Elementary Curriculum

At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle for learning using an internationally designed model for the learner to construct meaning.

It incorporates guidelines on student learning styles, teaching methodologies, and assessment strategies. It also provides guidelines on how to structure a broad and  balanced curriculum that is concept-driven.

The Framework 

The curriculum framework is an expression and an extension of three interrelated questions:

  • What do we want to learn?
  • How best will we learn?
  • How will we know what we have learned?


Program of Inquiry

What do we want the children to know? In answering this question, the program of inquiry is organized into units of inquiry under the transdisciplinary themes: who we are; where we are in place and time; how we express ourselves; how the world works; sharing the planet. These themes are interwoven into seven disciplines.

The following provides the framework for the content of the program:

Seven Disciplines & Related Standards and Benchmarks

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

Language skills are essential for communication and self-expression, and the skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing are learned across and throughout the subject areas. They are recognized as interdependent parts of a whole and are developed in an integrated manner, both with each other and the rest of the curriculum. Lucy Calkins is a balanced literacy program that is used at all grade levels.

Language Arts Standards

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Social Studies

The Social Studies curriculum allows students to develop an understanding of their past, present, and future, their environment and their society. Social Studies encourages curiosity and develops an understanding of the changing world. Students engage in real-world activities through transdisciplinary themes.

Social Studies Standards

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Students develop the skills necessary for problem solving with computation being one of the critical tools. Creative thinking skills are also developed as students learn to choose and apply appropriate rules, facts and procedures. Math is also applied to other areas of the curriculum (Language Arts, Music, Physical Education etc.)

Mathematics Standards

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At the core of the Science curriculum is inquiry. In the PYP there is a commitment to a concept-driven curriculum as a means of supporting the inquiry. In the process of inquiry students are led to observe, recognize and define problems, investigate, report and communicate their findings, analyze and draw conclusions from their results.

Science Standards

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Elementary School students have the opportunity to learn about, and experience working with, a variety of robots including Sphero, Lego WeDo and Kibo The Robot.  They learn to control the robots to perform a variety of functions as well as solve challenges.

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Technology instruction is guided by the ISTE Student Standards (International Society for Technology in Education) 2016.  Many of the world's most innovative schools use these standards to guide them in 21st Century learning.

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Visual Art

The Arts program involves the student in learning about two and three-dimensional art forms. The lessons, appropriate for students’ intellectual and physical maturity, expose the children to the basic elements of design as well as providing opportunities for creativity, original thinking and expression.

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Music in the Elementary School is an important part of the total educational experience of the child. Children participate in singing, listening, improvising, moving to music and laying pitched and unpitched instruments. As children actively participate in these musical activities, they develop their innate creativity, as well as discover the world of music that surrounds them.

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Physical Education

The goal of the Physical Education Program is to allow children to view themselves as fit, skillful and joyful participants who are not limited to their own cultural activities. The Physical Education program is designed to be holistic in that it enables students to develop physical, intellectual, social and emotional abilities.

Physical Education Standards

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Personal and Social Education

PSE is included in the curriculum to help students learn how to manage and communicate their feelings; make informed choices; be aware of social norms and different perspectives; build healthy relationships; develop strategies to resolve conflicts; develop an appreciation for cultural diversity and show concern for others and the environment.

Read More about Personal and Social Education