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Primary Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), for students aged 3-11, focuses on the development of the whole child, addressing social, physical, and emotional needs while providing an active learning environment for the developing young mind. The multicultural environment at ISBerne empowers children to be proud of their own culture while being fascinated by those of their peers. It makes the development of an international perspective almost effortless!

PYP Curriculum Framework

Our rich curricular programme gives children a strong foundation in all the major areas of knowledge: mathematics, social studies, drama, languages, music, visual arts, science, personal and social education, and physical education.

The students have their homeroom teachers for core subjects and specialist teachers for French or German, music, information and communication technology, art, physical education and library.

Click on the arrow below to read more about the PYP at ISBerne…

The IB PYP curriculum combines subject areas to demonstrate their interconnectivity while preserving the essence of each subject. Students are taught through guided inquiry, where the teacher creates a learning environment where there is a carefully considered balance between explicit teaching and inquiry learning.

As an ISBerne student, your child will:

  • Acquire and practice essential skills including reading, writing, mathematical understanding and computer literacy. These skills are seen as a “means to an end” in that they equip the learner with the ability to function in the 21st Century develop a deep understanding of important concepts.
  • Conduct research into knowledge which has local and global significance.
  • Be encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards learning, the environment and other people.
  • Have the opportunity for involvement in responsible action and social service.

The PYP curriculum is organised around six themes (units of inquiry):

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

Language and Learning Support

We offer English as an Additional Language for students who enrol at ISBerne with limited proficiency in English. We also a full-time Learning Support teacher for students with low-moderate learning needs. Read more about our student support offerings…

PYP in Action at ISBerne


ISBerne believes that language is at the heart of learning and it is has been proven that learning additional languages enhances cognitive development and promotes international understanding and opportunities. Therefore, ISBerne requires PYP students to choose either German or French as their language of study while in the ISBerne PYP.


Music in the PYP follows four main strands which are: creating music (exploring sounds and basic composing), understanding music (notation, listening, context), performing (on-stage, in-class performances) and appreciation (exploration of cultures, styles and purpose). Music also has a therapeutic value. It can soothe frazzled nerves, provoke or channel emotions and it can improve overall well-being. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children use in other areas. These are just some of the reasons why music plays a central role in PYP at ISBerne.


The PYP visual arts programme teaches students to “think, explore and express themselves, like an artist”. While building skills in diverse media, students develop an understanding of the studio habits of mind and the IB attitudes and learner profile. When students understand what artists do, and have a foundation in the artistic behaviours, the visual arts become a powerful mode of communication through which students can explore, construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Watch the video to see the PYP arts in action.

Library and Media Centre

Library day is always a highlight in the PYP. It is the day stories are read and books are borrowed either to assist in homework or to offer transport to imaginary worlds! Occasionally a visiting author comes to share insight and explanation to children’s favourite stories. The library always offers a comfortable place to get lost in literature.

Outdoor Education

At the beginning of the academic year, ISBerne students in grades 3 – 5 go on an Outdoor Education trip to learn more about their classmates, Switzerland and themselves over a week-long educational bonding experience. We start the school year with nearly 25% new students every year. These camps forge class integration to start the year off right. Read more about Outdoor Education at ISBerne…

Ski & Skate Fridays

During the winter season, the whole school takes part in our Ski & Skate Friday programme. Students in ELC1- Grade 1 take the tram to a local ice rink and students in Grades 2 – 5 go skiing! All students are taught by professional instructors and supervised by ISBerne staff. Ski & Skate Fridays are the school days our alumni remember the most!  Read more about the Ski & Skate Programme.


PYP Arts

Take a peek at our lively PYP art studio where children explore materials, styles, techniques and generally discover what it means to be an artist!


PYP Playground

Our PYP playground is a popular place! With grassy knolls, natural structures, wildflowers and a nearby wood in view, it is no wonder break time is such a highlight at ISBerne. Take a look!


ISBerne encourages children to think and challenge and not just accept.

I love the reasoned judgments inculcated in my child, and the ethical values taught in tandem with the general academics.

The teachers have quite a challenging task to balance so many different learning needs on a daily basis, and they seem to do it with ease.

Our child enjoys ISBerne very much and feels comfortable at the school.

My kids love going to school – That’s what matters!

The writing skills of my Kindergarten student improved amazingly!

Very enthusiastic and patient team which is important for a young and growing mind.

The teachers at ISBerne are amazing. My children have been very lucky to have experienced so many teachers over the last four years.

The teachers are passionate about their subjects and really focus on the children’s individual learning.

From Primary Years To Middle Years

The PYP curriculum framework provides an excellent foundation for the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP). The MYP, like the PYP, places a focus on critical thinking, personal responsibility for learning, student inquiry and social service. Learn more about the MYP…

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