“To be truly educated, a student must…make connections across the disciplines, discover ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relate what they learn to life.”
Ernest Boyer, 1995
The Seneca Academy curriculum is designed to be an integrated, transdisciplinary program of study for students in preschool through fifth grade that facilitates the development of learners who can think and act independently. The Seneca Academy elementary curriculum is guided by the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and supported by a variety of other curricula and materials. The framework for our studies is detailed in our Program of Inquiry that outlines the transdisciplinary units of study to be taught and learned in each grade level.
The Seneca Academy written curriculum addresses five elements. They are:
Knowledge: Significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.
Concepts: Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.
Skills: Those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.
Attitudes: Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment, and people.
Action: Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behavior through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements.
–Making the PYP Happen
Seneca Academy teachers ensure that students gain the knowledge, concepts, and skills, and can demonstrate the attitudes and actions we have identified as relevant and significant through engaging, hands-on, inquiry-based instruction. In this way, our taught curriculum, or the collection of methods we use to transmit the written curriculum, is designed to ensure that Seneca Academy students are active participants in the learning process. Our primary method of instruction is inquiry-based and is supplemented by strategies such as direct instruction and project-based instruction.
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