IB Information » FAQ's for the IB PYP Program

FAQ's for the IB PYP Program

What is IB?
The International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program (PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for young learners (ages 3-12) in international schools. Over 250 schools worldwide currently use this program, which is sponsored and funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). It focuses on the development of the whole child through an inquiry based learning approach that exposes children to worldwide perspectives while ensuring their full academic development within a solid core curriculum.
How do we believe students learn?
In the PYP we believe that children learn when they connect new knowledge with existing knowledge. The role of the teacher is to provide opportunities for students to build meaning and refine understanding through structured inquiry. In the process the children learn social, thinking, research, self-management and communication skills necessary for all learning.
What is the trans-disciplinary approach and how does it
foster better learning?
In the PYP, the students learn about globally significant issues through units of inquiry.  The essential elements around which each unit is developed including concepts, skills, attitudes, knowledge and action, they are applied in a context defined by the six trans-disciplinary themes:
  • Who we are
  • Where we are in time and place
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • How we share the planet
We have used a whole school approach to develop a Program of Inquiry (POI) that provides students with experiences that have logical sequence and build upon each other from year to year.  The Units are based on science, social studies, personal and social education. However to be truly educated, students must make connections across all the disciplines, discover ways to integrate the separate subjects and ultimately relate what they learn in life.
How does the PYP foster a student's personal and social-emotional development?
The PYP promotes the development of a list of behaviors that we call the learner profile. The PYP supports children to become inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced and reflective. The PYP also lists attitudes to be developed in the children that will contribute to the student profile. These are: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance.
How does the PYP promote International Mindedness?
By developing the trans-disciplinary skills, investigating the trans-disciplinary themes and addressing the various needs of the child- physically, socially, intellectually, aesthetically and culturally - the PYP ensures that the learning is significant, relevant, engaging and challenging, so that the child can reflect on the connections between life in school, life at home and life in the world.  By helping the child make the connections and see that learning is connected to life, the PYP establishes a strong foundation for future learning. The trans-disciplinary themes have global significance; they promote an awareness of the human condition and an understanding that there is a commonality of human experience.
How can I as a parent support my child?
  • Help them with their self management (organizational) skills by assuring that their homework is done (check their homework planner)
  • Inquire into what they are learning and communicate your knowledge
  • Support what they are learning in school by helping them at home (example: when they learn to read the clock at school, ask them to tell you what time it is at home)
  • Support classroom learning through family fieldtrips
  • Reflect on their portfolio together