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The IB Primary Years Programme at NIS

IB primary years program(IB PYP)


About the IB PYP

Nagoya International School is a fully accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 12, and provides the curricular foundation for our NIS Early Learning Center (Preschool and Kindergarten), and our Elementary School.

The IB PYP program draws on research and best practices from a range of national educational systems, and has been informed by a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools around the world. The result is a relevant, engaging and challenging curriculum with a global perspective for all students.

NIS has met the high standards required by the International Baccalaureate Organization and has been fully accredited by the IB as a PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme) since 2012.


The Benefits of the PYP for Students

Primary Years Programme kids at ISB

The inquiry-based nature of the PYP encourages students to feel responsible for their own learning, making it more relevant for them and their cultural context. Children are taught to ask the right questions, make predictions and test their beliefs and assumptions. They learn to seek-out information and collaborate with others in interpreting their findings. They elaborate on ideas and delve deeper into problems, and in so doing, create and evaluate solutions. Students in the PYP gain a unique understanding of their world by learning how to take action in improving it. They consider their common humanity, celebrate their differences, recognize their shared guardianship of the planet, and strive to create a better and more peaceful existence for all.


The PYP Curriculum Framework

As PYP educators, NIS teachers utilize a framework through which they can offer a truly student-centered, inquiry-based curriculum. It provides guidelines not only on what students should learn, but also how they should learn. It also establishes a school culture that helps students learn how they should interact with their communities.

Six trans-disciplinary themes guide learning throughout the PYP years. These globally significant themes provide the opportunity to incorporate both local and global issues and enable students to "step out" beyond the confines of subject areas and instead see the world with a wider perspective.  The themes encompass traditional subjects such as Reading, Math, Science, and Social studies and are embedded in “Units of Inquiry” - a series of connected learning experiences which enable students to explore a central idea relevant to a particular trans-disciplinary theme. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks, often taking the learning in directions that are student-centered and student-led.

The six trans-disciplinary themes are:

 ► Learn more about how "Units of Inquiry" unfold by clicking below!


The IB: The Heart of the NIS Mission

At NIS, our long-held belief in the importance of educating the whole child means the IB Learner Profile attributes are seamlessly integrated into the curriculum. Learning experiences are explicitly connected to dispositions. Students are given purposefully designed chances to become more open-minded, caring and principled. These Learner Profile attributes are also celebrated in our weekly community assemblies.

In addition, the Service Learning and Action component of the IB PYP curriculum encourages students to reflect on their learning and then take action on a personal, local or global level. Students are given a range of opportunities and support to take what they have learned in the classroom and make an impact on the world around them. This impact can come in the form of direct or indirect service, advocacy, or research. Students in all grades within our PYP program are supported in finding opportunities in which their learning can be applied to helps others.

These elements are not only important components of the IB PYP philosophy,  they are also at the heart of the NIS mission, vision, and values and why we have chosen to embrace the PYP.



As a part of their UOI “Sharing the Planet,” Gr. 1 students were inquiring into living things and what they need to survive. What do plants and animals need to thrive and grow? How do they change their environment to suit their needs?
Click to find out!

Watch the PYP in Action!

Gr. 5 students explored matter in their science unit as part of the Unit of Inquiry "How the World Works." They learned solids, liquids, and gases are different states of matter, and sometimes matter can be invisible. The students learned this the hard way with their experiment on onions. Why does chopping an onion make us cry? Watch to find out!




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Applications Welcome!

Applications are being accepted for the 2022-23 school year, and spaces are filling up! More information can be found here.  Please contact the NIS Admissions & Development Office as soon as possible if you are considering NIS as an option for your family.