Program of Inquiry
Six Transdisciplinary Themes
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six 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 confines of learning within subject areas.
Who we are
Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human
Where we are in place and time
Inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
Sharing the planet
Inquiry 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.
How the world works
Inquiry 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.
How we organize ourselves
Inquiry into the interconnectedness 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.
How we express ourselves
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.
The transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiries—investigations into important ideas, identified by schools, and requiring a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks. Each theme is addressed each year by all students. Students aged 3 to 5 engage with four of the themes each year. In addition, all lB PYP students have the opportunity to learn more than one language. from the age of seven.
Continued study of the six transdisciplinary theme culminates in the fifth grade year when students choose an area of interest to intensely research and create an action plan to bring about change in their community. Fifth graders present an exhibition featuring their research and community actions to an audience of peers, parents, and community members.