The IB Primary Years Programme: preparing students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning

Frequently asked questions about the Primary Years Programme

IB Primary Years Programme

Wales Street Primary School is an authorised IB World School for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme.  IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

As part of the implementation of this programme, teachers are provided with access to the IB resources and professional development programmes. WSPS is authorised to offer the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate. Our 2019 evaluation report reflects all our wonderful supportive families, excellent teachers and students. Some of the comments from our report include:

  • a safe, secure and stimulating environment based on understanding and respect, atmosphere is positive, respectful and inclusive
  • access to global information, an ICT platform that supports inquiry
  • students actively responsible for their learning
  • engages students as critical thinkers
  • children confident in expressing views, children supported to reflect, make informed, independent choices
  • genuine student action
  • enthusiastic students engaged in informative dialogue about their learning

Designed for students age 3-12, the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides the knowledge, concepts, skills, personal attributes and the capacity to take action, all of which younger students need to equip them for successful lives, both now and in the future. 

Learning through inquiry, a child’s investigations across and beyond subject areas will strengthen knowledge and understanding as they explore global, topical and relevant ‘big picture’ questions, or transdisciplinary themes. 

Student-centred learning
The PYP provides an ideal foundation for children to become successful, lifelong learners by developing their:

  • social and emotional well-being
  • independence, as they take responsibility for their own learning
  • international mindedness
  • understanding of the world and their ability to function effectively within it
  • attitudes and dispositions for learning
  • ability to take mindful, appropriate and sustainable student-initiated action
  • language skills; all students study an additional language from at least 7 years of age. 

Learning in the PYP is underpinned by six transdisciplinary themes, each selected for their relevance to the real world. Young learners explore the commonalities  of human experience by investigating these themes through a program of inquiry. 

Who we are
Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; and human relationships.

Where we are in place and time
Inquiry into our orientation in place and time; personal histories; the discoveries and explorations of humankind; and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilisations. 

How we express ourselves
Inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values. 

How the world works
Inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world and human societies; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment. 

How we organise ourselves
Inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communitiies; the structure and function of organisations; and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the planet
Inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; access to equal opportunities; and peace and conflict resolution. 

The exhibition
The exhibition is an extended, in-depth project celebrating the culmination of a child’s learning experience in the PYP before they move on to the next stage in their education.

Young learners conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or challenges, and present their research, investigation and resulting action to the whole school community. 

Recent research into the impact of the PYP exhibition found it to be a ‘valuable and pivotal experience in the life of schools, families and students who were involved’