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Click here to view our Program of Inquiry (POI) and how our school fits its' curriculum into these themes.  

Click here to view the IB Learner Profile:  the aim of an international education. 

Click here to view is an AMAZING video from Chicago Public Schools about the Learner Profile. 

Click here to learn more about the philosophy of the IB program and 5 ways you could support your child as a PYP parent

Click here for a great video about the PYP in practice

Click here to see the PYP brochure

Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions about the PYP

For more about what it means to be an IB School, click here.

Kindergarteners learn to be IB

5th graders show off their IB knowledge with culminating Exhibition projects

IB Primary Years Program at Whittier

In 2003, Whittier added "International" to our name, and became an IB World School.  IB stands for International Baccalaureate, and is a highly respected program of international education in over 4,000 schools across the globe, in 109 countries. IB offers a specific program for elementary school (PYP), middle school (MYP), high school (DP) and a career-related program (CP).  The Primary Years Program (PYP) at Whittier is an inclusive program, in which all students participate.  The IB philosophy is embedded in our mission and vision throughout the day.  

The Primary Years Program (PYP) is an international education framework focused on the development of the whole child as an inquirer and life-long learner, both in the classroom and in the world beyond.  

Whittier's IB Program- The PYP:

* fosters international-mindedness through the IB learner profile

* engages through study of both local and global issues

* promotes the development of student agency (voice, choice and ownership) for learning

* prepares students to become life-long learners who take action to make a positive difference in their local and global communities

* honors and teaches about diverse languages and cultures

* utilizes an inquiry-based approach to learning and teaching

* teaches through concept-based, in-depth transdisciplinary units that spiral through the grades (see our Program of Inquiry)

* provides opportunities for the development of a broad range of skills which students will apply throughout their education and life

Transdisciplinary Curriculum

From the IB Website:

"The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is underpinned by six transdisciplinary themes around which learning is planned.  These are:

  • 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 are selected for their relevance to the real world. They are described as transdisciplinary because they focus on issues that go across subject areas.

The transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiry. Teachers work together to develop investigations into important ideas, which require a substantial and high level of involvement on the part of students."



The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools.  We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.  

As IB learners we strive to be:

  1. Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others.  We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
  2. Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems.  We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
  3. Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways.  We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
  4. Risk-takers: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies.  We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
  5. Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.  We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
  6. Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere.  We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
  7. Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect.  We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
  8. Open-minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others.  We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
  9. Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives--intellectual, physical, and emotional--to achieve well-being for ourselves and others.  We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
  10. Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience.  We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

Adopted: IB Learner Profile Booklet, 2013, IBO