This programme is meant for the age group 3 to 11 years. This is the most impressionable age when these little learners are adaptive and observant of every action happening around them in their immediate environment. This programme introduces the young minds to inquiry which in turn leads them to get involved in their learning. IB at PYP revolves around five elements (attitude, skills, knowledge, concepts and action) and all these five elements are interwoven to make the programme child- centric and action oriented.
The three interrelated components of PYP curriculum
The PYP curriculum emerges as comprising the three interrelated components which remain committed to inquiry and compel the teachers to think deeply with regard to student learning.
The written curriculum: The global and local issues are expressed which thereby imbibe into the framework of what’s worth knowing
The taught curriculum: The methodology of teaching- learning which comprises of application of good classroom practices
The assessed curriculum: The assessment of the actual learning and the purpose behind the learning
The Five Essential elements of PYP
The five Essential elements of written curriculum are:
Knowledge: Knowledge is significant and relevant which can be explored on the basis of prior understanding and knowledge
Concepts: Ideas which are relevant and can transcend to more than one subject areas are to be explored
Skills: The disciplinary and Transdisciplinary attributes of students which will be viable in the ever changing world
Attitudes: Demeanour and disposition of students which will demonstrate their beliefs and values as global citizens
Action: A responsible manifestation of positive behaviour through responsible action is the end result of the other essential elements
The written curriculum in PYP recognizes the fact that educating students in isolated subject areas, while necessary, is not sufficient. Students should acquire the skills necessary for exploring relevant content and transcend the boundaries of subjects. The idea of human commonalities has led to the selection of six Transdisciplinary themes which imbibe all the isolated subjects, have global significance for students all across the globe coupled with the scope of exploring.
PYP Transdisciplinary Themes
- 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
Students inquire into, and learn about these globally significant issues in the context of Units of inquiry, each of which addresses a Central Idea relevant to a particular transdisciplinary theme. These units collectively constitute the school’s programme of inquiry. The units of inquiry are finalized after much collaborative discussion within the school and these transdisciplinary themes give the required base for the same.
In developing an individual unit of inquiry, organized around a Central Idea, the following are the criterion which is kept in mind:
Engaging The unit should be within the periphery of the interest of the students so that they remain involved
Relevant Linked to the student’s prior knowledge, experience and understanding
Challenging Extending the existing knowledge to upgrade their competencies
Significant Contributing to an understanding of the transdisciplinary essence of the themes
Concept- driven curriculum
The central philosophy of the PYP is its drive towards a purposeful and structured inquiry which can be achieved by framing a concept- driven curriculum. A concept –driven curriculum helps the learner to construct meaning through improved critical thinking and the transfer of knowledge. Transdisciplinary concepts enhance the connectivity and coherence across the curriculum.
A set of eight concepts are the major framework of the guided inquiry:
Concepts Key concept Question
- Form What is it like?
- Function How does it work?
- Causation Why is it like it?
- Change How is it changing?
- Connection How is it connected to other things?
- Perspective What are the points of view?
- Responsibility What is our responsibility?
- Reflection How do we know?
The emphasis on the development of conceptual understanding can be achieved with a set of transdisciplinary skills imbibed into the students during the teaching- learning process. These skills are best developed in the context of authentic situations such as those offered through the PYP units of inquiry and interpretation of these situations done by the teachers in accordance to the understanding of their group of students.
The five TD skills which the students acquire and apply throughout the programme are the following:
- Thinking skills (acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought and metacognition)
- Social skills (accepting responsibilities, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision making and adopting a variety of group roles)
- Communication skills (Listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, presenting and non- verbal communication)
- Self- management skills (Gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time- management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behaviour and informed choices)
- Research skills ( formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording, organizing data, interpreting data and presenting research findings)
While acknowledging the importance of knowledge, concepts and skills, these alone do not make a student attain holistic approach towards learning and be an international minded personality. It is important that equal focus is put on the development of certain individual and personal attitudes are developed which will help in the well -being of him as a person and in group. By deciding that attitude needs to be an essential element of the programme, the PYP is making a commitment to a value- laden curriculum. These attitudes are not mimic but to provide support to help students understand reflect on their own set of values and develop the same.
The following are the attitudes students should demonstrate in PYP
Thoughtful and appropriate action is the learning outcome in PYP. The explicit expectation of the PYP is that a successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by students as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the student’s learning and may have a wider social impact. The school gives ample opportunity and the power to choose to act; to decide on their actions and to reflect on these actions. In the PYP, it is believed that every student, every year, has the right and should have the opportunity to be involved in action. This action can be individual or can be taken collaboratively by a group of students.
Infact the action component of the PYP can involve in the widest sense of the world; service to fellow students, to the larger world, both in and outside the school. The action chosen by the student can be the most significant summative assessment which will certify the efficacy of the programme.
- Effective action includes the following parameter:
- Should be modelled by the adults in the school community
- Should be voluntary and involve students
- Related to students’ experience
- Students should be able to witness the outcomes
- Should include accepting responsibility of consequences