Throughout the year, students across grades 1-5 explore six units of inquiry, which fall under six transdisciplinary themes and incorporate all six of the PYP subject areas: mathematics, science, social studies, language, arts and personal, social and physical education. This inquiry-based learning method enables students to construct understanding within the context of their own lives. Some examples of the units of inquiry in action at Dwight School Seoul include:
First grade students complete a unit of inquiry on Sharing the Planet, during which they learn about decomposition and what we do with our waste. A field trip to the nearby park helps them understand how the government uses methane from an abandoned, underground landfill to power the park that was built on top of it. Students take action by promoting recycling in the school and composting waste to support our Growing Concern rooftop garden.
Grade 2 students follow a design cycle to identify problems, design and build prototypes, test and reflect on their prototypes, and implement change. This unit, How We Organize Ourselves, helps learners develop higher-level thinking skills while enhancing a sense of community by solving problems for themselves, their classmates and others.
In their unit of inquiry on How the World Works, students in Grade 3 inquire into the relationship between the sun, Earth and moon. They investigate, construct and communicate an understanding of what causes seasons through Makerspace design challenges, scientific diagrams and demonstrations.
In our Grade 4 unit, Who We Are, students reflect on how cultural experiences shape who we are. They inquire into the causes and consequences of stereotyping and bias, and conclude by articulating what it means to be internationally-minded.
During their unit of inquiry How the World Works, Grade 5 learners don their lab coats and safety goggles as they formulate questions, design and conduct science experiments, and develop an understanding that elements and their combinations account for all the varied types of matter in the world.