The Five Essential Elements
The program has five essential elements: concepts, skills, attitudes, actions, and knowledge.
- Concepts - Key concepts are expressed as questions that propel the process of inquiry - How does it work? What is it like? How is it connected to other things?
- Skills - Sets of cross-curricular skills - reading, reasoning, researching, communicating - are acquired in the process of structured inquiry.
- Attitudes - The program as a whole promotes and fosters respect, tolerance, integrity, and confidence.
- Actions - Students are encouraged to reflect, to choose wisely, and to act responsibly with their peers and teachers as well as in the wider community.
- Knowledge-The program identifies a body of significant knowledge in six principal areas: languages; social studies; science and technology; mathematics; arts; personal, social, and physical education.
The Curriculum Framework
The PYP offers a comprehensive, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. It provides an internationally designed model for the learner to construct meaning and incorporates guidelines on student learning styles, teaching methodologies and assessment strategies. The curriculum framework is an expression and an extension of three inter-related questions:
- What do we want to learn? (the written curriculum)
- How best will we learn? (the taught curriculum)
- How will we know what we have learned? (the assessed curriculum)
The five essential elements are developed and applied in a context defined by six organizing 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- How We Organize 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 We Share 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.