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Primary Years Programme

The stated mission of the International Baccalaureate inspires our educators to build a program that delivers the Alberta curriculum.  This mission statement is:

  • 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.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

At Millarville Community School, students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 support the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as it strives to prepare students to be world citizens and lifelong learners. The curriculum is designed to meet the academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs of young students.

Using the Alberta Education Program of Studies, curriculum is developed around six transdisciplinary themes that help teachers and students explore knowledge in the broadest sense of the word:

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

At the heart of the PYP is a commitment to “structured inquiry” as a vehicle for learning. Through inquiry, concept-based questions are used to explore curricular themes and to help students to make significant connections.  Below are links to each class’s programme of inquiry.

Primary Years Programme

Grade 1 POI 2017-2018

Grade 2 POI 2017-2018

Grade 3 POI 2017-2018

Grade 4 POI 2017-2108

Grade 5 POI 2017-2018

Kindergarten POI 2017-2018

Policies and Essential Agreements

The MCS staff has developed essential agreements around our beliefs and mission.  Please check the link below to see who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. 

IB Lingo Explained

The International Baccalaureate Organization and the Primary Years Programme is full of exciting vocabulary and acronyms.  Here’s a little IB Glossary to help decipher some of the terms you may hear around MCS!

Learner Profile (LP)- The IB learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. It is what we want the student to “be”. You can see the set of attributes that make up the learner profile.

The LP has 10 attributes that we value here at MCS – in our staff, students, and community members.

  • Inquirer
  • Thinker
  • Risk Taker
  • Communicator
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinker
  • Caring
  • Open-minded
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

PYP Concepts – These eight concepts help design a transdisciplinary curriculum. [Form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility and reflection] The PYP aims for students to see how these broad concepts connect throughout the curriculum and help students make connections across disciplines.

Transdisciplinary Themes – There are six transdisciplinary themes that are repeated throughout the grades. Each grade level addresses different aspects of the themes. The themes are global and explore the commonalities of human experience. [Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves, and Sharing the planet]

POI – Program of Inquiry – All of the Units of Inquiry (UOI’s) from each grade level constitute the school’s Program of Inquiry (POI). There will be one from each transdisciplinary theme per year to help build students’ understanding of the “big ideas” that the theme uncovers.

UOI – Unit of Inquiry – Units that explore the transdisciplinary themes. Units typically last 4-6 weeks. Students participate in 6 units per year- 1 for each theme. They will inquire into a central idea, use lines of inquiry to help give the unit scope, develop skills, attitudes and knowledge, and participate in formative and summative assessments.

Planners – The forms used by all PYP teachers to plan their Units of Inquiry (UOI’s). The planners are used to explore the central idea that has been developed from a transdisciplinary theme. It is used to guide the unit and document our reflection upon completion of the unit. Each student participates in 6 units per year.

Central idea– This is the statement that guides the whole unit. It must be conceptually based, globally true, not value-laden, and deep enough that it invites inquiry and exploration.

For more information, please check with your child’s teacher or with Mrs. Lederer.

As stated above, the IB Learner Profile aims to develop the following attributes in its internationally-minded students. These attributes are at the heart of the PYP. It is a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.

At MCS, we encourage all our students, staff, and school community to be

  • Inquirers
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Risk-takers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Principled
  • Caring
  • Open-minded
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

For more information, please visit the IBO website at or contact the MCS PYP/IB Coordinator

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