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International Baccalaureate (IB)
Primary Years Program (PYP)

Aspendale Gardens Primary School became an authorised International Baccalaureate World School in 2017, officially 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 is an inspiring and rewarding learning journey for our school.

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:

Connecting Learning and Teaching

By design, PYP inquiry and concept-based learning align neatly with, and contribute to, the transdisciplinary model.

Specifically, students and teachers engage with:

  • the programme of inquiry—the structure that articulates what, when and how to explore the transdisciplinary themes

  • concepts that have relevance across, between and beyond the subjects and that connect a wide-ranging knowledge to arrive at conceptual understandings

  • the approaches to learning and approaches to teaching that are crucial for exploring subject knowledge in context with the transdisciplinary themes

  • the opportunities to reflect and take action to enhance individual and collective understanding and learning or to address local and/or global challenges.


The PYP framework and the transdisciplinary approach encourage and support connections across learning and teaching as a means to raise student awareness of the relevance of their learning to their reality. PYP classrooms and schools are where the framework is turned into effective and innovative practice.

The Learner Profile

We actively require students to be:

  • Balanced

  • Caring

  • Communicators

  • Inquirers

  • Knowledgeable

  • Open Minded

  • Principled

  • Reflective

  • Courageous

  • Thinkers

Please see below a document outlining how you can support your child at home with developing their Learner Profile attributes.

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 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.

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, these 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 key concepts

are used in the transdisciplinary curriculum.

  • Form

  • Function

  • Causation

  • Change

  • Connection

  • Perspective

  • Responsibility

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.

Approaches to Learning

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 Approaches to learning that our students develop during their time at primary


  • 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.


Action is an expectation in the PYP.  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 categorise action into six 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?

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PYP Six Transdisciplinary Themes B & W.j
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