The Primary Years Programme at IPS


The International Preparatory School is a CIS Accredited School

The International Preparatory School has held CIS accreditation for the past ten years and is currently undertaking the ten years reaccreditation self-study.

Accreditation has value for all members of the school community
The award of CIS International Accreditation demonstrates a school’s commitment to high-quality international education to the school community as well as to the outside world: prospective families, educational leaders and teachers as well as universities, embassies, other government departments, and globally-minded companies and organisations. Concerned professionals, as well as parents naturally, seek a quality education for children. Expatriate parents in particular face an unfamiliar environment which offers few guidelines on how best to select the most appropriate school for their child’s needs. The fact that a school holds CIS Accreditation can be crucial in parents’ choice of school.

Characteristics of an Accredited School
The final award of Accredited Status from CIS demonstrates that a school is aligned with the demanding CIS School Evaluation Standards. It shows that the school has achieved high standards of professional performance in international education and has a commitment to continuous improvement. In particular, the award of accreditation shows that:

  • The school is devoted to its Mission and Vision for students, as expressed in its Guiding Statements. The school also adheres consistently to the CIS Code of Ethics for Schools.
  • The school cares enough to seek validation from a recognised accreditation authority for the work it does for its students.
  • The schools focus on the quality of teaching and the progress students make, their standards of achievement (in the broadest sense) as well as the students’ safeguarding and well-being.
  • The school is committed to the development of the students’ global citizenship.
  • The school knows itself. It has thought deeply about the services it offers to students, family and community.
  • The school is student-orientated. Its philosophy of education is suitable for the students on roll and encompasses the development of the whole individual.
  • The school keeps its promises. It promises only what it can deliver.
  • The school accepts objective assessment. It is prepared to open its doors periodically to regular evaluation by its own school community and by outside experienced practitioners.
  • The school is constantly seeking to improve its performance in all areas in order to ensure it attains the desired learning outcomes for its students.
  • The school plans strategically for the future. As part of the on-going nature of the evaluation process, accredited schools are continually planning future developments.

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

At the heart of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) philosophy, is a commitment to structured inquiry as the leading tool for learning.

Language, Social Studies, Mathematics, Arts, Science and Personal, Social and Physical Education, provide the framework for the exploration of concepts and knowledge.

The Curriculum Framework consists of five essential elements:

  • Concepts;
  • Knowledge;
  • Skills;
  • Attitude;
  • Action

The knowledge component is developed through inquiries into the six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, supported and balanced by six subject areas.

The PYP is a transdisciplinary curriculum, in that the connections that learners naturally make between and within subjects is emphasised. This means that learning happens either through the study of integrated units or single subject units, known as Stand Alone Units.

A Unit of Inquiry can be an inquiry into an important piece of learning from one subject area or content from a number of subjects that are connected to a common big idea or understanding. At any time during the year students will study one Unit of Inquiry based on a PYP organising theme and some Stand Alone Units.

Transdisciplinary Themes

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) has six transdisciplinary themes that provide the framework for learning. These themes are globally significant and support the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills of the traditional subjects.  They are revisited throughout the students’ time in the PYP.

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.

Where We Are In Place & 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

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

How We Organise Ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organisations; 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.

Inquirers / Des investigateurs

We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

Ils développent leur curiosité naturelle. Ils acquièrent les compétences nécessaires à la conduite d’investigations et de recherches et font preuve d’autonomie dans leur apprentissage. Ils ont vraiment envie d’apprendre et ce plaisir d’apprendre les accompagnera tout au long de leur vie.

Knowledgeable / Informés et instruits

We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

Ils explorent des concepts, des idées et des problèmes qui sont d’importance à l’échelle locale et mondiale. Ce faisant, ils acquièrent des connaissances approfondies et développent une bonne compréhension dans un éventail de disciplines vaste et équilibré.

Thinkers / Des penseurs

We exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

Ils s’exercent à appliquer leurs capacités de réflexion de façon critique et créative, afin d’identifier et d’aborder des problèmes complexes et de prendre des décisions réfléchies et éthiques.

