Concept-driven Curriculum

The PYP has a commitment to concept based teaching and learning and this affects the classroom environment in such that there are specific concepts which are used to target our teaching and provide a context for the topics we are addressing in class. Below is the list of the key concepts identified by PYP as of major importance for a solid transdiciplinary theme:

Key Concepts

  • Form
  • Function
  • Causation
  • Connection
  • Change
  • Perspective
  • Responsibility
  • Reflection

In each unit of inquiry the teacher as part of his/her planning will have decided upon a key concept which best supports the current theme and will use this concept to form questions and investigations for the students to work through during their UOI. The most common use of key concepts is through questions. Below you can see some sample questions for a given theme:

Central Idea

Key Concept


All living things go through a process of change

Change, connection

How are the changes that two animals go through alike (connection)?

How does an animal (ex. butterfly) change during its lifetime?

Through arts people use different forms of expression

Function, perspective, reflection

What does expressing yourself through art look like (form)?

How can different people have different perspectives on a piece of artwork?