Primary Years Programme PYP

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children aged 3 – 12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. The PYP was developed and first offered by the IB in 1997.  Here at ISM, we have been implementing the programme since 2017. 

The PYP:

  • addresses students’ academic needs and their social and emotional well-being
  • encourages students to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning
  • supports students’ effort to gain an understanding of the world and to function effectively within it
  • helps students to establish personal values as a foundation on which international-mindedness will flourish.
PYP Programme Model

The Pillars of the PYP are

The framework emphasizes the central principle of agency, which underpins the three pillars of school life:

  • The learner: describes the outcomes for individual students and the outcomes they seek for themselves (what is learning?)
  • Learning and teaching: articulates the distinctive features of learning and teaching (how best to support learners?)
  • The learning community: emphasizes the importance of the social outcomes of learning and the role that IB communities play in achieving these outcomes (who facilitates learning and teaching?)

with the focus on the following elements:

  • knowledge, which is both disciplinary, represented by traditional subject areas (language, math, science, social studies, the arts, PSPE.) and transdisciplinary themes
  • concepts, which students explore through structured inquiry in order to develop coherent, in-depth understanding, and which have relevance both within and beyond subject areas
  • skills, which are the broad capabilities students develop and apply during learning and in life beyond the classroom
  • action, which is an expectation in the PYP that successful inquiry leads to responsible, thoughtful, and appropriate action.

Learn more about the PYP curriculum framework

The IB learner profile in the PYP

The IB Learner profile is an essential component of the IB Continuum, providing and highlighting characteristics that demonstrate an internationally-minded learner. At IMS students and staff strive to model the profile.

The IB learner profile represents a broad range of human dispositions, capacities and traits that encompass intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. Developing and demonstrating the attributes of the learner profile is an expression of what the IB means by international-mindedness.

The IB learner profile permeates all facets of school life in the Primary Years Programme (PYP). All members of the learning community from the youngest learners to school leaders to parents, educators and beyond, have a responsibility to be guided by and demonstrate a commitment to the development of the IB learner profile attributes.

The PYP is committed to structured, purposeful inquiry that engages students actively in their own learning. The programme supports students’ efforts to construct meaning from the world around them by:

  • drawing on their prior knowledge
  • providing provocation through new experiences
  • providing opportunities for reflection and consolidation.

This approach respects students’ developing ideas about how the world works. It encourages them to question, consider, and refine their understanding of the social and natural world.

The unique approaches to teaching and learning in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) can be explained through the taught, written, and assessed curriculum.

The assessed curriculum explains how teachers go about gathering and analyzing information about student performance.

The purposes of assessment are to:

  • promote student learning
  • to provide information about student learning
  • contribute to the successful implementation of the programme.

Through assessment, teachers identify what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the learning and teaching process.  Learning is viewed as a continuous journey, where teachers identify students’ needs and use assessment data to plan the next stage of their learning.

Teachers use a wide range of assessment strategies to collect information on each of the PYP elements, the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of positive attitudes, and the ability to take responsible action.

Planning for Learning 

Collaboration is a key part of planning for schools implementing the PYP. All teachers are engaged in the planning process, defining the curriculum’s central ideas, discussing how best to bring inquiry into those ideas in the classroom, and finding ways to meet the needs and interests of every student. Teachers must attend training in order to implement the PYP. All teachers at ISM have participated in IB-specific training to ensure they understand and are prepared to teach the programme.

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