Curriculum

As a distinctive bilingual school that aims to facilitate students’ Chinese and English study, Shanghai Liaoyuan Bilingual School not only provides students with excellent teaching staff in a bilingual studying environment, but also values the improvement of students’ core literacy. Concerning the cultivation of students’ personalization, the school offers them numerous school-based curriculum, expanding-type curriculum and inquiry-based curriculum to  lay a solid foundation on students’ international comprehension skills , competitiveness  and their lifelong development.

Liaoyuan’s 「Feature Curriculum」 is based on the national curriculum system, and focuses on bilingual courses, and characterized by school-based curriculum. It’s an unique three-level curriculum. Its immersive English environment and step-by-step Chinese culture curriculum can gradually improve students’ bilingual integrative competence. Liaoyuan takes Super Minds as main English teaching materials, integrating with other resources to support students' English learning. While for junior high school students, they are all learning Side by Side, an international English Curriculum designed by Longman. The curriculum system is designed in a well-balanced way, and thanks to our highly praised teaching methods, it helps students learn beyond classrooms and trains them to use English like a native speaker.

With the approval of the Education Bureau in Shanghai Minghang District, Liaoyuan School has established the international integrated curriculum, an active practice and exploration for Sino-foreign education integration in the disciplines such as language and science. This will open the gate to the cognitive world for students studying in Liaoyuan School, helping them go globally with great confidence.

While implementing the national curriculum, Liaoyuan School has introduced the IB-PYP and IB-MYP research frameworks of International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to form inquiry-based study methods and to develop students’ self-motivated research ability. Its interdisciplinary study enables students to experience different study modes through the distinctive course projects that are not only interesting but also effective. Based on students’ current knowledge and experiences, such projects empower students to explore by themselves, study on their own, and keep their own interests and curiosity in study all the time, as well as to develop the right learning attitude allowing them to become  lifelong learners that will benefit the mankind.

Liaoyuan Bilingual School officially passed the certification of IB (International Baccalaureate) for PYP project in 2018 and became an IB school. We choose IB for its educational concept. Cultivating young people to be diligence and inquisitive and have an international vision, a wide range of knowledge and a loving heart, is in accordance with our educational goals. They identify the universal love spirit of humanity, share the responsibility of protecting the planet and help create a better and more peaceful world.

Shanghai Liaoyuan Bilingual School is one of the few schools in Shanghai that successfully integrates Chinese national curriculum and IB PYP framework. Our whole curriculum is taught bilingually. The PYP curriculum of our elementary school provide immersive English environment, while the teaching content of Chinese language and Chinese culture are adopted. Meanwhile, the school has already been the IB MYP candidate school and will extend the successful mode into secondary stage.


The Primary Years Programme

What does it mean to have an IB education at Shanghai Liaoyuan Bilingual School?

The International Baccalaureate programme focuses on lifelong learning for students aged between 3 and 19 years old. Here at Liaoyuan, we focus on the PYP from Grade 1 to Grade 5. As educators, we must allow students to inquire and invetigate the world around them. The focus is not only acadmeic, but personal achievements as well. The IB develops internationally minded people in order to create a better and more peaceful world.

What we offer

Shanghai Liaoyuan Bilingual School enjoys a welcoming, nurturing, and accepting learning environment where all community members are valued and respected. The school’s population includes students with a wide variety of learning styles, abilities, needs, and talents. This diversity promotes empathy and awareness and supports the development of inclusive, caring, internationally-minded citizens. With the ultimate goal of individual success for each learner, all students have access to age and ability appropriate educational resources to meet one’s unique potential, including participation in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

IB Learner Profile

There are ten IB Learner Profiles that we encourage our students to be: inquirers, knowledgable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. These learner profiles are incorporated in every lesson in order to help the student’s devleop as individuals and excel in their studies.

PYP Transdisciplinary Themes and Key Concepts

Every six weeks, each grade will focus on a transdisciplinary theme that allows the learners to inquire and formulate questions. The themes include:

- Who we are

- Where we are in place and time

- How we express ourselves

- How the world works

- How we organize ourselves

- Sharing the planet

Each theme has a’ Unit of Inquiry’ which focuses on a ‘Central Idea’ and the ‘Lines of Inquiry’, which is further explored by the learners. In order for inquiry to take place, concepts are essential which gives the programme a purposeful structure. These key concepts include: form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility and reflection. The key concepts give the learners and the teachers’ opportunity to consider ways of thinking and learning about the world.

