Tag Archives: IB School

Back to School

William MY1 (7th grade) ~ Daniel PY4 (4th grade)

As of about two weeks ago, William and Daniel are back to school!

They’re starting their fourth school year in Norway (the first was only a half of a year, but you get what I mean…). We continue to be thankful for the education they are receiving at the international baccalaureate (IB) school in our city.

We get a lot of questions about the boys’ school here. While I cannot speak for others, our family’s experience with IB school has been great. The way they teach is less about sitting at a desk & looking at a book, and more about learning hands-on. I feel our boys are getting a well-rounded education and experience. The IB approach is a whole-learning focus, seeking to create lifelong learners who are inquisitive, thoughtful, involved, and engaged. Its focus does not isolate academic subjects, but uses units of study that incorporate a variety of subjects and concepts at the same time.

The boys love their school experience, and that makes us happy! They have good relationships with the teachers and staff. The classes are fairly small (in primary school there are typically 15 – 20 students). And I think another benefit is the multi-cultural aspect of international schools. A lot of their friends have at least one Norwegian parent, and the majority have one foreign/non-Norwegian/expat/immigrant parent. So they have classmates who come from all over the world. And their teachers are very international as well!

Daniel is now in fourth grade, or PY4. The PY (Primary Years) program covers grades 1 through 6. Daniel is excited that he is now in the upper grades part of the PY program. This means more responsibility and more self-sufficiency. This is a big change and challenge for him, but also a great opportunity!

William is in his first year of the MY (Middle Years) program, MY1. In American school it would be 7th grade. He is still in the same building as before, but on a different floor. He is changing classes, has a lot more responsibility, and must do much more without teacher guidance. This is the first year of foreign language, and he chose Spanish. He laughed yesterday as he said that he’s basically working on three language right now: English, Norwegian, and Spanish.

So we’re geared up and ready for a new school year.

Here’s a look at the boys’ first day of school each year since arriving in Norway…

February 2013
Daniel PY1 ~ William PY4


August 2013
Daniel PY2 ~ William PY5
August 2014
William PY6 ~ Daniel PY3
August 2015
William MY1 ~ Daniel PY4



As I’ve mentioned before, our boys attend an IB, or International Baccalaureate School. IB schools teach using units or themes, in a more hands-on manner, and all revolving around a learner profile. The learner profile includes 10 areas: Inquirer, Communicator, Principled, Risk-taker, Balanced, Knowledgeable, Thinker, Open-minded, Caring and Reflective.IB begins with PY – primary years – which runs grades 1 through 6. William is in his sixth and final year of PY. As the final assignment of PY, the students participate in Exhibition. Exhibition is a chance for each student to choose a subject of interest, and then present it in a way that exhibits their learning and the development of the learner profile attributes.

Yeah, that sounded totally complicated. But William and his classmates had their Exhibition a couple of weeks ago, and they did an outstanding job!

So grateful to our friend/William’s art teacher, Lizz,
for her assistance and guidance in his art piece.

William focused on Diet and Nutrition. His exhibition included a research report, an interview with our friend Severina, surveys and mathematical analysis, a blog, a PowerPoint presentation, a cookbook, a running/race challenge, a summary of the race (written in Norwegian), and an art piece.

After all of their work is completed, they have an evening to present it to family and friends, share what they have learned, and answer questions.

We are very proud of our not-so-little-guy and the great work he did on his PY6 Exhibition.

Thanks to friends for coming to support William on Exhibition Night!