The PYP Framework

The PYP Framework

The PYP Curriculum Framework consists of:

  • Transdisciplinary themes
  • Key elements of the PYP
  • Action and the Exhibition
  • Subject areas
  • The IB Learner Profile
Transdisciplinary Themes

Six transdisciplinary themes of global significance provide the framework for the exploration of knowledge. Teachers and students are guided by these themes as they design curricular units for exploration and study. Students explore subject areas through these themes, often in ways that transcend conventional subject boundaries. In the process, they develop an understanding of important concepts, acquire essential skills and knowledge, develop particular attitudes and learn to take socially responsible action.

Key Elements of the PYP

These key elements of the PYP are included in the school’s Programme of Inquiry (POI) to ensure coverage and progression vertically and horizontally across the school.  These key elements are explicitly planned for and taught across units of inquiry.

What do we want students to understand?

Eight fundamental concepts, expressed as key questions, propel the process of inquiry and help to encourage a transdisciplinary perspective. These concepts drive the units of inquiry which lie at the heart of the curriculum model.

The concepts are the following:

    • Form: What is it like?
    • Function: How does it work?
    • Causation: Why is it like it is?
    • Change: How is it changing?
    • Connection: How is it connected to other things?
    • Perspective: What are the points of view?
    • Responsibility: What is our responsibility?
Approaches to Learning (ATLs)
What do we want students to be able to do?

The transdisciplinary skills explicitly taught through the units of inquiry come under five key headings: thinking, communication, social, research and self management skills.


Thinking SkillsSocial SkillsCommunication SkillsSelf-Management SkillsResearch Skills
Acquisition of Knowledge
Dialectical thought
Acquisition of Knowledge
Respecting others
Resolving conflict
Group decision making
Adopting a variety of group roles
Nonverbal communication
Gross motor skills
Fine motor skills
Spatial awareness
Time Managment
Healthy lifestyle
Codes of behaviour
Informed choices
Formulating questions
Collecting data
Recording data
Organizing data
Interpreting data
Presenting research findings

To view an image of the above table, please click here


What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate?

The PYP programme promotes and fosters a set of attitudes that include tolerance, respect, integrity, independence, enthusiasm, empathy, curiosity, creativity, cooperation, confidence, commitment and appreciation

What do we want students to know?

The Primary Years Programme identifies a body of significant knowledge for all students in all cultures in six principal subject areas: language; social studies; mathematics, science and technology; the arts; personal, social and physical education.

A PYP school is expected to provide for the teaching of an additional language other than the school’s language of instruction in order to support the international perspective of the curriculum. The additional language offered at Quarry Bay School is Chinese.

The Learner Profile

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The Learner Profile is a set of ideals to define the type of learner we hope to develop at Quarry Bay School.


Students understand the importance of intellectual, physical, and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others


Students show empathy, compassion, and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.


Students understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and through various modes of communication. Students work effectively and in collaboration with others.


Students develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. Students actively enjoy learning and this love of learning can be sustained throughout their lives.


Students explore concepts, ideas, and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.


Students understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.


Students act with integrity, honesty and with a strong sense of fairness, justice, and respect for the dignity of individuals, groups, and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.


Students give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.


Students approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas, and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.


Students exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognise and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

Action and the Exhibition
How do we want students to act?

Through the PYP framework, students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices and to take action that will help their peers, school staff and the wider community. Planning in line with the inquiry cycle ensures opportunities for action are carefully considered and records of student-initiated actions are recorded on unit of inquiry planners.

Year 6 Exhibition

In Year 6 at Quarry Bay School, students participate in a culminating project, the PYP Exhibition. The Exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a Quarry Bay student. It is an opportunity for students to synthesise the essential elements of the PYP, exhibit the attributes of the learner profile they have developed during their time at the school and and share their learning with the whole school community.

For the Exhibition, students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. The exhibition unit takes place within the transdisciplinary theme Who We Are. The children focus on who they are as individuals; their personal passions and strengths and how these can be used in a positive way. The exhibition embodies our school mission statement ‘Empowering Learners to Make a Difference’.