Communicators / Des communicateurs

We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

Ils comprennent et expriment des idées et des connaissances avec assurance et créativité dans plus d’une langue ou d’un langage et en utilisant une variété de modes de communication. Ils collaborent efficacement et volontairement avec les autres.

Principled / Intègres

We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

Ils adhèrent à des principes d’intégrité et d’honnêteté, et possèdent un sens profond de l’équité, de la justice et du respect de la dignité de chaque individu, des groupes et des communautés. Ils sont responsables de leurs actes et de leurs conséquences.

Open-minded / Ouverts d’esprit

We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

Ils comprennent et apprécient leurs propres cultures, racines et vécus, mais n’en sont pas moins réceptifs aux points de vue, valeurs et traditions d’autres individus et communautés. Ils ont l’habitude de rechercher et d’évaluer un éventail de points de vue et sont disposés à en tirer des enrichissements.

Caring / Altruistes

We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

Ils font preuve d’empathie, de compassion et de respect envers les besoins et sentiments des autres. Ils accordent une grande importance au service et ils œuvrent concrètement à l’amélioration de l’existence d’autrui et de l’état de l’environnement.

Risk-takers / Audacieux

We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

Ils abordent situations inhabituelles et incertitudes avec courage et discernement et ils ont l’indépendance d’esprit nécessaire pour explorer de nouveaux rôles, idées et stratégies. Ils sont courageux et savent défendre leurs convictions avec éloquence.

Balanced / Équilibrés

We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, (spiritual) and emotional— to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

Ils comprennent l’importance d’un bon équilibre intellectuel, physique et affectif dans l’atteinte de leur bien-être personnel et de celui des autres.

Reflective / Réfléchis

We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

Ils opèrent un retour sur eux-mêmes et examinent de façon critique leur propre apprentissage et leurs expériences. Ils sont capables d’évaluer et de comprendre leurs points forts et leurs limites afin d’appuyer leur apprentissage et leur développement personnel.


IB PYP Model


Learner Agency



At the International Preparatory School, we believe: 

“ A coherent curriculum should be a feast of learning that no child can resist.” Male, B (2012).

“To be truly educated, a student must also make connections across the disciplines discover ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relate what they learn to life,” Boyer, E (1995).

We also believe that curriculum development and implementation are never static and that through ongoing research, professional development, thoughtful and reflective teaching, learning and feedback we ensure that we remain at the cutting edge of best practice.

The curriculum is at the heart of any good school and below you will find descriptions of ours. We hope that these ‘snapshots’ and summaries help you understand a little more about what makes the heart of our school beat so strongly! However, a curriculum remains just a rather static list of items unless it is delivered by teachers who can bring it to life, inject it with colour and spirit and guide their students through it with a clear purpose.  We believe that our delivery of the curriculum allows us to achieve both our Vision and our Mission enabling our students to develop and live in a learning community.

At IPS learning takes place within a constructivist context whereby new knowledge is constructed upon previous knowledge. Learning happens through an inquiry-based, contextualised and integrated approach, within which students use inquiry methods to ask questions, investigate themes, draw conclusions, and, as exploration continues, to revisit these findings. A cycle of exploration of questions leads to more questions.

The curriculum evolves as students work collaboratively and control their learning by reflecting on their experiences. This process makes them the experts in their learning.

Scope and Sequence

Learning Support

Our Beliefs

IPS believes in providing learning support for students as a part of their regular school programme. IPS will consult with parents at the admissions stage to ascertain if a student has already been identified as needing special support and if so, IPS will do our best to arrange the appropriate guidance.

Valuing diversity and difference is a key aspect of becoming more internationally minded and is an important goal of the PYP programme. At IPS, we are an inclusive school.  Inclusive education involves responding positively to each student’s unique learning profile, including students with diverse learning needs. Using the PYP Approaches to Learning (ATL), teachers and students respond in flexible ways to students who have learning support requirements.

