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Primary Years Programme

over 3 years ago

Summit Cove Elementary is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme School

Below is some information to help you better understand the International Baccalaureate and the Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

What is PYP?
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.

The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.

Concept Driven Curriculum
Primary Years Programme is a concept driven curriculum that helps students to construct meaning through critical thinking and the transfer of knowledge. In other words, real life application of what your child learns in school to what may be happening in his or her own life and in the world around him.

Often traditional education systems sacrifice significant ideas and deeper understanding for the memorization of isolated facts. The search for understanding is central to the PYP; however this does not rule out the recognition of developing skills. Our goal is to guide students to develop a deeper understanding while at the same time acquiring and applying skills.

The Action Cycle

The Action Cycle at Summit Cove is used to recognize our students that take their education into their own hands. Through the action cycle the students are able to grow both personally & socially as learners. They

reflect on the local and global consequences of their own actions and become an active part in helping our world.

Why include the Learner Profile as an essential element in the PYP?


While recognizing the importance of concepts, knowledge and skills, the PYP believes that these alone do not make an internationally educated person.  The aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.


Time Line for Summit Cove Units of Inquiry

Each grade level has six (other than Preschool which has four) units of inquiry that integrate our district, state, and national learning standards. Teachers provide students the opportunity to become life-long learners and promote international-mindedness through the structured, guided, and open inquiry in these units. 


Other Great PYP Links

Click below to download a power point all about PYP


For further information about the IB programes and PYP, visit

IB and PYP Terms for Parents

over 3 years ago

IB – International Baccalaureate (formally known as IBO): A global network of schools, educators, students and parents whose mission is “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who can help create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.”


PYP – Primary Years Program: A transdiciplinary framework of international education for students ages 3-12 designed to foster the development of the whole child.


POI: Program of Inquiry: A collaboratively-developed framework for inquiry, with the purpose of allowing students to explore six universal themes of knowledge, which forms the core of a school’s curriculum. Those themes are: Who We Are, Where We Are In Place and Time, How the World Works, How We Express Ourselves, How We Organize Ourselves and Sharing the Planet.


Curriculum: In an IB school “curriculum is all those student activities, academic and non-academic, for which a school takes responsibility, since they all have an impact on student learning.” The curriculum of an IB school consists of three interrelated parts: the written, learned and taught curriculum.”


Units of Inquiry: Units of study, structured around a conceptual “central idea”.


Central Idea: An enduring understanding that integrates conceptual understanding and factual knowledge. Example: The survival of living things relies on understanding and maintaining a reciprocal relationship between living and non-living things.


Lines of Inquiry: These clarify the central idea and define the scope of a PYP unit of inquiry.


PYP Planner: A document, provided by the IB, that teachers must use to collaboratively plan and reflect upon PYP units of inquiry.


Learner Profile: A set of attributes with universal value across cultures, which define an internationally-minded student and graduate of an IB school.


Essential Elements of the PYP:  Knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action that foster development of the whole child and form the PYP written curriculum.


Concepts: Mental constructs or “frames of mind” that is universal, timeless, abstract and transferable. These powerful ideas must be explored and re-explored in order to develop deep understanding. Form, function, causation, connection, change, perspective, responsibility and reflection are the key concepts.


Related Concepts: Concepts which are contained under the PYP Key Concepts and are more specific to certain subject areas. They include things such as systems, innovation, freedom, patterns, design, to name just a few.


Transdiciplinary: Broad knowledge, skills, and understanding that transcend the boundaries of traditional subject areas and yet can be applied to learning within any of them.


Transdiciplinary Skills: Broad groups of skills which can be applied within and across all subject areas. These include thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, self management skills, and social skills.


Transdiciplinary Themes: Universal themes, with relevance within and across the traditional subject areas, and within and across cultures that define the body of lasting knowledge valued in a PYP school.