VSA is a through-train IB world school that offers three of the IB Programmes - Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP), to develop students holistically, nurture their ability to think and to inquire on their own through an inspiring learning experience.
The Primary Years Programme at VSA, for students in Years 1 to 5, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
The Middle Years Programme, for students in Years 6 - 10, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, becoming critical and reflective thinkers within an inquiry approach to teaching.
The Diploma Programme is for students in Year 11 and 12. It is an academically challenging and balanced, two-year programme, culminating in external examinations at the end of the programme.
In all three programmes, the IB aims to foster critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness in its students.
The IB Learner Profile
The curriculum at VSA is based on the IB Learner Profile which encourages students to become:
- Inquirers—their natural curiosity has been nurtured and they actively enjoy learning
- Thinkers—they exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to solving complex problems
- Communicators—they receive and express ideas and information confidently in more than one language
- Risk-takers—they approach unfamiliar situations without anxiety and have the confidence to explore new ideas
- Knowledgeable—they have explored themes that have global significance and have acquired a critical mass of knowledge
- Principled—they have a sound grasp of the principles of moral reasoning and have acquired integrity, honesty and a sense of justice
- Caring—they show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others, and have a sense of personal commitment to helping others
- Open-minded—they respect the values of other individuals and cultures and seek to consider a range of points of view
- Well-balanced—they understand the importance of physical and mental balance and personal well-being
- Reflective—they give thoughtful consideration to their own learning by constructively analysing their personal strengths and weaknesses
The IB Approaches to Learning
Approaches to Learning (ATLs) are deliberate strategies, attitudes and skills that permeate all three of the IB programmes. At VSA, we believe that explicit teaching of these skills is essential in teaching students how to learn and encouraging students to become independent lifelong learners. There are five skill clusters identified by the IB that are common across each programme:
- Thinking skills
- Communication skills
- Social skills
- Self-management skills
- Research skills