Essential Elements in the PYP

April 3, 2019

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is such a robust framework for teaching and learning it is helpful to take a step back every so often and remind ourselves of the basics. Now that we are on our third year as a candidate IB school, how much of the IB framework below are you familiar with? Our IB PYP Coordinator is always here to talk in more detail! Meaghan Roach ( Come in and visit and we can show you these essential elements in action!



There are five key components to the IB/PYP curriculum: Attributes, Knowledge, Key Concepts, Skills, and Action.



There are ten Learner Profile Attributes we want students to value and exhibit. They are interwoven throughout every aspect of the curriculum.

  • Caring

  • Balanced

  • Inquirers

  • Knowledgeable

  • Principled

  • Open-minded

  • Rist-takers

  • Reflective

  • Thinkers

  • Communicators 


There are six transdisciplinary themes students will investigate throughout the school year. These themes are globally significant and cover concepts that are interconnected, can be addressed in all disciplines (subjects), and can be applied to real life.

  • 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


Key Concepts 

There are eight key concepts that drive instructions through inquiry, questions, and investigation.

  • Form - What is it like?

  • Function - How does it work?

  • Causation - Why is it like it is?

  • Change - How is it changing?

  • Connection - How is it connected to other things?

  • Perspective – What are the point of view?

  • Responsibility – What is our responsibility?

  • Reflection – How do we know?



There are five transdisciplinary skills students develop as they involve themselves in the learning environment.

  • Thinking Skills

  • Research Skills

  • Self-management Skills

  • Communication Skills

  • Social Skills


Students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices and to take action that will help their peers, school staff, and the wider community.

These are student initiated responses to what they are understanding and learning about themselves and the world in which they live.



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