What is the Primary Years Programme?

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12 by the International Baccalaureate (IB). It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six interdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from subjects areas, as well as interdisciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry.

The PYP Curriculum

The aim of the PYP is to develop internationally minded students through a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for PYP students. This is achieved through structured inquiry and the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills. Conceptual development and understanding, the demonstration of positive attitudes, and the ability to take socially responsible action are also important factors.


1- Knowledge: What do we want students to know?

While the Primary Years Programme acknowledges the importance of traditional subject areas (Language, Mathematics, social studies, Science, Personal, social and physical education and the Arts),it is also recognized that it is equally important to acquire a set of skills in context, to explore content that is relevant to students, and transcends the boundaries of the traditional subjects. The Primary Years Programme has six transdisciplinary themes that provide the framework for learning. These six themes are globally significant, support the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, and skills of the traditional subjects.

The six PYP Transdisciplinary Themes are:

1- Who we are
 2- Where we are in place and time
 3- How we express ourselves
 4- How the world works 5- How we organize ourselves
 6- Sharing the planet

2- Concepts: What do we want students to understand? 

The following key concepts are used to support and structure the inquiries. The exploration of concepts leads to a deeper understanding and allows students to transfer knowledge learned in one area of the curriculum to another.
 1- Form: What is it like?
 2- Function: How does it work?
 3- Causation: Why is it like this?
 4- Change: How is it changing?
 5- Connection: How is it connected to other things?
 6- Perspective: What are the points of view?
 7- Responsibility: What is our responsibility?

3- Skills: What do we want students to be able to do?

Throughout their learning in the Primary School, students acquire and apply a set of skills that are valuable not only for the teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom but also in life outside the school. The skills are:
 1- Thinking skills
 2- Communication skills 3- Social skills
 4- Research skills
 5- Self-management skills

4- Action: How do we want the students to act?

Students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning in the classroom and beyond it in real-life situations. Teachers can know about these outside actions from parents.

DVS Programme of Inquiry (POI)

Our Programme of Inquiry has been developed over many years and whilst it is specific to our school the skills and conceptual understanding developed are completely transferable within the global family of PYP schools. DVS Programme of Inquiry (POI)

The disciplines (key subjects) taught in the PYP.

What are the disciplines (key subjects) taught in the PYP?
The disciplines are:

1- Languages:
The languages of instruction at DVSI is English, the Second language is Kurdish, Host language is Arabic. (refer to language policy) The language strands are:
 1- Oral communication: listening and speaking
 2- Written communication: reading and writing
 3- Visual communication: viewing and presenting

2- Mathematics: 
Math is viewed as a vehicle to support inquiry, providing a global language through which we make sense of the world around us. The Maths strands taught are:
 1-Data Handling
 3-Shape & Space
 4-Pattern & Function

3- Science:
In the PYP, science is viewed as the exploration of the biological, chemical and physical aspects of the natural world, and the relationships between them. Our understanding of science is constantly changing
and evolving. The inclusion of science within the PYP leads learners to an appreciation and awareness of
the world as it is viewed from a scientific perspective. It encourages curiosity and ingenuity and enables the
student to develop an understanding of the world. The science strands are:
1- Living things,
2- Earth and space
3- Materials and matter
4- Forces and energy.

4- Social Studies:
In the PYP, social studies is viewed as the study of people in relation to their past, their present and their future, their environment and their society. Social studies encourage curiosity and develop an understanding of a rapidly changing world. Through social studies, students develop an understanding of their personal and cultural identities. They develop the skills and knowledge needed to participate actively in their classroom, their school, their community and the world: to understand themselves in relation to their communities. The aim of social studies within the PYP is to promote intercultural understanding and respect for individuals and their values and traditions. The social studies strands are:
 1- Human systems and economic activities
 2- Social organization and culture
 3- Continuity and change over time
 4- Human and natural environments
 5- Resources and the environment

5- Personal, social and physical education (PSPE):
In the PYP, personal, social and physical education (PSPE) is concerned with the individual’s well-being through the promotion and development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to this well-being. Well-being is intrinsically linked to all aspects of a student’s experience at school and beyond. It encompasses physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social health and development, and contributes to an understanding of self, to developing and maintaining relationships with others, and to participate in an active, healthy lifestyle. PSPE is integral to teaching and learning in the PYP and is embodied in the IB learner profile that permeates the programme and represents the qualities of internationally-minded students and effective lifelong learners. The PSPE strands are:
 2-Active learning

6- The Arts:
Arts are integral to the PYP. They are a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Arts provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. The students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, and through a variety of media and technologies. The PYP recognizes that not all learning can be supported solely through language and that art as a medium of inquiry also provides opportunities for learning, communication, and expression. Learning about and through arts is fundamental to the development of the whole child, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and social interactions. The Arts strands are:

7- Religion: Following the requirement of the ministry of education in Kurdistan Regional Government

Assessment in the PYP: Assessment descriptors

PYP Exhibition

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP and sharing them with the whole school community. As a culminating experience, it is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP. The exhibition unit takes place under any transdisciplinary theme at the discretion of the school. Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating, and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. The central idea selected must be of sufficient scope and significance to warrant a detailed investigation by all students.

Primary Years Programme Authorisation Certificate by IB