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Carmel Elementary Campus

At Carmel Elementary, we think about and reflect on our learning. We challenge ourselves and take ownership for our learning. We encourage our students to learn through curiosity, to ask questions and to explore ways of finding answers to these questions. This inquiry-based approach involves our teachers carefully guiding our students in:

  • exploring, wondering and questioning
  • experimenting and playing with possibilities
  • making connections between previous learning and current learning
  • making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
  • collecting data and reporting findings
  • clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
  • researching and seeking information
  • taking and defending a position

The IB Learner Profile

Acting on the IB Learner Profile attributes, we pride ourselves on our students exhibiting:


Students feel confident in their ability as learners. They have the courage to take risks, apply what they have learned and make appropriate decisions and choices.


Students think and act independently. They make their own decisions and can defend their judgements.


Students are committed to their learning. They persevere and show self-discipline and responsibility.


Students feel confident in their ability as learners. They have the courage to take risks, apply what they have learned and make appropriate decisions and choices.


Students respect themselves, others and the world around them.


Students are curious about the nature of learning and of the world, its people and cultures.


Students accept differences and diversity and consider other perspectives.


Students cooperate, collaborate and lead or follow as the situation demands.


Students enjoy learning and participating in activities.


Students cooperate, collaborate and lead or follow as the situation demands.

The Five Essential Elements of the PYP Curriculum


The PYP identifies a body of knowledge for all students in all cultures, in six principal subject areas: language, humanities, mathematics, science and technology, the arts, personal, social and physical education. Wherever possible they are taught within the context of the six trans-disciplinary themes, which are:

Who we are: an exploration of the nature of the self; of our beliefs and values; of personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; and of our families.

Where we are in place and time: an exploration of our orientation in place and time; of our personal histories; of the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind.

How we express ourselves: an exploration of the way the way we discover and express our nature, ideas, feelings, beliefs and values through language and the arts.

How we organise ourselves: an exploration of human systems and communities; of the structure and function of organisations; of societal decision-making; and of economic activities and their impacts.

How the world works: an exploration of the physical and material world; of natural and human-made phenomena; and of the world of science and technology

Sharing the planet: an exploration of rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people; and of access to equal opportunities, peace and conflict resolution.


The PYP curriculum is structured around eight key concepts which enable students to inquire and explore powerful ideas:

Form: What is it like?
Function: How does it work?
Causation: Why is it like this?
Change: How is it changing?
Connection: How is it connected to other things?
Perspective: What are the points of view?
Responsibility: What is our responsibility?
Reflection: How do we know?


The construction of meaning is complemented by students acquiring and applying a range of trans-disciplinary skills (Thinking Skills, Social Skills, Communication Skills, Self-management Skills, Research Skills), which are valuable not only in the units of inquiry but also for any teaching and learning that goes on within the classroom and in life outside the school.


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


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 vary 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.

Nursery to Grade 5 Programme of Inquiry

We try to act on and show the qualities of the PYP Learner Profile, by aiming to be: Inquirers, Thinkers, Communicators, Risk-takers, Knowledgeable, Principled, Caring, Open-minded, Well-balanced and Reflective.