Hawthorn Academy is a certified International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
In order to achieve our mission and to maintain long-term consistency and continuity in our school, Hawthorn Academy will overlay the International Baccalaureate's (IB) teaching methodologies. By incorporating IB we will be able to provide a challenging academic experience that fosters life-long learners. The IB's mission is to address the "whole child" by meeting the academic, social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs of the child. The IB framework is not curriculum, but a highly respected method for organizing and teaching the curriculum content that we choose through a well-developed teaching methodology.
We have selected IB after much evaluation and research into other public district and public charter schools that match our vision. We have researched other IB schools nationwide and have found them to be highly-regarded by parents and children with consistently good test scores when compared to local schools. We have not been able to find a program we admire more than IB.
IB is Trans-Disciplinary
IB is a "trans-disciplinary" teaching model, which means that children are taught how traditional subjects, such as Math and English, are connected and relate to one another. This trans-disciplinary approach not only increases the level of inquiry but assists students in identifying how what they are learning relates to their own life experiences. This will increase curiosity and excitement for the learner and provide a better foundation for life experience.
All teachers, as well as our Administrators are trained in the IB philosophy. We have collaborate with other IB schools and work together to bring a world class education to your children.
Our school has a full-time IB Coordinator whose job it is to guide teachers and faculty through the IB Programme.
Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs along with academic development.
The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.
The IB Framework
As previously mentioned, IB is not a curriculum per se, but a framework for how curriculum is implemented and taught. I.
The IB framework consists of five essential elements: concepts, skills, attitudes, action and knowledge. Knowledge is considered to be a holistic understanding of ideas, not merely the acquisition of facts and skills. The knowledge component is divided into six trans-disciplinary themes to be used in the classroom as a framework in applying trans-disciplinary education.
The themes are as follows:
- Where we are in place and time
- Who we are
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet
The purpose of these trans-disciplinary themes is to add another dimension to learning traditional subjects, not to replace local and state standards.
IB: Practical Application in the Classroom
Teachers are trained to weave subjects together by asking certain kinds of questions, making specific connections between subjects and promoting cross-curricular thinking strategies into their lesson plans. These strategies influence how a student receives, assimilates and then utilizes what they learn. This method of teaching deepens understanding while encouraging the student to be inquisitive and to develop strong critical thinking and problem solving skills. The following are examples of these day-to-day strategies:
- Form – What is it like?
- Function – How does it work?
- Perspective – What are the points of view?
- Reflection – How do we know?
- Responsibility – What is our responsibility?
- Causation – Why is it like it is?
- Connection – How is it connected to other things?
- Change – How is it changing?
The IB Attitudes
As part of educating the whole child, IB has also adopted the IB Attitudes which are designed to help children understand and embrace universal principles and values. The IB Attitudes are constantly taught and reinforced in the classroom:
- Appreciation – Appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people.
- Commitment – Being committed to their learning, preserving and showing self-discipline and responsibility.
- Confidence – Feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions.
- Cooperation – Cooperating, collaborating and leading or following as the situation demands.
- Creativity – Being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas.
- Curiosity – Being curious about the nature of learning and the world, its people and cultures.
- Empathy – Imaginatively projecting their self into another's situation, in order to understand his/her thoughts, reasoning and emotions.
- Enthusiasm – Enjoying learning.
- Independence – Thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned principles and being able to defend their judgments.
- Integrity – Having integrity and a firm sense of fairness and honesty.
- Respect – Respecting themselves, others and the world around them.
- Tolerance – Feeling sensitivity towards differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others.
IB Foreign Language Requirement
IB requires that every student learn a foreign language. The learning of a foreign language has been shown to have multiple benefits:
- Potential for higher cognitive development.
- Improves overall academic performance.
- Enhances understanding of native language - increasing scores on SAT verbal entrance exams.
- Promotes respect & understanding of other cultures.
- Language mastering increases at early ages
We have selected Spanish as the foreign language to be taught to every student at Hawthorn Academy beginning in Kindergarten. Our objective is to see students become proficient at understanding the Spanish language concepts and speech by the 6th grade. Spanish was selected primarily because of the vast amount of resources available as well as extensive exposure to the language in the community
The application of learning is essential to students at Hawthorn Academy. Students are taught to be good stewards over what they have learned by applying the education to everyday life. IB also invites students to participate in various service projects every year.
IB Provides an International Perspective
Trans-disciplinary themes contain an international perspective which is beneficial because learning takes place in a much broader context. The purpose of using an international perspective and trans-disciplinary approach is to support children in becoming inquirers, thinkers, communicators and risk-takers; to be knowledgeable, principled, caring, well-balanced, and reflective. Not only will students learn about their own identity, culture, and values, but differing perspectives from other populations outside of Utah will be explored. This will increase the inquiry skills of students as they become aware of similarities and discrepancies between their own views and those of others.
Summary of IB Framework
In summary, the basic IB elements are Concepts, Skills, Attitudes, Action and Knowledge. The first four are relevant in and across all subject areas and provide the framework for structured and purposeful inquiry. They can have different applications and interpretations, depending on the subject area. The fifth element is knowledge, which is considered to be a holistic understanding of ideas, not merely the acquisition of facts and skills. The table below shows how the overall IB themes are structured within a scope and sequence around the four primary elements.
The International Baccalaureate program offers a continuum of high quality education that encourages international-mindedness and positive attitude to learning. For additional information please visit www.ibo.org.