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Primary Years Programme

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) encourages students to learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and personal attributes as a connected whole.

We collaboratively develop a programme of inquiry to reflect the unique aspects of our school’s community. The programme of inquiry is organized and framed by six transdisciplinary themes:

  • 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

These transdisciplinary themes together provide children with authentic learning experiences that are not confined to the boundaries of traditional subjects. Although subjects play an important role in learning, PYP learners explore real-world problems by going beyond subject boundaries. Students have opportunities to reflect on the significance of their learning to take meaningful action in their community and the wider world.

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What does the PYP look like at St. Mary’s?

Explore the Lower School and Curriculum Guide pages to learn more about how we implement the PYP at St. Mary’s.

How is the framework organized?

The PYP curriculum framework consists of six subjects, six transdisciplinary themes all underpinned by International Mindedness with our students at the center. The transdisciplinary model extends across all three pillars of the PYP curriculum framework—the learner, learning and teaching, and the learning community.

  • The learner: describes the outcomes for individual students and the outcomes they seek for themselves (what is learning?)

  • Learning and teaching: articulates the distinctive features of learning and teaching (how best to support learners?)

  • The learning community: emphasizes the importance of the social outcomes of learning and the role that IB communities play in achieving these outcomes 

Agency is also fundamental to learning in the PYP. Throughout the programme, the learner is an agent for their own and others' learning. 

Action, the core of student agency, is integral to the PYP learning process and to the programme’s overarching outcome of international mindedness. Through taking individual and collective action, students come to understand the responsibilities associated with being internationally-minded and to appreciate the benefits of working with others for a shared purpose.