The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a transdisciplinary curriculum framework that offers authentic learning experiences.

The PYP encourages students to learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and personal attributes as a connected whole.

OUR PROGRAMMES OF INQUIRY core text overview

IB World School …

Our curriculum covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum but is arranged around inquiries into six different Transdisciplinary Themes.

Dartford Primary Academy is an IB World School, authorised to deliver the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. 

The  International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Overview of the PYP framework

Determined, Persistent Achievers Learning to Change the World

At Dartford Primary Academy, from Nursery onwards, we provide children with meaningful opportunities and experiences to become global citizens who have a desire to learn. Our purpose is to equip our children to be internationally-minded and to possess the essential skills they need to be successful and engaged in all their learning throughout their educational careers and within their future vocations. They will leave Dartford Primary Academy as determined, persistent achievers who have the aspiration to change the world for the better.

As individuals, through the embedding of the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile, our children become open-minded and knowledgeable as they develop their ability to inquire and explore their own curiosities. They learn how to tackle problems through thinking skills and communicate, in more than one language, as they work collaboratively. At all times they act in a principled manner and are caring to all that they engage with. Our children develop the confidence to be risk-takers and work both independently and cooperatively. They also develop an understanding of how to reflect on our world and their own ideas and experiences and to ensure that they take a balanced approach in order to maintain and promote wellbeing.

Our aim is to send all our pupils onwards so they become lifelong learners, who are successful, confident and responsible global citizens with a desire to improve the world in which they live.

Our aim is to provide a learning curriculum that ensures every pupil, regardless of need or background, acquires the knowledge and skills to successfully transition to their secondary setting as a well informed, globally aware young person.  At Dartford Primary Academy our curriculum uses the philosophy of the IB as the framework to underpin a breadth and depth of coverage to ensure it:

  • Provides access for all,
  • Promotes a positive attitude to learning,
  • Encourages international-mindedness in our pupils,
  • Challenges pupils to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness, and participate actively in our community;
  • Supports the development of communication skills to encourage enquiry, understanding and to allow pupil reflection and expression;
  • Emphasises, through the learner profile, the development of the whole pupil – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

Our Curriculum has been carefully designed to enable the depth and breadth of the national curriculum to be explored through the transdisciplinary themes of the IB framework.  A key focus through our curriculum intent is to enrich all pupils learning with co-curricular opportunities to enrich their cultural capital and life chances.

We offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) across all phases. Our personalised curriculum provides the challenge that encourages pupils to embrace and understand the connections between foundation subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers. It also promotes a positive attitude to learning by encouraging pupils to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness, and participate actively in their local communities and within the academy.  Our EYFS, Key stage 1 and 2 curriculum is planned collaboratively within our phase teams, with collaboration across other Trust primary academies. Each key stage has mapped their appropriate curriculum frameworks (Development Matters and the Primary National Curriculum) looking for vertical, horizontal and diagonal learning pathways. This allows for the transdisciplinary themes to be planned with rigour ensuring the depth and breadth is covered whilst promoting pupil advocacy within the themes of the PYP programme. The 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.  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

Assessment is planned at regular milestone points to ensure a depth of understanding in all foundation subjects in addition to reading, writing and maths.  Assessment will be in the form of teacher assessment, real time pupil conferencing where appropriate. This allows staff to support pupils to build their knowledge and to apply that knowledge as skills.  The sequence and design of the curriculum will allow for longer term learning and recall.

Teaching and learning is consistently applied using the academy policy across all key stages.  Students are aware of how to progress from immediate feedback. 

At Dartford Primary Academy we aim to  use teachers’ expert assessment, diagnostic assessments and effective real time feedback to provide the opportunity for every pupil, regardless of need or background, to reach their full potential. 

Through thorough curriculum coverage review and pupils’ skill development we will ensure the breadth and depth of knowledge is embedded for all pupils to develop knowledge and skills needed to be successful in life.  Positive engagement in cultural capital activities and seeing a vibrant global community within the academy will show depth of impact of our curriculum intent and effective implementation.

Subject Specific curriculum Statements

International Mindedness

International-mindedness is central to the IB mission and is a foundational principle to its educational philosophy; it is at the heart of the continuum of international education.

International-mindedness is a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility towards its members. It is an awareness of the interrelatedness of all nations and peoples, and is a recognition of the complexity of these. Internationally minded people appreciate and value the diversity of peoples, cultures and societies in the world. They make efforts to learn more about others and to develop empathy and solidarity towards them to achieve mutual understanding and respect (Oxfam 2105; UNESCO 2015).

Primary Years Programme (PYP) learners and their learning communities have a range of perspectives, values and traditions. The concept of international-mindedness builds on these diverse perspectives to generate a sense of common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

Source: From Principles Into Practice – ibo.org PYP Resources (need password).

At Dartford Primary Academy, we are incredibly proud to be able to celebrate the cultural heritage of our pupils. In module one, we have a ‘Who We Are Day’ where we encourage pupils to come in in traditional dress and present to their peers about celebrations they have at home which may link to their beliefs or family traditions.  Through this, we give pupils the ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life whilst at the same time giving them the knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values. During these sessions, they demonstrate a great sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them.

Alongside this, throughout the year,  we work with our families and our local community to gather photos, phrases and understanding of traditional foods to display in the school. We believe it is important for the pupils to be able to see their culture celebrated in school so that they can talk about it with their peers and know that it is valued. We want all pupils at Dartford Primary Academy to have an understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others alongside the range of different cultures in the school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain.

