International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Shepherd Elementary includes all students aged 3 to 12. The program focuses on developing internationally-minded learners who inquire about the world and take action in both their local and global communities. At Shepherd Elementary, we provide a student-centered approach to learning through which students' questions guide the learning process.


Inquiry is an integral component of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. At Shepherd, we use students' questions and wonderings to guide the learning in the classroom. This student-centered approach not only fosters curiosity about the world but also lifelong learning.


Transdisciplinary Themes

There are six transdisciplinary themes of global significance which provide the framework for inquiry-based instruction at Shepherd Elementary. These six transdisciplinary themes include the following:

  • 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

Concepts in the PYP

The key concepts consist of seven essential questions that transcend content areas and encourage students to think deeply about the world. These key concepts include the following:

  • Form: What is it like?
  • Function: How does it work
  • Causation: Why is it like it is?
  • Change: How is it changing?
  • Connection: How is it connected to other things?
  • Perspective: What are the points of view?
  • Responsibility: What is our responsibility?

Approaches to Learning

There are five approaches to learning in the IB PYP framework. These approaches to learning provide students with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Throughout the IB PYP Programme students will be provided with numerous opportunities to develop the following skills:

  • Social Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Thinking Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Self-Management Skills

PYP Exhibition

Exhibition is an opportunity for 5th grade students to demonstrate what they have learned throughout the IB Primary Years Programme. Through this culminating experience, students explore issues of global significance and present their findings to the school community. This formal celebration of learning occurs annually and is a critical steppingstone for transitioning to the IB Middle Years Programme.

A copy of our IB brochure may be found hereIf you have any questions about the IB PYP, please contact our IB Coordinator, Avani Mack at [email protected].