PYP (Primary Years Programme)

The Primary Years Program (PYP) offers a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning. It provides an inquiry-based curriculum model that incorporates guidelines on what students should learn, how students should act as learners and as community members, on teaching methodologies and on assessment strategies.



The PYP is a guided inquiry approach to learning and teaching. Inquiry-based units of study, known as Units of Inquiry, are the focus for learning in homeroom classes and when appropriate they are integrated into other curriculum areas. Students experience what it is like to think and act like a historian, scientist, engineer or a mathematician. Within each Unit of Inquiry, students and teachers identify together what they want to know, what they already know, what they need to know and how best they might find that out.

In the inquiry-based classroom, there is emphasis on real-life situations, decision-making, problem-solving, research and action. Students are active:

  • Exploring, wondering and questioning
  • Experimenting and playing with possibilities
  • Researching and seeking information
  • Collecting data and reporting findings
  • Clarifying existing ideas and reappraising events
  • Deepening understanding through the application of a concept or rule
  • Making and testing theories
  • Making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
  • Elaborating on solutions to problems.


1. Concepts- What do we want students to understand?

The PYP is a curriculum framework that has been designed around a key set of important ideas or concepts that provide the foundation for exploration across all disciplines. The concepts are:

  • 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 points of view?
  • Responsibility - What is our responsibility?
  • Reflection - How do we know?

2. Knowledge - What do we want students to know?

Knowledge in the PYP is developed through six Units of Inquiry in each grade level under the headings of six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are used to integrate subject knowledge across the main curriculum areas of languages, mathematics, social studies, science and technology, the arts, personal, physical and social education (PPSE). The Units of Inquiry are significant for all students, give them opportunities to explore challenging, relevant and engaging knowledge, encourage knowledge to be looked at in a transdisciplinary way, and can be revisited throughout the student's years of schooling.

An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures, rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

An inquiry into the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

3. Skills - What do we want the students to be able to do?

Skills are those things that students need to be able to do to succeed in a changing challenging world. Students need to master a range of skills to prepare themselves for their future education and for life in general. A comprehensive set of social skills, research skills, thinking skills, communication skills, and self-management skills are taught through structured inquiry experiences in the Units of Inquiry.

4. Attitudes - What do we want the students to value and feel?

It is important that students recognize the importance of attitudes as an integral part of the curriculum. The PYP promotes tolerance, respect, integrity, independence, enthusiasm, empathy, curiosity, creativity, cooperation, confidence, commitment, and appreciation. There are many opportunities throughout the curriculum to develop and promote positive attitudes.

5. Action - How do we want students to act?

Through the Units of Inquiry, we endeavor to create learning experiences which inspire students to actively apply new learning in their daily life. Students are encouraged to reflect, to choose wisely and to act responsibly with their peers, school staff and in the wider community.


Students in the last year of PYP carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry process, known as the Exhibition, under the guidance of their teachers and mentors. The Exhibition is the culmination of the Primary Years Program. Students synthesize the essential elements of the PYP and share them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the IB Learner Profile that they have developed throughout their engagement with the program. Students are given flexibility in their choice of real-life issues or problems to be explored and investigated in the Exhibition. The central idea states a broad conceptual understanding that the students will investigate. Students work together with their teacher to focus their inquiry. They explore the local and global issues related to that inquiry and then prepare a presentation for the community to view.

Facts responsible: ISLK

International School of Lund Katedralskolan (ISLK)

Linnégatan 2,224 60 Lund

(+46) 46 359 45 42