PYP Overview

What is the IB PYP?

The PYP, or Primary Years Programme, prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child.

The PYP is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development. The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.

The PYP at MHIS 

MHIS is proud to be a PYP Candidate School. This means that MHIS is currently undergoing accreditation assessment. The assessment phase is critically and carefully monitored by the The International Baccalaureate® Organisation, and normally lasts a minimum of two years.

The PYP emphasizes the importance of students making connections between their experience and the incremental pieces of new information they encounter. The programme supports the students’ struggles to gain understanding of the world and to learn to function comfortably within it, to move from not knowing to knowing, to identifying what is real and what is not real, to acknowledging what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. To do this, the students must integrate a great deal of information and apply this accumulation of knowledge in a cohesive and effective way. The subject-specific bodies of knowledge, together with the transdisciplinary themes, provide a comprehensive, well-balanced curriculum that requires students to reflect on their roles and responsibilities and to participate fully in the learning process. The concept-driven nature of the PYP—both transdisciplinary and subject based—helps the teacher to make the classroom a stimulating and provocative place, where the student’s point of view, supported by knowledge, skill, reflection and understanding, is both valued and made useful.

At MHIS the PYP section of the school is governed by the PYP Head and carefully constructed and monitored by the PYP Curriculum Coordinator. We demonstrate a commitment to the Primary Years Programme by delivering a curriculum framework that is grounded in constructivism, inquiry, and concept-based learning.  These approaches promote learning and teaching that develops critical-thinking skills.


Our PYP written curriculum is arranged within six “transdisciplinary themes”. While the themes are universal and applicable to all cultures, the expectation is that there are certain core values, skills and knowledge for international schools, students and educators.


Who we are

An 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 – time & place

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


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; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.


How we organise 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.


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 relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.


In the PYP curriculum framework, eight key concepts have been identified, along with an open-ended question for each, to promote focus and deeper thinking about the enduring understandings that we hope will develop from the study of each unit of inquiry.

You can learn more about PYP and IB at the IB website