The Written Curriculum

  1. Concepts – what do we want our students to understand?

A set of eight key concepts, in the form of questions, is of major importance in the design of a trans-disciplinary curriculum and, consequently, guide the units of enquiry. They are designed by teachers and students and lie at the heart of the PYP curriculum.

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 the points of view?
Responsibility: What is our responsibility?
Reflection: How do we know?


  1. Skills – what do we want students to be able to do?

It is of great importance to develop specific skills and the students’ ability to use them in their daily lives. It is important for students to know how their knowledge will be useful to them and how to use it in their everyday lives.

Thinking Skills

  • Making use of what they learned, wherever and whenever
  • Grasping meaning, analysing and correlating data
  • Combining pieces of knowledge, making judgments and decisions
  • Supporting different points of view based on their knowledge

Research skills

  • Formulating questions, observing, planning a course of action
  • Collecting, recording, organizing, interpreting data
  • Presenting research findings

Communication skills

  •  Listening to directions and information
  •  Speaking clearly, expressing ideas, stating opinions
  •  Reading a variety of sources
  •  Communicating through a variety of visual media
  •  Recognising the meaning of visual and kinaesthetic communication

Social skills

  • Taking on and completing tasks
  • Sharing responsibilities
  • Making decisions based on fairness and equality
  • Working cooperatively in a group, sharing materials, taking turns
  • Listening carefully to others, compromising, accepting responsibility appropriately, and reacting reasonably to situations
  • Working towards and obtaining a consensus; being a leader in some circumstances, a follower in others

Self-management skills

  • Displaying a sensitivity to the position of objects in relation to oneself
  • Time management
  • Safety
  • Healthy lifestyle
  1. Attitudes – what do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?

The PYP promotes and cultivates attitudes that include:

  • Appreciation
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
  1. Action – how do we want students to act?

We encourage students to express their opinions, make decisions after they are fully informed and take action to help their classmates, the school community and the wider community.

  1. Knowledge: what do we want students to know about?

Knowledge is gained through inquiry on the 6 major trans-disciplinary themes and the 6 subject areas that support the process of acquiring knowledge.

PYP trans-disciplinary themes

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in time and place
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

Subject Areas

  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • The Arts
  • Personal, Social and Physical Education

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