In a wonderful start to the school holiday break, during the first weekend a report came through from the International Baccalaureate Organisation informing us they had approved our school for authorisation to offer the Primary Years Programme – a high-quality, challenging international educational program with the ambitious aim to create a better and more peaceful world.

Last term we undertook a two-day verification visit to the school, which was both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. We were extremely appreciative of the well wishes that parents passed on to the teachers as we prepared for the visit and we all shared the emails of support, which meant a lot to all of us. 

We waited (not so) patiently for the final verification report, which is a lengthy report, addressing the practices and programme requirements, based on the evidence provided by Preshil, to demonstrate that we meet the IB’s authorisation requirements.

In this report, where the visiting team has found that a practice or requirement is in place or in progress, the school was provided with a commendation or recommendation and evidence to support the findings.

Commendations identify school practices that are beyond the requirements for authorisation and will benefit the implementation of the programme, while recommendations provide guidance for the school on further developing the programme. 

Not that I was counting… but Arlington received eleven commendations, which is not an easy task. This is a true reflection of the commitment and dedication that our school, especially our teachers, has in developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people where children drive the learning process.

Below are some of the commendations from the report.

Practice A.3.b: The school as a community of learners is committed to a collaborative approach to curriculum development.

The IB commends:

“Preshil proactively explores ways of ensuring the school community including parents and students are committed to a collaborative approach to curriculum development.”

Practice A.3.c: The school is committed to a constructivist, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning that promotes inquiry and the development of critical-thinking skills.

The IB commends:

“Preshil's commitment to a constructivist, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning that promotes inquiry and the development of critical-thinking skills is evident through both inside and outside learning environments, teacher planning around students' interests and general policies and practices in the school.”

Practice A.6: The school promotes open communication based on understanding and respect.

The IB commends:

“Preshil is commended for its considered and multi-faceted approach to promoting a climate of understanding and respect involving all members of the school community.”

Practice B1.2.a: The responsibility for pedagogical leadership within the school is a shared responsibility, including at least the PYP coordinator and the primary school principal.

The IB commends:

“Preshil has developed a distributive leadership structure that is built on effective communication and transparency and empowers all stakeholders to have ownership in the implementation of the programme.”

Practice C3.14: Teaching and learning fosters a stimulating learning environment based on understanding and respect

The IB commends:

“ Preshil has built a stimulating learning environment based on understanding and respect throughout the school community.”

Practice C4.4: The school provides students with feedback to inform their learning

The IB commends:

“Preshil uses formative assessments in all subject areas to provide students with regular feedback and feed forward on their learning.”