International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program

Dogwood is an IB World School!


The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) develops students as internationally-minded thinkers, inquirers, and problem solvers. Students build conceptual understanding through an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary framework.

Primary Years Program (PYP)

Inquiry- How do we teach?

As a PYP school, we utilize inquiry-based learning.  Inquiry in the PYP is problem-based, authentic, and purposeful.  Collaboration, experimentation, and explicit teaching all have a place within well-considered inquiry-based learning experiences.  The inquiry process builds capacity through student agency where voice, choice, and ownership are strongly featured.  

Knowledge- What do we want students to know about?

The PYP curriculum units are organized under six globally significant themes.  The six transdisciplinary themes 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 Planet

Concepts- What do we want students to understand?

Through units of inquiry, students learn about the seven key concepts.  Learning conceptually helps students think at high levels and apply their knowledge to new situations.  The key concepts include: 

  • Form- What is it like?
  • Function- How does it work?
  • Causation- Why is it like it is?
  • Change- How is it changing?
  • Connection- How is it connected to other things?
  • Perspective- What are our viewpoints?
  • Responsibility- What is our responsibility? 

Learner Profile Attributes- Who do we want our students to be? 

The learner profile attributes represent the IB mission statement in action.  Teachers connect the attributes to the curriculum, discuss their meaning, and provide opportunities for students to reflect on them.  The learner profile attributes include: 

  • Caring
  • Reflective
  • Open-minded
  • Risk-taker
  • Communicator
  • Thinker
  • Inquirer
  • Knowledgeable
  • Balanced
  • Principled

Approaches to Learning- What do we want students to be able to do?

According to Making the PYP Happen, “the search for understanding is central to the beliefs and practices of the PYP.  However, the emphasis on the development of conceptual understanding does not preclude a recognition of the importance of developing skills.”  The following skills are taught in authentic ways throughout the program: 

  • Thinking Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Self-management Skills
  • Research Skills

To learn more, visit the IB website