The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides an educational framework based upon what is currently known about how young children learn. It draws on the best practices in elementary school instruction and provides a focus on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
The PYP requires all teachers in the school to plan units of instruction and lessons collaboratively around six important themes. The collaboration facilitates a carefully thought-out and sequential development of skills, knowledge and attitudes, while the transdisciplinary themes provide both students and teachers a rich and inviting learning environment in which they can explore. In brief, the six transdisciplinary themes are: Who we are; Where we are we in place and time; How we express ourselves; How the world works; How we organize ourselves; and How we share the planet.
In the PYP, students are taught to understand that learning is about asking questions and looking for answers, which in turn may generate new, and perhaps more complex questions in need of answers. As teachers work with students through this programme of guided inquiry, they also help students understand what their relationship and responsibility is towards what they are learning. In the PYP character-building shares a prominent place alongside learning.