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Westlake Elementary School

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme at WES

At WES, learners approach their grade level Ohio Academic Content Standards and skills for life-long learning and problem-solving through the lens of the IB Primary Years curriculum model.

We focus on the natural curiosity, creativity, and abilities of PreK-4th grade learners and provide a stimulating learning environment in which students construct meaning and build knowledge and skills through inquiry and problem-solving.

As in all PYP schools, WES learners strive to exhibit the attributes of the IB learner profile and become citizens who are: Caring ~ Balanced ~ Principled ~ Reflective ~ Thinkers ~ Inquirers ~ Open-Minded ~ Knowledgeable ~ Communicators ~ Risk-Takers

A Community of 21st Century Learners

Learner Profile

IB Learners strive to show the ATTRIBUTES of the LEARNER PROFILE

Caring ~ Balanced ~ Principled ~ Reflective ~ Thinkers ~ Inquirers ~ Open-Minded ~ Knowledgeable ~ Communicators ~ Risk-Takers

Students are encouraged to live and recognize the ATTRIBUTES of the LEARNER PROFILE in their daily lives. Using the criteria stated in the LEARNER PROFILE ATTRIBUTES, students are encouraged to develop their own examples as part of the INQUIRY PROCESS. For example, if a child states that someone is a good communicator, they may be asked how they know this to be true. Students may be asked to categorize actions as principled vs. not principled.

It is through the understanding and practice of the LEARNER PROFILE that a student becomes INTERNATIONALLY MINDED. Understanding that others with their differences can also be right is at the core of INTERNATIONAL MINDEDNESS under IB.

Within their Units of Inquiry, each grade level highlights specific LEARNER PROFILE ATTRIBUTES and allows students explore them through inquiry, to construct meaning, and to develop criteria to help them understand the Learner Profile Attribute words.

Essential Agreements

As collaborative learners, students and teachers work together to create ESSENTIAL AGREEMENTS in their classrooms, common areas, and smaller work groups.

Characteristics of an ESSENTIAL AGREEMENT:

  • They are few in number
  • They are concisely written
  • They describe how something is done, not what will be done
  • They are binding for all
Students are encouraged to consider the ATTRIBUTES of the


By reflecting on their own actions and how they affect the learning environment, students are taking another step toward international mindedness.


Programme of Inquiry

The WES PROGRAMME OF INQUIRY (POI) is the framework for learning in each grade and special area. It describes the way students will approach the academic KNOWLEDGE, CONCEPTS, and SKILLS, and develop their understanding of the LEARNER PROFILE ATTRIBUTES.

View the detailed WES POI here

Understanding the POI

  • The POI contains UNIT OF INQUIRY for each grade level (4 for PreK-K, 6 for 1st-4th, yearlong for special areas
  • Units are organized by theme and focus on a conceptual CENTRAL IDEA
  • LINES OF INQUIRY guide students as they construct meaning across disciplines
  • APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND LEARNING (ATLs) are developed through collaborative and independent practice
  • Learners recognize and set goals related to the LEARNER PROFILE ATTRIBUTES
  • Students develop contextual understanding of CONCEPTS through their learning.
  • At the end of the unit, students REFLECT on their understanding of the CENTRAL IDEA

Approaches to Teaching & Learning (Skills)

APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND LEARNING (ATLs) are important elements of the IB PYP model. These real-world SKILLS have lasting value for learners.

ATLs are SKILLS addressed at each grade level in an age-appropriate manner and are a consistent focus throughout the IB continuum. Teachers incorporate learning experiences that encourage students to use and develop these SKILLS in all areas of learning.


  • THINKING SKILLS ~ acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, metacognition
  • SOCIAL SKILLS ~ accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group-decision-making, adopting a variety of group roles
  • COMMUNICATION SKILLS ~ listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, presenting, non-verbal communication
  • SELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS ~ gross and fine motor skills, spacial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behavior, informed choices
  • RESEARCH SKILLS ~ formulating questions, observing, planning; collecting, recording, organizing and interpreting data, presenting research findings


At WES, as within the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), appropriate STUDENT-INITIATED ACTION is valued and promoted. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves. Through their learning, they become aware of how each of them can make a difference, no matter how big or small.

The PYP ACTION CYCLE is the simple, yet powerful, tool used to teach children how to take action. By going through the three steps of CHOOSING, ACTING, and then REFLECTING upon the results of their choices, students are able to grow socially and personally, developing skills such as cooperation, problem solving, conflict resolution and critical thinking. This is an important part of students’ participation in their own learning.

Parents can help by encouraging their children to make a plan to take ACTION about something they've observed and about which they feel strongly.

Student ACTION related to learning can be something as simple as:

  • choosing to play with a new friend or try a new game
  • bringing in a book or an artifact related to what is being studied at school
  • picking up and disposing of litter
  • turning off water when brushing teeth
  • growing plants from seed

IB Attitudes

Students are developing attitudes toward learning, people and the environment that benefit themselves and others. The IB ATTITUDES are:

  • Appreciation
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
The IB ATTITUDES are at the roots of the LEARNER PROFILE.

As we strive to make these ATTITUDES “habits of mind” for students and teachers, in the classroom and out, we encourage students to be the kinds of learners and citizens who will grow to successful, responsible adults and life-long learners.

Language & Assessments

Westlake Elementary School Language Policy

Westlake Elementary School Assessment Policy


More on IB

IB Languages

IB Languages

English Language Acquisition, Second Language Learning and Mother Tongue Support

English language acquisition, support of students’ mother tongues, and second language learning are all part of the IB PYP.

In addition to helping students become proficient with English, we strive to support the cultures and languages of those students whose mother tongue is not English.

All IB students are expected to be learning in at least two languages by the age of 7, to aid developing intercultural understanding, according to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).

  • Westlake Elementary School's language of instruction is English.
  • We offer French and Spanish to all students, grades 1-4, in a program that combines cultural and linguistic experiences.
  • We provide ESL support to students learning English and respect the cultures and languages of our diverse learning population.

Research indicates that students are better able to speak and understand second, third and fourth languages when a foundation for bilingualism is built in the younger years.
Research also demonstrates that second language learning at an early age supports higher academic achievement, provides cognitive benefits to students, and impacts their beliefs and attitudes about language learning and other cultures.
Read more about WCSD’s elementary second language program here.

A variety of resources are available in Westlake City School District and the community to help support language learning. Please see this flyer for more information.

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