International Baccalaureate

Primary Years Program (PYP) & Middle Years Program (MYP)

Encounter Lutheran College is an authorised IB World School for both the Primary Years and Middle Years Programs. As an IB World School we share, with other World Schools, the philosophy that we are committed to high quality, challenging, international education that we believe is important for our students to be able to “stand out” as future scholars and preferred employees.

As an IB World School, helping students to be ‘globally minded’ is something we take seriously at Encounter.  The term ‘globally minded’ doesn’t just refer to knowledge about the world, but it refers to a mindset that sees our students living out, in tangible ways, the mission statement of the IB:

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Middle Years Program ( MYP) encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

You may recognise some of these words on your child’s classroom walls, in the certificates presented at assembly and in their school reports, to name just a few examples.

IB learners strive to be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-Minded
  • Caring
  • Courageous
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

This program enables the College to respond to local interests while providing an international framework for learning. We develop in our students an enjoyment of learning, strong skills, a positive sense of identity, and cultural awareness through:

  • Balanced study across a broad range of subjects
  • An emphasis on language, acquisition and development
  • Interdisciplinary learning
  • The development of learning skills
  • An opportunity for individual and collaborative planning and research
  • A community service component requiring action and reflection

For more information about the IB and its programs visit



As a school of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), Encounter offers the Primary Years Programme (PYP) from ELC-Year 6 and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) from Years 7-9. As we are new to the roles of PYP Coordinator and MYP Coordinator in 2020, this is a great opportunity for us to share more about various aspects of these programmes with you.

An important part of the PYP and MYP, and one of the many aspects that is consistent across the two programmes, is the Learner Profile. The Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. They encourage a commitment from all learners in the school
community (educators and parents included) to look after ourselves, each other and world around us. The profile aims to develop learners who are:








Courageous (Risk-Takers)



If you would like to find out which Learner Profile attribute you most closely align with as a learner, we encourage you to click on the following link and complete the quiz:

Following on from this introduction to the Learner Profile, we thought it might be interesting to present each profile in a little more detail.



In the Middle School, home class teachers are starting to unpack each profile and ask questions of their students. In the Junior School, each Learner Profile attribute is being unpacked in Assembly, to develop a shared understanding. The award from that week is connected the Learner Profile attribute that has been unpacked. The language of each attribute is also imbedded in everything that we do across Encounter.

Let’s look at the Learner Profile: CARING

The International Baccalaureate’s (IB) defines a Caring Learner as follows:

IB Learners show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the
environment. IB students tell us they bring this commitment to community and others to their activities and leadership roles at university and carry it throughout their lives.

For a culture of being caring to grow in our College, we need to constantly nourish and discuss it at school and at home.  At Encounter Lutheran College, if we only limited our discussions with students to the do’s and don’ts of the College, we can’t expect students to thoroughly catch the vision of what being caring actually looks like. We want to be able to foster and nurture our students to feel comfortable enough to speak up about this attribute.
As a college we are very blessed to students already demonstrating this, and we hope that this message helps to recharge and affirm us.

The following you tube link was used in Middle School Home classes to provoke thought and help students explore a variety of questions. You may like to use it at home to prompt further discussion.

Here are some examples of some questions asked, which you may also like to engage with.

  • What does it mean to be caring?
  • What is people’s responsibility to be caring?
  • What are the different perspectives in a community when it comes to public acts of kindness?
  • What are some obstacles that sometimes stand in the way of expressing caring?
  • What can we do to overcome obstacles that sometimes stand in the way of being caring?




IB Definition of Communicators:

They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

With the widespread adoption of online learning as the venue for education over the recent weeks,
students have been adapting to a form of communication far different to that of a traditional classroom

Online communication incorporates forms of communication where students do not always need to be
directly available to exchange information, but rather respond at their own convenience which, apart from video link meetings, is the norm when it comes to online learning. Learning platforms such as discussion boards and feeds can be an effective way to engage students, share learning experiences and track class

With technological change comes new environments for students, parents and teachers to navigate and new sets of skills to learn. Across the globe, educators have been seeking innovative ways to redesign
classrooms and implement curriculums that are responsive to societies that are connected online.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, being able to effectively communicate in varying environments and
differing modes is a skill that all individuals have required, and will continue to need, whether it be students or adults. Being able to actively listen, respond, collaborate, defend your position and clearly articulate your points of view in an online environment has highlighted the importance of effective Communicators. This Learner Profile attribute requires constant reflection, especially as we return to face to face learning and teaching.

The challenge is to bring being a Communicator front and centre into the conversation at home and at school.

Some questions that may assist with this include:

  • What does it mean to be a communicator? What are the different ways in which we communicate?
  • What is the role of communication in our society? How does it impact your family? Community? World?
  • What is our responsibility to be communicators? What is our responsibility to own our voices as
  • What is difficult about being a communicator? How do we overcome these challenges?
  • We look forward to continuing to develop this Learner Profile attribute across the Encounter



IB Definition of Courageous:

As part of the Learner Profile, the IB defines a Courageous Learner as follows:

“IB Learners approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; they work independently and
cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. They are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.”

 It has been wonderful to see the students at Encounter enthusiastically engage with Block 69. Through
accessing this space, students are provided with many opportunities to enrich their learning. The
possibilities truly are endless! Since the Block has been accessible at lunch times, student interest in
exploring this space in a free, open-ended way has been incredible. To see students from Foundation right through to Middle and Senior school connect with this space in many ways has been wonderful.

A large part of engaging in this space is providing students with opportunities and experiences that they may not have readily available elsewhere. Students have been collecting sticks and other materials to build
various constructions, climbing trees, running freely, hiding from each other, playing other imaginative games or just having a moment of quiet connection with friends. There are many skills and attributes that students are learning from having these experiences, along with the learning experiences facilitated by teachers. One such attribute which is being developed through the use of Block 69 is being Courageous.

Access to Block 69 affords the Encounter community with many opportunities to build problem solving skills, resilience, grit, cooperation and social and emotional skills in the young people that are here. These are important to being Courageous, an attribute that is transferrable to many situations and is vital as our younger learners grow into adults. We are blessed to have this amazing resource at our doorstep, that will be one important part of developing Courageous learners at Encounter.