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Primary Curriculum Detail

At the center of the PYP curriculum are five essential elements: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action. The aim of the program is to help students acquire a holistic understanding of six main themes, shown on the outside of the curriculum model, through the interrelatedness of these essential elements.

The PYP identifies a body of knowledge for all students in all cultures, in six subject areas:

  • languages
  • social studies
  • mathematics
  • science and technology
  • the arts
  • personal, social, physical education

In the spirit of internationalism, in addition to the language of instruction of the school (English) students are required to learn a second language. At IICS, this language in Primary School is French.


The essential elements at the centre of the curriculum model are developed and applied in a context defined by the six transdisciplinary themes between Prep 1 and Grade 6 (in Pre-school there are four transdisciplinary themes):



Who we are

An inquiry into the nature of 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

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Sharing the planet

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

How we express ourselves

An 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.

How the world works

An 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 the environment.

How we organize ourselves

An 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.

PYP Attitudes

While recognising the importance of concepts, knowledge and skills, the PYP believes that these along do not make an internationally educated person. It is vital that we also focus on the development of positive attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning.



appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people


being committed to their learning, persevering and showing self- discipline and responsibility


feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices


cooperating, collaborating and leading or following as the situation demands


being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas


being curious about the nature of learning and of the world, its people and cultures


imaginatively projecting themselves into another's situation, in order to understand his/ her thoughts, reasoning and emotions


enjoys learning


thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned principles and being able to defend their judgments


having integrity and a firm sense of fairness and honesty


respecting themselves, others and the world around them


feeling sensitivity towards the differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others

For additional details, please read our PYP Curriculum Guide.

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