PenDragon - the official magazine of Lyford Cay International School PenDragon Vol 5, Spring 2019 - Page 8

P ersonal & PERSONALISED The Hidden Value of an LCIS Education How do students discover more about who they are through an LCIS education? Veteran educator, Giles Pinto, coordinates the Grade 6-12 curriculum at LCIS. Students and teachers benefit from his more-than-a-decade of experience within the IB. We spent some time talking with him about the advantages of the IB programme and the personalised and personal learning opportunities that an LCIS education offers. Mr Pinto worked in Japan and Canada prior to The Bahamas and is the proud parent of two LCIS sixth graders. As a high-performing IB World School, we offer an education that is grounded in academics and self- development. For many students, this comes through our focus from K-12 on the IB Learner Profile, which develops attributes such as being a risk-taker and inquirer. In addition, most of the assignments and tasks completed in class require students to reflect on their strengths and areas for growth. This process systematically helps students to develop a better sense of themselves. This is especially true for the major capstone IB learning experiences, whether they are completed in groups (PYP Exhibition, MYP Community Project) or individually (MYP Personal Project, DP Extended Essay, CP Reflective Project). How does the IB prepare you for future learning and life? In what ways is an LCIS education unique compared to other schools in this region? The IB curriculum framework requires that teachers directly educate students Giles Pinto on five sets of skills that are essential for success in the twenty-first century. These skills include being able to think creatively and critically as well as to communicate effectively while collaborating with others. When paired with the IB’s focus on research and on coaching students to be independently organised, these skills help to ensure success in life and learning. “ Personal project helped me verify what I wanted to do in collEge and in my future. It allowed me to focus on what I enjoy doing in a subject, and also learn what else comes with it in the real world.” - Grace Lyons (Grade 10 student) The biggest markers to me concerning our uniqueness are that: we offer a comprehensive learning experience that is not simply about the memorisation of facts or basic skills and that we genuinely seek to support students regardless of their individual learning needs. How does the IB’s approach anticipate the future needs of global citizens? Learners will need to be multifaceted, critical and creative thinkers in the coming years and this is perhaps one of the strongest benefits to the kind of well-rounded IB education provided at LCIS. All MYP students in Grades 6 to 10 are required to take a highly innovative Design course every year. This helps to develop the kind of problem-solving mindset that will propel them forward. As young global citizens, our students are empowered by learning and living through international-mindedness; this means not only practising open-mindedness and empathy within our school community but also coming to appreciate global issues and their local impact through curriculum and service projects. Why is this type of learning an advantage for college entrance? Colleges and universities, especially those that are more competitive, no longer seek out students who only have a strong knowledge base. They want effective communicators who can collaborate with others, think like innovators and see multiple points of view. This is why an IB education is a strategic advantage for college and university applicants worldwide. What are our strategic goals for secondary education at LCIS? We are now one of the few IB World Schools that offers all four programmes with the addition of the Career-related Programme. This will provide us with an unprecedented degree of customisation in terms of learning options for students. Even as we gradually grow, we are still a small school that can focus on the individual needs of students. How does the curriculum get increasingly personalised in the upper grades at LCIS? How is this idea fostered in the earlier years? As we transition students into Grade 6 and our Secondary MYP classes, we are continually encouraging them to take charge of their own learning. This could mean studying either French or Spanish as a second language or making the choice between Visual Arts and Music at the start of Grade 9. This leads to the major decisions taken at the end of Grade 10, which offers our students multiple pathways to graduation through Grades 11 and 12; they can choose to pursue the full IB Diploma, the Career-related Programme Diploma or simply take selected IB courses for credit. All choices are based upon self- development and a well-informed understanding of college and university requirements. How does LCIS fit in the bigger picture of global education trends? The schools of the future and for the future are those that offer a well-rounded but also customised education with a strong focus on skill development. LCIS does all of that with a consistent level of effectiveness. 9