International Baccalaureate Programme

In August, 2006 Shepherd ES began its journey to full approval as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP).

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP)

IB PYP is “an inquiry-based” approach to learning. Students, guided by teachers, follow a rigorous curriculum. Children participate more in problem solving, asking questions, checking results and forming their own hypotheses and generalizations. Inquiry involves an active engagement with the environment to make sense of the world. Students seek to make connections between their experiences and the information they have gathered. In this way children take more responsibility for their own learning. The language program provide students with an enriched curriculum in which English is the primary language of instruction, and French and Spanish are taught as an additional language using the Foreign language in Elementary School (FLES) model. Math, visual arts, and music are other valuable languages in which all students are consistently exposed and encouraged to use to understand the world.

About PYP

The Primary Years Programme (PYP), for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on development of the whole child, in the classroom but also in the world outside, through other environments where children learn. It offers a framework that meets children’s several needs: academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural.

The PYP serves as an excellent introduction to the Middle Years Programme, but it is not a prerequisite for this or for the Diploma Programme.

The programme is a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning.

  • An International curriculum model that provides guidelines for what students should learn
  • A teaching methodology, which includes a profile of the PYP student
  • Assessment strategies

After consultation with the International Baccalaureate Organization, and provided certain conditions are met, schools enjoy much flexibility in terms of language of instruction and languages taught.

At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to structured inquiry as a vehicle for learning.

  • Six organizing themes help teachers and children explore knowledge in the broadest sense of the word.
  • Teachers and students use key questions that are concept based to structure the units of inquiry.
  • They acquire and apply transdisciplinary skills while developing an understanding of these important concepts.

For more information on the International Baccalaureate Organization, visit