Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Elementary Science

Preschool through Grade 5

PYP Coordinator:  Trudi Buscemi

The Primary Years Programme at Carrollwood Day School focuses on the idea that students’ learning is based on experiences and prior knowledge.  Therefore, structured inquiry is the most common method used in the classroom.  Teachers structure learning experiences that ignite curiosity and have students search for knowledge and understandings. Students learn from local, national, and international examples and resources.

PYP Curriculum Framework 

The Essential Elements of the Primary Years Programme include creating a balance between knowledge (significant understandings), concepts, skills, attitudes and action

PYP Curriculum Framework

Transdisciplinary Themes 

The curriculum at each grade level is centered around 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. 

Class subjects are not taught individually instead a connection is made throughout the disciplines when studying a given unit.  Throughout the day, students reflect and assess themselves on their ability to show good character through exhibiting the IB Learner Profile .

PYP Exhibition

The PYP Exhibition is a culminating event that students at all PYP schools in the world participate in during their final year in the Primary Years Programme. This comprehensive inquiry project is a great foundation for our 5th grade students as they advance to the IB Middle Years Programme in middle school next year.

The Exhibition is an opportunity for students, during their last year in elementary school, to apply their learning from the elementary years and to reflect on their journey through the Primary Years Programme. It is a long-term, student-driven inquiry project that engages learners in "identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real life issues or problems." Students have to apply research, organizational and higher-level thinking skills as they locate and analyze information and data to help them answer their "lines of inquiry." It is also important for the students to identify a form of positive action they can take as a result of the knowledge they have gained during the Exhibition process. Finally, students share what they have learned with our school community.

PYP Assessment Policy

Purpose for assessment:

  • Assessment supports and encourages effective teaching and learning.
  • Assessment reflects intercultural dimensions of the programmes.
  • Assessment determines the learners’ levels of understanding, using both formative and summative assessment.
  • Assessment must meet the needs  of students at particular ages and stages of development.

Principles of assessment:

  • Assessment is key to planning, teaching, and learning.
  • Assessment practices are clear to all members of the community [teachers, parents, and students].
  • There is a balance between formative and summative assessment.
  • There are opportunities for both peer and self-assessment.
  • There are opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning.
  • Before starting new learning, teachers assess students’ current knowledge and experience.
  • Teachers provide students with feedback for future learning. 
  • Reporting to parents is meaningful.

Assessment practices:

  • Teachers will use a variety of assessment strategies and tools to provide feedback on the learning process.
  • Teachers will report assessment with report cards, parent-teacher conferences, student –led conferences, and anecdotal records.

In the PYP:

  • Authentic assessment will be used in conjunction with other forms of assessment such as standardized tests in order to assess the essential elements of the PYP (Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes, and Action).
  • Teachers will assess the many ways students make use of their experiences.
  • Rubrics, exemplars, anecdotal records, checklists, continuums, and portfolios will be used to record students’ responses and performances as a means of authentic assessment.
    • Portfolio requirements: Our school philosophy is constructed around the understanding that the portfolios are utilized to show growth over time for students, teachers, and parents. We do believe that the main stakeholders are our students. Therefore, the portfolio is comprised mostly of student choices with reflections. The following is required to be placed in the portfolio: one piece of work from each unit of inquiry at the discretion of the student along with reflections about the choice, one writing and one math sample at the discretion of the teacher with reflection along with one sample from Spanish, art and physical education. At the nursery and pre-kindergarten level a beginning of the year and end of the year sample will be provided.
  • Summative assessments will assess the conceptual understandings within central ideas.
  • The IB learner profile will be reported in two ways.  
    • First, at conferences (both parent/teacher and student led), students, teachers and parents will assess the growth in the profile.
    • Second, report cards will include an anecdotal recording in a drop in sheet.
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