We are excited to announce that Heards Ferry is entering our second year as a candidate school for the PYP. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy- a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Heards Ferry Elementary School believes is important for our students. Thank you to the Administration, teachers, staff and parents for your support during this exciting voyage!
The mission of an IB school is to develop responsible citizens in a global community developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
This year has been filled with excitement as we expanded our horizons. We are proud to announce that we started a recycling program this year. The Student Council and Patrols have been instrumental in maintaining the program. We continue to educate the students about the importance of being environmentally aware. We partnered with Captain Planet this year to create a beautiful outdoor garden. The School garden offers opportunities for fun and physical activity while serving as an important educational tool to help students understand how healthy food is produced. Students participated in many exciting cultural experiences such as International Day, Career Day, Science Day, The Ellis Island simulation, field trips to Tybee Island and Rock Eagle and skyping experiences with various countries, just to name a few. During the Candidacy period, the school will continue to examine the IB philosophy, program structure and requirements and compare these findings with Heards Ferry's and Fulton County’s current goals and strategic plan. We continue to work closely with our IB consultant who is readily available to help with any questions or concerns during this transition. The candidacy period can last from 1-3 years. Teachers have been working hard to create a Program of Inquiry. During this process, teachers carefully matched CCGPS Standards with the IB Transdisciplinary Themes. The units are inquiry based offering a wide range of opportunities to connect locally, nationally and globally. Teachers in grades K-5 will implement all six units of inquiry during the 2016-17 school year. Pre-K teachers will implement four units. Teachers will continue to collaborate and reflect upon the units throughout the school year in order to provide the best educational experience. We encourage students to become independent thinkers and guide their own instruction.
We are very pleased to announce that Heards Ferry will add Spanish to the curriculum beginning this school year! Students in Grades K-5 will receive 45 minutes of instruction per week. Our focus is on building enthusiasm for lifelong language learning. Students who have early, positive experiences with a second language are more likely to continue this learning at the secondary level and eventually reach proficiency. We will continue to familiarize staff, parents, students and community members with the IB Learner Profile and Attitudes. The IB PYP fosters character education with the Learner Profile. The learner Profile encourages students to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, principled, reflective, caring, balanced, communicators, risk takers and open minded. Along with the Learner Profile, the attitudes of respect, creativity, cooperation, enthusiasm, commitment, curiosity, empathy, confidence, independence, appreciation, tolerance and commitment are integrated into lessons daily in order for all students to become global citizens. Teachers have the learner profiles and attitudes posted in their classrooms and are encouraged to make it a part of their daily schedule. The terminology will be fully connected with the Character Education Program for the 2016-17 school year! We strongly encourage teachers, parents, and community members to join us as we continue this incredible journey to become lifelong learners! We are soaring with excitement!!!