PYP Transdisciplinary Skills

There are five transdisciplinary skills that are used throughout the learning process: thinking, social, communication, self-management and research. These skills are able to be adopted during all subject lessons allowing learners to aquire the skills needed to progress and develop; academically and personally.

PYP Attitudes

At Liaoyuan we always encourage exemplar behaviour and this can be demonstrated by using the twelve PYP attitudes: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance. These attitudes focus on personal development and contribute to a person’s well-being. It’s crucial that we remain thoughtful and consider not only ourselves but others and the environment.

Assessment at Liaoyuan

Student learning is promoted through planning and refining the teaching and learning process to meet individual or group needs according to the PYP. Assessing the student’s prior knowledge and experience, as well as monitoring their achievement during the unit of inquiry will enable teachers to plan and refine their teaching accordingly. A well-designed learning experience will provide data on student’s knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding, and is consequently a vehicle for summative and formative assessment.

Quotation by Principal Iain Riley

The Middle Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) at LYBS encourages students aged 11-16 to think critically and creatively on ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. Building on the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), the MYP is designed to help our students think about local and global issues from a variety of perspectives and encourage them to use what they’ve learnt across all of their subjects to make a positive change in their local community.

At LYBS, we create an inclusive and motivating learning environment for our students where Chinese and foreign teachers work side-by-side to deliver a challenging bilingual MYP program. LYBS offers two streams in its IB Middle Years Program (MYP), both of which seek to nurture student’s awareness of their cultural identity and their relationship with the world. The first stream, Bilingual One, uses Chinese as its primary language of instruction, while our second stream, Bilingual Two, uses English as its primary language of instruction.

Both programs put students at heart of learning. As an IB World School, a common philosophy binds all our programs. That philosophy encourages students in both programs to lead inquiry into different subjects, reflect on their learning and their lives and make connections with the world. In their units, students are given the autonomy to take action based on what they’ve been learning to change attitudes, minds and local conditions in areas they are passionate about.

The IB MYP Programme Mode

The first ring at the centre of the MYP Programme Model above shows the four features of the programme that help students develop interdisciplinary understanding:

- Approaches to Teaching

- Concepts

- Global contexts

- Approaches to Learning (ATL)

The second ring describes some of the important outcomes of the programme:

- Action and service within the community

- The MYP Community Project (in MYP year 3, grade 8) and the MYP personal project (for students in MYP year 5, grade 10)describes some of the important outcomes of the programme:

The third ring lists the eight subject areas students are expected to learn in the IB Middle Years Programme:

- Language and Literature - Language Acquisition - Individuals and Societies - Physical and Health Education

- Mathematics - Sciences - Design - Arts

The First Ring

Approaches to Teaching

At LYBS, we firmly believe that teachers, students and parents are partners in education. Our teachers provide the resources and support for students to take part in inquiry based learning and facilitate the process of student-led inquiry through collaborative and purposeful activities. Step into one of our classrooms and you’ll find students participating in inquiry that leads them to ask questions of each other, as well as of their teachers. In this dynamic learning environment, students move fluidly from group work to individual work according to the nature of their inquiry.

We encourage parents to support the school in helping their child become more creative, critical and reflective thinkers by encouraging their child to take responsibility for their own learning. Furthermore, we welcome the help of our parents who may have a particular expertise or resource that could benefit our students in their topic of inquiry. By strengthening the relationship between parents and teachers at our school, we equip ourselves with more tools to help our students in their academic learning and holistic development.

Concepts

Some ideas are timeless, universal and intangible. The MYP refers to these as Concepts, and they are divided into two categories: Key Concepts and Related Concepts.

In the MYP, each subject area has key concepts. These are the powerful ideas that we explore through different topics to try and understand the world around us. The key concepts in the MYP are listed in the table below:

Aesthetics

Connections

Form

Perspective

Change

Creativity

Global Interactions

Relationships

Communication

Culture

Identity

Time, Place & Space

Communities

Development

Logic

Systems


Teachers use key concepts from their own subject group — as well as key concepts from other subject groups — to plan disciplinary and interdisciplinary units of inquiry. Interdisciplinary learning is when two or more subjects join forces to make learning more impactful (For more explanations about interdisciplinary learning, refer to the ‘Third Ring’ section of this document) Teachers identify one key concept for each unit, and students will develop their understanding of this key concept through their inquiry in class.

