International Baccalaureate IB


Handley School is an authorized IB World school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. These are schools that share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging international education. We became an IB School in 2010. For more information about the Primary Years Programme at Handley School, please click the links below. If you have further questions, please feel free to speak to your child’s teacher or email Shannon Main-Petelka, the PYP Coordinator,
[email protected]

What is the Primary Years Programme?
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides an educational framework based upon what is currently known about how young children learn. It draws on the best practices in elementary school instruction. It involves the
Programme of Inquiry

The PYP requires all teachers in the school to collaboratively plan units of instruction around six important themes that provide students and teachers with a rich and inviting learning environment in which they can explore. The six organizing themes are: Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves, and Sharing the Planet. The collaborative planning facilitates a carefully thought-out and sequential development of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

In the PYP, students are taught to understand that learning is about asking questions and looking for answers, which in turn may generate new, and perhaps more complex questions. The PYP emphasizes learning through guided inquiry and aims to develop the whole child to meet certain competences and attitudes as outlined in the Learner Profile.

The taught curriculum involves the methods teachers use to engage students with the written curriculum. It is not only “what” students will learn but also “how” they will learn it that matters. Inquiry-based instruction and differentiation of instruction to meet individual student needs are implemented within the wide array of best practices employed by our teachers. Inquiry is the process initiated by the students or the teacher that moves the students from their current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding.

The PYP believes that international education must extend beyond intellectual attainment to include not only responsible attitudes, but also thoughtful and appropriate actions. At Handley, we make every effort to meet the challenge of offering all students the opportunity and the power to choose their actions, to act and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world. The action component of the PYP involves service in the widest sense of the word: service to fellow students, to the staff and to the community. These actions are ways in which the students exhibit commitment to the attitudes that we seek to embrace within the Handley community.