What do we want students to understand?

"Central to the philosophy of the PYP is the principle that purposeful, structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas. Hence in the PYP there is also a commitment to a concept-driven curriculum as a means of supporting that inquiry."

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. 

The eight key concepts listed below are powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them.  Throughout the school's Program of Inquiry, students explore and re-explore these concepts in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding. 

Form

Key question: What is it like?

Definition:  The understanding that everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized

Function

Key question:  How does it work? 

Definition:  The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving that can be investigated. 

Causation

Key question:  Why is it like it is?

Definition:  The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences. 

Change

Key question:  How is it changing?

Definition:  The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable. 

Connection

Key question:  How is it connected to other things?

Definition:  The understanding that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.

Perspective

Key question:  What are the points of view?

Definition:  The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary. 

Responsibility

Key question:  What is our responsibility?

Definition: The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference. 

Reflection

Key question: How do we know?

Definition:  The understanding that there are different ways of knowing, and that it is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of reasoning, and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have considered.