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Inquiry-Based Curriculum

Collaborative Learning

Connected Teaching

Creative, Hands-On Learning

An International Baccalaureate (IB) World School since 2006, Mackintosh Academy joins schools worldwide in preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world.

Mackintosh Academy Littleton’s Primary Years International Baccalaureate curriculum provides six trans-disciplinary units of inquiry for first through sixth grade students, and four to five units for our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. The Middle Years International Baccalaureate curriculum interweaves its eight subjects with interdisciplinary concepts.

In both programs, students discover, uncover, and construct deep meaning in key areas of study. Our curriculum is tailored to engage students with the key concepts and skills needed at each developmental stage.

Our unit plans provide a roadmap for students to travel, while optimizing knowledge, curiosity, and creative learning. Inquiry-based curriculum hones students’ self-initiative, organization, collaboration, communication, informational literacy, and high-level thinking skills.

What does inquiry-based learning look like?

Take a look at this video produced by our fifth and sixth grade students for an example.


In the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (pre-kindergarten through sixth grade), the skills and knowledge of each subject area are taught through interdisciplinary and inquiry methods. While students learn key knowledge and skills in mathematics, social studies, language, science, arts, and physical science, they also investigate larger ideas and natural connections between subjects.

At the same time, we teach and monitor student progress in key skill areas as seen in this PYP graphic.

The PYP helps students acquire knowledge, develops skills to become life-long learners and provides methods for enhancing and utilizing learning in constructive and practical ways. In a world where knowledge increases exponentially on a day-to-day basis, students cannot be limited to knowing a single body of information. They must effectively question and construct insightful understanding in all disciplines.

The structured inquiry in the Primary Years Programme allows students to build meaning and refine their understanding. Students are encouraged to experiment, research, and find possible answers to important questions as well as develop their own questions and lead their own inquiries. The integrative curriculum creates opportunities for exploration, active learning, and meaningful connections across subject areas.

The Primary Years IB Programme focuses on the heart as well as the mind and addresses the social, emotional, physical, and cultural needs of children, as well as essential academics. The PYP aims to develop sensitivity to the experiences of others and foster socially responsible actions. The IB Programme encourages students to think outside of their personal world and to be meaningful contributors in the larger world. Consequently, action components such as community service are natural elements of all units.

Mackintosh Academy Littleton