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Primary Years Programme

About the Elementary School

Our elementary school programme is committed to developing the potential of each child we have the honour of working with in a caring, nurturing and challenging environment.

Children are at the centre of everything we do and guide all decision making. Students learn through meaningful and relevant learning experiences and have the opportunity to make connections and links to concepts, ideas and the world in which we live. Our goal is to support students to take purposeful action in their communities and be active and responsible global citizens.

About the PYP at HIS

Students in the elementary school at HIS learn in an inquiry-based environment through the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The PYP prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.

The PYP is underpinned by six units of inquiry, also known as transdisciplinary themes, around which learning is planned.

  • 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 interconnectedness 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.


The ‘prime objective of assessment in the PYP is to provide feedback on the learning process’ (IBO 2009, p. 44). Both formative and summative assessments are ways to assess student learning.

PYP Exhibition

The PYP exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school with students synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP and sharing them with the whole school community. As a culminating experience it is an opportunity for Grade 5 students to exhibit the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile attributes that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP.