Primary Years Programme curriculum framework
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme are the six transdisciplinary themes.
Six transdisciplinary themes
These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
- Who we are
Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, 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
Inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
- How we express ourselves
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
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 ourselvesInquiry 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
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.
Each theme is addressed each year by all students. (Students aged 3 to 5 engage with four of the themes each year).
In addition all PYP students have the opportunity to learn more than one language from the age of seven.
These transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiries–investigations into important ideas, identified by the schools, 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.
Since these ideas relate to the world beyond the school, students see their relevance and connect with it in an engaging and challenging way. Students who learn in this way begin to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as learners and become actively involved with their education. All students will come to realise that that a unit of inquiry involves them in in-depth exploration of an important idea, and that the teacher will collect evidence of how well they understand that idea. They will expect to be able to work in a variety of ways, on their own and in groups, to allow them to learn to their best advantage.
Other useful documents
IB promotional publications are available, both to view online and to download. Visit the promotional publications page for more.
The Rules for IB World Schools document is a legal document that sets out the relationship between the IB Organization and IB World Schools.
Rules for IB World Schools
The General regulations document is a legal document that sets out the relationship between the IB Organization and IB students and their legal guardians.