Swiss Primary Years Programme


Whats a PYP:

The PYP, or Primary Years Programme, is one of the educational programs offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization. It is designed for students aged 3 to 12 (typically covering kindergarten through elementary school) and focuses on the early years of a child’s education. The PYP offers a holistic and inquiry-based approach to learning with the goal of developing students who are internationally minded, knowledgeable, and caring individuals.

Here are some key features and components of the PYP:

  1. Transdisciplinary Learning: The PYP promotes transdisciplinary learning, which means that students explore themes and concepts that cut across traditional subject boundaries. This approach encourages students to make connections between different areas of knowledge.


  1. Inquiry-Based Learning: Inquiry is at the heart of the PYP. Students are encouraged to ask questions, investigate, and engage in meaningful research. Teachers facilitate this process by providing a structured framework for inquiry.


  1. Concept-Based Curriculum: The PYP curriculum is built around key concepts that help students understand big ideas and make connections between different areas of knowledge. These concepts are explored in depth across various subject areas.


  1. Action and Service: The PYP encourages students to take action based on their learning. This can involve service to the community or taking steps to make a positive difference in the world. Action is seen as a natural extension of inquiry and learning.


  1. Language Development: The PYP places a strong emphasis on language development, including the development of language skills in the student’s mother tongue and additional languages. Effective communication is a key focus.


  1. Assessment: Assessment in the PYP is designed to be authentic and meaningful. Teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to gauge student progress and understanding. There is an emphasis on formative assessment, which informs teaching and learning.


  1. Units of Inquiry: The PYP is organized around six transdisciplinary themes, which provide a framework for inquiry-based units of study. These themes include concepts like “Who we are,” “Where we are in place and time,” and “How we express ourselves.”


  1. International Perspective: The PYP promotes international-mindedness by encouraging students to explore global issues and perspectives. It aims to develop students who are open-minded, empathetic, and informed about the world around them.


The PYP is designed to provide a well-rounded and holistic education for young learners. It encourages students to be active learners, critical thinkers, and responsible global citizens. As students progress through the PYP, they develop a strong foundation in key skills and concepts that prepare them for further education and personal growth. After completing the PYP, students can continue their IB education in programs like the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP).

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