The Primary Years Programme (PYP)


The Primary Years Programme focuses on the understanding that students from Nursery to Year 6 are developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help them achieve success in the rest of their lives. During this time, we recognise that students are becoming increasingly aware of the wider world and its influence on their lives. The PYP strives to make the most of this time of growth to help students develop the capacity to become increasingly independent and to make decisions informed by their growing understanding of their own principles and the consideration of the perspectives of others.


Our curriculum ensures that each subject builds on prior understandings and skills.
Learning in the PYP is designed to be engaging, relevant, challenging and significant.  It takes into account the diverse backgrounds and needs of all students by using as its central focus 6 (4 in Nursery and Reception) Units of Inquiry each year. Each unit is developed around a framework designed to give students a fully rounded view of the world. This framework is called the Programme of Inquiry and involves studying aspects of the same Transdisciplinary Themes each year using different content.  The Programme of Inquiry encourages students to make connections between subjects, to link what they learn to their own experiences and to reflect and act upon their learning. 

The Transdisciplinary Themes are: 

Who we are, 
Where we are in place and time, 
How we express ourselves, 
How the world works, 
How we organise ourselves,
Sharing the planet.  

In addition stand alone units are created to cover skills that are essential for students to be effective learners but may not have an explicit link to the units studied in the Programme of Inquiry.  For example, teachers design stand alone units to develop high levels of skills in Language and Mathematics.


Inquiry is the process initiated by the students and guided by the teacher that moves the students from their current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding. Students inquire into 6 (Nursery and Reception) globally significant issues in the context of Units of Inquiry, each of these addresses a central idea which has to be engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. The programme of inquiry includes as much as possible from our host country. Each unit lasts approximately 6 weeks (9 weeks for Nursery and Reception).

The Primary Years Coordinator oversees the programme to ensure that the units taught at each level provide a balanced range of experiences and outcomes and that there is progression through the grade levels

What does teaching look like in the PYP?
Central to the PYP is the principle that structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas in a creative way. Students are taught to become active participants in their own learning.  Teachers provide students with the knowledge and skills required to ask and answer meaningful questions. By exploring these questions students continually deepen their understanding of the world.


Assessment includes both students and teachers and effectively maps students’ development in the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of attitudes, and the ability to make decisions to take responsible action. This information is used to adapt teaching and learning to ensure that each student’s specific needs are catered for so that every child in PYP can achieve individual excellence.