

Divisions 1 & 2 (Ms Eichhorn & Mr Lee): Knowledge of scientific principles promotes innovation. (focus on electricity)


As a school community we are working to rephrase some of the ways we talk about our school and the Primary Years Programme. We are an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School that offers the Primary Years Programme (PYP). This means everything we do is part of the PYP. So, when we have an assembly, it’s not an “IB Assembly”, it’s simply our monthly assembly. When students are engaged in a unit of Inquiry, it’s not their “IB unit”, but simply a unit of inquiry. The list goes on. We want our students to understand that the Primary Years Programme is an inclusive, comprehensive programme, not something they do just part of the time at school.


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?

Key Concepts (from Making the PYP Happen)

In the PYP there is a commitment to a concept driven curriculum. There are clusters of ideas that can be grouped under a set of overarching concepts, each of which has major significance within and across all subject areas, regardless of time or place. These eight key concepts are one of the essential elements of the PYP framework, and they drive the inquiries that are at the heart of the PYP curriculum. When viewed as a set of key questions, the concepts form a research tool that is both manageable and open-ended. The concepts help teachers and students to consider ways of thinking and learning about the world, and they act as a provocation to extend and deepen student inquiries.

Form: What is it like?

Everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described, and categorized.

Function: How does it work?

Everything has a purpose, a role, or a way of behaving that can be investigated.

Causation: Why is it like it is?

Things do not just happen. There are causal relationships at work, and actions have consequences.

Change: How is it changing?

Change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.

Connection: How is it connected to other things?

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?

Knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings, and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural, or disciplinary.

Responsibility: What is our responsibility?

People make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.

Reflection: How do we know?

There are different ways of knowing, and it is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of reasoning, and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have considered.


For the month of February, we are focussing on the trait open-minded.  As open-minded learners, 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.” (, 2013)  In more kid friendly language: open-minded learners know that their ideas and ways are not the only ones, and recognize that this is okay.  Open-minded learners listen to others’ ideas and perspectives and think critically about them.  As well, open-minded learners are willing to change and adapt.

Students at Southlands are encouraged to be open-minded in many different ways.  Whether it’s trying a new food as part of the School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, working with a classmate they haven’t worked with before, presenting their learning in a new way, or considering a different viewpoint during a discussion or a debate, the opportunities are endless!  Open-mindedness is certainly an important aspect of learning and one of the eight key concepts we focus on during our units of inquiry which is strongly connected to open-mindedness is perspective.

There are many things you can do to encourage open-mindedness in your child

  • Catch your child being open minded and make sure your child knows he/she has done something good. Expressing your approval is a powerful way to reinforce the learner traits.

  • Encourage your child to try new things (e.g. new foods, games, activities).

  • Encourage your children to play with children from other families, ethnicities, and cultures.

  • Allow your child to take part in as many family decisions as appropriate. These can range from making food choices to helping plan a family vacation. Allow your child to express his/her opinions and ideas in respectful ways, encourage him/her to talk about advantages and disadvantages, and allow him/her to offer alternatives. Encourage your child to really listen to differing views and opinions.

  • Before we can expect students to respect the values and traditions of other people and cultures, we have to expose them to those values, people, and cultures. This can be done through music, books, films, the internet, and trips. Introduce literature about different cultures into your home library. (Be sure that it reflects the culture in an appropriate way.) Provide your child with books, DVDs, and songs that are in different languages or that speak about different people and cultures of the world. As well, expose your child to different festivals, celebrations and traditions and be sure to present them in a non-judgmental way. ​