IB PYP Curriculum

In line with our School’s pedagogical values and philosophy, we use the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) as the framework for delivering the Australian Curriculum.

IB programmes have an international reputation for offering the highest quality education, promoting international mindedness and a positive approach to classroom learning.

The IB PYP is designed for students between the ages of three and twelve-years-old. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, seeking to touch hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs, in addition to academic welfare.

The PYP provides us with a concept-based, inquiry-driven, transdisciplinary framework which we use to deliver the content of the Australian Curriculum. 

Guided Inquiry

The IB PYP curriculum model has guided inquiry at the centre of learning and teaching. It seeks to develop students as inquirers who:

  • develop their natural curiosity
  • acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research
  • show independence in learning
  • actively enjoy learning - something that will be sustained throughout their lives.

An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning builds upon individual understandings, knowledge and interests; it emphasises how to delve deeper, while developing critical thinking skills. Teaching in the ELC and Junior School  is based on guided inquiry: students are provided with opportunities to engage in sustained inquiries into a range of local and global issues. 

Concept-driven Learning

Teaching and learning in our PYP school is also focused on conceptual understanding. Through key and related concepts, students are able to make connections in their learning and transfer understanding to new contexts. The seven key concepts identified by the IB are timeless, abstract and universal, and provide direction and meaning for inquiries:

Key Concept




What is it like?

The understanding that everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized.


How does it work?

The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or way of behaving that can be investigated.


Why is it like this?

The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences.


How is it changing?

The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.


How is it connected to other things?

The understanding that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.


What are the points of view?

The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary.


What is our responsibility?

The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.

Approaches to Learning

Learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s education. To support the development of self-regulated learners, there are five categories of transdisciplinary skills (Approaches to Learning) in the PYP: thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, social skills and self-management skills. Opportunities to develop these skills are embedded in authentic learning experiences throughout the curriculum, helping to foster students’ sense of agency, their metacognitive skills, and their understanding that learning is active and dynamic.

Transdisciplinarity in the PYP

In the PYP, learning aims to transcend traditional boundaries between subject areas in order to create a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, significant and challenging.  Content (knowledge and skills) is drawn from the Australian Curriculum and explored at each year level under six transdisciplinary themes of global significance: 

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 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 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.

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


Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning, and assessment ‘for, of and as learning’ is at the heart of the IB PYP.  In the ELC and Junior School, assessment is used to inform teaching, and students are provided with feedback in order to ‘feedforward’ and achieve their personal learning goals.  When students and teachers are engaged in continuous reflection about the learning process, assessment provides an authentic path for improvement.

Further information on the IB PYP Curriculum is available on the IB website.