The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged from three to eleven years.  It is a philosophy, a curriculum framework and a methodology.

The PYP strives for a balance between the search for understanding, the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, the development of positive attitudes and the opportunity for positive action.

In terms of achieving this balance, the PYP emphasizes five components of the written, taught and assessed curriculum.  These are referred to as the essential elements of curriculum.

  • Concepts-powerful ideas which have relevance within and across the disciplines and which students must explore and re-explore in order to develop understanding.
  • Skills-those things the students need to be able to succeed in a changing, challenging world like Thinking skills, Research skills, Social skills, Communication skills and Self-Management skills.
  • Attitudes-dispositions which are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people.
  • Knowledge-significant, relevant, subject matter we wish the students to explore and know about.
  • Action-demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behaviour through positive action and service; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements.

The PYP Model shows all the elements that combine to form the coherent curriculum framework

The beliefs and values that drive the PYP

The PYP aims to synthesize the best research and practice from a range of national systems with the wealth of knowledge and experience in international schools to create a transdisciplinary curriculum which is relevant, challenging and engaging for learners in the 3 – 12 age range.

A driving force behind the PYP is a deeply held philosophy about the nature of international education, a philosophy expressed in the statements that follow :-

  • Firstly, the mission statement of the IBO expresses the IBO’s overall purpose as an organization promoting and developing programmes of international education.
  • Secondly, the section “International-Mindedness: the PYP perspective” sets out our beliefs and values as defined by the outcomes of student learning in PYP schools.
  • The IBO defines this learning through a curriculum model that encompasses the components of the curriculum.

International Mindedness

In the PYP, the Learner Profile is central to what it means to be “Internationally Minded”. The PYP is proud to develop students who exemplify the attributes expressed in the Learner Profile.

The PYP recognises that the Learner Profile is value laden.

 IB Learner Profile

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. As IB learners, we strive to be:

Inquirers :  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.

Knowledgeable: 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.

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

Communicators: 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.

Principled:  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.

Open-minded:  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.

Caring:  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.

Risk-takers: 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.

Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical 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.

Reflective:   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.

PYP Attitudes : What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?

 While recognizing the importance of knowledge, concepts and skills, it is equally important to focus on the personal and social development of students.  In addition to the Learner Profile the PYP promotes a set of ‘Attitudes’, these also impact on the development of the internationally minded student.

The PYP Attitudes are :

Appreciation Appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people.

Commitment Being committed to their own learning, persevering and showing self-discipline and responsibility.

Confidence Feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices.

Cooperation Cooperating, collaborating, and leading or following as the situation demands.

Creativity Being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas.

Curiosity Being curious about the nature of learning, about the world, its people and cultures.

Empathy Imagining themselves in another’s situation in order to understand his or her reasoning and emotions, so as to be open-minded and reflective about the perspectives of others.

Enthusiasm Enjoying learning and willingly putting the effort into the process.

Independence Thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned argument, and being able to defend their judgments.

Integrity Being honest and demonstrating a considered sense of fairness.

Respect Respecting themselves, others and the world around them.

Tolerance Being sensitive about differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others.


Overall expectations in Personal, Social and Physical Education

The overall expectations considered appropriate in the PYP have been identified on the basis of essential understandings and processes that can be developed at each age range.  They are:

  • Identity
  • Active Living
  • Interactions


In the PYP, the role of ICT is to provide integrated support to the whole curriculum via meaningful technology integration.  The Units of Inquiry ideally lend themselves to the development of many ICT areas of competence and skills, such as using the internet safely and effectively, researching, inquiring and presenting work electronically.

ICT emphasizes the development of competencies in a range of tools that can be used by the students across the whole curriculum and in their everyday lives :

  • as a tool for inquiry
  • a platform for communication between the school and the wider community
  • a tool for reflections
  • a tool for assessment
  • a resources/ research tool
  • a tool to viewing and present learning
  • a tool for entertainment

Students within the primary will have exposure to the following areas as and when developmentally appropriate and as meaningful integration of technology to support their learning.

The following list of ICT skills provides the whole school community with a structure for using ICT as a tool for learning and a valuable life skill. We therefore look for evidences in the students learning through these skills.


“Arts in the PYP recognizes that learning in the Arts is a developmental process and that the phases through which is a learner passes are not always linear or age related.

For this reason the content is presented in continuums for each of the two strands of arts: responding and creating.   The content of each continuum has been organized into four phases of development that aim to describe arts learning relevant to students in a PYP school.  Teachers ensure that they continue to build on understanding developed in the earlier phases while introducing the new concepts, knowledge and skills detailed in the later phases.


Visual arts programme is essentially driven by the unit of inquiry besides having a number of stand-alone sessions that are aimed at developing artistic appreciation, vocabulary and skills.

The students are given an opportunity to reflect upon “big ideas” by making connections between questions asked and the concepts that drive the inquiry. They relate these concepts to their artwork and become aware of their relevance to all areas of their learning.

The programme stresses the importance of taking care of tools and materials and using them safely and responsibly without wastage.

An understanding and appreciation of one’s own artwork, reflection and solving artistic problems using a variety of tools, materials, media and techniques and developing proficiency with a preferred medium is the expectation by the end of the programme.

Students will begin to think and behave like artists. They will develop a sensitivity to artistic works and appreciate art as a form of communication.


  • Enjoy working individually/in groups
  • Listen to and follow instructions with an understanding of what is expected.
  • Use tools/materials/techniques appropriately with direction and supervision.
  • Make connections between questions asked and concepts that drive the Unit of Inquiry

Art activities will be drawn from concepts developed in Language and Math during the Unit of Inquiry and use a variety of different starting points like the child’s environment, experiences in daily life, imagination, dreams and memories.


The MBIS Music programme, while a subject in its own right, is also linked to the teaching of Language Arts, Mathematics, and the Units of Inquiry. It is an integral part of the day. Students undertake four Units of Inquiry during the academic year – allowing for deeper exploration of ideas as well as leaving time and space for rehearsals and performances. One unit shares the transdisciplinary theme, central idea and inquiry points used in the home room. The remaining units  focus  on three of the following areas  :  Exploring Sounds, Signs & Symbols,  Music  &  Diversity, and Performance within the remaining transdisciplinary themes.

Students are encouraged to listen to a wide variety of musical styles and genres. Students will explore and develop the musical concepts of pulse, duration, tempo, pitch, dynamics, structure, timbre, texture and style. They will participate in a variety of activities, designed to develop and extend their appreciation of music, their musical skills and knowledge and their creativity. The curriculum draws from a wide variety of resources and approaches including Music Express, Orff, Dalcroze and Kodály.


MBIS provides a balanced Physical Education (PE)  programme in line with the PYP.  PE is seen as essential in developing balance and active students.

All students from Preschool 1 to PYP 5 will have two PE classes per week.  The content of the class will vary depending on the unit being studied and the weather i.e. if swimming class can take place.

In addition to the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry that provides authentic learning contexts for the development of well-being, it is acknowledged that many schools will develop and ongoing, balanced physical education programme. If this is the case, teachers are encouraged to draw on conceptual understandings from all three strands, in order to provide meaningful, connected learning experience for students.

The contexts selected for learning through and about movement will be different for each school, and will depend on factors such as the prior knowledge and experiences of the students; the host country of the school and the particular physical activities that are valued in the school and local community. Regular exposure to all kinds of physical learning experiences will enable the students to make informed choices throughout their lives.  The MBIS PE balanced curriculum includes the following types of experiences:

  • Individual Pursuits
  • Movement composition
  • Games
  • Adventure challenges
  • Health-related fitness