ARIS PYP Parent Orientation

Aug 15, 2018

Every Academic Year brings in new students and newer parents to integrate into not just the ARIS Community, but also the PYP Community of Learners! We are all life-long learners!

On Saturday, 11th August 2018, ARIS held a Primary Years Programme Orientation for all new Parents to introduce them to the ARIS and IB Mission and Core Values and the PYP Curriculum here. This break, we re-evaluated and re-framed our core purpose, into something that captures the true essence of our community. The answer to “What is ARIS”, “What does ARIS stand for”, and “What do we want to achieve” is clear in the ARIS Core Purpose –

“We are a Diverse Community of Learners that are committed to Inspire, Empower and Transform for a Better World”

This Core Purpose is applicable to every single person who makes up the ARIS Community – from the Students to the Facilitators to the Parents. As Dr. Fatma, our Director, puts it – the “diverse community of learners”, not only applies to our social and cultural background but also in the ways that we learn. All of us are diverse learners, and the same applies to our instruction and practices inside the classrooms, as every child is different. Facilitators have to be inspired by what they do every single day, to inspire the children. We inspire one another and learn from one another every day. Likewise, with learning, comes Empowerment. With Empowerment, thus, comes the potential to transform our community and the communities around us.

Our Core Values, as an All-inclusive school are –

· Greatness in Everyone

· Learning with Everyone

· Creativity and Innovation by Everyone

· Service to Everyone

· Change for Everyone

As an IB World School, our Core Values and Purpose is synonymous to the IB Mission which is to develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” The IB Programmes, such as the Primary Years Programme is instrumental in challenging young minds to be active, compassionate and be life-long learners as they embrace differences and diversity in their community and propel change.

At ARIS, our Diversity is a key value. Thus, the core of our PYP Learning Model is the Learner and the Classroom. The Students’ Performance and Experience through our Personalized Learning Model. We respect and recognize that each child has a different learning ability and thus, our teaching and learning and even assessments in the classrooms are also differentiated to match each learner’s potential.

In the spirit of Life-long learning, we are constantly at work to improve and enhance students’ performance and experience in our classrooms. Our staff are always undergoing training and workshops to better facilitate the needs of each student as we learn and evolve together in our community. One of the key elements of the ARIS Culture is Collaboration – all of us collaborate and multiply our skills and learn and get inspired from one another. The Collaboration is not just between the Staff, Faculty, Management and Administration but also between a student and his/her facilitator.

Our PYP Orientation also invited some of our existing parents to speak from their experience – how they saw a change in their wards, how they have felt to be a part of the ARIS Learning community. Our parent, Mrs. Farah Hamoui was a key speaker that could give the new parents an insight into how another parent has felt or learnt or witnessed in their ward.

Of course, beside the Mission, Vision, Core Values and Purpose, our PYP Coordinator, Mme. Sandeepa, also went through the PYP Programme of Inquiry. What do the students learn on an every day basis? She took the parents through the Trans-disciplinary themes of – “Who We Are”, “Where We Are In Place And Time”, “How We Express Ourselves”, “How We Organize Ourselves”, “How The World Works” And “Sharing The Planet”.

She took the parents through the key points of what learning in the PYP is. This includes - What the Students want to Learn, What we as educators want the students to understand (Pulse of the PYP), What we want students to feel (Heart of PYP), what we want our students to be able to do (Breath of the PYP), how we want them to act (Spine of the PYP), and of course, how the students indeed learn inside and outside their classrooms! There was also an elaborate demonstration of the difference between a regular school classroom and a PYP Classroom.

We want our students to understand change, diversity, its functions, causation, connection and take responsibility and key concepts. We want them to be cooperative, creative, independent, respectful, confident, tolerant and develop positive attitudes and skills that aids them in their reflection of what they learn and how they can take action to improve the community around them. We want our children to model the IB Learner Profiles – Balanced, Caring, Reflective, Inquirers, Open-minded, Thinkers, Risk-Takers, Communicators, Knowledgeable and Principled.

Parents can also take a step ahead in their child’s PYP Learning, by signing up for our 5 Module ARISVersity Programme. This is specifically designed for Parents to understand the PYP, what the students learn, how they learn, how they are assessed and more. Parents can thereafter be instrumental to even our classrooms by coming in, or mentoring at the PYP Exhibition and more! Lifelong learning is a practiced value, indeed! We need to model the same learner profiles that we want our children to be!

Upon explaining the pulse, heart, breath and spine of the PYP, Madam Sandeepa, our PYP Coordinator also announced at the Orientation, that this Academic Year marks ARIS’ 15th Anniversary. We are celebrating our 15th Anniversary along the theme of “ARIS Cares”. For this, we are hosting a Gala Dinner to donate around 10,000 US Dollars to Service Projects, and our community. Moreover, our 7-Year Strategic Plan was also announced to parents to give an idea of the ARIS Vision. The key points of this being – IBCP, Teacher Training Academy, Research Center, Our Expansion to 1200 students, Full Inclusion, IT Integration and CIS/NEACS.

We will never stop learning, and thus, will keep striving for newer goals and soaring to newer heights. We do proudly call ourselves the ARIS Eagles, after all!