What is the Primary Years Programme

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) focuses on the development of the whole child, from nursery (3 years old) to PYP 5 (10 years old) and develops young students as caring and active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

pyp model en web
pyp curriculum

Benefits of joining the Primary Years Programme

The curriculum model is built on 6 Transdisciplinary Themes through which students explore and engage in the different subject areas. The core of the PYP model shows the 5 Essential Elements which are common to all teaching and learning: concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and action. The PYP Curriculum provides:

  • Content guidelines and learning objectives.

  • A teaching methodology

  • Assessment strategies


Learning in the PYP

The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. The daily living of the learner profile facilitates students’ understanding of self, openness to others and builds their international-mindedness.

We believe children learn best through structured, purposeful inquiry. Students are expected to play an active role and take responsibility for, their own learning. Students are encouraged to ask questions, investigate, and find ways to answer these questions, and to sustain this enjoyment of learning throughout life.

Learning is a social endeavour, and there is great emphasis on sharing, group work and collaboration at our school. Students learn to communicate well, to encourage each other, and to develop an open mind so they can learn from each other.

The learner is at the heart of our curriculum framework. Children come to school with a range of experiences, backgrounds and prior knowledge. Teachers in the PYP aim to design learning approaches that suit children at all different levels of competence or experience, providing support for those who need it and challenging those who are willing and able to go the extra mile.

Students spend their time at school exploring and learning about important concepts that are relevant in their day-to-day lives, and that they can transfer to other contexts. Our aim is to develop students’ understanding of concepts and ideas, not just their knowledge or skills.

Transdisciplinary Themes

The most significant and distinctive features are the Transdisciplinary Themes

These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the borders of learning within subject areas.

In our school we develop the following themes:

Inquire into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Inquire into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the connection of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Inquire into the connection of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Inquire into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Inquire into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

The Exhibition is an important part of the PYP for all students. In the final year of the Primary Years Programme, students undertake a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. As the culminating experience of the PYP, the Exhibition offers students an exciting opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning.

message from coordinator
“We work in a highly motivated and passionate school that believes in Learning Through Sharing. We strongly support and respect each other leading always by example, promoting high-quality education and building internationally minded learners with the ability to advocate for a better future. This is who we are.”
Déspina K. Sarioglou

Head of Primary School at Oeiras Valley Campus