pyp currıculum

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children aged 3 – 12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

Through its inquiry-led, transdisciplinary framework, 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.

Learn more about the PYP

The Australian School of Abu Dhabi offers a balanced and academically challenging education which is designed to develop individuals who are both independent learners and international citizens. The curriculum is based on the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP). The International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students between the ages of three and twelve years of age to engage them in a transdisciplinary curriculum which is relevant, challenging and engaging. The curriculum is transdisciplinary, meaning that it focuses on issues that go across subject areas.

The PYP focuses on the total growth of the child, touching hearts as well as minds, and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare. The philosophy of the PYP, as it directly affects the child, is expressed in a series of desired attributes and traits that characterize students with an international perspective. Taken together, they create the PYP student profile. We want our students to develop the following attributes and dispositions to become: inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced and reflective.

The PYP is organized according to:


What is the Primary Years Programme?

The PYP is a curriculum framework for young learners aged 3–12. Like all IB programmes, the IB learner profile permeates all facets of school life in the PYP. The PYP is based on the recognition of a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect. It generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture the whole child and foster a lifelong love of learning for all. The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while inquiring into big ideas.

Does the PYP have a specific set of standards?

The IB standards offer rigorous guidelines that allow for school and classroom practices to align with the IB educational philosophy and values. The PYP is a framework for schools and their approach to learning and teaching. Students explore significant concepts through units of inquiry. The six transdisciplinary themes that guide units of inquiry in each school year are:
• Who we are
• Where we are in place and time
• How we express ourselves
• How the world works
• How we organize ourselves
• Sharing the plane

Units of inquiry authentically interweave ideas and skills from the relevant subject areas:
• language
• social studies
• mathematics
• arts
• science
• personal, social and physical education

This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they know and how it relates to the world around them. The school outlines its specific knowledge content and academic curriculum within the framework of the PYP including:
• Knowledge content organized by the transdisciplinary themes. Each school decides specific concepts and topics studied through each theme based on their local context.
• Approaches to learning skills aimed to help students become independent, self-motivated learners.
• Action initiated by learners that is authentic, meaningful, mindful, responsible and responsive of their learning and the world they live in.

What are the advantages of an IB education?

IB students develop a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it.
• IB World Schools (the only schools authorized to offer IB programmes) are subject to a strict accreditation process
monitored by the IB, ensuring that schools provide a highquality education.
• IB approaches to learning and teaching are researchbased and draw from the best educational practices from around the world.
• IB teachers are required to participate in many professional development opportunities to continually improve their awareness of current educational practices and new thinking by connecting with the global IB community.
• IB programmes are recognized internationally and ease the educational transitions of mobile students so that their education is not adversely affected if their families

Does implementing an IB programme mean my child’s school will not teach local or national standards such as the Common Core?

The IB is committed to making sure that students in IB programmes meet and exceed local or national standards. With the implementation of any IB programme, schools are required to examine their curriculum carefully to ensure that there is alignment with local, state or national standards.
More information on the IB and the Common Core is available at

Are IB programmes considered, “gifted” programmes?

The PYP is implemented school-wide and adapted by teachers to meet the learning needs of all students. All PYP teachers are required to participate in collaborative planning and reflection to meet those needs, and to foster a holistic approach to education. A growing body of evidence suggests a positive relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement.

Is there any research on the impact of the PYP?

The IB places great value on external validation of its programmes, curriculums and professional development. A recent Global International Schools’ Assessment study found that PYP students outperformed non-IB students in mathematics, reading and writing. Additional studies on programme impact, quality assurance, programme development and assessment research are available at

When do students start and finish the PYP? When do they transition to the MYP?

The PYP is designed for students aged 3–12 (preschool and primary grades). The MYP spans students aged 11–16, and the Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) is for the last two years of high school, students aged 16–19.

Do IB teachers receive special training?

All PYP teachers receive professional development in IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the PYP.

What is my role in the PYP? How can I learn more about the IB and PYP?

Parents and caregivers are important members of the PYP learning community. All members of the learning community from the youngest learners to school leaders to parents, educators and beyond, have a responsibility to be guided by the IB and the learner profile attributes. To learn more:
• Visit the IB website at
• Attend school meetings and events
• Speak with your school’s PYP coordinator
• Speak with your child’s PYP classroom teacher
• Speak with your child