Key facts about the PYP

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These facts can help you better understand the origin of the Primary Years Programme (PYP), its principles, curriculum model and evolution.

When was the Primary Years Programme (PYP) introduced?

  • The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) was introduced in 1997.
  • The PYP was developed through the vision and effort, sustained over ten years, of the former International Schools Curriculum Project (ISCP).
  • The goal was to produce a common curriculum framework, for students in the 3-12 age range, which would provide continuity of learning within each school and support the development of international-mindedness on the part of learners.
  • The PYP followed the introduction of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP)—established respectively in 1994 and 1968. The Career-related Programme (CP) was introduced in 2014.

In what way is the PYP similar to the MYP, DP and CP?

All the IB programmes include four foundational and interrelated elements: international mindedness, the IB learner profile, a broad, balanced, conceptual and connected curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning.

How is the PYP different from the MYP, DP and CP?

While the curriculum models for the MYP, DP and CP are interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature, the PYP is transdisciplinary. Recognizing how young children learn, the PYP model moves learning across, between and beyond disciplines.

How has the PYP changed through the years?

In response to the challenges and opportunities found in our rapidly changing complex world, and in line with movements in global education to develop lifelong learners, a future-focused PYP has evolved. The PYP curriculum framework emphasizes the central principle of agency that is threaded throughout three pillars of the curriculum: the learner, learning and teaching and the learning community. Through this evolution, the PYP provides a framework that is transformational and continues to meet the initial aims of developing internationally-minded people who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

Who offers the PYP?

The PYP is offered by many kinds of schools in over 127 countries, including state, private and international schools. As of September 2023, there are 2,275 schools offering the PYP, worldwide. Any school educating students aged 3 to 12 can apply to implement the Primary Years Programme. Learn more about how to implement the PYP here.

VIDEO: In their own words: IB Primary Years Programme explained by IB students and teachers