How the PYP works

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is underpinned by six transdisciplinary themes around which learning is planned.

These are:

  • 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.

These themes are selected for their relevance to the real world. They are described as transdisciplinary because they focus on issues that go across subject areas.

The transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiry. Teachers work together to develop investigations into important ideas, which require a substantial and high level of involvement on the part of students.

Through the PYP curriculum framework, schools ensure that students examine each theme.

Read about the PYP curriculum framework.

PYP in an early years setting

The PYP is designed to be responsive to young children’s ways of knowing. It provides schools with a thoughtfully designed way to give 3-to-5-year-olds stimulating, supportive interactions with their teachers and the effective use of curricula.

Watch this video to see more about early learning in the PYP.

The IB knows that young learners are intelligent, resourceful and creative individuals who grow, develop and learn at different rates. They explore their environment and learn about their world through play and relationships with peers, teachers, family and community members.

Early learning in the PYP is a holistic learning experience that integrates socio-emotional, physical and cognitive development. In the PYP classroom, it takes place in dynamic environments that promote play, discovery and exploration.

Parents whose children have experienced the PYP in an early years setting like how the programme acknowledges that each child is unique.

And teachers appreciate the opportunities for professional development that the IB offers them. Online and face-to-face workshops are available year-round, including ones such as “Making the PYP happen in the classroom in the early years” and “Play-based learning.”

Both practitioners who have no formal qualifications in education or child services and those with such qualifications find workshops designed for them.

Contact us about early years in the PYP