Sacred Heart Guelph- An IB Primary Years Programme​ Candidate School

Sacred Heart is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years
Programme and pursuing authorization as an IB World School.
IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a
diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of
international education that share a powerful vision


The PYP officially encompasses Kindergarten to Grade 6 and at Sacred Heart we have extended the philosophy to include Grade 7 and 8 as well. 

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 organization works with schools, governments and international organizations 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. ​

What is a PYP Candidate School?

 It is an elementary school that is in the process of becoming a recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Regardless of location, size or constitution, an IB school strives towards developing an internationally-minded person.

What is an internationally-minded person?

 It is a person who demonstrates the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile.

What is the IB Learner Profile?

  • They are 10 qualities or attributes that enhance the learning of every child embedded within daily life both within and outside of school.
  • ​The 10 Learner Profile Attributes outline 'who we want to be' and they are:

Inquirers; thinkers; open-minded; caring; courageous; well-balanced; knowledgeable; principled; reflective; communicators

The Essential Elements of the Primary Years Programme

 KNOWLEDGE: What do we want students to know about?

Curriculum is based on the Ontario Curriculum and infused with our Catholic values woven through the 6 transdisciplinary themes. The 6 themes are:

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


SKILLS: What do we want students to be able to do? 

These are organized under social, communication, research, self-management and thinking skills (21st Century Skills)

CONCEPTS: What do we want our students to understand? 

Students investigate through the lens of form (What is it like?); function (How does it work?); causation (Why is it like this?); change (How has it changed?); connection (How is it connected to other things?); perspective (What are the points of view?); and responsibility (What is our responsibility?).

ATTITUDES: What do we want students to feel, value and demonstrate? 

There is a commitment to developing positive attitudes towards people, learning, and the environment that contribute to personal well-being

ACTION:  How do we want our students to act? 

Extending learning through responsible actions help make the world a better place

How best do we learn? ​

  •  The PYP is committed to learning through inquiry during which students explore and construct understanding through the completion of units
  • Each level from Grade 1 to Grade 6 completes 6 units of inquiry matching the 6 transdisciplinary themes with each unit and is about 6 weeks in length. In Kindergarten, students will work through 4 themes a year.
  • By 2019-2020 Sacred Heart will have full implementation of 6 units per year.
  • Grade 7 and 8 will include the elements of the PYP program, learning through inquiry and will follow the same assessment practices


How will we know what we have learned?

  • Students' knowledge, skills and understanding are assessed before they start (diagnostic), while they are being carried out (formative) and upon completion (summative)
  • The ministry guidelines for assessment and evaluation as found in the document Growing Success, are followed 
  • Students are involved in assessing themselves using the process of reflection to look back at what was achieved, makes next steps for learning and determine where they are in relation to the learning goals

French as a Second Language

​In the PYP, second (or additional) language learning is valued and as such, Core French is offered starting in Kindergarten. Kindergarten to Grade 3 students receive 125 minutes of French language instruction per week. Grades 4-8 receive 200 minutes. The focus is on building functional language for authentic situations, starting with listening and speaking skills in the primary years and progressing to reading and writing skills. Grade 9 Core French is a mandatory credit in all Ontario high schools.​


The Programme of Inquiry


The Programme of Inquiry (POI) outlines the 6 units of inquiry by theme and by grade. This is collaboratively designed so that units may build on each other in a meaningful way.The POI is a living document, meaning that as we develop our knowledge and understanding of the elements of the Primary Years Programme, revisions and refinements are happening. Some units have been completed, some are still in progress and others will be further revised next year. To see this document, please contact natasha.finoro@wellingtoncdsb.ca