What is the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program?

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get information about the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program with this article. Find out what age group this program is for, what students will learn in the program and where it is offered.

The International Baccalaureate's Primary Years Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) designed the Primary Years Program (PYP) for students from ages 3-12. This program has been used since 1997 to foster the education of children around the world. The PYP focuses on encouraging independent learning and helping students develop both academically and socially, as well as providing students with an international outlook. The program can also help ensure children are fully prepared to take part in the IB's other programs, such as the Middle Years Program, the Diploma Program or the Career-related Program.

How the Program Works

The PYP offers students instruction in these core areas of education:

  • Language arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Art

This program also focuses on helping students dig into the concepts behind what they're learning as they develop skills that can be applied in and out of the classroom. IB places a lot of attention on encouraging students to consider the well-being of themselves and those around them, both in the local community and on a global scale. The instruction in this program also strives to get students to be active participants in their educational time.

Students learn by having the chance to apply what they've already studied as they explore brand new activities. They are also given the chance to reflect on what they've learned so that they can effectively absorb it.

There are no examinations in the PYP. However, students are regularly assessed by their instructors in order to monitor their progress and encourage further learning opportunities. The last year of the program also allows the students to work collaboratively on a project that deals with some kind of issue or problem that is occurring in the world.

Schools Offering the PYP

Only schools certified through the IB can offer the PYP to students. You can find world schools through the IB website (ibo.org). This website allows you to search for educational facilities in your area that offer the programs you're interested in. Currently, in the United States alone, there are over 500 schools that offer the Primary Years Program and an additional 866 schools in other parts of the world.

Helping Students in the PYP

You can assist children enrolled in the PYP through online study guides. Study.com offers courses that allow students to review the core subjects they're studying, helping them to reinforce what they're learning. These courses include short lessons that are easy for children to follow. They break down complicated concepts and allow children to practice applying what they know through interactive quizzes and exams. Kids can also reach out to expert instructors if they need extra help understanding a challenging subject.

These courses were set up to help children build their understanding of:

Each of these study guides is self-paced, allowing students to work on lessons at their own speed. Students can print off worksheets to practice when they're away from their computers, and can review topics that they're having trouble understanding as many times as they need to.

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