The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is a transdisciplinary program of international education designed to foster the development of the whole child.
The International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Program (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.
The IB Learner Profile
The learner profile describes a list of attributes that promote academic rigor and the establishing of a personal value system leading to international-mindedness. At North Hills Preparatory students strive to be:
- Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
- Knowledgeable They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
- Thinkers They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
- Communicators They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
- Principled They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
- Open-minded They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
- Caring They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
- Risk-takers They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
- Balanced They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
- Reflective They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
Students aged 10 to 12 who are in their final year of the program are expected to carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, know as the exhibition, under the guidance of their teachers.
The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of both the school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the program and sharing them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the student profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the programme. It is a culminating experience marking the transition from the PYP to the Middle Years Program (MYP). Schools are given considerable flexibility in their choice of the real-life issues or problems to be explored and investigated in the exhibition.
At the heart of the program’s philosophy is a commitment to structured, purposeful inquiry as the leading vehicle for learning.
The Written Curriculum
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Program is the six transdisciplinary themes.
These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The program offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them.
The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas:
- 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 program puts great emphasis on learning about these transdisciplinary themes. Each theme is addressed each year by all students. The themes provide the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum.
The traditional disciplines retain a role in the IB Primary Years Program. The six specified subjects are language, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and personal, social and physical education.The Assessed Curriculum
Assessment in this program is of two types, each of which has a specific function.
IB PYP Dean Julie Hills
- Formative assessment is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what the students already know in order to plan the next stage of learning. Formative assessment and learning activities are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other.
- Summative assessment occurs at the end of the teaching and learning process and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. It aims to give teachers and students a clear insight into students' understanding.