Educational Philosophy and Curriculum

ISB offers a balanced and rigorous academic curriculum following the guidelines of the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) curricular framework, in a language immersion environment – French or Spanish. ISB is committed to an immersion model, learning in a language rather than learning a language, in order to reach the ultimate goal of developing bilingualism in all aspects of life.

Established in 1968 to create a common curriculum and a university-entry credential for geographically mobile students, IB believes that an education emphasizing critical thinking and exposure to a variety of viewpoints encourages intercultural understanding and acceptance of others. With these goals in mind, IB has created a specific and detailed teaching framework to best prepare students to become critical thinkers and active participants in a multicultural world. The curriculum is designed to be administered in any country and is recognized by universities worldwide.

Through the IB’s curricular guidelines, students at ISB are taught to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged citizens, who gain practical skills for being part of an international community. Material from French, Spanish, Latin American and US educational guidelines inform the curricular standards of ISB’s program.

IB Primary Years Program (Nursery-5th Grade)

The Primary Years Program (PYP) focuses on the development of the whole child, in the classroom and in the world outside, exposing them to many environments where their academic, social, physical, linguistic and emotional needs can be met. While fostering a true love of learning, it offers a teaching framework which emphasizes inquiry and reflection, and aims to develop independence, cooperation, creativity and adaptability.

At the center of the PYP curriculum are five essential elements: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. The aim of the program is to help students acquire a holistic understanding of six main themes, shown on the outside of the program model, through the interrelatedness of these essential elements. Additionally, the PYP identifies a body of knowledge for all students in all cultures, in six transdisciplinary subject themes.

Learning Outside of the Classroom

Field trips for all students at ISB are a key element in ISB’s action-oriented learning. All field trips are directly related to the unit being studied. Predictions, observations and questions are incorporated into the classroom before and after field trips. Special guests – doctors, dancers, writers, for example – round out the experience, bring the world outside into the classroom.

PYP Learner Profile

The PYP defines the characteristics of students who are aware of and sensitive to the experiences of others. These create a profile of the PYP student, which serves as a reference to help teachers and students to establish goals, plan units of inquiry and assess performance.

  • Open-minded
  • Balanced
  • Reflective
  • Risk-taker
  • Knowledgeable
  • Principled
  • Caring
  • Inquirer
  • Thinker
  • Communicator