PYP Written Curriculum
The Primary Years Programme has identified six areas of knowledge, called transdisciplinary themes. The themes are considered to be of lasting significance for students in PYP schools anywhere in the world. The themes, Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How We Express Ourselves, How the World Works, How We Organize Ourselves, and Sharing the Planet, provide a framework for teachers to design units of inquiry incorporating state and national content area standards as well as opportunities for students to develop the skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge needed to become internationally-minded people and life-long learners.
A PYP school organizes units under the transdsiciplinary themes through a curriculum map called a Programme of Inquiry (PoI). PYP units of inquiry are transdisciplinary in nature. Teachers use structured inquiry to guide students through units that incorporate perspectives from a variety of content areas (science, social studies, reading and writing, math, arts, music, physical education, Spanish, etc.) to reach understandings of concepts such as systems, conflict, interdependence, governments, sustainability, and identity.
The six transdisciplinary themes are addressed at each grade level, even though the individual units of inquiry based upon them are all unique, exploring different aspects of each theme descriptor. In addition to six yearly transdisciplinary units of inquiry based upon the PYP transdisciplinary themes, students receive focused daily instruction in Math and Literacy to ensure that they continue to develop their skills in those foundational subject areas.
The PYP transdisciplinary themes can be summarized as follows:
Who We Are: An inquiry into ourselves, our beliefs and values, rights and responsibilities, our friends, families and cultures.
Where We Are in Place and Time: An inquiry into our location in place and time, our personal histories, local and global history and geography, migrations and discoveries of ourselves and others, the contributions of individuals and civilizations.
How We Express Ourselves: An inquiry into the myriad ways that we discover and express ourselves, our ideas, our feelings, our cultures, and our beliefs and values.
How the World Works: An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the world of science and technology and their impact on society and on the environment.
How We Organize Ourselves: An inquiry into human systems and communities and their impact on society and the environment.
Sharing the Planet: An inquiry into relationships between living things and how humans and other living things share resources and opportunities.