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Primary Years: Kindergarten - 5th

The Inquiry Cycle

Cycle Chart of IB learnings

At St. Luke School, each unit in the Primary Years Program (PYP) begins by assessing students’ prior knowledge on a central idea and pre-determined lines of inquiry. Then the students formulate questions based on what they want to know about the topic.

Those student questions start the cycle of inquiry that guides every PYP lesson, as shown in this diagram. Teachers support the student-led inquiry with age-appropriate resources and activities to guide and structure the learning. It’s an approach that works at every grade level to provide challenges for every student.



Approaches to Learning Skills (ATL's)

The IB approaches to learning skills (ATL) are grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s life in and out of a school context. In broad terms, IB programs support learners in developing:

Learning with IB Approaches to Learning
  • Thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Self-management skills
  • Social skills

The approaches to learning and associated sub-skills support students of all ages in being agentic and self-regulated learners. Through various strategies, PYP teachers collaboratively plan for implicit and explicit opportunities to develop ATL's inside and outside the inquiry program.

PYP Program of Inquiry | K - 5th Grade

The Primary Years Program is a transdisciplinary curriculum framework that offers authentic learning experiences.

The PYP encourages students to learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and personal attributes as a connected whole.

Each school collaboratively develops a program of inquiry to reflect the unique aspects of that school’s community. The program of inquiry is organized and framed by six transdisciplinary themes:

  • Who we are.
  • Where we are in place and time.
  • How we express ourselves.
  • How the world works.
  • How we organize ourselves.
  • Sharing the planet.

Meaghan Roach | PYP IB Director

For Questions:

Email Meaghan Roach

 See how these themes build from K - 5th grade!

  How we Organize Ourselves Who We Are Sharing the Planet How We Express Ourselves How The World Works Where We are in Place and Time
Kindergarten People's choices and relationships impact community Or beliefs and values shape our understanding of how we are loved Living things are interconnected with their environment for survival Humans engineer ways to prepare for weather patterns Forces and motion can help us. People tell stories to share history.
1st Grade Exploring light and sound allows humans to create fun and useful things. Families are unique. Organisms grow, change, and develop in the environment. Winter holidays are celebrated around the world. Patterns and cycles help people understand the Earth. How families live around the world is shaped by the environment.
2nd Grade Communities' needs and wants can impact our local economic system. Citizens have a right and responsibility to work together to create a strong community. Plants, animals, and people work interdependently to create health ecosystems. Inventions are dependent on available materials and human ingenuity. Wind and water erosion occurs quickly or slowly and changes the land. History can show how we use our interests to enrich or weaken our communities.
3rd Grade Economic systems are shaped by geography. Weather affects humans action. In the circle of life, organisms adapt to survive. Make your voice count. Invisible pushes and pulls help operate the world around us. Places develop and change over time.
4th Grade Government can promote or deny equal opportunities and social justice. Humans are impacted by the continually changing nature of Earth. Landforms, natural resources, and weather influence trade and our economy. We express ourselves through our bodies and senses. Energy may be converted from one form to another. Actions are dependent on values.
5th Grade Liberties come with responsibility. Water is essential to life and is a limited resource for many people. / Exhibition! Ecosystems are a vital aspect of the world around us. Different perspectives can cause conflict. Chemical reactions enable us to make new materials by transforming the ones we have. Diverse beliefs and values motivate people to leave home.