Programme of Inquiry

How the PYP works? At the International School Mainfranken (ISM), through the PYP, we seek to strike a balance between the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, and taking
responsible action. The four core elements of the written curriculum for PYP students at ISM are:

The PYP encourages students to learn to appreciate the knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills, and personal attributes as a connected whole.

KnowledgeSignificant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into
account their prior experience and understanding.
ConceptsPowerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them, which
students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.
SkillsThose capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing,
challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.
ActionDemonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behavior through responsible action; a
manifestation in practice of the other core elements

As an IB World School we have collaboratively developed a programme of inquiry that reflects the unique aspects of our school’s community and location. The programme of inquiry is organized and framed by six transdisciplinary themes:

  • Who we are.
  • Where we are in place and time.
  • How we express ourselves.
  • How the world works.
  • How we organize ourselves.
  • Sharing the planet.

These transdisciplinary themes together provide children with authentic learning experiences that are not confined to the boundaries of traditional subjects. Although subjects play an important role in learning, PYP learners explore real-world problems by going beyond subject boundaries. Students have opportunities to reflect on the significance of their learning to take meaningful action in their community and the wider world.

The programme of inquiry articulates how the six transdisciplinary themes will be explored across the different age groups. It provides students in the primary years with the opportunity to experience a coherent and balanced curriculum. The PYP framework is dynamic because a transdisciplinary programme of inquiry leaves room for emergent and unexpected ideas, directions, and connections that students might encounter.

Specifically, students and teachers engage with:

  • the programme of inquiry—the structure that articulates what, when, and how learners explore the transdisciplinary themes from grades 1 -5
  • concepts that have relevance across, between, and beyond the subjects and that connect knowledge to enable learners to build conceptual understandings
  • the approaches to learning and approaches to teaching both crucial for developing inquiring minds and the skills needed to explore concepts and subject knowledge
  • reflection and taking action to enhance individual and collective understanding and learning or to address personal, local, and/or global challenges and opportunities.

ISM Programme Of Inquiry (POI)

ISM programme of inquiry follows a two-year cycle for our grades 1-2 and 3-4 in order for us to authentically model cooperation across the two classes and to offer wider viewpoints for our learners.

ISM Programme of Inquiry Grades 1-2
ISM Programme of Inquiry Grades 3-4

Our grade 5 team consists the Grade 5 classroom teacher and our German teacher.

ISM Programme of Inquiry Grade 5

Students inquire into and learn about, globally significant issues in the context of units of inquiry, each of
which addresses a central idea relevant to a particular transdisciplinary theme. Lines of inquiry are identified in
order to explore the scope of the central idea for each unit.
These units collectively constitute the school’s program of inquiry. The full program of inquiry at ISM is
dynamic and subject to minor changes as teachers adapt and plan collaboratively to meet the needs of their
students and the changing context of the world around them.

Transdisciplinarity transcends subjects

Transdisciplinary learning in the PYP conveys learning that has relevance between, across and beyond subjects and transcends borders connecting to what is real in the world. ISM students learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills, and personal attributes as a connected whole. They can reflect on the significance of their learning to take meaningful action in their community and beyond.

Through this process of learning in the PYP, students become competent learners, self-driven to have the cognitive, affective, and social tools to engage in lifelong learning.

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