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Primary Years Program

Learn more about the IB Primary Years Program here

FAQs about the Primary Years Program
Primary Years Program brochure
10 Reasons to choose the Primary Years Program


The PYP is offered from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5. The six subject areas identified within the PYP are: language, social studies, arts, mathematics, science, personal, social and physical education. The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme are the six transdisplinary themes:

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


Grade 5 Exhibition​

The Exhibition is an important part of the PYP for all students. In the final year of the programme, students undertake a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. As the culminating experience of the PYP, the Exhibition offers students an exciting opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning.Students share the results of this significant experience with the school community.​

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​Admission to the PYP Program


Choosing to attend Holy Cross Académie Internationale automatically welcomes students as participants in the PYP program. Students can enter in Kindergarten or in Grade 1.  Our instructional program is offered in French.  Students receive French only instruction in Kindergarten and Grade 1.  Students receive English Language Arts instruction for the first time in Grade 2 after the first report card.  We believe that an early and full exposure to French sets the foundation for strong language development.  Research has clearly demonstrated that the acquisition of a second language at an early age contributes to the development of strong language skills in the mother tongue.

The Primary Years Program (PYP), focuses on the development of the whole child. It offers a framework that meets children’s needs: academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural.
 The Primary Years Program
  • Relates students’ Canadian point of view to the larger world community
  • Explores themes of global significance from multiple perspectives through inquiry-based learning
  • Applies higher-level skills to real-world problems
 The aim of the program is to help students acquire a holistic understanding of six main transdisciplinary themes:​
  1. Who we are
  2. Where we are in place and time
  3. How we express ourselves
  4. How the world works
  5. How we organize ourselves
  6. Sharing the planet
This understanding comes about through the interrelatedness of Five Essential Elements:

  1. Concepts
  2. ​​The following 8 concepts provide a springboard for guided inquiry. ​Through the use of broad, open-minded questions, real understanding is promoted.

    1. ​​Form, Function
    2. Causation
    3. Change
    4. Connection
    5. Perspective
    6. Responsibility
    7. Reflection

  3. ​Knowledge
  4. ​The PYP seeks to identify a body of significant knowledge for all students in all cultures in six domains:

    1. Language
    2. Math
    3. Science and Technology
    4. Physical Activity
    5. Social Studies
    6. Arts

  5. Skills
    • ​​Thinking skills
    • Communication skills
    • Research skills
    • Social skills
    • Self-management skills

  6.  ​Attitudes
    • ​​Appreciation
    • Commitment
    • Confidence
    • Cooperation
    • Creativity
    • Curiosity
    • Empathy
    • Enthusiasm
    • Independence
    • Integrity
    • Respect
    • Tolerance

  7. Action
    • ​​​Reflect~Choose~Act


Assessment in the PYP


Teachers organize continuous assessment over the course of the program, using specified criteria that correspond to the objectives for each subject. The PYP offers a criterion-referenced model of assessment. This means that students’ results are determined by set standards. Students engage in various performance tasks in order to demonstrate achievement according to required objectives. They also engage in self-assessment and peer assessment tasks. Teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to provide both summative and formative assessment feedback.​
  • Portfolios
  • Self reflection
  • Traditional practices
The International Baccalaureate Organization maintains strict standards with regards to program implementation. Therefore, all IB world schools undergo regular evaluation by the organization.