The IB Primary Years Programme
The Primary Years Programme: preparing students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
What is the Primary Years Programme?
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 - 12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is defined by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry-based learning.
The IB Primary Years Programme
- addresses students’ academic, social and emotional well-being
- encourages students to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning
- supports students’ efforts to gain understanding of the world and to function comfortably within it
- helps students establish personal values as a foundation upon which international-mindedness will develop and flourish.
The aim of the PYP is to create a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for learners in the 3 - 12 age range. At BIS we offer the programme for all our students from Grades Early Childhood to Grade 5 (Age 4 - 11 years).
International-mindedness in the PYP
There is one compelling component that stands out from the common ground that represents good practice in all IB World Schools offering the PYP. That is, the kind of student we hope will graduate from a PYP school, the kind of student who, in the struggle to establish a personal set of values, will be laying the foundation upon which international-mindedness will develop and flourish. The attributes of such a learner are listed in the IB learner profile, which is central to the PYP definition of what it means to be internationally minded.
The IB learner profile is consciously value-laden, for this kind of learning is what the IB supports, and is the embodiment of the IB’s philosophy of international education. The attributes described in the learner profile are appropriate to, and achievable by, all primary years students. The teachers interpret these attributes in a manner appropriate to the age and development of the student.
Inquiry as a pedagogical approach
Inquiry, as the leading pedagogical approach of the PYP, is recognised as allowing students to be active in their own learning and to take responsibility for that learning. Inquiry allows each student of the world to develop in a manner and at a rate that is unique to that learner.
Inquiry, interpreted in the broadest sense, is the process initiated by the student or the teacher that moves a student from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding.
A Concept Driven Curriculum
Central to the philosophy of the PYP is the principle that purposeful, structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas. Therefore, in the PYP there is also a commitment to a concept-driven curriculum as a means of supporting that inquiry.
The subject-specific bodies of knowledge, concepts and skill, together with the programme of inquiry provide a comprehensive, well-balanced curriculum that requires students to reflect on their roles and responsibilities and to participate fully in the learning process. The concepts help the teacher to make the learning coherent and the learning environment a provocative place, where the students’ points of view, supported by knowledge, skill, reflection and understanding, are both valued and built upon.