Learn more about IP PYPRead this informative guide to answer many of your questions about IB PYP.
Frequently Asked Questions

welcome1. What does “IB” or “IBO” stand for?
IB stands for “International Baccalaureate Organization”.

2. What is “PYP”?
PYP stands for “Primary Years Programme”. It is the curriculum that is taught in Grades Pre-K through 5 or roughly the ages 3-11. (There is also the MYP- Middle school Years Programme and DP- high school years or the Diploma Programme.)

3. Where is this Organization/ Programme from?
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation. There are more than 1,181,000 IB students at 3,776 schools in 147 countries currently.

4. What is the philosophy of IB PYP?

  • The IB PYP encourage students across the world to become internationally minded, active, compassionate and lifelong learners who strive to understand other people, their cultures and their part of the globe.
  • The Programme engages students in an international education that provokes a greater acceptance and understanding of the world around them.
  • Everything has a global perspective. The curriculum is driven by student questions/ inquiry.
  • All subject areas (math, language, science, social studies, technology, the arts, physical education and library) are taught through Transdisciplinary themes in order to help students make learning connections between subjects.
  • All lessons and activities are inquiry based.
About the IP PYP Curriculum

The curriculum framework consists of:

Units of Inquiry (Transdisciplinary Themes) which all learning is based upon:

  • Who We Are: An exploration of the nature of the self; or our beliefs and values; of personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; of our families, friends, communities and cultures; of our rights and responsibilities; of what it means to be human.
  • Where We Are in Place and Time: An exploration of our orientation in place and time; of our personal histories; of history and geography from local and global perspectives; of our homes and journeys; of the discoveries, exploration and migrations of humankind; of the contributions of individuals and civilizations from local and global perspectives.
  • How We Express Ourselves: An exploration of the ways in which we discover and express our nature, ideas, feelings, beliefs and values through language and the arts. , culture, the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
  • How The World Works: An exploration of the physical and material work; of natural and man-made phenomena; of the world of science and technology. An inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
  • How We Organize Ourselves: An exploration of human systems and communities; of the world of work, its nature and its value; of employment and unemployment and their impact on us and the world around us. An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
  • Sharing the Planet: An exploration of our rights and responsibilities as we strive to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; of communities and of the relationships within and between them. An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Central Ideas (Lines of Inquiry) – these are the subtopics of the Units of Inquiry- what the students will actually learn about. (Ex. Unit of Inquiry=Sharing the Planet, Central Idea/Line of Inquiry= Space and the Solar System.)

IB Learner Attitudes – these are the learning qualities the IB students strive to acquire.

Appreciation: Appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people.
Commitment: Being committed to their own learning , persevering and showing self-discipline and responsibility.
Confidence: Feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices.
Cooperation: Cooperating, collaborating, and leading or following as the situation demands.
Creativity: Being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas.
Curiosity: Being curious about the nature of learning, about the world, its people and cultures.
Empathy: Imagining themselves in another’s situation in order to understand his or her reasoning and emotions, so as to be open-minded and reflective about the perspectives of others.
Enthusiasm: Enjoying and learning and willingly putting the efforts into the process.
Independence: Thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned argument, and being able to defend their judgments.
Integrity: Being honest and demonstrating a considered sense of fairness.
Respect: Respecting themselves, others, and the whole world around them.
Tolerance: Being sensitive about differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others.

IB Learner Profiles – These are what IB learners strive to be.

Inquirers: They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable: They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Thinkers: They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators: They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled: They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded: They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring: They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers: They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced: They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective: They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

IB Transdisciplinary Skills

As students construct meaning and understanding, they must also acquire and apply a variety of skills. Subject area skills such as literacy and numeracy are essential for inquiry, however, students will also need to master a range of skills beyond what we normally refer to as basic skills. These skills are relevant to subject areas, but also transcend them in order to support all of a learner’s lives within and beyond the classroom.

Within their learning throughout the programme, students acquire and apply a set of transdisciplinary skills. These skills are associated with many educational 21st Century Skills lists.

The following 5 sets of skills are identified by IB as valuable:

  • Thinking skills: acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought, metacognition
  • Social skills: accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision-making, adopting a variety of group roles
  • Communication skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing viewing, presenting, non-verbal communication
    Self-management skills: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behavior, informed choices
  • Research skills: formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording data, organizing data, interpreting data, presenting research findings

Eight key concepts, expressed as questions, propel the process of inquiry. They are broad in scope and are intended to define clusters of ideas. These powerful ideas drive the research units-called Units of Inquiry -which are designed by teachers and students and lie at the heart of the curriculum model.

These key concepts are:

Form – What is it like?

Function – How does it work?

Causation – Why is it like it is?

Change – How is it changing?

Connection – How is it connected to other things?

Perspective – What are the points of view?

Responsibility – What is our responsibility?

Reflection – How do we know?

Essential Elements:

Knowledge – Significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.

Concepts – Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.

Skills – Those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.

Attitudes – Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people.

Action – Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behaviour through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements.