International Baccalaureate (IB)

Primary Years Program (PYP)

We are thrilled to announce that as of April 2017, we officially became an authorised International Baccalaureate World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The PYP has a focus on the development of the whole child as an inquirer both within and outside the classroom. It is based within a framework that considers the social, academic and emotional wellbeing of students.  Skills are developed that enable students to solve authentic, real life experiences and allows them to engage in deeper, higher order thinking.  The consequences are powerful learning experiences that engage children.  The PYP develops personal values that provide students with the capacity to be internationally minded and to be active, caring and lifelong learners who can adapt and thrive in the global world that we have become a part. We believe this programme is something that will set our students apart in a continually changing world.

Implementing the PYP has been an inspiring and rewarding learning journey for our school. We look forward to continuing our progress and development of the programme in collaboration with the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

The mission statement for the IB is as follows:

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to

create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”

For further information, please visit the IBO Website:

The Learner Profile

The Learner Profile is supported by the 5 Essential Elements which make up the written curriculum. They ensure that all learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant.

The 5 Essential Elements

As an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program school we have developed a curriculum that has specific importance on the development of the Learner Profile attributes.  This provides students with a holistic approach to education and a set of outcomes that enables them to become internationally minded and equips them with the skills for the 21st Century.  As a school that strives to be internationally minded, our purpose is to provide a supportive safe and dynamic learning environment.  We promote inquiry, curiosity, creativity and individuality.  We aim to develop a resilient, open-minded school community where all students become independent, emotionally intelligent and socially competent as they strive to achieve their potential as global citizens.

The Learner Profile 

We actively require students to be:

  • Balanced

  • Caring

  • Communicators

  • Inquirers

  • Knowledgeable

  • Open Minded

  • Principled

  • Reflective

  • Courageous

  • Thinkers

(International Baccalaureate 2018)

Six Transdisciplinary Themes

All units come under the following six transdisciplinary themes of global significance which are:

  • Who we are,

  • Where we are in place and time

  • How the world works, How we express ourselves,

  • Sharing the planet,

  • How we organise ourselves


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 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 inter-connectedness 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; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on 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.


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.

These themes are mapped against the Victorian Curriculum to ensure that all curriculum content  prescribed by the Department of Education is taught.  We believe the PYP allows us to do this in a richer, more vibrant way, that places your child at the centre of their learning .



Key concepts


Also expressed as key questions, assist teachers and students to consider ways of thinking and learning about the world, and act as a provocation to extend and deepen student inquiries. A set of eight concepts are used in the transdisciplinary curriculum.

  • Form

  • Function

  • Causation

  • Change

  • Connection

  • Perspective

  • Responsibility

  • Reflection


Form – What is it like?
The understanding that everything has a form with recognisable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorised.

Function – How does it work?
The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving that can be investigated.

Causation – Why is it like it is?
The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences

Change – How is it changing?
The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.

Connection – How is it connected to other things?
The understanding that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.

Perspective – What are the points of view?
The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary.

Responsibility – What is our responsibility?
The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.

Reflection – How do we know?
The understanding that there are different ways of knowing, and that it is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of reasoning, and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have considered.



There are 5 broad key skills that students acquire in the PYP.  These skills provide students not only with the necessary attributes to carry out their units of inquiry but life skills that will help them to creatively and critically approach tasks and situations in their daily lives as they transcend to adulthood.

There are 5 that our students acquire:

  • Thinking skills

  • Social skills

  • Communication skills

  • Self Management skills

  • Research skills


Thinking Skills
Acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought and metacognition.

Social Skills
Accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision making, adopting a variety of group roles.

Communication Skills
Listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, presenting, and non-verbal communication.

Self-Management Skills
Gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behaviour and informed choices.

Research Skills
Formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording data, organizing data, interpreting data and presenting research findings.



Attitudes contribute to international-mindedness and the wellbeing of individuals and learning communities, and connect directly to the IB learner profile.


At Aspendale Gardens there are 13:

  • Appreciation

  • Creativity

  • Commitment

  • Confidence

  • Cooperation

  • Curiosity

  • Empathy

  • Enthusiasm

  • Independence

  • Integrity

  • Respect

  • Tolerance

  • Resilience



Action is an expectation in the PYP that successful inquiry leads to responsible, thoughtful and appropriate action. 

Action can occur at any point during the inquiry and long after the inquiry has concluded. At AGPS we catergorise action into 6 types built around a series of questions:

  • Being. We ask students if the inquiry has changed them as a person? Has it positively affected their behaviour?           Are they now more patient for example, or more respectful?

  • Feeling.  Has the inquiry made you feel different? Do you feel more empathetic, inspired, admired?

  • Doing. Has the inquiry made you do something such as raise money? Have you helped somone, picked up rubbish, helped a friend in need?


  • Thinking. Has the inquiry made you think differently? Have you changed your mind or opinion? Does it make you wonder  or  feel  the need to investigate beyond the inquiry?


  • Having. Has the inquiry helped you to gain more knowledge and if so, how? Do you now have more care, respect or determination?


  • Saying. Has the inquiry allowed you to explain something to others that they may not understand? Has it prompted   you  to discuss and or debate ideas in greater depth?   (03) 9587 0877

96 Kearney Dr, Aspendale Gardens VIC 3195, Australia