Our Program of Inquiry (PoI) is the result of ongoing collaboration among teams of teachers at Mayfair. A PoI is a framework for the development of inquiry-based units. At every grade level from K-5, students explore six units of inquiry that last from 4-6 weeks. During each unit, students inquire into and develop an understanding of universal concepts and issues that will extend far beyond the time they spend here at Mayfair. Exploring these concepts/issues helps our students acquire both a local and global perspective on learning and how it applies in their lives.
Each Program of Inquiry unit is organized around the following elements:
1. Transdisciplinary Theme – The transdisciplinary theme contains ideas of global significance shared by people everywhere in the world. This theme also provides a context for students to develop subject-specific knowledge, concepts and skills.
2. Central Idea – The central idea expresses a timeless, enduring understanding, related to the transdisciplinary theme, that students develop throughout the course of the unit.
3. Lines of Inquiry – The lines of inquiry clarify the central idea, focus student inquiries, and help deepen understanding.
4. Key and Related Concepts – These concepts are embedded into the central idea and lines of inquiry. They help deepen student understanding and provide students the opportunity to make connections throughout their learning, from one subject area to another and between school and the outside world.
The PYP transdisciplinary themes can be summarized as follows:
Who We Are – An inquiry into ourselves, our beliefs and values, rights and responsibilities, our friends, families and cultures.
How We Express Ourselves – An inquiry into the ways that we discover and express ourselves, our ideas, our feelings, our cultures, and our beliefs and values.
How We Organize Ourselves – An inquiry into human systems and communities and their impact on society and the environment.
Where We Are in Place and Time – An inquiry into our location in place and time, our personal histories, local and global history and geography, migrations and discoveries of ourselves and others, the contributions of individuals and civilizations.
How the World Works – An inquiry into natural and human-made phenomena and the world of science and technology and their impact on society and on the environment.
Sharing the Planet – An inquiry into relationships between living things and how humans and other living things share resources and opportunities.