A young girl is seen smiling for the camera whilst dressed up in costume.
A photo of some Mexican snacks in bowls and plates.
A group of five pupils are pictured smiling together for the camera, holding up some Pokemon cards they have been playing with.
Photo of a map of the world with annotations and images around it to help children learn.

In the final module of the school year, we run an activities week where pupils have the opportunity to experience food, traditional artwork, dress and many other cultural activities from countries around the world. The places studied most recently include France, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Dubai and Tanzania. By inquiring into these countries we are improving our pupils’ understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity so that they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. This is shown by their respect and attitudes towards the local, national and global communities.

Co-curricular Dartford Primary Academy

At Dartford Primary Academy, the curriculum stretches beyond the academic; we support our children to develop in many diverse aspects of life and explore their talents. We ensure our children have access to a wide, rich set of experiences. We know that for our children to become successful, global citizens they need both the skills and knowledge taught through a formal curriculum alongside essential character development through the varied opportunities available in our co-curriculum. Thus, we strive to give our children the most broad curriculum and life experiences. We believe that all children should be enriched with cultural capital opportunities. These are planned for in many ways including extra curricular clubs, trips, special visits, guest speakers and sporting events.

Creative Activities

  • Arts and crafts
  • Drama and storytelling
  • Gardening
  • Origami
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Film club
  • Disney club
  • Hama beads
  • Music

Physical Activities

  • Multiskills
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Multi sports
  • Tag rugby

STEM Activities

  • Science
  • Chess
  • Cooking
  • Video games
  • Construction challenge
  • Board games

In addition, we employ outside coaches to run the following.

  • Street Dance
  • Jazz Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Badminton

Supporting the curriculum

Performance Opportunities

Throughout the academic year we include several opportunities to perform in front of an audience to build our children’s’ confidence, resilience and spoken language skills.

These include:

  • Harvest – Focusing on being thankful for all we have, the children recite poetry they have learnt by heart using appropriate expression to engage the audience. They enjoy the fascination of learning about themselves and how cultures around the world celebrate.
  • Christmas – The children focus on celebrating together through choreographed performances and singing in unison as they explore the nativity story and cultural traditions at this time of year.
  • Easter – The children learn about how Easter is celebrated around the world. They prepare their own factual pieces and each has the opportunity to read a section on their own if they wish to. Children also perform a range of songs in unison and use sign language to communicate the meaning.
  • Summer Concerts – The children perform a variety of songs to celebrate all that has been achieved in the year.

Now the implementation of COVID restrictions has been lifted, we have planned trips across the academy so that pupils have access to a wide, rich set of experiences.

Some examples of these opportunities are:

  • Year 6 residential trip to Manor Adventure/Norfolk Lakes – to develop team building, independence, risk-taking, communication skills and to further prepare pupils for secondary transition.
  • Safety in Action – working with outside agencies such as Kent Police and the NHS to enhance our PSHE and science curriculum for the understanding of substance abuse on the body and how to keep themselves safe by making the right choices.
  • Kent Life – inquiry into animals and their habitats
  • Lesnes Woods – searching for fossils, handling Stone age tools and making our own.
  • Library visit – road safety walking to the library, reading for enjoyment and community engagement
  • Fire station – Knowing who can help us and what to do in an emergency
  • Visit to local shops (Coop and Tesco) – Uses of money and understanding of buying goods
  • Local walks to Hesketh Park or St Edmunds – Road safety, physical activity field work studies for geography and science and sporting competitions
  • Science Museum – Awe and wonder in science – trip to London by train
  • Kidzania – managing money, career aspirations and working as part of a team

To support our formal curriculum and the delivery of the national curriculum through the PYP framework, we also enjoy themed events to promote areas that maybe not covered fully in your child’s formal education.

Some themes we have covered are:

  • Roald Dahl Day – enjoying literacy and the love of reading.
  • Academy Council – promoting democracy and the voting process. Building confidence in public speaking
  • Black History Month – creating an awareness of how these communities have impacted our past and future generations. Promoting cultural diversity and celebration of black culture
  • World Mental Health Day – helping to raise awareness for children and their families the importance of well being and mental health support.
  • Anti Bullying Week – Promoting positive attitudes and kindness to others. Ensuring children know there is no place for bullying
  • Road Safety – Ensuring your child has the awareness and skills to keep safe on increasingly busy roads
  • Celebrating cultural celebrations – Christian celebrations such as Easter and Christmas, Diwali – Festival of Light, Chinese New Year and other key cultural celebrations will be covered to promote tolerance and cultural diversity.
  • Recycling Week – Exploring our planet and how we can have a real impact on saving the planet.
  • Fairtrade Fortnight – Children will understand the importance of fair trade and consumer choices. Being able to make informed decisions as they move into adulthood.

Whilst not an exhaustive list of our themes, it gives an insight to how we seek to develop our children’s cultural capital and their awareness of others around them.

Alongside preparing your child for their next phase in their education, we seek to provide opportunities to enable your child to be a leader and develop their personal skills also. We understand that leadership skills are important and encourage children to take on roles as often as possible.

Some of the responsibilities we aim to offer here at Dartford Primary Academy are:

  • Prefects
  • Librarians
  • Sports Captains
  • Academy Council Representatives
  • Eco-warriors
  • Register monitors
  • Playground Buddie