We are excited to announce that Heards Ferry is in the third year as a candidate school for the PYP. This school is currently in the final phase of the candidacy period. We are currently 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 continue to grow and expand our horizons. We are proud to announce that we have officially partnered with Sandy Springs Educational Force to house the Mini-Library Program. HFE students work hard to collect, stamp, sort and gather boxes of books to deliver to neighboring schools in need. The Student Council and Patrols have been instrumental in creating and maintaining a Recycling program. We continue to educate the students about the importance of being environmentally aware. We partnered with Captain Planet to create a beautiful outdoor garden. We also have an indoor tower garden. Our chef is able to use fresh herbs and vegetables to prepare delicious food for the students. The School garden also offers opportunities for fun and physical activity while serving as an important educational tool to help students understand how healthy food is produced. We expanded our International Inquirer Program this year. Every class chooses a counrty to study. Each month students are encouraged to inquire and research different aspects of their country of study. Student work is displayed in the hallway and builds throughout the year creating a spectacular learning experience! We encourage students to learn simple words or short phrases in different languages by displaying speech bubbles in the hallways. Students also participate in many exciting ,cultural experiences such as The Mini-World Project,Cookies for Character, Career Day, STEM 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. Teachers worked hard to create a rich Program of Inquiry. During this process, teachers carefully matched CCGPS Standards with the IB Transdisciplinary Themes. The units are conceptual and inquiry based, offering a wide range of opportunities to connect locally, nationally and globally. Teachers in grades K-5 will implement six units of inquiry during the 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 also encourage students to take action and give back to the community.
We are very pleased to announce that Heards Ferry has a wonderful Spanish Program that provides 45 minutes of instruction per week to students in Grades K-5 . 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 include the learner profile attributes and attitudes in their daily schedule and encourage students to be the best they can be! The terminology is fully connected with the Character Education Program and the IB Coordinator and School Counselor work together to create meaningful experiences for all students! Cookies for Character is a year long program where students are recognized monthly for displaying the attributes of the learner profile.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!!!