Principles of PYP

PYP ensures that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant in order to meet the diverse needs of the student. The ThIS… follows a transdisciplinary model, whereby themes of global significance frame the learning throughout the primary years, including early childhood. This means that students are encouraged to make connections between subject areas, and traditional curriculum areas are used as lenses to help students inquire into big ideas. The PYP is both a curriculum framework and a philosophy that facilitates structured inquiry. Through inquiry, the students are encouraged to question, wonder, doubt, speculate and generalize as part of their learning journey to construct meaning about the world around them. Students are also encouraged to consider situations from multiple viewpoints and have the opportunity to explore significant local and global issues.

Please click here to view the video clip for ‘Education for a Better World: IBPYP’.

Learner Profile

IB learners strive to be:
Inquirers Learn through questioning, investigating and finding things out for yourself
Knowledgeable Acquire knowledge and understanding across a range of subjects
Thinkers Acquire thinking skills to effectively approach problems and make decisions
Communicators Learn to express your ideas and communicate with others in more than one language and in other ways of communicating e.g music, dance.
Principled Act with a sense of fairness and honesty and respect for others. Take responsibility for your own actions.
Open-minded Understand your own culture and be open to the values and traditions of other cultures
Caring Respect the needs and feelings of others and make a difference to the environment and the lives of others
Risk-takers Try out new things and new situations
Balanced Understand that you need to have a balance between your studies, exercise and time spent with family and friends
Reflective Consider how well your experiences and learning have gone in order to understand your own strengths and improve your limitations



The IB curriculum incorporates 5 essential elements
1. CONCEPTS—There are 8 fundamental concepts expressed as key questions, to propel the process of inquiry. These universal concepts drive the research units—called UNITS OF INQUIRY—but they also have relevance within and across all subject areas (transdisciplinary).

The 8 fundamental concepts are;

Form: What is it like? 
Function: How does it work?
Causation: Why is it like it is?
Change: How is it changing?
Connection: How is it connected to other things?
Perspective: What are the points of view?
Reflection: How do we know?
Responsibility: What is our responsibility?


2. SKILLS—There are 5 sets of transdisciplary skills acquired in the process of structured inquiry.

These are:




3. ATTITUDES‐‐The PYP promotes attitudes that we want our students to feel, value, and demonstrate.


4. ACTION—Our students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices, and to take action that will help their peers, school staff, and the wider community. This is how our students demonstrate a deeper sense of learning, by applying their knowledge to service and positive action.


5. KNOWLEDGE—The PYP recognizes that it is inappropriate and challenging to dictate what every child should know in an international environment and community. Rather than provide a fixed syllabus or curriculum, the PYP has identified themes, or areas of knowledge, which are used to organize the 6 Units of Inquiry, taught from early childhood through grade 6. These Units of Inquiry provide  a framework on which our teachers build students’ knowledge. With the IB PYP, the priority is not on using a set of textbooks, but rather the emphasis is on a wide variety of resources from which teachers and students extract knowledge, develop understanding, and explore ways of applying that to real life.


Here is a diagram of HOW IB learners strive to be inquirers, risk‐takers, knowledgeable, principled, open‐minded, caring, balanced, and reflective.

UNIT OF INQUIRY—A Unit of Inquiry usually lasts for 6‐8 weeks and the objective is to cover all 6 themes throughout the year. For example, during the Unit, “Sharing the Planet,” students may spend 6 weeks looking at the resources we have in the world and how various countries use, share, and dispose of these resources. Students will answer questions like: How do these resources connect people around the world? Or, how are these resources changing and what does that mean for people? These concepts and questions move across all school subjects (i.e. math, English, geography, etc.) and apply to real life and the world around us.

EXHIBITION—Students in Year 6, the final year of the primary years programme, are expected to carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, known as the exhibition, under the guidance of their teachers. The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of both the school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the programme and sharing them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the student profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the programme. It is a culminating experience marking the transition from the PYP to the Middle Years Programme (MYP).