Primary Years Programme

  • Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) prepares our young students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. Through the learner profile, the PYP helps develop the whole student–physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. Our curriculum and instruction reflect real life by encouraging learning beyond traditional subjects with meaningful, in-depth inquiries into real issues, both global and local.


    The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Program is the six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The program offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. At Vernon IB World School, the framework is flexible enough to not only incorporate but to enhance national and local curriculum requirements.


    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; and what it means to be human.

    5th graders at Vernon engage in Relation Nation - a unit that looks at the decisions that contribute to being a healthy 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; and the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.How we express ourselves

    Kindergarteners at Vernon are On The Move - a unit that looks at how transportation connects people, places and ideas around the world.

    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.

    1st graders at Vernon read Folk Tales Around the World - a unit that looks at how the stories we tell describe our ideas and beliefs.

    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; and the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

    3rd graders at Vernon are investigating Cycles - a unit that explores the cyclical nature of life, learning and the creative process.

    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.

    2nd graders at Vernon explore Around the World Neighborhoods - a unit that compares and contrasts the ways in which people live and work together.

    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.

    4th graders at Vernon will Design for Disaster - a unit that couples design knowledge with investigations into the causes and consequences of natural events. 


    • Our transdisciplinary approach means that a student’s personal and learning experience at Vernon is holistically connected. Our programme puts great emphasis on learning about these transdisciplinary themes. Each theme is addressed each year by all students in grades K-5 (in grades 6-8, the transdisciplinary themes evolve into the Global Contexts, see Middle Years Program). The themes provide the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum. The six specified subjects are language, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and personal, social and physical education.



    PYP Exhibition

    As part of their culminating learning experience in the PYP, fifth graders at Vernon work hard to prepare for the IB Exhibition. The process, not the product, is the most important feature of the Exhibition. The Exhibition provides students with the opportunity to explore their curiosities, go in depth in their research, take meaningful action, and build their growing skills as independent learners.


    Exhibition is a special Unit of Inquiry designed and executed by the students themselves. Children write lines of inquiry, gather data, conduct investigations, take action, and present this experience in a public forum, our annual IB Night/PYP Exhibition. This year, the event is scheduled for May 11th, 2017 from 6:00-8:00pm. We hope you will all join us for a special night celebrating our amazing students’ inquiry, action, and reflection.

    Students at Humane Society