IB Information » IB Programme of Inquiry

IB Programme of Inquiry

H. Clarke Powers School is proud to be an authorized IB World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP TK-5) and Middle Years Program (MYP 6-8). The International Baccalaureate Programme works to develop the whole child and builds within students the passion for learning. In the Primary Years Programme, teachers and students generate questions with which to conduct inquiry into significant content. Through this inquiry process, students gain essential knowledge and skills and are encouraged to engage in responsible action. They do all of this in a climate which fosters positive attitudes and develops a concept of internationalism.

Through the PYP at H. Clarke Powers, children:

  • develop an understanding of important concepts
  • conduct research that has local and global significance
  • acquire and practice a range of essential skills
  • develop positive attitudes towards learning, the environment and other people
  • have the opportunity for involvement in responsible action


The Primary Years Programme at HCP allows students to participate in large, transdisciplinary units each year, called Units of Inquiry (UOI). Each of these units:

  • Include significant, relevant and challenging learning experiences
  • Builds on the prior knowledge of the students
  • Involves students in a range of learning activities
  • Requires students to engage in positive action
  • Integrates diverse subject areas whenever meaningful and appropriate

Through these Units of Inquiry, the classroom becomes a center of structured inquiry through which students acquire and practice skills and build new knowledge.
These units are outlined in our school-wide Program of Inquiry (POI) and are carefully designed to build from one year to the next as a student progresses through the school.


To meet the program goals, the PYP emphasizes five essential elements: Concepts, Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and Action.

What do we want students to understand?
Seven broad concepts act as the powerful ideas to drive the Units of Inquiry:

Form - What is it like?

Function - How does it work?

Causation - Why is it like it is?

Change - How is it changing?

Connection - How is it connected to other things?

Perspective - What are the points of view?

Responsibility - What is our responsibility?

What do we want students to know about?
Knowledge is an important aspect of the Primary Years Program. At each grade level, students explore knowledge which is of genuine importance in understanding the human condition and has significance for all students of all cultures. The topics studied are engaging and have the potential to actively engage students in their own learning. In addition, the units are challenging and extend the prior knowledge and experience of the students.

What do we want students to be able to do?
There are five sets of skills that are acquired throughout all disciplines in the PYP program:
* Thinking Skills * Communication Skills * Social Skills * Research Skills * Self-Management Skills

Learner Profile
What do we want students to value?
The Primary Years Programme encourages a set of attributes within its students including:
* Caring * Knowledgeable * Principled * Communicators * Thinkers * Balanced * Courageous 
* Inquirers * Reflective * Patriotic * Open-Minded 

How do we want students to act?
Encouraging students to take action is an imperative part of the PYP.
H. Clarke Powers School students are taught to reflect, choose and act responsibly, with their friends and
in the community.