The Assessed Curriculum

How will we know what we have learned?

Assessment in the Primary Years Programme identifies what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the teaching and learning process. The direct link between assessment and the teaching and learning process means that they must function purposefully together. Assessing the result of inquiry as well as the process of inquiry are important objectives of the programme.

The principal purposes of assessment in the PYP are to:

  • provide feedback to students, parents and teachers
  • determine what the student knows and understands about the world
  • inform and differentiate teaching and learning
  • monitor student progress in the development of the IB learner profile attributes
  • monitor the effectiveness of the programme.

Essentially, there are two types of assessment in the PYP, each of which has a specific function.

  • Formative assessment is embedded in the teaching and learning process and therefore occurs in the daily routine of a classroom. It aims to support students to become better learners and helps teachers to plan the next stage of learning.
  • Summative assessment occurs at the end of the teaching and learning process and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned in a new context. It aims to give teachers, students and parents clear, evidence-based insight into students' understanding at a particular moment in time.

All assessment in the Primary Years Programme is carried out internally by teachers within the school. The IB does not set examinations nor does it moderate grades in the PYP.

When assessing the process of inquiry, teachers consider whether:

  • the nature of the students’ inquiries develop over time; whether they are, in fact, asking questions of more depth, which are likely to enhance their learning substantially
  • the students are becoming aware that real problems require solutions based on the integration of knowledge that spans and connects several subject areas
  • the students are mastering skills and accumulating a comprehensive knowledge base in order to conduct their inquiries successfully and find solutions to problems
  • the students demonstrate both independence and an ability to work collaboratively.

Consideration of these points allows teachers to plan for effective teaching and learning opportunities that give students a chance to develop their inquiries further.


Students who are in their final year of the programme are expected to carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, known as the exhibition, under the guidance of their teachers.

The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of both the school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the programme and sharing them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the Learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the programme. It is a culminating experience marking the transition from PYP to further steps in education.

Schools are given considerable flexibility in their choice of real-life issues or problems to be explored or investigated in the exhibition.

A los colegios se les otorga una flexibilidad considerable para elegir los asuntos o problemas reales que se deben explorar o investigar en la exposición.

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