Primary Years Programme

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides our Junior School with a rigorous and challenging curriculum framework that enables students to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are necessary to engage fully in their day to day studies but most importantly to become lifelong learners.

TIGS Mission Statement
The achievement of academic excellence in a caring environment that is founded on Christian belief and behaviour, so that students are equipped to act with wisdom, compassion and justice as faithful stewards of our world.
IB Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organisation works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Why choose an IB education? 

"Preparing students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning"

Why choose a PYP education at TIGS?


Why choose a PYP education at TIGS?

Meeting the requirements of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) through the framework of the IB Primary Years Programme means that students receive a first-rate international education delivered by highly qualified teachers. 

By creating an environment where students make connections between what they learn in the classroom and the world around them, we are developing inquiring, knowledgeable, caring learners who understand and connect with their role as a global citizen.

The PYP seeks to achieve a balance between the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, the development of conceptual understandings that is transferable across and within disciplines, the demonstration of positive attitudes and the ability to take responsible action.

The PYP programme is part of a continuum of international education offered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. Students are given ideal preparation to carry on with their inquiry driven studies with the Middle Years Programme in Year 7.  


The Learner Profile

The Learner Profile

The learning environment at The Illawarra Grammar School fosters students in their development of international-mindedness as our students strive to be: 
  • Inquirers
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Risk-takers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Principled
  • Caring
  • Open-minded
  • Balanced
  • Reflective
In all areas of the school, the teachers and staff model these attributes.
The Learner Profile is the IB mission statement in action. This provides a set of learning behaviours that aim to inspire and unite the entire school community. 

5 essential elements of the PYP

Five essential elements of the PYP

The IB learner profile also represents a synthesis of the essential elements of the PYP. Throughout the primary years, students engage in structured inquiry that amalgamates concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes and action. In doing so, they develop the attributes described in the learner profile. 

1. Concepts

PYP concepts underpin student inquiries throughout the planned and unplanned curriculum. These concepts help the learners to construct meaningful inquiries, through improved critical thinking and the transfer of knowledge.

2. Skills

Approaches to learning or transdisciplinary skills aim to help students become independent, well-functioning, self-motivated learners. Five sets of transdisciplinary skills are explicitly addressed throughout the curriculum, presenting students with the capabilities needed to succeed in a changing and challenging world. 

3. Knowledge

The knowledge element is structured around the exploration 
of six transdisciplinary themes that cross subject boundaries and incorporate local and global issues. Concept-driven units of inquiry promote deeper learning and foster attitude development and socially responsible action.

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Sharing the planet


Year 5 Unit 6 example shown below

4. Attitudes

Concepts, knowledge and skills are important but these alone do not make an internationally minded person. Twelve attitudes have been identified by the IB as a vital support in developing the IB Learner profile in students. These focus on  attitudes towards other people, attitudes towards the environment, attitudes towards learning, attitudes that contribute to the well-being of themselves, other individuals and groups. 
  • Appreciation
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
icon PYP Attitudes

5. Action

Thoughtful, responsible and appropriate action is an explicit expectation of successful inquiry in the PYP. It can be small or large, ranging from a change in thinking and doing at a personal level to service within the local and wider community. Action is regularly student-initiated and facilitated by teachers with the ultimate goal of establishing a personal set of values that promote positive change in their world and the world of others.

PYP Exhibition

The PYP Exhibition

Engaged in collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry, Year 6 students explore real-life issues of personal,  local and global importance as they demonstrate attributes of the IB Learner Profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP. The exhibition provides students with the opportunity to synthesise the essential elements of the PYP (Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action) and most importantly, to share them with the whole school community. 

For additional information on the Primary Years Programme specific to The Illawarra Grammar School, contact the Teaching and Learning/PYP Coordinator, Mrs Karen Wallace, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More detailed information on the International Baccalaureate is available on the International Baccalaureate website: