Primary Years Program
The PYP, or Primary Years Program, is one of the three programs offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization. The PYP focuses on the growth and development of the whole child. This means that importance is placed on the physical, emotional, social and cultural needs of the child in a safe and secure academic environment. It is an international program that has been built on best practices that offers a challenging and engaging curriculum for children.
- Transdisciplinary Themes
- IB Learner Profile
- Key Concepts
- Approaches to Learning
- Agency and Action
- International Mindedness
In the PYP, students explore 6 transdisciplinary themes which are locally and globally significant. Students learn and explore these ideas in the contexts of units of inquiry, each of which addresses a central idea that is relevant to a particular theme.
Who we are
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health, human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where we are in place and time
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys' the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations from local and global perspectives.
How we express ourselves
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the world works
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 inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function or organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the planet
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. 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.
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.
They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007
What are concepts?
Concepts are what we want our students to understand and are what drives the inquiry in the PYP. Purposeful and structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas. There is a commitment to concept-driven curriculum in the PYP framework. There are 7 key concepts that are expressed also in the form of key questions that help students and teachers consider ways of thinking and learning about the world. They act as provocations to extend and deepen student inquiries.
Why is it like it is?
How does it work?
How is it changing?
What is the link to other things?
Why is it like it is?
What are the points of view?
What is our responsibility?
In the PYP, students are introduced to Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills. Students work to develop these skills inside and outside the classroom as they are the “tools for learning”. The goal is for students to master these skills in order to become self-regulated learners.
- Critical thinking skills
- Creative thinking skills
- Transfer skills
- Reflection skills
- Information-literacy skills
- Media-literacy skills
- Ethical use of Media skills
- Literacy skills
- Exchanging-information skills
- Technology skills
- Collaboration skills
- Social-emotional intelligence skills
- Organization skills
- Mindfulness skills
In Fredericksburg City Schools, we encourage our students to have agency which includes voice, choice and ownership in their learning process. We are developing our students to become agents of their own learning. We want students to take thoughtful and appropriate action as a result of their educational experiences. This can happen anywhere and at anytime. Through individual and collective action, students will understand and appreciate the benefits of working for a shared purpose and see themselves as active agents of change.
Mission statement: “The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”
Developing International mindedness in our students is a goal of all of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. This goal is reflected in the IB mission statement and is woven into what we do as a Primary Years Program (PYP) IB school. International mindedness is a view of the world where students see themselves connected to the global community. It is a belief that different experiences and cultures are appreciated and where all voices are valued. In a PYP school, teachers and students make connections between life in school, life at home and life in the world. These connections help to introduce our young learners to a global way of thinking.
The learner profile is central to the PYP definition of what it means to be internationally minded. These attributes allow our students to embrace a world view that is respectful of the differences of others, develop a sense of responsibility to our shared planet, and create a desire to make the world better.