Austin Kids' Directory Blog

The IB Approach to Education

The IB Approach to Education

Think back for a moment, to your experiences of school. What were those days like for you? Do you hold fond memories of your time? Or perhaps, they were not times that you reflect upon positively. However you feel about your primary school experiences, more importantly, I would like you to consider how well they prepared you for your life ahead.

More so than ever before, as educators, we are preparing children for a vastly changing, and unknown future. Technological advancements, the changing face of the work place, simmering political tensions and scientific progression, all contribute to an ever-changing expectation of what and who our students will become. The bottom line is, we do not know who they will become, or what options will be available to them at that time; therefore, we must formulate an educational path for them that produces highly adaptable and capable adults, ready for whatever life has in store.

Traditional and conventional methods of education are rendering themselves obsolete in preparing children for the challenges that lie ahead; their schooling, career paths and life experiences. As the world’s expectations and ‘goal posts’ shift, so too must education’s responsibility to prepare children for future life. Rote learning, fact-based studies, sterile classroom environments, educators regurgitating curricula to impassive students, and pressurized, assessment-driven studies are counter-intuitive to this aim.

An IB education seeks to offer a solution.

“The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” [International Baccalaureate Organization, 2013].

It is a holistic and inquiry-based approach to learning, founded in a philosophy of creativity, imagination and independence. Through inquiry, action and reflection, the programme aims to develop students’ abilities to think, self-manage, research, communicate and collaborate effectively and efficiently. An IB education seeks to guide and nurture students towards being knowledgeable, conscientious, pro-active, and free-thinking citizens, who are globally-aware, and culturally tolerant.

Through ‘units of inquiry’, an IB student’s studies fall within 6 themes, which transcend the conventional boundaries of discrete, individually taught, subject areas. These themes; Who We Are, Where We Are In Place and Time, How We Organize Ourselves, How The World Works, How We Express Ourselves, and Sharing The Planet, encourage students to delve deeper and become immersed in their areas of focus, and make connections between their learning and the real world around them. Traditional subject areas are immersed within each of these themes, so that students can see the inter-connectivity of everything that they are learning.

In addition, a large focus is placed on the pastoral, social and emotional development of students, with the understanding that by acquiring and effectively applying the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, students will be able to set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

In a world of unknowns, an IB education creates students who are ready, confident and able. IB students are motivated, globally-minded and socially conscious citizens, primed and inspired to take thoughtful action for the betterment of the world around them. They are the leaders and learners of tomorrow, and I know that they will be the ones who will make a positive difference in the world in the years to come.

-Eleanor Mitchell, Deputy Head, International School of Texas

Take a look at International School of Texas, a non-profit, independent private school serving the areas of Bee Cave, Lakeway, Steiner Ranch, Four Points, River Place, Westlake and the surrounding communities. The school’s mission is to provide students with rigorous academics while growing global citizens and global leaders. Visit their website to learn more or call (512) 351-3403 to schedule a tour.

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10 Benefits of Learning Ballet

10 Benefits of Learning Ballet

If your child is mesmerized by beautiful dancing or loves to move to music, learning ballet could be a wonderful activity for them. Besides the pure joy many children get from dancing, there are countless benefits to studying ballet - physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual. Here are just some of them:

1. Regular exercise and fitness

2. Strong and toned muscles

3. Improved coordination, balance and agility

4. Creative expression promoting emotional health

5. Music appreciation and connecting movement and music

6. Discipline and focus

7. Increased self confidence through practice and progress

8. Release from daily worries and stress

9. Camaraderie with fellow classmates and performers

10. Useful skills for sports and other kinds of dance

At Slavin Nadal School of Ballet we strive to give each of our students the finest classical training in a nurturing and inclusive environment. We offer year round classes for ages 3 through adult and a free trial class.

This year we have "Movement & Make Believe" Summer Camps for ages 5-8 with weekly themes and no prior dance training needed! Registration is open! For more information give us a call at 512-371-1213 or visit

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The Annual Childcare and School Guide is Here!

The Annual Childcare and School Guide is Here!

One of the most important decisions parents have to make concerns the care and education of their children. The Austin Kid’s Directory helps parents find out what is available in the Austin area by publishing and distributing the annual Childcare & School Guide. The latest edition is now being distributed!

This guide is organized by area making it easy to find childcares, preschools and schools in your neighborhood or close to work. You will also find information about enrichment activities, after school care, drop in child care, tutoring and more.

Take a look at the new 2017-18 online edition of the Childcare and School Guide by visiting our website.

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The Basics of Filmmaking

The Basics of Filmmaking

Many successful filmmakers learn every aspect of the filmmaking process before landing on one they really love. Learning and trying these different jobs is a step toward becoming a better filmmaker and a great way for aspiring filmmakers to figure out which job they enjoy the most. Here is a list of the top five most important jobs on any set a future filmmaker will have:

Writer- Although not a highly visible position, the writer is one of the most important parts of the filmmaking aspects. They are the ones who conceive the story and are the ones who can make a film dramatic and compelling. The writer’s job doesn’t end once production starts, either. They are constantly rewriting the story to accommodate any new ideas or changes in circumstance.

Director- The script is only an intermediate art form. It is the director’s job to translate to the script into the visual art form of film. Directors often get the most recognition on a film for very good reason. They have a big job – they are often the creative force behind the acting, camera work, lighting, sound, and set design.

Cinematographer- Also known as Director of Photography. This person is responsible for composing the shots and crafting the over-all look of a film. Cinematographers have to think about what will be in the frame of the shot, how the camera is going to move in relation to the subjects, and how the lighting will come into play.

Sound Mixer – Often the most overlooked job in the filmmaking process, the sound mixer has the very important job of capturing clean sound from production. Sound refers to everything we hear in a movie – words, sound effects, and ambience. Sound is used in film to heighten a mood, provide us with information about the location of a scene, advance the plot, and tell us about the characters in the story. Many filmmakers consider sound to be more important that the visuals!

Editor- Editors are the people who put it all together. In a nutshell, it is the editor’s job to take all the raw footage from production and assemble it into a film. Much like the script development stage, the finished film often goes through multiple edits – each one more refined than the last – before the team lands on a ‘final cut.’

There are experts in all of these fields in Austin, and we’ve wrangled a few of them together to teach at Austin Film Festival’s Summer Film Camp. At Summer Film Camp, campers have the opportunity to try their hand in all of these roles and gain invaluable filmmaking experience.

For more information about Austin Film Festival Summer Film Camp or to register, visit

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60th Annual Zilker Garden Festival

60th Annual Zilker Garden Festival

Spring in Austin means it's time for the annual Zilker Garden Festival! If you have not ever been to this event it should be added to your bucket list:) It is truly a family friendly festival with activities that will interest young and old. Here's what you need to know:

* March 25th from 10:00 am - 7:00 pm & March 26th from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

* Half Price Admission on Sunday For All Bicyclists!

* $10 Adults (age 13+), $4 Children (age 4-12), Under age 4 Free

* Sorry no dogs allowed

* Parking $5

* You can shop first (to find all of the goodies before they are gone) and they will hold your purchases in a roped off area in the front so you can enjoy the rest of the festival

* You can bring a wagon or cart to help you carry your goods

* You can shop for plants and garden-themed arts & crafts, ceramic pottery, custom jewelry, handmade artistic clothing, herbal products, garden hats, and more!

* Visit the Flower Show in the Garden Center to see judged floral designs and horticulture.

* Head to the Kids’ Corner so kids can build birdhouses, make butterfly wings, enjoy face painting, and making nature rubbings.

* Relax in the Oakgrove and enjoy Live Music, Food Vendors, and the Craft Beer Garden.

Visit for more details or to buy your tickets ahead of time

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