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PYP Curriculum

What is the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO)?

The IBO is a non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland, which offers the Diploma program (final 2 years of school), the Middle Years (11- 16 years of age) and PYP (3 – 12 years of age). The IBO provides curriculum & assessment development, teacher education, information sessions, electronic networking and other educational services to IB schools. The IBO is guided in its work by the following mission:

The IBO Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. To offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) a school must first be authorized by the IBO.

What is the Primary Years Programme (PYP)?

The International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a transdisciplinary programme of international education designed to foster the development of the whole child.

The 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 PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.

Internationalism: the PYP perspective

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

What is an internationally minded person?

From the IB's perspective it is a person with attributes and dispositions described in the IB Learner Profile.

The IB learner profile

The IB learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century and provides a long-term vision of education. It is a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.

IB learners strive to be:


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.






We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.





We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.




We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.





We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.





We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.




We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.





We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.





We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, (spiritual) and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.




We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.



Primary Years Programme - Curriculum framework

There are five essential elements to the PYP framework, these are:


KNOWLEDGEWhat we want the students to know about
CONCEPTSWhat we want the students to understand
SKILLSWhat we want the students to be able to do
ATTITUDESWhat we want the students to feel
ACTIONHow we want the students to act
  • gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance
  • develop an understanding of concepts, which allows them to make connections throughout their learning
  • acquire transdisciplinary and disciplinary skills
  • develop attitudes that will lead to international-mindedness
  • take action as a consequence of their learning

The knowledge component of the PYP is taught through six transdisciplinary themes of global significance that provide the framework for exploration and study.


The PYP Transdisciplinary themes

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.



When we are in place and time

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.



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.




How we organise ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.



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.



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.



In a PYP school students inquire into aspects of these themes every year through units of inquiry which last approximately six weeks. By the end of their primary education the students have gained significant knowledge and understanding of these themes. Each unit of inquiry focuses on an aspect of the theme through the study of a central idea.

Units of inquiry are transdisciplinary which means that while all science and social studies are taught through the units of inquiry, when there are authentic links with other subject areas these are made.

Please HERE to see the units of inquiry for the 2017-2018 school year.

For General Regulations: Primary Years Programme for students and their legal guardians. Click HERE

For further information about the IB and its programmes visit

International School of Nice

15 Avenue Claude Debussy
06200 Nice, France
Tel +33 4 93 21 04 00
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