Primary Years Program Curriculum Framework

Learn more about the IB Primary Years Program

The PYP Curriculum Framework is made up of three pillars: the learner, learning and teaching, and the learning community. Each of these pillars keeps agency as a core ideal through voice, choice, and ownership.

The Learner: What is learning? What is worth learning?

  • Learner Agency: Students will take responsibility for their learning through the choices they make, voicing their ideas, and taking ownership of what they have learned.
  • Early Learner: Our preschool and Kindergarten students learn through play, relationships, learning spaces and symbolic exploration and expression.
  • Learner Profile: The 10 learner profile attributes help lead students to be internationally minded, ethical and global citizens.
  • Action: This is a core component of the PYP that can be individual or collective. Action can be teacher guided, teacher initiated share action, student initiated action, and student-initiated and led action.
  • The Exhibition: Our 5th graders participate in this culminating, collaborative experience. Exhibition provides students with a chance to reflect on their entire Primary Years Programme experience as well as use all they have learned during the process to take meaningful action in their community.

Learning and Teaching: How can learners best be supported? What do units entail?

  • Transdisciplinary Learning: This type of learning supports students by connecting students' existing knowledge, skills, and understandings across their school subjects using concepts as a connective thread. The connections are made through the transdisciplinary theme units to lead students to new knowledge, skills, and understandings.
  • Approaches to Learning: Students develop skills in the areas of Thinking, Research, Communication, Social and Self-Management.These 5 categories of skills support students in becoming self-regulated learners.
  • Inquiry: An approach to teaching that incorporates play, problem based learning, collaborative learning, and experimentation that is purposeful and authentic. Students are encouraged to not only ask questions but to seek and find answers. 
  • Concepts: Concept-based teaching and learning helps build understandings across, between and beyond subjects in school. This approach to teaching and learning develops meaning and understanding as well as promotes student engagement.
  • Transdisciplinary Programme of Inquiry: Teachers plan and develop 6 units of inquiry for their students (Preschool and Kindergarten plan 4). These units fall under six Transdisciplinary Themes: Who We Are, Sharing the Planet, How We Organize Ourselves, How the World Works, Where We Are in Place and Time, and How We Express Ourselves. Within each unit teachers develop learning experiences that help students develop understandings around concepts, subject specific content, approaches to learning skills, and the learner profile. These units approach teaching through an inquiry and conceptual framework.
  • Assessment: Assessment at Belvedere is an ongoing process of gathering, analyzing, reflecting, and acting on evidence of student learning to inform teaching. Assessment involves teachers and students collaborating to monitor, document, measure, report and adjust learning.
  • Language: Language learning at Belvedere includes the development of English and Spanish as well as home and family languages. Our students have opportunities to learn about and through language.

The Learning Community: Who will support the teaching and learning? 

  • A Community of Learners: Our learning community works together to live peacefully together through communication and inclusivity. The learning community also prioritizes people and their relationships through valuing who students are. All members of our learning community are open to new ideas and are committed to the learning, health, and well-being of its members.
  • International-Mindedness: This world view asks students to see how they are connected to the global community through common humanity and to have a responsibility to the members of the global community. Internationally minded students take action for positive change.
  • Leadership: At Belvedere there is shared purpose, shared responsibilities, and shared capacity building within the learning community. Our school has both a leadership team – the PYP Pedagogical Team, made up of staff from across the school as well as administration – and a student leadership team, SCA. The Pedagogical Team develops school plans for professional development, initiatives, and policies. The SCA makes decisions around student school engagement and welcoming new students to Belvedere.
  • Collaboration: The units of inquiry that students learn through are written by teachers at Belvedere. This requires considerable collaboration within grade level teams as well as with support staff and specialists. Teacher teams reflect, develop, and plan as a group and are given time during the school year to meet.
  • Learning Environments: Belvedere takes a flexible approach in considering learning spaces. Our classrooms use both indoor and outdoor spaces as well as constructing with students an environment that works best for their learning. Belvedere is committed to providing learning environments that are inviting and engaging that reflect the learning that is happening.
  • Technology in the PYP: Our students learn about their responsibilities and ethical decisions in the digital world. At Belvedere we want to empower students to use technology for meaningful and authentic learning.