What is the Primary Years Programme?
The Primary Years Programme: preparing students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 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 PYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curriculums and provides the best preparation for students to engage in the IB Middle Years Programme.
The Primary Years Programme
An 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.
The six subject areas identified within the IB Primary Years Programme:
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme are the six transdisplinary themes
These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
• Who we are
Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human
• Where we are in place and time
Inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives
• How we express ourselves
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
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; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How we organize ourselves
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
Inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Each theme is addressed each year by all students. (Students aged 3 to 5 engage with four of the themes each year.)
In addition all PYP students have the opportunity to learn more than one language from the age of seven. These transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiries–investigations into important ideas, identified by the schools, and requiring a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks.
Since these ideas relate to the world beyond the school, students see their relevance and connect with it in an engaging and challenging way. Students who learn in this way begin to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as learners and become actively involved with their education. All students will come to realize that a unit of inquiry involves them in in-depth exploration of an important idea, and that the teacher will collect evidence of how well they understand that idea. They will expect to be able to work in a variety of ways, on their own and in groups, to allow them to learn to their best advantage.
The Exhibition is an important part of the PYP for all students. In the final year of the programme, students undertake a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. As the culminating experience of the PYP, the Exhibition offers students an exciting opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning.
Quality assurance and professional development
Any school, or group of schools, wishing to offer one or more IB programmes as an IB World School must first be authorized. The requirements are the same for all schools, and the procedure is designed to ensure that schools are well prepared to implement the programme successfully. All IB World Schools are required to participate in an ongoing process of review and development, using the same programme standards and practices.
As part of its ongoing commitment to the development of a highly skilled global learning community, the IB provides a wide range of high-quality professional development opportunities to help new, experienced and expert school leaders and educators understand, support, and successfully deliver IB programmes reflecting IB standards and practices.
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