Written by the Team at WISS.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes at WISS, a Shanghai international school, provide pioneering academic curriculums. However, the WISS community understands that academic learning is not the only thing required to nourish young minds fully; the WISS IB Programmes also emphasize students’; social and emotional learning. In this article, we’ll detail exactly how the IB Programmes help students develop their personal character through social-emotional learning.
The WISS IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The early learning years are critical in preparing students for the rest of their academic career and beyond. No matter how academically gifted your child is, if they lack the social and emotional skills needed to make meaningful connections and manage their emotions, they will struggle to realize their full potential.
Primary Years learners have a lot on their plate. Not only are they being introduced to entirely new academic concepts, but they are also learning the ropes of how to deal with often confusing and challenging emotions and social situations. Young children who lack adequate social-emotional skills may easily become confrontational, have limited empathy, suffer from attachment anxiety, lack interest in learning, or encounter a myriad of other difficulties. To counter this, children must be exposed to proper social-emotional learning techniques between the ages of 3 and 12.
Emotional Learning in the IBPYP
The IBPYP at WISS provides students with the framework needed to recognize, understand, and manage their emotions. Whereas conventional curriculums dictate exactly when, where, and how a student should carry out an activity, the IBPYP allows learners a degree of freedom to make their own decisions. This ability to self-govern enables students to develop their emotional skills. For example, learners help to organize flexible snack times and choose their own play center. This approach is rooted in the real world. It gives students the tools to become confident individuals who can make considered decisions without intruding feelings of self-doubt, dread, or confusion.
Social Learning in the IBPYP
Adequate social skills are fundamental to a thriving academic career, later employment, and in establishing and maintaining meaningful personal connections. To develop our young learners’ social skills, WISS engages students in social learning both in and out of the classroom.
Especially for primary students, regular and varying peer interaction is critical in developing healthy social and peer relationship skills. For this reason, Primary Years students at WISS have plenty of time to play and learn with their classmates. Outside of the classroom, students will engage with the Student Ambassador and Action Club programs. The skills gained from the IBPYP curriculum teaches young learners to control their behavior and to consider those around them before acting on their urges.
The WISS IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)
Between the ages of 11-16, children go through tremendous changes, both physically and mentally. The onset of puberty can trigger confusing emotions and affect relationships with peers, educators, and at home. The IBMYP ensures that learners continue to get the social-emotional support they need.
Emotional Learning in the IBMYP
IBMYP students are encouraged to develop their confidence, leadership skills, and tolerance through collaborative cross grade-level programs such as the Model United Nations, Student Council, Robotics, ISTA, Community Choir, Community Orchestra, and Stoke City FC Academy. In addition, WISS ensures all students are happy, content, and have adequate social connections to support them throughout their academic career and personal development.
Social Learning in the IBMYP
Social learning in the IBMYP focuses heavily on serving the community. MYP students must understand the importance of working together for a common goal. To impart this teaching, the IBMYP implements service-learning. Every academic year during the IBMYP, all students at WISS must participate in Service as Action, which aims to serve the community.
The WISS IB Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related
Grade 11 and 12 students can choose between the IBDP or IBCP. Both programmes provide social-emotional learning alongside a rigorous academic curriculum.
Emotional Learning in the IBDP and IBCP
Students who are nearing the end of their school-based learning may feel overwhelmed with what lies ahead. These programmes ensure that all students have ambitious but achievable goals in mind to ease their anxiety over their academic/career transition. They also ensure that there is emotional support provided to students undertaking sometimes stressful examinations.
Social Learning in the IBDP and IBCP
Both the DP and CP implement community-based service-learning and social development programs. Students will learn how to identify specific and authentic needs in a community and work together to provide solutions and service. Students will also develop professional social skills that are relevant to the 21st-century world of work, helping them continue to succeed after leaving the world of education.