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A Parent's Guide to the IB Primary Years Program (PYP)

Updated: Mar 26

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The PYP, part of the larger IB framework, is renowned for its international-mindedness and commitment to high-quality, challenging, and international education.

Children eagerly looking at a globe.

Key Features of the IB PYP

  • Inquiry-Based Learning: Central to the PYP is the idea of inquiry-based learning. This method encourages students to be active learners who ask questions, think critically, and engage in problem-solving.

  • Transdisciplinary Framework: The PYP curriculum framework blends various subjects into a coherent whole, emphasizing the interconnection of knowledge. This framework includes six transdisciplinary themes that provide the basis for a wide range of learning experiences.

  • Learner Profile: The IB Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities. It aspires to develop learners who are Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, and Reflective.

  • Assessment: Assessment in the PYP is ongoing, varied, and integral to the curriculum. It focuses on the development of students' understanding, knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

  • International-Mindedness: The program aims to develop students who understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories and are open to the perspectives, values, and traditions of other people and communities.

The Curriculum Structure

The PYP curriculum model is a circle with five essential elements at its heart: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action. The six transdisciplinary themes around the outside of the circle 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

These themes guide teachers to develop units of inquiry that foster a holistic understanding of the world.

Benefits of the PYP

  • Holistic Development: The PYP nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

  • Cultural Awareness: It fosters an awareness of the world and gives students a sense of their role in it.

  • Communication Skills: Students learn to express themselves fluently and in more than one language.

  • Critical Thinking: Encourages students to think independently and critically.

Parental Involvement in the PYP

  • Engagement with Learning: Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child's learning process.

  • Understanding the Program: Familiarizing yourself with the IB PYP's principles and practices helps you better support your child’s learning.

  • Communication with Teachers: Regular communication with your child’s teacher can provide insights into their progress and how you can help at home.

  • Community Involvement: Participate in school events and activities aligned with the PYP curriculum.

The IB PYP is an innovative, dynamic, and effective program that prepares children to be active, caring, lifelong learners. As a parent, understanding and supporting the PYP’s principles enhances your child's educational experience and fosters a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom.

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