An Introduction into
Primary Years Programme
The PYP prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.
The PYP nurtures independent learning skills, encouraging every student to take responsibility for their learning. The program incorporates local and global issues in the curriculum, asking students to look at six related, transdisciplinary themes and consider the links between them. The themes include:
“Who we are” - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; and what it means to be human.
“Where we are in place and time” - An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; and the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
“How we express ourselves” - An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
“How the world works”- An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; and the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
“How we organize ourselves” - An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human‐made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision‐making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
“Sharing the planet” - An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
The subject areas are: Social Studies, Personal, Social and Physical Education, Mathematics, Science, Language, and the Arts are woven into the Units of Inquiry to provide a trans-disciplinary approach to learning. Each Unit of Inquiry is international in perspective and of global significance. Learning outcomes are set out in great detail in comprehensive Scope and Sequence documents provided to IB schools by the International Baccalaureate Organization. These documents indicate by age group, the skills, and knowledge that should be acquired by PYP students.
IB Learner profile and attitudes
One of the overarching goals of the IB Primary Years Programme is to develop internationally minded students who help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be:
Inquirers—Develop curiosity and conduct research
Knowledgeable—Explore concepts, ideas and issues both locally and globally
Thinkers—Apply critical thinking skills
Communicators—express ideas and information confidently and creatively, effectively collaborate with others
Principled—act with integrity and honesty, take responsibility for own actions and consequences
Open-minded—understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories; open to perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities
Caring—show empathy, compassion, and respect towards others, commitment to service
Risk-takers—brave in approaching new situations, ideas, and strategies
Balanced—Achieve intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being.
Reflective—assess personal strength and limitations in learning and development
The IB Primary Years Programme is also committed to the development of twelve attitudes of the IB student which promote personal attitudes towards others, the environment, and the learning. The following attitudes contribute to the well-being of the individual and the whole community of learners.
How to support at home:
One way to foster the development of the IB learner attitudes and attributes at home would be to use the same vocabulary with your child when you see him/her exhibiting traits. Also, discuss what it means to be an IB student with your child and encourage your child to set a goal in demonstrating some of the attitudes or attributes of the learner profile at home or at school.
Approaches to Learning (ATL)
Approaches to Learning Through the PYP, students are introduced to and begin to master a universal set of skills that are valuable for their learning within the classroom and in life outside of school. These skills are called the Approaches to Learning (formerly referred to as the PYP Transdisciplinary Skills) because they are like tools that students use to approach, manage and take ownership of their learning. Approaches to learning include: • Self-Management: Gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behavior and informed choices • Social Skills: Accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision-making and adopting a variety of group roles • Communication Skills: Listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, presenting and non-verbal communication • Thinking Skills: Acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought, and metacognition • Research Skills: Formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording data, organizing data, interpreting data and presenting research findings
Inquiry in PYP
A PYP school is infused with a sense of purpose and a spirit of inquiry. PYP students endeavor to understand the world around them by asking questions, researching answers, finding solutions, and making connections. The international focus of the PYP allows children to connect to what they know in their own lives to what happens in the rest of the world. Understanding and respect for other customs and cultures is a vital part of the Primary Years Programme. PYP students come to understand that they are a part of a much bigger global community, and as such, have responsibilities and obligations to their fellow humans. In aid of this international understanding, PYP students also learn a second language.
The Primary Years Programme develops the whole child valuing a healthy body as well as a healthy mind by encompassing social, physical, emotional, cultural, and academic learning. It is a programme aimed at creating internationally minded students who are prepared to take their place in the world no matter where life may lead them.
Agency and Action
Agency and Action: How do we want the students to act? Agency “enable[s] people to play a part in their self-development, adaptation, and self-renewal with changing times” (Bandura 2001). PYP students with agency use their own initiative and will and take responsibility and ownership of their learning. They direct their learning with a strong sense of identity and self-belief, and in conjunction with others, thereby building a sense of community and awareness of the opinions, values, and needs of others. Students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning. Action can be a demonstration of a sense of responsibility and respect for themselves, others, and the environment.
Assessment in PYP
How do we assess our students?
PYP students are assessed every time in any learning opportunity. The formal assessment may happen during the learning both formative (throughout the learning process) and summative (end of a unit or a course).
- A wide range of assessment strategies, tasks, and tools are used to measure student progress.
- Clear and meaningful feedback (formal or informal, depending on the type and purpose of assessment) is provided for all assessment items. How do we document our students’ learning?
How do we document our students’ learning?
Teachers use a range of methods for documentation of students learning evidence such as video, audio, photographs, graphic representations, written records of students’ conversations, comments, explanations.
How do we report our students’ learning?
- We share assessment information between teachers, students, and parents through 3-way conferences.
- We also have student-led conferences that involve the student and parents; where students take responsibility for their learning by sharing their process with their parents.
- Written report - as a summative report for students’ learning for parents is distributed Every term through on-line portfolio Class Dojo
- Be a role model.
- Guide and assist your child.
- Facilitate your child’s questions and actions.
- Encourage active and independent learning.
- Give feedback and suggestion