Students with Learning Support requirements may:

  • Display difficulties or live with conditions that are a barrier to learning and therefore need particular teaching strategies for classroom management and effective education.
  • Display a higher than average aptitude in one or more subjects that require adaptation and extension of the curriculum.
  • Have the aptitude to meet all curriculum and assessment requirements but require support to reach their full potential in learning and assessment.
  • Require support to access teaching and learning including planned strategies to access curricular instruction and inclusive assessment arrangements to access assessments.
Referral Process

When a student is identified as needing additional learning support, IPS will follow an internal process for referral, assessment, and programme development. Learning support sessions may involve in-class support by a learning support teacher, small group work, or 1:1 support. The student’s progress is observed and assessed on a regular basis, and when the set goals and objectives have been achieved, the student will exit the support programme.

External Assessment

Occasionally, an internal assessment will indicate that further external expertise is needed, and the student and their parents will be referred to an outside agency or therapist for additional evaluation. Such intervention will need to be funded separately by the parents. Such therapy might include speech and language therapy, support from an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, assessment by an educational psychologist or clinical psychologist.


At IPS learning support is a joint responsibility, shared by class teachers, subject teachers, class assistants, parents and the Learning Support staff.  All professionals working with a student share the responsibility for implementing the student’s IEP or other plans of action, and for providing the appropriate support based on the designated individual's level of need - as outlined.

Levels of Support - Guidelines

Level 1

  • The student has been referred to the Learning Support Department and is being monitored. Needs are being met within the standard classroom programme, but the student will require additional assistance during periods of transition, or as they move into a more rigorous academic programme.
  • Monitoring includes a review with or additional information provided by teachers and parents. May also include referral to or liaison with external specialists (e.g. Speech-Language Pathologist).

Level 2

  • As for #1, but the student has had a period of intervention (assessment, advice, support) from the learning support department or is having an intervention with an external specialist.  The classroom programme (content or delivery) is being successfully differentiated to meet their needs.

Level 3

  • Delay is at least one year below grade level, or there are significant social-emotional concerns.
  • The student is receiving regular additional teaching support for specific needs, either in-class or in a small group situation. Periodic evaluation and review of the programme are required
  • An individualised Educational Plan (IEP) will be put in place.
Gifted/Talented/Exceptional Students

IPS also acknowledges that there are students with a very specific gift or unusual ability in one or more areas of learning, or indeed, across the whole spectrum, who will need to be challenged and guided in a particular way to ensure that they are stimulated and encouraged to make optimal use of their abilities. These talents can take many different forms and the programme offered to assist and support these students will need to be carefully thought about and formulated to meet their specific needs.

A class teacher who recognises such particular talents and needs in a student will, firstly, devise suitable challenges for that student within the regular class. When planning the educational programme, the teacher will differentiate and ensure that the student is challenged and extended appropriately. The teacher may also wish to consult with the learning support staff to see if there are further ideas that can be shared and worked on together. Parents will also be encouraged to find ways of supporting these students and their particular needs.

English As An Additional Language

The International Preparatory School (IPS)  draws its students from many different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Children enter IPS speaking a variety of different mother tongue languages. English is the language of instruction at IPS, and as an internationally-minded school, we believe that for a second language to develop effectively, it is vital that a student’s mother tongue is supported equally so that it too can continue to develop. This is called additive multilingualism, and this is our goal in language learning at IPS.

EAL students are supported in our school through immersion in every class. Teachers, assistant teachers, and class assistants speak English during lessons, modelling ways to use language skills. 

From Year 1 upwards, an EAL teacher supports students acquiring English as an additional language who do not currently have the required academic English language proficiency to fully access the curriculum. These students receive help in all areas of language acquisition in order to help them achieve a high level of English language proficiency and achieve full participation in the IPS’s curriculum.

The EAL programme includes both pull-out (withdrawal) and push-in (in-class) support. The programme provides opportunities for students to develop the six interrelated English language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting). These are essential as they allow the student to access the curriculum and develop socially within the school and community.