IB Primary Years Programme

Sacred Heart CS           Line            IB World School
Sacred Heart Catholic School is authorized 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.
For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org

The components of the IB Primary Years Programme are outlined below:

International -mindedness: What is an internationally-minded person?
It is a person who demonstrates the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile.
Learner Profile attributes: Who do we want our students to be?
The learner profile includes 10 qualities or attributes that enhance the development of every child and are  embedded both within and outside of school.​The 10 learner profile attributes outline 'who we want to be':
  • inquirers
  • thinkers
  • open-minded
  • caring
  • balanced
  • knowledgeable
  • principled
  • reflective
  • communicators
  • risk-takers
KNOWLEDGE: What do we want students to know about?
At Sacred Heart, curriculum is based on the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum documents, is infused with our Catholic values and woven through the 6 PYP 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 approaches to learning that help develop the following skills:
  • social
  • communication
  • research
  • self-management
  • thinking
CONCEPTS: What do we want our students to understand? 
Students investigate for conceptual understanding, by asking big questions:
  • 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?)
  • 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:
Appreciation, Commitment, Creativity, Confidence, Curiosity, Cooperation, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Independence, Integrity, Respect, and Tolerance.
ACTION:  How do we want our students to act?
Extending learning through responsible actions help make the world a better place
Types of action include:
Social Entrepreneurship
Social Justice
Lifestyle Choices
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. In Kindergarten, students will work through 4 themes a year.

How will we know what we have learned?

  • Students' knowledge, skills and understanding are assessed before they start by both the learner and the teacher (Assessment as Learning), throughout the teaching and learning process to provide feedback and identify next steps (Assessment for Learning) and towards the end of a learning cycle, where the teacher evaluates learning, compared to the grade level expectations (Assessment of Learning).
  • The IB philosophy on assessment aligns with the Ontario Ministry of Education policy document entitled Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools.K-12. 2010
  • Students are involved in assessing themselves using the process of reflection to determine where they are in relation to the learning goals and make next steps for learning, using feedback from self, peers and teachers.

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 throughout a student's years at Sacred Heart.

The POI is a living document, meaning that as we develop our knowledge and understanding of the elements of the Primary Years Programme, and as we look at our students' interests and needs, revisions and refinements happen.To see the current matrix of the Programme of Inquiry, click on the PDF below.

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. ​

For more information about the PYP, contact Natasha Finoro, IB Coordinator