PYP for parents
Designed for students age 3-12, the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides the knowledge, concepts, skills personal attributes and the capacity to take action, all of which younger students need to equip them for successful lives, both now and in the future.
The PYP framework allows schools to design an engaging transdisciplinary curriculum, meaning that it focuses on issues that go across, between and beyond subject areas. With a focus on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, the PYP is designed to support each student in the following ways:
- address students’ academic needs and their social and emotional well-being
- encourage students to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning
- support students’ effort to gain understanding of the world and to function effectively within it
- help students to establish personal values as a foundation upon which international-mindedness will flourish
Learning in the PYP is underpinned by six transdisciplinary themes, each selected for their relevance to the real world. Students explore the commonalities of human experience and investigate these themes in what teachers call a programme of inquiry. These six PYP themes puts students at the centre of the learning process:
Who we are
Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; and human relationships.
Where we are in place and time
Inquiry into our orientation in place and time; personal histories; the discoveries and explorations of humankind; and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations.
How we express ourselves
Inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values.
How the world works
Inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world and human societies; 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; 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; access to equal opportunities; and peace and conflict resolution.
Success with the PYP
In the PYP curriculum, teachers monitor, document, measure and provide feedback on student learning. Learning is viewed as a continuous journey, where teachers identify students’ needs and use ongoing assessment and feedback to plan the next stage of their learning. Teachers use a wide range of assessment strategies to collect information on each of the elements represented in the curriculum: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of the attributes of the learner profile and the ability to take responsible action.
Will teaching the PYP differ at International schools and State schools?
The PYP is a framework and any curriculum can be integrated within it. Schools that implement a national, regional or state curricula will organize these outcomes within the PYP framework, however the concepts they teach will still be the same. Schools may also use a different non-state curriculum but they must still offer it within the PYP framework.
A child’s learning experience may also differ depending on the mission and aims of each school and their unique identity and context. Whichever model or mission a school chooses, the approaches to learning and approaches to teaching at IB schools align with those of the PYP and meet the expectations of IB standards and practices. Schools may also have different language models in schools depending on local requirements, with some schools supporting a multilingual model.
How does the Early Years within PYP compare to other early childhood learning approaches?
PYP can provide the framework for any other curriculum and is complimentary to many other early childhood learning approaches (including Montessori, Reggio and Waldorf).
Relationships, play and the environment are important components for learning found in the PYP and are complementary aspects of many early childhood programmes. Additionally, PYP provides the dimension of international mindedness within a quality assured and research based framework for young learners.
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