The Primary Years Programme (PYP)

New PYP Programme Model 2018

The   International   Baccalaureate   Primary   Years   Programme   (IB-PYP)   has   been specifically designed for students aged 3 – 11 years. This internationally recognized programme provides students with the opportunity to learn and explore through the use of inquiry, promoting an academically challenging curriculum which fosters international mindedness, making it the ideal curriculum for ISM students. The PYP is committed to inquiry as the preferred approach to teaching and learning. Inquiry encourages students to examine the word around them and form their own ideas and generalizations about a topic. It also encourages students to be both problem solvers and problem posers.

To effectively inquire students need to:

  • Identify what they want/need to know
  • Locate the appropriate sources for information
  • Present the information in appropriate ways
  • Reflect on what they have learned

The IB PYP focuses on the growth of the whole child, encompassing the academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs of each student. The PYP provides an international curriculum consisting of elements that have been developed to ensure students are engaged in a  holistic programme  that nurtures,  challenges and supports all aspects of learning.

The elements include:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Concepts
  3. Skills
  4. Action

The  PYP promotes learning through inquiry,  by developing and asking questions structured around key concepts students research answers, pose and solve problems, and engage in meaningful learning experiences that promote the acquisition of knowledge. The PYP also supports the development of a wide range of skills as an essential part of the curriculum, enabling students to be effective life-long learners and succeed in a challenging world. Positive attitudes towards learning, the environment and the people around us are viewed as being essential to student success in an ever changing world.

The ISM curriculum has been developed around three key questions, each subject curriculum document has been developed to respond to these questions:

  • What do we want students to learn?

a written set student expectations, learning outcomes and concepts for each subject area

  • How best will they learn?

teaching  and  learning  strategies  that  promote  inquiry,  encourage  student ownership of their learning, support best educational practice and cater to the learning needs of all students

  • How will we know what they have learned?

the  use  of  effective  assessment  practices  that  monitor  individual  student progress and guide future planning and learning experiences

1. Knowledge: The ISM Primary Curriculum

The PYP is a transdisciplinary programme, meaning learning is not separated into isolated strands of knowledge or subject areas but integrated into meaningful learning experiences wherever possible. The programme incorporates the core subject areas of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social  Studies. Students also study  Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) promoting self-help skills, cultural awareness, health, and safety. Visual arts, music and drama are seen as a means for students to express themselves as well as to communicate their learning and experiences. Library studies are integrated throughout and support students in their research projects. German and GLL studies are integrated into the programme and are all taught by qualified and experienced teachers.

The Written Curriculum at ISM has documented specific learning expectations, learning experiences and sample assessments in all learning areas. These are based on the PYP Scope and Sequence and other high quality curriculum documents, combined to provide a consistent, coherent and challenging programme for the students.

The PYP classrooms at ISM are arranged to enable students to work in a variety of group sizes and settings according to their learning requirements and the current focus of the inquiry. These groups vary from all class discussion to an individual, personalized investigations. All our class activities aim to develop Approaches to Learning (transdisciplinary skills) as a means to reach established curricular goals. The purpose of grouping the students in this manner is to develop cooperative learning strategies and skills that will enhance learning and independence. The role of the teachers is to facilitate the learning experience, guiding the students towards meeting their objectives through the continual assessment and reflection of student progress and daily conferencing according to student needs.

The Programme of Inquiry

The Primary Years Programme is structured around six transdisciplinary themes that are developed into the schools‟ programme of inquiry (POI); within these themes students are exposed to units of learning that promote inquiry and investigation.

These units integrate subject areas, and provide meaningful learning experiences for students. They connect their learning to the real world, both locally and globally, as they develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and issues at hand.

The Trnsdisciplinary themes are:

  • 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

2. The Key Concepts:

The PYP includes a set of seven concepts that help to drive the programme and structure inquiry in the transdisciplinary curriculum. They are central to the curriculum and are presented in the form of key questions. It is these questions that shape the unit of inquiry giving it direction and purpose. The concepts have been carefully developed to encourage students to develop further open-ended questions and think more broadly and deeply as they develop their inquiries and understandings. These concepts are form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, and responsibility.

3. Approaches to Learning

As well as ensuring students are well versed in all subject areas the PYP also incorporate skills. These skills are organized into five key areas and are seen as essential for the development of life-long learners, these are:

  • Social Skills – including accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperation, resolving conflict, decision making and adopting a variety of group roles.
  • Communication Skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing and non verbal communication skills
  • Thinking Skills including acquiring knowledge, comprehending, application analysis,  synthesis,  evaluation,  thinking  about  different  points  of  view  and thinking about how we learn.
  • Research Skills      including  formulating  questions,  observing,  planning, collecting, organizing recording and interpreting data, presenting findings
  •  Self  Management  Skills    including  gross  and  fine  motor  skills,  special awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyles, codes of behaviour and making informed decisions

4. Action:

Taking action is a core component of the programme. Students apply their knowledge to the real world and further develop their sense of commitment, demonstrating that they have  the  power  to  affect  change.  Student  action  can  manifest  itself  in  many  ways, showing that the children have understood and want to further involve themselves in the learning.

The IB Learner Profile

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet help to create a better and more peaceful world.

 Making the PYP Happen, 2007.

Through working in learning centers and cooperating with their peers and teachers the students are directly exposed to many of the characteristics of the IB Learner Profile, qualities that are important to the development of internationally minded and effective world citizens. Characteristics such as inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk takers, knowledgeable,  principled,  balanced,  being  open minded,  caring  and  reflective  are naturally promoted through this style of learning and throughout the entire programme.

PYP documentation is currently published in seven different languages

PYP Attitudes

The learner profile remains fundamental to all learning and teaching in the PYP. Attitudes in the PYP have now been subsumed within the descriptors of the learner profile.

The learner profile attributes provide all members of the learning community with a common language to describe and to reflect on the school culture, communications, feedback, and expectations.

It is expected that they will be infused within the programme of inquiry as well as throughout the life of a school.

Enhanced PYP 2018

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