Building a strong Learner Profile: The core of IB PYP education

Selina D Souza
Oct 27, 2023
PYP education

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) is a highly regarded educational framework that emphasises on the holistic development of a child. It aims to foster internationally-minded young learners who recognise their common responsibility to share and guard planet Earth.

At the heart of PYP lies the IB learner profile –  a set of attributes that nurture students to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers and compassionate individuals. Here, we delve into the significance of the IB learner profile in primary school years.


Understanding PYP and IB Learner Profile

The PYP promotes an inquiry-driven approach wherein the students are the agents of their own learning. The programme underlines the development of essential 21st century competencies, knowledge and attitude that will aid students academically and equip them to thrive in a globalised world.

As per the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the IB learner profile signifies dedication to supporting every member of the school community in cultivating respect for themselves, others and the world surrounding them. Like the other IB programmes, PYP is dedicated to nurturing students in accordance with the IB learner profile. The IB learner profile focuses on these 10 qualities:

● Inquirers

● Knowledgeable

● Thinkers

● Communicators

● Principled

● Open-Minded

● Caring

● Risk-Takers

● Balanced

● Reflective

Building a strong Learner Profile in primary school

● Inquirers: Students in the IB Primary Years Programme are encouraged to ask questions. This fosters an environment that promotes curiosity and exploration, helping young learners to develop a deep love for learning. 

● Knowledgeable: The PYP curriculum framework emphasises both on academic and non-academic learning, including life skills. 

● Thinkers: The programme motivates students to think creatively and critically by engaging them in problem-solving activities.

● Communicators: PYP creates opportunities for students to share their thoughts and ideas with others through collaborative activities and peer discussions, among other things. This enables students to learn effective communication skills.

● Principled: Integrity and a sense of ethics are nurtured among PYP students to help them make responsible choices.

● Open-minded: PYP emphasises on the importance of respecting and appreciating different cultures, perspectives and ideas.

● Caring: PYP students are encouraged to show kindness and care for others in their school and community.

● Risk-takers: PYP believes in creating an environment where students feel safe to take risks and try new things. 

● Balanced: PYP promotes a healthy balance between academics, extracurricular activities and personal well-being. 

● Reflective: PYP teaches students the importance of self-reflection, encouraging them to set goals and evaluate their progress.


The IB PYP at GIIS is offered from Grade 1 to Grade 5, wherein our primary students are encouraged to engage in research related to their study topics, ask questions, collaborate with their peers and share their ideas. Moreover, there are numerous leadership opportunities throughout the primary years, including participating in the school council.

Gitanjali, parent of Aadya Prasoon, who successfully finished her Primary Years Programme (PYP) at GIIS and has now transitioned to Grade 6, Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme, says: “The PYP programme honed Aadya’s tremendous growth journey from being an excellent yet quite academic student, to a supremely confident learner and a potential leader. She learned the importance of independent learning and its associated sense of ownership. This has in turn helped her realise the various potential outcomes and the benefits of such ownership.”

“The care, concern and importance on the overall development of each and every child that every PYP teacher at GIIS emphasised was truly amazing. The PYP Coordinator, (who leads the PYP curriculum, creating and maintaining a balanced programme of inquiry) remembered pretty much each and every student by name and face. It is truly remarkable to nurture this kind of bond. I am very happy as a parent throughout these five years,” Gitanjali says.

Also read: How we plan the teaching and learning for IB PYP students at GIIS

To conclude, through the IB learner profile attributes in young learners, our PYP students are prepared both for academic success and the skills necessary to become responsible, compassionate, and globally minded citizens. If you are keen to know more about the IB PYP at GIIS, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our admissions counsellors.

Selina D Souza

Selina D'souza is a Senior Communications specialist with 10+ years of marketing communications experience in the B2B and B2C IT and Education sector. She is a passionate curator of good content, believes that schools can be a place of creativity and innovation if the right mindset and practices are adopted, and is always looking for more sustainable lifestyle choices.

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