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Program of Inquiry Explained

In an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) school, the curriculum is known as the Program of Inquiry, or POI. The POI encompasses all student activities, academic and non-academic, for which the school takes responsibility, since they all have an impact on student learning. At South Ridge, we work to structure all of those student activities around the elements of the PYP.

Learning at South Ridge is organized around six transdisciplinary themes. The teachers at South Ridge carefully align all district, state, and federal standards to these themes. They teach the standards as a tool for helping the students understand the greater concepts and ideas of the themes. Through this approach, teachers are able to increase the transferability of the ideas students are learning.  We emphasize that learning does not end at the classroom door. Rather, foundations are laid in the classroom to apply understandings to our experiences in the greater world and thus, our POI facilitates this application.

The six transdisciplinary themes around which our POI is organized are described below.  Students inquire into, and learn about, these globally significant issues in the context of units of inquiry. Each grade level teaches a unit of inquiry that addresses a central idea relevant to a particular part of each theme.

Who We Are

An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including family, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where We Are in Place and Time

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How We Express Ourselves

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the World Works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understandings of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and the environment.

How We Organize Ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the Planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.