Stephanie Batley - PYP Lead Teacher

I was born in Canada and then raised most of my life near San Francisco in California. It was an incredible place to grow up as I lived in a small community surrounded by hills to explore, creeks to wade and trails to hike. Both of my parents were great readers and loved sharing their own childhood stories with us; we found these fascinating as they were stories set in Ireland and England, places we had never visited, but hoped to one day. My parents instilled in us a curiosity about life through their own quest for knowledge; and they were certain that education would lead to great opportunities throughout life.

I moved to northern California to attend Humboldt State University to pursue a career in teaching. My undergraduate degree was focused on courses which provided a strong foundation in a variety of subjects leading to a postgraduate degree in teaching. Throughout my time at university.

As I had always wanted to explore the countries of my parents (after teaching in California for a few years), I took advantage of a programme that offered American teachers the opportunity to work and train in the UK. I would say that my years working in UK state schools built the strongest foundation for me in terms of knowing a curriculum, using assessment for diagnostic purposes and practising inquiry in the classroom. One of my head teachers convinced me to further my education by gaining a Master of Arts Degree in School and College Management, which was centred on action research in schools and how change could be brought about for an institution.

After living and working in the UK for several years, and being involved in teaching children from diverse cultures, I attended a lecture about teaching abroad and decided to pursue teaching at international schools. At every school I have worked in I have been fortunate to collaborate with some amazing teachers and children who inspired me to constantly reflect upon my own teaching practice, to explore different curriculums and how they best support children's learning and to continue my own pursuit of learning. Much of my career has been teaching the English National Curriculum; however, in recent years I have moved towards a more inquiry-based curriculum and have really enjoyed my time working in IB World Schools. I have taught in England, Qatar, Brunei, South Korea, China and Nigeria. Now, I am very excited to be joining the teaching and learning community at the International School of Debrecen.

There are so many reasons why I love working within the IB curriculum and, in particular, within the Primary Years Programme (PYP). First of all, it is student-centred and inquiry based, where the whole child is held in consideration throughout their learning journey. There is nothing like observing students constructing their own understanding through focused actions and making conclusions based on their acquired knowledge and skills. It’s a model that has proved to be valuable in guiding the inquiry process to empower students and make them owners of their own process. In a PYP classroom this is done through purposefully planned inquiry with open-ended tasks, creating opportunities for children to advance and learn from each other and allowing teachers to challenge students at various levels. The format of the PYP curriculum truly fosters a love of learning, as well as providing a rigorous, conceptual approach to education, where expectations are high and learning is both challenging and rewarding. Global citizenship and international mindedness are incorporated into units of inquiry and students demonstrate these characteristics through their interactions with each other in a multi-cultural setting or as they learn about people and places around the world. Student led inquiries are a platform for action – the concept of service and action builds empathy and introduces students to the belief that they are capable of making a difference in their community and world.

I think you can see why I love this curriculum so much…while it truly helps students thrive beyond the classroom, it simultaneously allows them to excel academically. I believe an IB education is the perfect preparation for living in today’s multicultural, inter-connected, global world.

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In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Contact us

International Educational Center of Debrecen (DENOK) – International School of Debrecen (ISD)
1 Heltai Gáspár st., Debrecen-Pallag, H-4002
+36 20 404 4822
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