Why are Elementary Schools Embracing the IB® Curriculum?

Using inquiry skills to build a functioning paper airplane in STEAMinist Monday club.

Have you heard of the IB®  program? 

If you live in or near Virginia Beach and have children approaching elementary school age, you might have encountered this term in your research. The IB®, or International Baccalaureate curriculum, is gaining popularity in schools across the US for good reason.

Consider the statistics: between 2018 and 2022, the number of IB®  programs worldwide increased by 34.2%. Now, there are over 8,000 programs offered in more than 5,700 schools across 160 countries. The IB®  curriculum is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, with the USA seeing a significant rise in new IB®  programs, reflecting a growing interest in this holistic and future-oriented approach to education.

Let’s explore why International Baccalaureate elementary schools are trending and how they can benefit your child’s education. Remember, Strelitz is the only IB®  elementary school in our area, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads. 

What is the IB®  Curriculum?

The IB®  program is an internationally recognized educational framework that fosters well-rounded, globally-minded learners. Beyond just a curriculum, IB®  is a philosophy emphasizing critical thinking, inquiry-based learning, and strong interpersonal skills. The IB®  program is offered at various levels, from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for elementary school to the Diploma Programme (DP) for high school.

Benefits of the IB®  PYP for Elementary School Students

Here’s a closer look at how the curriculum in an International Baccalaureate elementary school can benefit your child:

Who We Are- Evening of the Arts

Who We Are- Evening of the Arts

Science with oreos!

Science with oreos!

SIA's caring students!

SIA’s caring students!


Developing Strong Academic Skills

The rigorous PYP curriculum covers all core subjects, including math, language arts, science, and social studies. However, it goes beyond rote memorization, encouraging students to apply their knowledge and develop critical thinking skills. Studies by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO®) show that students in IB®  programs consistently score higher on standardized tests than their non-IB®  counterparts.

Fostering Global Awareness

The PYP curriculum emphasizes understanding different cultures and perspectives. Students learn about the world around them, fostering empathy and a sense of global citizenship. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, these skills are essential for success.

Building Strong Communication Skills

The PYP program encourages effective communication through writing, speech, and active listening. Students learn to express themselves clearly and confidently. According to a Stanford Graduate School of Education study, strong communication skills are among the top predictors of success in college and beyond.

Encouraging Creativity and Problem-Solving

Inquiry-based learning fosters creativity as students explore topics and find solutions. The PYP program provides opportunities for students to express themselves through various creative outlets. The World Economic Forum identifies creativity as one of the most important skills for the future workforce.

Developing Social and Emotional Skills

The PYP program recognizes the importance of social and emotional learning. Students develop collaboration skills, learn conflict-resolution strategies, and cultivate empathy for others. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) reports that social and emotional learning programs can improve academic achievement, social skills, and emotional well-being.

Investing in Your Child’s Future

The rise of IB®  private schools is a powerful trend with far-reaching implications. It reflects a growing shift toward education that prioritizes critical thinking, global awareness, and lifelong learning skills—essential for success in the 21st century. As parents and educators, understanding the benefits of the IB®  program can help you make a confident choice for your child’s education.

Ready to give your child a head start? Visit Strelitz International Academy, the only IB®  curriculum elementary school in Virginia Beach. Schedule a tour today and discover how a world-class IB®  education can prepare your child for success in a globalized world.

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