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The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme is a progressive, child-centred education framework for Kindergarten to Year 6, that develops the whole child in preparation for a lifelong learning adventure.

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is built around the essential elements of knowledge, skills, concepts, attitudes and action. Foundation level education is critical in a child’s learning journey. The Primary Years Programme assists children to become inquirers, both in the classroom, and in the broader world.

Teaching and Learning in the IB Programme

Take a closer look at some of the teaching and learning strategies used in the International Baccalaureate Programme.

In the Primary Years Programme, students study six globally significant transdisciplinary themes. Students then explore these themes using explicitly-taught concepts, knowledge, and skills from six subject areas, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry. Teaching and learning focuses on what students understand, know, and can do.

The PYP challenges students to think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts.

Source: ibo.org

Inquiry-based learning 

Inquiry-based teaching and learning is at the core of the PYP. Inquiry-based learning occurs when students learn through experience.  Our PYP Teachers then assist children to develop that initial inquiry to build great understanding, knowledge, and action. Inquiries become investigations into important ideas, which require a rigorous involvement by the students.

Transdisciplinary learning

Transdisciplinary learning taps into the way children view the world, and the ways they naturally learn.

Transdisciplinary teaching and learning does not confine learning to traditionally segmented learning areas. Rather, knowledge and skills are developed, explored, and built-upon within the context of an inquiry, or a central idea. Learning areas are frequently and deliberately brought together to deliver an expansive, supportive, and natural learning framework.

In the Primary Years Programme, learning is planned around six transdisciplinary themes, which are selected for their relevance to the real world. The six themes enable IB schools to develop Programmes of Inquiry to explore their local curriculum (in our case, the Australian Curriculum) whilst focusing on issues that span across subject areas. We explore these themes each year in a continuum of education. Through Units of Inquiry, teachers meaningfully bring the essential elements of the PYP together as a whole, creating a coherent approach to teaching and learning.

“To be truly educated, a student must also make connections across the disciplines, discover ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relate what they learn to life” (Boyer 1995).

All International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programmes plan inquiry-based teaching and learning through these six themes. These themes have global significance for all students in all cultures and offer students the opportunity to explore the commonalities of human experience:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

Learner Profile

The Learner Profile is the essence of what it means to be “international-minded”. The attributes and descriptors of the learner profile define the type of learner the we aim to develop through the PYP. We aim to develop students who are:

  • Thinkers
  • Inquirers
  • Caring
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Reflective
  • Open-minded
  • Knowledgeable
  • Balanced
  • Risk-takers
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What our teachers say

I really like the small community feel that ISWA provides. Students feel safe and respected in an educational environment.

Dylan Spiby: Physical Education

2018 Australian Association for International Education trading as International School of Western Australia CRICOS Provider 02674G