IB Primary Years Program

Designed for students age 3-12, IB World Schools offering the PYP provide students with 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

Student-centered learning

Transdisciplinary learning remains at the core of the PYP learning experience, organized around the six transdisciplinary themes of universal significance:

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.

A recent study asked parents and educators how they defined success with the PYP. Educators cited enhanced student learning outcomes, a shared vision of learning within their school, focused decision making, and increased international-mindedness in the school community.

At Kate Sessions Elementary, our dedicated educators are committed to using inquiry methods as a key pedagogical approach. Our teachers strive to excel in promoting transdisciplinary themes and their exploration by utilizing a variety of thinking tools in their classroom to engage students. In the process our students experience the IB Learner Profile of being balanced, caring, communicators, inquirers, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-takers, and thinkers.

Please visit the IB website at http://www.ibo.org for informative articles, blogs, videos and more. As always, we welcome your questions or comments.

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