PSPE in a transdisciplinary programme

What is Personal, Social and Physical Education?

PSPE in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is concerned with the individual’s well-being through the promotion and development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to this well-being. Well-being is intrinsically linked to all aspects of a student’s experience at school and beyond. It encompasses physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social health and development, and contributes to an understanding of self, to developing and maintaining relationships with others, and to participation in an active, healthy lifestyle. - (PYP Introduction to the PSPE Scope and Sequence)

The expectations of PSPE at BIS are closely aligned to the PYP Student Profile, the BIS Mission Statement, the Whole School Code of Conduct and the Lower School Discipline Procedures.

Lifelong learners adopt a positive attitude to learning, develop and apply strategies for critical and creative thinking, engage in inquiry, make connections, and apply new learning and skills in different contexts. In order to become successful learners, it is necessary for students to feel empowered by their learning, to value and take responsibility for their learning, to demonstrate resilience and to develop independence. Such learners are able to reflect on themselves, their experiences, and the process of learning in order to support personal growth and their ongoing commitment to personal, social and physical well-being. - (PYP Introduction to the PSPE Scope and Sequence)

What do we want students to learn?

Personal, Social and Physical Education will be included throughout the Lower School curriculum wherever applicable. Opportunities for PSPE learning are found within the Programme of Inquiry as well as other classroom activities. The content for PSPE is arranged into three main strands:


An understanding of our own beliefs, values, attitudes, experiences and feelings and how they shape us; the impact of cultural influences; the recognition of strengths, limitations and challenges as well as the ability to cope successfully with situations of change and adversity; how the learner’s concept of self and feelings of self-worth affect his or her approach to learning and how he or she interacts with others.

Active Living

An understanding of the factors that contribute to developing and maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle; the importance of regular physical activity; the body’s response to exercise; the importance of developing basic motor skills; understanding and developing the body’s potential for movement and expression; the importance of nutrition; understanding the causes and possible prevention of ill health; the promotion of safety; rights and the responsibilities we have to ourselves and others to promote well-being; making informed choices and evaluating consequences, and taking action for healthy living now and in the future.


An understanding of how an individual interacts with other people, other living things and the wider world; behaviours, rights and responsibilities of individuals in their relationships with others, communities, society and the world around them; the awareness and understanding of similarities and differences; an appreciation of the environment and an understanding of, and commitment to, humankind’s responsibility as custodians of the Earth for future generations.

Although these strands are considered separate for the purposes of constructing our PSPE curriculum, in practice they are inextricably linked.

Additionally the specific physical skill development required as part of the students’ physical education has been documented in the PE curriculum, under “PE Outcomes and Skills by Phase.”

How best will our students learn?

Within our PSPE curriculum, students will be engaged within the strands and related concepts of PSPE as part of their everyday life at school. Appropriate attitudes and behaviours will also be modelled within the school as the school community abides by the school Code of Conduct.

This PSPE curriculum transcends all traditional disciplinary boundaries and is considered by teachers when they are planning their units of inquiry and other stand alone lessons.

How will we know what our students have learned?

Assessment provides insights into students’ understanding, knowledge, skills and attitudes. In accordance with the Lower School Assessment Policy, assessments will be carefully planned and selected both for formative and summative assessments.

Opportunities will be provided for students to self-assess and set their own goals from these reflections. Record keeping will be simple and contribute to the student portfolios.

When students are able to transform their knowledge and experiences gained from this PSPE curriculum into a change of behaviour, small or large, this will provide evidence that this curriculum has been successful in influencing and strengthening their understanding. This also will from the action component which is one of the five essential elements within the IBPYP.