In an IB PYP school, students learn through the lenses of six transdisciplinary themes: Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How We Organize Ourselves, How the World Works, How We Express Ourselves, and Sharing the Planet. The themes are further described on the chart below:
Who We Are
An inquiry into the nature of 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 the orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local to 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 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 human kind and the environment.
Sharing the Planet
An inquiry into the 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.
Transdisciplinary means that the themes do not fall within the confines of traditional subject areas, such as math, science, or reading. Instead, these themes encourage students to explore knowledge across subjects throughout the day, including in specials classes. In kindergarten through fifth grade, students participate in one unit per year under each of these themes. In preschool, students participate in four units per year. Each year, the learning builds on the knowledge from previous years. Every unit is focused around a central idea and lines of inquiry which help to further define the knowledge students will learn. The knowledge we teach throughout every unit is guided by Colorado Academic Standards, PYP scope and sequence documents, the transdisciplinary themes, and the natural curiosities of children.