Skip To Main Content
International School of London

PYP Curriculum

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme offers a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based education that is engaging, significant, challenging and relevant for PYP students. It balances acquiring essential knowledge and skills with developing conceptual understanding, positive attitudes and responsible action. 

The PYP is organised around six transdisciplinary themes across all subject areas which allows for in-depth inquiry and the development of critical-thinking skills. Through the programme’s units of inquiry, students explore local, national and global issues, whilst constantly returning to the individual and considering what relevance these concepts have for them.

Our PYP is a developmental, inquiry-based programme that guides students through learning based on real-life experiences.  

Transdisciplinary Themes

IB Primary Years Programme Model

The five essential elements of the PYP play a key role in the development of students’ learning. The five essential elements of the PYP are:

·       KNOWLEDGE: What do we want our students to know? Six transdisciplinary units (or four in the Early Years and Kindergarten) provide students with the opportunity to build an understanding of themselves, their wider community, and the world. Through the units, students enhance their subject-specific knowledge and skills in relation to the themes represented by the units.

·       CONCEPTS: What do we want our students to understand? Eight key concepts, often expressed as questions, help students to explore overarching themes and identify patterns within and across subjects. The concepts are the following:

o        Form - What is it like?

o        Function - How does it work?

o        Causation - Why is it like it is?

o        Change - How is it changing?

o        Connection - How is it connected to other things?

o        Perspective – What are the points of view?

o        Responsibility – What is our responsibility?

o        Reflection – How do we know?


·       SKILLS: What tools do we want our students to use? Learning is an active process. To help students in this process, students apply the strategies and techniques that comprise thinking, research, communication, social, and self-management skills. These are known as the Approaches to Learning.

·       ATTITUDES: Who do we want our students to be? To become internationally minded citizens, students learn how to embody a range of characteristics that promote intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. The development and demonstration of the learner profile attributes help students become active and caring members of the community.

·       ACTION: What do we want our students to do? At the heart of taking action is a belief that each person sees him or herself as an agent for change. By taking thoughtful individual and collective action, students exercise their personal agency by making responsible choices and reflecting on their impact.

The Inquiry Cycle

We believe in the power of wonder and awe to ignite students’ own passion for learning. At ISL, students experience the inquiry cycle through each transdisciplinary unit by investigating real-world issues and relevant contexts.  The cycle of asking questions, thinking and reflecting, and taking action is an integral part of uncovering meaningful insights.


The International Baccalaureate® (IB) learner profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success.

They imply a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.

IB Learner Profile Attributes