Primary Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Beijing BISS International School prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

The PYP is designed for students aged 3-12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

A Community of Learners

The PYP at BISS conceptualizes our Elementary School as a community of learners. Both teachers and students are life-long inquirers. 

Our Elementary School is a place where the diverse needs of learners (physical, emotional, social, intellectual, aesthetic, and cultural) are met in a caring, family-orientated atmosphere.

Knowledge transcends Subjects

BISS is committed to the PYP and its transdisciplinary model of education:

Six themes of global significance (listed below) frame the learning throughout the primary years:

  • 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

These themes permeate all learning in the Elementary School, helping our students construct meaning beyond traditional subject areas.

These six themes are ripe for subject integration, including:



Visuals Arts


Social Studies  

Personal, Social and Physical Education

A wide array of classes are developed and introduced to students in order to investigate and understand the human experience.

Learning beyond the confines of subject areas helps BISS students develop deep, connected understandings about themselves and the world around them.

As they develop knowledge, they also learn to value divergent perspectives and become internationally-minded, global citizens.     

Skills for Life

As they inquire, students develop essential skills for lifelong learning.

Strong literacy and numeracy skills are critical for inquiry. Literacy and numeracy are taught every day, in a variety of ways, across all areas of the curriculum.

In addition, many other skills transcend disciplines and support a child's success at BISS, and beyond.

In the PYP, students acquire and apply: Thinking Skills, Social Skills, Communication Skills, Research Skills and Self-Management Skills.

    Holistic Development

In the Elementary School, there is also focus on PYP Attitudes and Learner Profile attributes. They are embedded into our curriculum, celebrated collectively and woven into daily interactions, to form a strong culture. In this way, teachers address the needs of the whole child. This serves to build mindfulness, relationships, well-being and effective approaches to learning within each student at BISS.

The BISS community strives to demonstrate the following attitudes: confidence, commitment, cooperation, curiosity, creativity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, appreciation, respect and tolerance.

Learner Profile attributes: caring, communicator, inquirer, knowledgeable, thinker, open-minded, principled, risk-taker, reflective, comunicator.

Specialist Teachers

From Kindergarten through Grade 5, BISS students have specialist teachers in  Music, Physical Education, Art and Chinese

The richness and variety of the programme ensures that students can discover passions, hone talents, develop skills and explore concepts in a variety of contexts. 

Homeroom and specialist teachers collaborate regularly so that learning at BISS is connected, exciting and meaningful.

Language Learning

Children also have access to English as a Second Language (ESOL) teachers, as needed, who work within the classroom.

Students are supported to understand and use language in context.

Additive bi- and multi-lingualism is celebrated at BISS. Students are supported to make connections between English and their Mother Tongue for optimal progress and deep understandings of linguistic structures.

The Exhibition

All students in the final year of the PYP (Grade 5) participate in the PYP Exhibition

It is a significant component of the programme as students are given the responsibility and mentorship to solve real world problems.

The Exhibition synthesizes all the essential elements of the PYP, including knowledge, attitudes, skills, and concepts. All the while promoting responsible action.

Before the PYP...   The Early Learning Centre (ELC)

The Early Learning Centre caters to children aged 18 months (conditions apply) - three years old and offers a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning.  

Children are viewed as capable learners, able to explore and understand through touching, moving, seeing, listening and verbalising. Children build relationships with others and their environment, as they learn to express their ideas and identity in many ways.

Highly experiential and sensorial, these experiences are connected to the PYP framework in order to instil in our youngest children confidence, curiosity and dispositions for lifelong learning.

Our Curriculum

The 2015-16 Programme of Inquiry

Take a look at the inquiries unfolding this year!