The aim of the IB programme is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
In order to work towards this goal, the school environment has very specific ingredients. These global aims can only be put into practise by teachers who can ‘think out of the box’.
This process does not happen automatically by role modeling, nor by dividing students in age related groups who are basically all at the same level and have common age related developmental challenges. ‘Thinking out of the box’ is followed by ‘teaching out of the box’. Students find themselves in an open classroom setting where:
- Students can interact and learn from other students who are at different levels in their development
- The process of interaction is guided by the teachers
- Students receive individual social and emotional assistance when required
- Conflicts are seen as opportunities for thinking and decision making and are discussed and worked through
- Appropriate limits are set
- Students are helped to learn from their own actions
- Responsibility develops through actions and logical consequences.
This type of flexible and interactive learning environment assists in the development of respect for self, others and the world at large.
The following three fundamental concepts further stimulate students into becoming responsible and empathetic young adults:
1) International Mindedness
- Celebrate differences – Being different is the norm.
- Enhance learning by making productive use of the diversity of the cultures and the perspectives in school; international, national and local community levels
- Commitment to international understanding
- Language learning enhances cultural understanding: English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish are available
- Support to speakers of other languages when required
- Open communication
- Safe, secure environment based on understanding and respect
- Expression of ideas, attitudes and feelings
- Fostering responsible citizenship
- Strengthening student’s own cultural identity
- Access to global information through internet and international newspapers
- Use of IB international network through conferences, workshops, personal exchanges
- Use of AMI international network through conferences, workshops, personal exchanges
- Use of school exchanges and staff’s international networks
- Resources that access different cultures, languages, perspectives
2) Integrated curriculum
- A comprehensive curriculum
- Learning involves local, national, global significance
- The curriculum is based on children’s previous learning experiences and required future educational needs
- It places appropriate demands on students according to their age and stage of development
- Promotes all attributes of the learner profile
- Encourages responsibility
- Encourages students to develop strategies for their own learning and evaluation
- Provides ample opportunity for personal input, enquiry and presentation of ideas
- Provides learning at an individual and collaborative level
- Is sensitive towards cultural, gender, linguistic, ethnic and religious differences
- Is regularly reviewed
- Incorporates local individual expertise and organizations to foster learning
- Provides opportunities to share learning experiences with others through presentations, displays, posters, public speaking, performances, newsletters.
- Active development of mother-tongue in English, French, Dutch and German and additional language learning, thus becoming a multilingual speaker.
Communication and understanding is the key to personal development, healthy relationships, a successful career and intercultural respect.
Being able to communicate and wanting to communicate are two separate entities. Both at home and at school, teenagers can be helped to develop further. An environment that asks for active participation and responsibility for own actions helps teenagers to engage and become contributing members of the group.
Further acquisition and expansion of vocabulary happens in the day-to-day interactions, community work, services projects and in the specific language subject areas. Thereby giving the students the following opportunities:
- Developing good command in several languages
- Practising multiple forms of expression: this includes presentations, public speaking, conflict resolution, essay writing, poetry and theatre
- Developing confident use of language in a variety of situations