The Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay has received International Baccalaureate recognition for its education practices.
International Baccalaureate is an organisation that has developed a Primary Years Programme for students ages 3 to 12 and focuses on the development of the whole child.
“We have incorporated the Primary Years Programme into our curriculum with a view of providing children with the skills they will need to live in the 21st Century. It is a method of teaching and learning that is universal,” said Joseph Wallace, John A. Cumber principal.
He said children are expected to be more involved in the learning process by way of research and interaction.
“Children are bombarded with information and they have to be able to determine the gems of worthwhile knowledge in order to become lifelong learners,” Mr. Wallace said, adding the pro gramme also social.
“It was developed primarily for the children of diplomats and therefore there is a strong social component. We need students to understand that they are citizens of the world and how to interact with people from all over the world,” he said.
In order to be considered for certification there is a two-step application process. The first involves the school indicating an interest, in addition to taking steps to implement the programme, followed by staff training.
Once the school lets the organisation know it is ready, inspectors are then sent to compile a report. At that time, the school either has to continue to work on assimilating to the programme or are deemed to have met the requirements and are certified – as was the case with Sir John A. Cumber in Grand Cayman.
Though Mr. Wallace said whatever success the school enjoyed was due to the cooperation of teachers, parents and students.
The most significant and distinctive feature of the organisation’s Primary Years Programme is the six trans-disciplinary themes. The programme offers a balance between learning about and through subject areas, as well as learning beyond them.
The six themes of global significance create a trans-disciplinary framework allowing students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning subjects.
The areas are: who we are; where we are in place and time; how we express ourselves; how the world works; how we organise ourselves; and sharing the planet.