Skip to main content


In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes, but also thoughtful and appropriate action. An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the student’s learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different within each age range. PYP schools can and should meet the challenge of offering all learners the opportunity and the power to choose to act; to decide on their actions; and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.

Action should be seen as a voluntary demonstration of a student’s empowerment. Voluntary action must remain precisely this if we truly believe in the values we advocate. Furthermore, we must remember that today’s complex issues do not often suggest simple or self-evident solutions, and that inaction is also a legitimate choice and sometimes may be the best choice. In the PYP, it is believed that every student, every year, should have the opportunity to be involved in such action. This action may be taken by an individual student or by a group of students working collaboratively. The PYP advocates a cycle of involvement that provides students with opportunities to engage in purposeful and beneficial action.

An Inquiry: What action have you initiated or participated in?

Making the PYP Happen, IBO, 2007


While recognizing the importance of knowledge, concepts and skills, these alone do not make an internationally minded person. It is vital that there is also focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning. The PYP believes that these attitudes contribute to the well-being of the individual and of a group.

Appreciation: Appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people .

Commitment: Being committed to their own learning, persevering and showing self-discipline and responsibility .

Confidence: Feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices.

Cooperation: Cooperating, collaborating, and leading or following as the situation demands.

Creativity: Being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas.

Curiosity: Being curious about the nature of learning, about the world, its people and cultures .

Empathy: Imagining themselves in another’s situation in order to understand his or her reasoning and emotions, so as to be open-minded and reflective about the perspectives of others.

Enthusiasm: Enjoying learning and willingly putting the effort into the process.

Independence: Thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned argument, and being able to defend their judgments.

Integrity: Being honest and demonstrating a considered sense of fairness.

Respect: Respecting themselves, others and the world around them.

Tolerance: Being sensitive about differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others.

An Inquiry: Which of the attitudes best describes you?

Making the PYP Happen, IBO, 2007


In the final year of the PYP, students participate in a culminating project, the PYP Exhibition . It is a transdisciplinary inquiry conducted in the spirit of personal and shared responsibility, as well as a summative assessment activity that is a celebration as students move from the PYP into the next phase of their schooling.

The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the elements of the PYP, and sharing them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the learner profile they have been developing at Northern Heights.

In the students’ final year at Northern Heights they will engage in five units of inquiry and the exhibition. Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems that are in the theme.

The PYP Exhibition has a number of key purposes including the following:

  • For students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
  • To provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning
  • To provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
  • For students to synthesize and apply their learning of previous years, and to reflect on their journey through the PYP
  • To provide an authentic process for assessing student understanding
  • To demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
  • To unite the students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP
  • To celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle/secondary education

An Inquiry: What do you think might be an interesting inquiry under the theme How We Express Ourselves ?

Making the PYP Happen, IBO, 2007

Learner Profile

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

IB learners strive to be:

Inquirers – They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct

inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy

learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

Knowledgeable – They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance.

In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding

across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.

Thinkers – They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively

to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical


Communicators – They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively

in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They

work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

Principled – They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and

respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take

responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany


Open- minded – They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and

are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and

communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points

of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

Caring – They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive

difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Risk – Takers – They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and

forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas

and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

Balanced – They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance

to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

Reflective – They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to

support their learning and personal development.