Key facts about the PYP


Key facts about the PYP

There are often gaps or inconsistencies among the parents, students, and a few teachers with the understanding of PYP. In this guide, we will unravel the critical facts about the Primary Years Programme. 


Let’s begin. 


The development of the curriculum 

The Primary Years Programme was established by the International Schools Curriculum Project (ISCP) that was in practice for nearly ten years. In 1997, the baton was transferred to International Baccalaureate for the further development of the programme. 


The aim of PYP is to create a standard curriculum for international schools all over the world and inculcate international-mindedness. There are multiple IB schools in Singapore that offer the programme, and the International Baccalaureate guidelines make its implementation streamlined in any school.  


Similarities between PYP, MYP, and DP

Here is how the IB Programmes progress: 


  1. PYP: Primary Years Programme for students in the age group of 3 and 12. 
  2. MYP: Middle Years Programme for students in the age group of 11 and 16
  3. DP: Diploma Programme for students in the age group of 16 and 19. 


All the programmes have a shared learning framework that involves a similar teaching philosophy and instilling international mindedness among the learners. More importantly, they steer the holistic development of the students in terms of cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth. 


Essential that make PYP unique from MYP and DP

In the above pointer, we discussed the commonalities of PYP, MYP, and DP. But there are a few dissimilarities among the curricula that make the Primary Years Programme unique. It is important to note that all the frameworks follow an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to teaching. However, the PYP advocates a transdisciplinary approach that transcends the boundaries of specific subject areas. 


The subjects - languages, mathematics, social sciences, science, arts, and physical education - are essential for the development of the learner, but not enough. The transdisciplinary theme is a core component of the programme that does not restrict the learners to the aforementioned subject areas. The theme enables young learners to ask questions like: 


  • Who are we? 
  • How does it operate, and how do we know?
  • How do we express ourselves?
  • What are the other perspectives?
  • What is our responsibility towards it?


This thinking appeals to the inquisitive nature of the students and moulds them to become lifelong learners


Future-focused curriculum

The evolution of PYP is steered to deal with challenges against our rapidly advancing world and transformations in global education. The idea of the PYP curriculum is to advocate international mindedness with a combination of learner’s profile, learning community, and learning and teaching. These three pillars stand firm on the transdisciplinary approach, too. 


Moreover, the programme utilises a student-centric approach to enable learners to become active participants in the education process. More importantly, it employs a future-focused methodology to ensure holistic development of the learners. For instance, it uses a unique assessment policy to evaluate the acquisition of knowledge, conceptual understanding, skill development, decision-making competencies, etc. The idea is to create lifelong learners that set the course for leading a prosperous future academic life. 


Schools that offer the curriculum

Nearly 2000 schools across 109 countries offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. The programme is designed for students in the age group of 3 to 12 for Grade 1 to 5 level learning. If the school follows this criterion for primary education, they can implement the PYP curriculum. 


Moreover, the learning platforms need to go through an authorisation process and advocate international-mindedness. Schools that offer the PYP curriculum go through a transformation process to deliver appealing, applicable, rigorous, and substantial training. 


The 5 essential elements 

PYP curriculum has incorporated five essential elements that enable learners to implement the acquired knowledge in real-life situations. To get a full understanding of what the programme has to offer, it will help if you are aware of the key elements. ‍


1. Knowledge: The subject areas or knowledge the teachers aim to deliver. 

2. Concepts: Conceptual understanding of complex topics and abstract subjects. 

3. Skills: Steering cognitive growth for bolstering critical thinking and creativity. 

4. Attitude: Shaping the attitude by adopting an international perspective and multicultural understanding. 

5. Action: Successfully implementing the knowledge to create independent learners. 


Key takeaways 

This post outlined the key facts and core components of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Here are a few key takeaways from the article: 

  • The PYP programme was developed in 1997 to create a standard curriculum in international schools.
  • The core components of teaching and global mindedness are present in the PYP, MYP, and DP.
  • The transdisciplinary approach of the PYP curriculum and encouraging the inquisitive nature of the learners is what makes it unique. 
  • The collective nature of the learner’s profile, learning community, and learning and teaching establishes the foundation for steering a prosperous academic life. 
  • Schools need to go through a rigorous authorisation process to become an IB PYP school. 
  • The five essential elements of the PYP programme allow the students to apply their knowledge in real life. 


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