As a curriculum framework, the PYP offers both structure and flexibility. Here are some of the key components that must be followed in a school's PYP programme:
- Six Transdisciplinary Themes: every grade level inquires into 6 units of inquiry each year. Each of the 6 units falls under one of the transdisciplinary themes.
- Key Concepts: the PYP highlights 8 key concepts (although there are many more important concepts to explore!) that are a significant part of the essential elements of the PYP curriculum. When explored as questions these key concepts act as provocations and help students and teachers explore ideas about the world around them and deepen their inquiry.
- Transdisciplinary Skills: another essential element of the PYP curriculum is the development of a set of transdisciplinary skills (social skills, communication skills, thinking skills, research skills and self-management skills) that will support students with their learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Learner Profile attributes and attitudes: the PYP has a significant focus on developing a set of personal values (10 Learner Profile attributes and 12 attitudes) that will help the community become internationally-minded and will contribute to making the world a better and more peaceful place.
- The PYP Planner: PYP schools use the PYP planner for collaborative planning and documentation of their 6 units of inquiry. The planner can also be used for stand-alone units in subjects such as literacy or math. Here is the first page of a Where We Are In Place and Time sample planner:
Here is a link to a variety of complete sample planners.
The flexibility of the PYP lies within the content of the units of inquiry. Schools and individual teachers can decide, based on their geographical location, environment, culture, community, and the needs of their students, how to develop each of their units.
The PYP focuses on students' academic, as well as their social and emotional development, by emphasizing the importance of character development and striving for international-mindedness. PYP schools are part of a large network of IB World Schools from around the globe. Through the IB's Online Curriculum Centre (OCC) and other resources the IB World community is always connected and has limitless access to ideas, resources and support.
There are many elements that would be present in any PYP classroom, creating consistency and commonalities between classrooms within a school, across a country and around the globe. However, every PYP classroom will also look slightly different depending on the strengths, experiences and interests of that particular classroom community.
There are many elements of the PYP. The following two diagrams often helps people understand HOW they are all linked together: