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Primary Years Program/ PYP at ICS

The PYP from the International Baccalaureate Organization, 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 as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.

The PYP curriculum contains three key components, which explains how students learn, how educators teach, and the principles and practice of effective assessment within the program.


ICS believes that all students will develop enduring understandings by demonstrating growth in their ability to generate questions, critically research, analyze information, take action and reflect in an inquiry-based learning environment.    

IB Defines Inquiry as… 

  • speculating, exploring, questioning 
  • making connections between previous learning and current learning 
  • researching
  • developing and testing theories
  • collecting data, reporting findings and constructing explanations
  • clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
  • identifying assumptions 
  • taking and defending a position
  • solving problems in a variety of ways
  • analyzing and evaluating
  • considering alternative explanations. 


At the elementary school, we use the Kath Murdoch Inquiry Model to frame our planning around inquiry. The Inquiry Model includes: 

  • Tuning In: tuning-in to students thinking by establishing the known, connecting to students lives, sense of purpose for inquiry, first thinking, first invitation for questions 
  • Finding Out: gathering information from a range of sources- working as researchers- continuing to raise questions-learning to investigate
  • Sorting Out: analyzing information, looking for patterns, reviewing thinking, making meaning, expressing new understandings
  • Going Further: personal and small group pathways of investigation, taking learning further, personalizing
  • Making Conclusions: synthesizing and reflecting, reviewing earlier thinking, identifying changes in understanding, making connections between ideas, identifying what has been learned
  • Action: acting and applying, sharing new learning with others, making a difference with my learning, applying to new contexts, creating/constructing/doing