Primary Years Programme


The ISA International Curriculum offered at ISA blends the IB PYP inquiry approach with the best curriculum standards offered in a number of countries, producing a well-rounded teaching programme. We use American Common Core for English and Mathematics, as well as the C3 framework for Social Studies and Next Generation Science Standards for Science. Design and Technology is adapted from UK standards, whilst the New Zealand curriculum informs our learning programme in The Arts, and PE and Health.


ISA primary schools are international schools that cater for students in Year 1 to Year 5. The PYP is an international, trans-disciplinary programme designed to foster the development of the whole child, not just in the classroom but also through other means of learning. The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs.




The curriculum is expressed in three interrelated ways:

  • The Written Curriculum — what do our students learn?

  • The Taught Curriculum — how do our students learn?

  • The Assessed Curriculum — how do we assess our students?


The PYP further supports students’ efforts to gain understanding of the world and to function comfortably within it, helping them establish personal values to develop international-mindedness. The programme creates an environment where students make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and their own experiences, encouraging them to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. students grow as a whole person by developing social and emotional skills alongside academic ones. The PYP addresses students’ academic, social and emotional well-being and encourages them to develop independence to take responsibility for their own learning. As such, students will leave the PYP as active, compassionate, lifelong learners and global citizens.


The five essential elements of the PYP are:

  • Knowledge — both disciplinary (represented by traditional subjects) and transdisciplinary

  • Concepts — explored by structured inquiry to develop extensive understanding that is relevant within and beyond subject areas

  • Skills — broad capabilities developed and applied during learning as well as in life outside the classroom

  • Attitudes — connected directly to the IB Learner Profiles, shaping students’ international-mindedness and the wellbeing of individuals and communities

  • Action — an expectation that successful inquiry is followed by responsible, thoughtful, appropriate action