Sunday, March 15, 2009

PYP and MYP update

"Seldom, if ever, do we ask the 'who' question - who is the self that teaches? How does the quality of my selfhood form - or deform - the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, my world? How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes? I have no quarrel with the what or how or why questions - except when they are posed as the only questions worth asking. All of them can yield important insights into teaching and learning. But none of them opens up the territory I want to explore . . . the inner landscape of the teaching self."
Palmer J Palmer

Growth and development of the Middle Years Program in KIS

Personal Project (PP) - The culmination of the MYP (grades 6-10) is reflected in the Personal Project. This has been our second year with the Personal Projects and the Personal Project Fair showcasing these projects was held on 21 February 2009 in the Alumni Hall. The background to the PP takes the shape of having a Personal Project Coordinator, Personal Project Supervisors, setting deadlines and finally the moderation of these projects. The PP involves almost all staff members, except those who are extended essay supervisors, and may include those who are not directly involved in teaching. The analysis of the students’ performance reveals that there has been a steady progress made with regard to quality of the projects. 17 out of 74 students secured the top grades of 6 and 7, which constituted approximately 23% of the total number of students in grade 10. We are now ready to introduce the PP to the current grade 9 students in April 2009.

Monitoring of samples — This is again our second year of monitoring of samples. The samples of grade 10 student work from 12 subject areas have been sent for monitoring to the IBO for general guidance. Improvement on all the assessment tasks and criterion application in all subject area is ongoing based on the feed back received from IBO last year. The objective for monitoring assessed samples is to ensure that our school assessments progressively become more inline with the expectations of the MYP. The last IBO report on monitoring of school assessed samples have indeed given the school valuable inputs to guide our development of the MYP in KIS.

Initiation of the PYP in KIS
After approximately two years of feasibility study work including workshops, visits with other PYP schools, questions and answer sessions with PYP Coordinators and finally an intense curriculum mapping processing with all teachers of ES, we took the first steps in becoming a PYP school. This necessitated filling the interested school form and arranging for PYP budget which led to the preliminary visit of Bill Fenton, Asia Regional Director out of Singapore who spent one day visiting classrooms, interviewing teachers, looking at our curricular materials and meeting with the SMT and ELT for a initial presentation and discussion.

A week ago we received Bill Fenton’s preliminary visit report and I quote from it as follows:

All concerned with the development of PYP at Kodaikanal International School can be proud of the way the school reflects its special character and its traditions and I felt that there is a deep commitment to providing the students with quality, inquiry based learning experiences. As a result of the visit to the school and the discussions which occurred with the leadership team and staff, it is quite apparent that Kodaikanal International School has thoughtfully set themselves up for successful implementation of the PYP. I look forward to supporting the ongoing development of the programme at the school and wish them every success with the implementation.”

Now we are ready to send off PYP application form A which facilitates the process of acquiring the PYP candidate school status in July 2009.

All in all our academic programs are being developed, refined and focused on child centered learning which is in keeping with the demands of an international school in the 21st century.