Science Literacy in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP): NAP-SL Outcomes

With the substantial increase of International Baccalaureate (IB) schools across the world, the IB has recognised that support and future development of the organisation’s programmes will require information relating to the impact and value of an IB education. As part of this agenda, the IB Research Department sought to understand the performance of Year 6 students, enrolled in the Primary Years Programme (PYP), against the Australian Proficiency Standards for Science Literacy as well results from the 2012 National Sample Assessment in Science Literacy. This research project, by Deakin University, evaluated the science literacy of a sample of students undertaking the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in schools around Australia.

The proficiency level of students in the IB PYP programme was generally higher than the national levels, with 83.3% of IB students at or above the suggested Year 6 Proficiency level of 3.2, compared with 51.4% of national students who undertook the NAP-SL test in 2012.

Whilst our students obviously undertake the IB Diploma Programme we believe that our students’ experience in the IB sciences would mirror the PYP outcomes if such a study was undertaken.  The evidence we put forward includes the following:

  • Success of our students in local and state Science Competitions including QAHS being the winning school for six years in a row at the Griffith University Gold Coast Science Competition.
  • Numerous bursary and prize winners at the Science Teachers Association of Queensland state competitions every year.
  • The large number of students since 2009 who have been BHP Billiton Science Finalists – larger number than any other Australian school since we have been involved in this event.Gold CREST winners 2010
  • The number of students presented with CREST Awards, especially Gold CREST.  Since the inception of CREST in 1995, QAHS students have been awarded more than a ¼ of all Gold Awards nationally in the last six years.
  • Success of QAHS students at the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize, including two Australian Award winners who then competed in Sweden.
  • Three Peter Doherty Awards in four years (one student, one staff member and the best school award).
  • Two Intel Science and Engineering Fair participants.
  • Two students representing Australia at a  Student Research Skills Fair in Doha, Qatar.
  • The consistently excellent results and number of credits, distinctions and high distinctions our students achieve in competitions such as the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Chemistry Quiz, ICAS Science, Science Olympiads, Rio Tinto Big Science Quiz.