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IB Primary Years Programme

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The International Baccalaureate 

Primary Years Programme


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The International Baccalaureate Organization (known as the IB)  is a not-for-profit educational foundation with its headquarter in Geneva (Switzerland). IB offers four high-quality and challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of schools, aiming to create a better, more peaceful world. These are:

  • Primary Years Programme (PYP)

  • Middle Years Programme (MYP)

  • Diploma Programme (DP)

  • Career-related Programme (CP)

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) was introduced in 1997, a holistic educational programme for children aged 3 to 12. The PYP nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework with its student-centered approach that builds conceptual understanding. 

IB 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 organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

IB Learner Profile

All IB programmes aim 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. 

As IB learners, we strive to be:

● Inquirers

● Open minded

● Knowledgeable

● Caring

● Thinkers

● Risk-takers

● Communicators

● Balanced

● Principled

● Reflective

The ten attributes known as the IB learner profile attributes are considered as the IB mission statement in action, which will lead towards the development of students as responsible global citizens.


The whole learning community plays an important part in developing, valuing, appreciating, monitoring and demonstrating the learner profile attributes in action. 

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) Model


As shown in the PYP model above, PYP put the IB learner profile as the core of the programme. Approaches to learning (ATL skills) are the set of interrelated skills that support students to become self-regulated learners. Inquiry is the leading teaching approach which recognizes students as being actively involved in their learning and as taking responsibility for that learning. PYP learning is approached with a spirit of inquiry. PYP recognizes the different disciplines (Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Arts, PSPE), however, they are delivered in a transdisciplinary way under the six transdisciplinary themes (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). The outermost circle refers to the aim of all IB programmes, which is to develop internationally minded people.

Why Inquiry?

Many research and growing studies, supported by the experiences of teachers worldwide, have led the IB to commit to a purposeful concept-based inquiry that engages students actively in their learning (Kuhlthau, Maniotes, Caspari 2015), (Bonnstetter 1998). The inquiry approach is proven to be the way in which students learn best.


● nurtures curiosity and promotes enthusiasm for life-long learning

● encourages students to think, challenge and extend their ideas

● prompts students to reflect and take action.

Through the inquiry process, students develop and practice the skills and attributes of the learner profile.

What is transdisciplinary learning?

Transdisciplinary learning in the PYP helps students to learn between, across and beyond traditional subject boundaries that are connected to what is real in the world. Subjects become instruments/tools/resources to explore a theme, problem or concept in depth. The PYP ensures that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant, and a transdisciplinary approach encapsulates these aspects of learning. 

Why Primary Years Programme (PYP)?

On its website (, IB wrote 10 reasons why the Primary Years Programme (PYP) is ideal for students to become active, lifelong learners. These are: 

  1. It encourages students to inquire: The PYP fosters natural curiosity and learning in creative, supportive and collaborative environments.

  2. Understanding a complex and interdependent world: PYP students create meaning for themselves and build understanding through exploring real-world issues.

  3. PYP students are confident communicators: PYP students learn to communicate in a variety of ways and more than one language.

  4. Learning how to learn: PYP students work collaboratively with teachers and other students to plan, present and assess their learning.

  5. It encourages international-mindedness: Collaboration and understanding of their own and other cultures are an important focus of the PYP — students learn how to be respectful and open-minded.

  6. Seeing things from different perspectives: PYP students use critical and creative thinking to develop knowledge, understanding and skills within and across subject areas.

  7. Students take action: PYP students believe they are able to grow and succeed. They make appropriate choices and take responsibility for their actions.

  8. Thinking about issues: Creative learning gives students the agility and imagination to respond to new and unexpected challenges and opportunities in an increasingly globalized and uncertain world.

  9. It involves the whole school learning community: Together we celebrate our common humanity and the belief that education can help to build a better and more peaceful world.

  10. Caring and responsible citizens: Students can express ideas and opinions, and they can propose solutions that make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

Based on IB research (



IBO. 2019. Learning and teaching. Geneva, Switzerland. International Baccalaureate Organization.

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