In the MYP, explaining key concepts often requires breaking them down into smaller ideas. These smaller ideas are called related concepts. Related concepts are still big ideas, but they are subject-specific and help students and teachers to explain and analyze the key concepts. When students relate what they learn in class to these concepts, they develop a deeper understanding of the big ideas and a greater ability to make connections between different areas of knowledge.

Global Contexts

When MYP students study any topic in any of their subject areas, they continuously make connections to the MYP ‘Global Contexts’. These six ‘Global Contexts’ illustrated in the picture below were designed by the IBO to connect classroom learning with the real world:

Over the course of their study, students will explore all six Global Contexts on multiple occasions and in their different subjects to reflect on local, national and global issues that are connected to what they learned in class. The IBO and LYBS share a belief that if students better understand these concepts, they’ll be able to better understand our complex world.

Approaches to Learning

Some skills are very specific to particular subjects while others are ones that students use every day in all their classes, and will ultimately use throughout their lives. The skills that we’re trying to get our students to learn through the MYP are called Approaches to Learning (ATL Skills). These are the ten transdisciplinary skills that the IB believes will empower students to be successful in school, society and beyond. The ATL skills are outlined in the table below:

Skill

Students can:

Communication

Working with People

Exchange thoughts, messages and information effectively through interacting with others

Working with Information

Use written information to gather and understand information and ideas

Use writing to record and express their own information and ideas

Social

Collaboration

Work effectively with other people in all situations

Self-Management

Organization

Manage their time and tasks effectively

Emotions and Feelings

Manage their own state of mind

Reflection

Think honestly about how they learn; choose, use and develop their skills

Research

Information Literacy

Find, interpret, judge and use information from different sources

Media Literacy

Find, interpret, judge and use information from different media

Thinking

Critical Thinking

Consider different perspectives on issues and ideas (including their own); make judgments based on different perspectives, and strengths and weaknesses

Creative Thinking

Generate novel ideas, think about things in a different way and consider new perspectives

Transfer Understanding and Skills

Use their skills and knowledge in new and different situations.

The Second Ring

Action & Service

At the heart of every unit our students are required to take part in Service and Action. This component of the MYP curriculum is all about students taking action based on what they’re learning in class. Teachers at LYBS aim to incorporate theory, concept and action in all of their units so that students are using their learning to try and change attitudes, minds and local conditions in their community. Students will, for example, go out and communicate with members of their local community on topics which they are learning about or share practical solutions with the public to problems they identified in their inquiry.

The Community Project & Service Project

Another great way to get students thinking about Service as Action is through the Community Project in MYP Year 3 (Grade 8) and the MYP personal project in MYP Year 5 (Grade 10). The Community Project in MYP3 provides an important opportunity for our students to collaborate and learn through service. Furthermore, it’s a great way for students to learn more about Service as Action and practice the writing necessary for the MYP Personal Project. The MYP Personal Project in MYP5 is a requirement of all IB MYP schools around the world and our student’s projects will be sent to the IB for grading, ensuring that standards are consistent across all IB World Schools.

The Third Ring

The MYP curriculum comprises the eight subject groups in the third ring. These eight subject groups are broad and balanced to facilitate holistic education. At LYBS, our Bilingual One and Bilingual Two programs have the flexibility to decide which specific subjects should be taught within these larger subject groups so as to fit our students’ needs at different stages of their development.

As can be seen from the third ring, the distinction between subject groups blurs to indicate the interdisciplinary nature of the MYP. The MYP program empowers students and teacher to integrate disciplines in new and creative ways to understand complex issues and ideas. While disciplinary teaching in the subject groups takes place when teachers focus on history, biology, music or graphic design as individual subjects, interdisciplinary teaching occurs when teachers invite students to combine concepts and modes of thinking across subject groups.

The MYP encourages teachers and students to make meaningful connections across subject groups. For example, students may be invited to deepen their understanding of the French and American revolutions (Individuals and societies) to write a poem (Language & Literature) and create a play that captures the visions and world views of the times (Arts). Teachers and students in the MYP are expected to bring together concepts from two or more disciplines to explain a phenomenon, solve a problem, create a product, or raise a new question in ways that would have been unlikely through a single discipline.