The Curriculum Framework

The aim of the PYP is to create a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for learners in the 3–12 age range. In developing a curriculum of international education for primary school students, the PYP definition of curriculum is broad and inclusive. The IB believes that:

• All students should be supported to participate in the programme to the fullest extent possible
• The school's curriculum includes all those student activities, academic and non-academic, for which the school takes responsibility, since they all have an impact on student learning.

A PYP school needs to demonstrate that all teaching and learning for which it is responsible is seen as an interpretation of the PYP in action. The influence of the PYP is pervasive within a school and has an explicit impact on all aspects of the functioning of the school community. The school community needs to accept that the effect of the PYP will be systemic and all encompassing, so that change takes place within the school for the betterment of all students. One of the aims of the PYP is to ensure that students experience coherence in their learning, regardless of which teacher has responsibility for them at any particular point in time.

Furthermore, given the PYP commitment to continuous school improvement, it is obvious that the development of the written curriculum, the expression of issues, concepts and ideas on paper, is necessary; but, equally obviously, this alone is not sufficient.

The interpretation of the commonalities of the written curriculum into daily practice by teachers, working in schools around the world, strengthens the connections within the global community of PYP schools. In the PYP, therefore, equal emphasis is given to methodology, to the taught curriculum, to suggestions for examining and improving our practice and to the provision of in-service support.
The third component in the PYP definition of curriculum, the assessed curriculum, is concerned with the assessment of the actual learning that takes place for each student, a component that can often be neglected or inappropriately practiced. The development of a range of authentic and targeted assessment strategies, focused on the learning, brings balance and integrity to the curriculum and reminds teachers of its purpose.

The PYP definition of curriculum, then, emerges as comprising three interrelated components. In keeping with the PYP commitment to inquiry, these three components are expressed in the form of the following three open-ended questions, each of which compels teachers to think deeply about their own practice with regard to student learning.

5 Essential elements of the written curriculum:

In the PYP a balance is sought between acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action.
In terms of achieving this balance, the five essential elements of the written curriculum are emphasized.

Knowledge - Significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.

Concepts -Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that the students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.

Skills -Those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.

Attitudes - Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people.

Action - Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behaviour through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements