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Discovery College is committed to the Primary Years Programme (PYP) - an internationally devised programme administered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). The Primary Years Programme offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. It is a student-centred approach to education for children aged 3 - 12.

Figure 1: The IB PYP Curriculum Model

Learning is designed as units of inquiry under the umbrella of six transdisciplinary themes, where learning goes across, over and beyond traditional subjects - six units per year (4 in Year 1):

Knowledge - What do we want students to know?

The themes are supported by six subjects:-

  • Language - including Chinese

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • Social studies

  • Personal, social and physical education

  • Arts 

Concepts - What do we want students to understand?

Key concepts:

  • Form

  • Function

  • Change

  • Causation

  • Connection

  • Perspective

  • Responsibility

Approaches to Learning (skills) - What do we want students to do?

  • Thinking Skills

  • Communication Skills

  • Social Skills

  • Research Skills

  • Self-management Skills

Agency is central to the PYP framework and underpins the three pillars of school life:

  • The Learner

  • Learning and Teaching

  • The Learning Community

The Learner: At the heart of the PYP is the learner who is seen as an active participant in the learning process. PYP students use their initiative to take responsibility and ownership of their learning. Through collaborating with teachers, they deepen their understanding and increase their confidence and self-motivation. The PYP aims to develop learners who epitomise the learner profile attributes - knowledgeable, inquirers, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, courageous, balanced and reflective. The PYP units of inquiry are designed to inspire students to take action based on their learning. This action can take many forms, from making small changes in their own lives to taking action on larger issues in their communities and beyond.

Learning and Teaching: The PYP provides a framework for teaching and learning that is inquiry-based and student-centred. Students are encouraged to ask questions, explore ideas and construct their own meaning. Teachers facilitate this process by providing a range of learning experiences that are engaging, challenging and relevant to students’ lives. By learning through inquiry and reflecting on their own learning, students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and the attributes of the Learner Profile, to make a difference in their own lives, their communities and beyond. The PYP emphasises the importance of transdisciplinary learning where students make connections between different subject areas and real-world issues.

The Learning Community: The PYP recognises that learning takes place in a social context and that the whole school is a community of learners. The programme values the diversity of perspectives and experiences that students bring to the classroom and encourages collaboration and communication between students, teachers and parents. The PYP also recognises the importance of developing international-mindedness, where students learn about and respect different cultures and perspectives.

These three pillars work together to create a holistic approach to education that empowers students to become lifelong learners who are equipped to face the challenges of an ever-changing world.


The Year 6 PYP Exhibition is a culminating activity of an extended unit of inquiry, where students showcase their learning, understanding and application of elements of PYP at the end of their PYP journey. The unit is a collaborative, inquiry-based project, centred around passions and/or interests of the students. The Exhibition encourages students to take action on an issue that matters to them and to share their learning with the wider community.

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