Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) serves students in Pre-Primary through 5th standard. Our curriculum is student-centered and learning is teacher facilitated. Teachers become coaches, or mentors, whose mission is to support the individual strengths of each child while providing curriculum that challenges each and every student. Our small class sizes, multi-age classrooms with low student-teacher ratios, and uniquely designed curriculum allow us to instruct students at their “sweet spot,” where they are at the higher reaches of their ability, but just below the point of frustration.

In our inquiry-based programme, students construct understanding by building, modeling and diagramming their thinking. In traditional schools, students are often able to repeat facts, but not able to understand the underlying concepts, or transfer skills from one subject area to another. For example, a student who uses blocks in math to build 2 x 3 rectangle is not simply memorizing that 2 x 3 = 6, but is building an understanding of the relationship between multiplication and addition. Studies have shown that students who can explain why they arrived at a particular conclusion, are better able to think critically, identify errors in their own thinking and apply what they learn to other subjects. They become internally motivated, skilled at problem solving and driven to pursue a deeper understanding.


What your student will see on on a typical school day in the PYP programme,
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While each day at Ascend is unique according to projects being explored or various community events, there are several components of the curriculum that occur on a regular basis. For example, on a typical school day for students in the PYP programme you may see

Every part of the day is structured in such a way that the teachers are able to meet the student where he/she is at and stretch him/her to the next step. Our ‘strength-based’ teaching and learning helps the student to enhance his strengths and also utilize his/her strengths to work on challenges. In the PYP, the co-teaching classroom model and small groups helps in providing individualized instruction within each class. In addition to this, our Specialist programme allows for frequent half groups which further reduces the teacher-student ratio and enables teachers to purposefully individualize instruction.

An open-ended story problem connects to the content that students are currently studying in their classroom and asks them to solve the problem at their level of understanding by using manipulatives, drawings, numbers and equations.

This is a time when children work one-on-one with a teacher to explore writing. During this process they learn about letter formation, phonics, grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure.

Investigation gives students an opportunity to work together and build friendships and strengthen social skills in the context of play.

Language Lab provides children with opportunities to explore a variety of language arts skills, such as letter recognition, vowel spelling rules, root words, or grammar conventions. Games are used to integrate visual, auditory, verbal and kinesthetic modes of learning.

Ascend International School's library serves as both the informational hub and a community gathering place for the school. Books and resources are available for students, families, and faculty and are maintained to reflect both global and local perspectives in a multitude of formats and languages.

There are two formal recess times allowing students to play outside, after lunch and during the afternoon.

Teachers use this time to work with students one-on-one to enhance decoding strategies and skills and ensure comprehension.

Students set the agenda for class meeting and take turns facilitating the discussion. This is a time to problem-solve and celebrate. It is a time for respectful listening and speaking. It shows how much each student voice is valued. Working together, children come up with creative solutions to problems and brainstorm ideas for how to improve the community.

Students spend time each day listening to a teacher read aloud to the class from a wide variety of literary genres, connected to the current class theme. Teachers model fluency and give students an opportunity to increase their listening comprehension, vocabulary and auditory language skills.