PYP (Grade 1-5)

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Korea Foreign School is proud to announce that it is a candidate school for The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework used in grades 1-5 and focuses on developing internationally minded, lifelong learners, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The goal of adopting the IB PYP framework is to create a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for our students. Through inquiry-based learning, students explore six transdisciplinary themes of global significance. Students use knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas as building blocks in order to create connections to the world around them and build an understanding of larger, conceptual understandings.

The KFS curriculum plan follows these six transdisciplinary themes in the creation of our Programme of Inquiry as outlined by the IB PYP Programme:

Six Transdisciplinary Themes

Who We Are: An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; and what it means to be human.

Where We Are in Place and Time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; and the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How We Express Ourselves: An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic

How The World Works: An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; and the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How We Organize Ourselves: An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the Planet: An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Construction of the PYP curriculum framework is based on five essential elements: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action. Through curriculum construction based on the backward design model (UbD™),  guided by these 5 essential elements, as well as a concept-driven pedagogy, our teachers plan collaboratively to generate a unique curriculum tailored specifically to our student body. When planned and taught through the transdisciplinary themes, these elements drive the development of the whole child through developing the traits of the Learner Profile, encapsulating the characteristics of an internationally minded, lifelong learner.

Significant, relevant content we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.

Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas, but also transcend them, and that students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.

Those capabilities students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing and challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.

Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs, and feelings about learning, the environment, and people. IB Attitudes

Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behavior and through responsible action; a manifestation, in practice, of the other essential elements.

Each year, our Program of Inquiry is reviewed to ensure balance and rigor within and across the curriculum, as well as improve upon the transdisciplinary nature of the program. Wherever possible, concepts, knowledge, and skills associated with social studies, science, literacy, math, personal & social physical education, fine arts, and Korean are integrated into our Programme of Inquiry (POI) and build on transdisciplinary concepts and understandings.

Although transdisciplinary learning is the core of the Programme of Inquiry, KFS recognizes instruction in specific Literacy and Math units also play a part in our balanced curriculum, ensuring students obtain solid foundational skills when necessary outside of the Programme of Inquiry when appropriate.

If you would like to learn more about our programming, feel free to contact our PYP Coordinator, Laura Keeney.

For more information about the PYP, visit the website at