Newton Free School

Primary Years Programme

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) has become a world leader in future-focused education for children aged 3-12. The PYP nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. By learning through inquiry and reflecting on their own learning, PYP students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and the attributes of the IB Learner profile to make a difference in their own lives, their communities, and beyond.

The PYP nurtures independent and collaborative learners, encouraging every student to have a voice, choice and ownership in their own learning. PYP students use their initiative to take responsibility and ownership of their learning.

The IB learner profile in the PYP

The IB Learner Profile represents a broad range of human dispositions, capacities and traits that encompass intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. All members of the learning community from the youngest learners to school leaders to parents, educators and beyond, have a responsibility to be guided by and demonstrate a commitment to the development of the IB learner profile attributes.

The learner profile requires IB learners to strive to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.

To learn more about the IB Learner Profile, please visit the following link

10 Reasons

Why the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is ideal for students to become active, lifelong learners

1. It encourages students to inquire: The PYP fosters natural curiosity and learning in creative, supportive and collaborative environments.

2. Understanding a complex and interdependent world: PYP students create meaning for themselves and build understanding through exploring real-world issues.

3. PYP students are confident communicators: PYP students learn to communicate in a variety of ways and in more than one language.

4. Learning how to learn: PYP students work collaboratively with teachers and other students to plan, present and assess their own learning.

5. It encourages international-mindedness: Collaboration and understanding of their own and other cultures are an important focus of the PYP — students learn how to be respectful and open-minded.

6. Seeing things from different perspectives: PYP students use critical and creative thinking to develop knowledge, understanding and skills within and across subject areas.

7. Students take action: PYP students believe they are able to grow and succeed. They make appropriate choices and take responsibility for their actions.

8. Thinking about issues: Creative learning gives students the agility and imagination to respond to new and unexpected challenges and opportunities in an increasingly globalized and uncertain world.

9. It involves the whole school learning community: Together we celebrate our common humanity and the belief that education can help to build a better and more peaceful world.

10. Caring and responsible citizens: Students can express ideas and opinions, and they can propose solutions that make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

*Based on IB research

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) offers a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based, concept-driven and student-centred education with responsible action at its core, enabling students to learn between, across and beyond traditional subject boundaries. Learning and teaching in the PYP are supported by a strong understanding of how students learn. The programme model is engaging, significant, challenging and relevant. PYP aims to develop students’ academic, social and emotional well-being, honouring the curiosity, voice, and contribution of the young learners.

All IB Programmes aim to develop internationally-minded people who recognise their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

6 transdisciplinary themes

In the PYP, students explore real-world problems by going beyond subject boundaries. The programme of inquiry is organised and framed by six transdisciplinary themes:

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


At Newton Free School, The PYP curriculum consists of 6 subjects:

1. Language

2. Mathematics

3. Science

4. Social Studies

5. Arts

6. Personal, Social and PE

Information and communication technology (ICT) in the PYP

Through the IB curriculum, students solve authentic problems using modern technology tools.  Technology supports all student inquiry, immersing students in the interplay between learning technology (tools), learning about technology (concepts), and learning through technology (aiding and extending learning).

Agency, Self-efficacy and Action in the PYP

Throughout the programme, the learner is an Agent for their own and others’ learning. They direct their learning with a strong sense of identity and self-belief, and in conjunction with others, build a sense of community and awareness of the opinions, values and needs of others. When teachers acknowledge learner agency and the importance of self-efficacy, students become partners in the learning process.

Self-efficacy influences the choices students are confident in making, which, in turn, influences the degree of ownership and impact they have in their lives. The stronger the sense of self-efficacy in students, the greater the likelihood that they will exercise agency. Students with a strong sense of self-efficacy are active in their own learning and take action in their learning community.

Through taking individual and collective Action, students come to understand the responsibilities associated with being internationally minded and appreciate the benefits of working with others for a shared purpose. Action, the core of student agency, is integral to the PYP learning process and to the programme’s overarching outcome of international mindedness.

The PYP exhibition

In the final year of the PYP, students take part in the PYP exhibition. The exhibition is an authentic process for students to explore, document and share their understanding of an issue or opportunity of personal significance. By emphasizing learner agency and inquiry-based learning, the PYP Exhibition equips students with essential skills and dispositions for lifelong learning, preparing them to become responsible, inquiring, and knowledgeable global citizens.

The PYP Exhibition also encourages students to take action, applying their knowledge and understanding to address real-world issues or create innovative solutions.

Students are guided to formulate their own questions, design their inquiries, and actively seek information from various sources. This inquiry-based approach fosters curiosity, promotes independent thinking, and encourages students to make connections between different areas of knowledge.

Throughout the Exhibition process, students engage in collaborative learning, sharing their findings, and seeking feedback from peers, teachers, and mentors. This collaborative aspect nurtures learner agency by providing opportunities for students to take responsibility for their learning, make informed decisions, and contribute to the learning community.

The transdisciplinary model of the PYP underpins the three pillars of school life: The learner, Learning and teaching, and The learning community.

The learner

The PYP curriculum framework begins with the premise that PYP students are agents of their own learning and partners in the learning process. Understanding how students learn is foundational to the inquiry-based and concept-driven transdisciplinary model of learning and teaching. The PYP curriculum recognizes learners’ innate potential to inquire, question, wonder and theorize about themselves, others, and the world around them.

Learning and Teaching

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) ensures that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. The PYP curriculum highlights important shared features of an IB education.

1. Developing the IB learner profile attributes

The IB learner profile represents a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that encompass intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. Developing and demonstrating the attributes of the learner profile provides an important foundation for international-mindedness.

IB learners strive to be:

1. Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

2. Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

3. Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

4. Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways.  We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

5. Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

6. Open-minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

7. Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

8. Risk-takers: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

9. Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives intellectual, physical, and emotional to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

10. Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experiences. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

2. Transdisciplinary learning

In the PYP, students explore real-world problems by going beyond subject boundaries. Through this process of learning in the PYP, students become competent learners who have the cognitive, affective and social tools to engage in lifelong learning.

The programme of inquiry is organized and framed by six transdisciplinary themes:

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.

3. Concept driven inquiry

The inquiry in the PYP is concept-based. A conceptual inquiry approach is a powerful vehicle for learning that challenges students to engage critically and creatively with significant ideas beyond the surface level of knowing. The concepts that drive the PYP are abstract, timeless and universal and help students think conceptually and connect one subject to another.

Concept-based learning moves beyond facts and leads to breadth and depth of understanding. Simply said, concepts are big ideas that help us understand. Knowledge, on the other hand, is related to facts that help us know.

Primary Years Programme includes 7 PYP Key Concepts:

1. Form

2. Function

3. Causation

4. Change

5. Connection

6. Perspective

7. Responsibility

4. Approaches to learning skills

The IB approaches to learning skills (ATL) are grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s life in and out of a school context. In broad terms, IB programmes support learners in developing:

1. Thinking skills

2. Communication skills

3. Research skills

4. Self-management skills

5. Social skills

The learning community

The IB unites a worldwide community of learners who believe that education can help to connect and build a better, more peaceful world. The IB learning community views the world as the broadest context for learning, where everyone involved in the life of the school is recognized: students and their families, all school staff members, other important adults in the students’ lives and the community at large.

The PYP encourages critical and creative thinking through continual inquiry, action and reflection, which places students at the heart of learning. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) supports children to:

1. develop knowledge, conceptual understandings and approaches to learning

2. become internationally-minded individuals

3. develop the attributes of the IB learner profile.

PYP Exhibition

PYP Exhibition encourages students to take action and apply their knowledge and understanding to address real-world issues or create innovative solutions.