Early last year, the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the King Faisal Foundation (KFF) launched phase two of their joint educational project, which aims to increase access to an IB education for Saudi students and make a wider impact on the quality of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
18 schools across the country were invited to join the project and receive a series of leadership and pedagogy workshops that are funded by the KFF. The workshops provide participants with an introduction to current academic thinking and methodology that supports inquiry-based learning. As a result of training, students in the classroom will be exposed to a progressive teaching and learning methodology not seen in traditional classroom settings.
The first leadership workshop “Leading for learning in the 21st Century” was run in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah on the 3 and 4 of October 2015. Ministry of Education officials and school leaders from each of the regions and the 18 schools worked together to explore the theories and practices that support the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP).
Adrian Kearney, Regional Director, Africa, Europe and Middle East said: “We are extremely pleased with the positive development of this pivotal project in Saudi Arabia. It supports our commitment to giving more Arabic-speaking students access to a globally valued IB education and it underpins our aim to gradually transform education in Saudi Arabia to be best in class worldwide.”
The workshop was delivered by leaders of IB World Schools in the region, who facilitate ‘new thinking’ and discussions on what schools can do to support the transition from teacher directed classroom practices to child centered learning experiences.
The workshop received excellent feedback and there was a general excitement about how leaders could improve teacher and student performance in their schools. Workshops will continue monthly until the end of May 2016 and will involve over 540 school leaders and teachers in preparing themselves to apply to be IB candidate schools in 2016.