Understanding the International Baccalaureate Primary Years ProgramThe International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students in grades K – 5. The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside, and prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
What is the Primary Years Program?
The IB Primary Years Program, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
The written curriculum
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six transdisciplinary themes.
These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The programme offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to "step up" beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
The taught curriculum
The six transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiries–in-depth investigations into important ideas, identified by the teachers, and requiring a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks.
The assessed curriculum
Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher"s feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.
Quality assurance and professional development
Any school wishing to offer the Primary Years Programme and attain IB World School status must first go through the authorization process. The requirements for authorization are the same for all schools, even though the process is administered slightly differently in each IB region. The process is designed to ensure schools are well prepared to implement the programme successfully.
This is a challenging programme that demands the best from both motivated students and teachers. Schools can access an extensive package of IB professional development for teachers and administrators and commit to ongoing professional development. Teams from the organization visit IB World Schools from time to time in order to support an ongoing process of review and development, using standards and practices that apply to all IB World Schools.