The PYP is an authentic inquiry-based learning and teaching programme that is engaging, significant, challenging and relevant.
The programme offers an inquiry-based and concept-driven transdisciplinary model of learning and teaching, supported by a strong understanding of how students learn.
PYP students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and the attributes of the IB learner profile to make a positive difference in their own lives, their communities, and beyond.
Students also demonstrate the agility and imagination to respond to new and unexpected challenges and opportunities and to take action for a better and more peaceful world.
Schools who choose to implement the PYP will develop students’ academic, social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on international-mindedness and a sense of belonging to local and global communities. The PYP nurtures independent and collaborative learners, encouraging every student to have voice, choice and ownership in their own learning.
Developing the IB learner profile attributes
The IB learner profile represents a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that encompass intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. Developing and demonstrating the attributes of the learner profile provides an important foundation for 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, parents, educators and beyond, have a responsibility to be guided by and demonstrate a commitment to the development and demonstration of the IB learner profile. The PYP offers opportunities to inquire into human commonalities through units of inquiry and daily practices. The daily living of the learner profile facilitates students’ understanding of self, openness to others and builds their international-mindedness.
Through the programme’s commitment to transdisciplinary learning, students learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and personal attributes as a connected whole.
The transdisciplinary themes, that are used to organize the curriculum, mark the starting point of student inquiries. They provide authentic and real-life contexts for students to explore and engage with rich dialogues and ongoing collaboration to build an understanding of themselves, their wider community and the world.
Students 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 who have the cognitive, affective and social tools to engage in lifelong learning.
VIDEO: Learn more about the benefits of the PYP from teachers and students themselves
Supporting early learners’ unique needs and potential
The PYP acknowledges the unique needs of early learners, aged 3 to 6 years. It is a distinguishing feature of the programme which recognizes that learners in this age range require approaches that honor their developmental stage, and the importance of play as the vehicle for inquiry. Since experiences during the early years lay the foundation for all future learning, the PYP framework allows educators to make choices to best enable learners to flourish.
Early learning in the PYP is a holistic learning experience that integrates socio-emotional, physical and cognitive development. In the PYP classroom, it takes place in dynamic environments that promote play, discovery and exploration.
VIDEO: Learn about the PYP in early years’ settings
Learning languages in the PYP
Students from 7 years old have the opportunity to learn more than one language to support the development of multilingualism and promote intercultural understanding.
Often schools offer an additional language in addition to the language of instruction, but language learning can happen in different ways, depending on the school’s language profile. For example, students might be learning in:
- a programme with one dominant language of instruction, which may be the student’s home language or an additional language
- a bilingual programme where one of the languages of instruction might be the student’s home language.
- a programme that offers support for students who are new to the language(s) of instruction, as well as additional home language support.
The PYP welcomes all languages of the child, family and community. A multilingual approach acknowledges that it is crucial for both the cognitive development and maintenance of cultural identity for a learner to be able to express themselves in all languages they use to interact with the world.
Excellent student outcomes
The PYP delivers excellent outcomes for students aged 3 to 12. For example:
- PYP students outperformed non-IB students in mathematics, reading and writing in a global International Schools’ Assessment study (PDF, 359 KB) that ran from 2009-2011
- A 2014 national study in Australia (PDF, 505 KB) found that students in the PYP perform better than the national average in nationwide science tests
- New research in 2020 shows positive impacts of the PYP to school climate.
Become an IB World School and implement the PYP
Schools must successfully complete an authorization process to become an IB World School. During this process, the IB supports schools in building the understanding and organizational structures it will need to implement IB’s internationally-minded programmes.
You can find out more information about becoming an IB World School, joining over 5,000 schools worldwide.