PYP is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.

The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of national systems and international schools to create a relevant and engaging framework for all students. At the heart of the programme’s philosophy is commitment to structured purposeful inquiry which is the leading vehicle for learning.

Junior School Programme of Inquiry: Click to View 

View our 2016 Curriculum Overview


‘A PYP classroom is an intelligent place. It is a place in which the easy option is seldom sought and where the expectations are high. It is an environment where the learning knows no limits.’


The programme can be illustrated by a hexagon at the centre of which is the IB Learner Profile with the six themes surrounding six subject areas:

  • Language: including a second language
  • Social studies
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Science
  • Personal, social and physical education.

Six transdisciplinary themes of global significance provide the framework for exploration and study:

  • An inquiry into: Who we are

An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

  • An inquiry into: How we organise ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of humanmade systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decisionmaking; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

  • An inquiry into: How the world works

An 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.

  • An inquiry into: Where we are in time and place

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

  • An inquiry into: Sharing the planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

  • An inquiry into: How we express ourselves

An 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.


Kathleen McDonnell is the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Co-ordinator, please feel free to contact her for further information; or go to the International Baccalaureate website.