Elementary School Curriculum

The Primary Years Programme - PYP

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Grade Three

Programme of Inquiry

Units of study, which meet the criteria of the International Baccalaureate Organization, have been developed for each grade level. Each topic is taught through a structured inquiry method and focuses on key concepts which are international and skill-based. Throughout each unit students have the opportunity to develop an action component in response to what they have learned. Whenever meaningfully possible, other curricular areas are integrated to support an in-depth exploration of the unit.

The units for Grade 3 are: 


Central Idea: Various factors contribute to human health.

Key Concepts: reflection, causation, responsibility

Related Concepts: balance, growth, nutrition, well-being, energy

Lines of Inquiry:

  • behaviour that is beneficial or harmful to our bodies

  • what it means to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle

  • how can we improve our health



Central Idea: Throughout history, and even today, individuals have made contributions.

Key Concepts: causation

Related Concepts: displacement, inertia

Lines of Inquiry:

  • the lives of notable people

  • the contributions of notable people

  • the personal traits which allowed these people to be judged as significant



Central Idea: Through the Arts people express, explore and interpret ideas and feelings.

Key Concepts: function, causation, connection, perspective

Related Concepts: sound, subject, self  expression, patterns, shapes, weight transfer, flow, teamwork

Lines of Inquiry:

  • the Elements of movement, choreography and performance. ( P.E. and Music)

  • communicating emotion through facial movement, color, and value.  (Art)

  • interpretation of the three meter through Music.

  • the science of how sound is created, how it travels, and how it can be received



Central Idea:  Universal forces affect things around us and influence how we use tools to do work.

Key Concepts: form, function

Related Concepts: physics, friction, gravity, action/reaction, weight transfer, strength

Lines of Inquiry:

  • simple machines as a basis for tools

  • how friction helps or hinders us to do work

  • how gravitational pull affects the movement of various objects



Central Idea:  A society requires both physical and abstract organizational structures in order to function; we can build pictures of how past societies were organized by gathering and interpreting a range of evidence.

Key Concepts: form, function, connection, reflection

Related Concepts: history, artifacts

Lines of Inquiry:

  • how we use evidence to build our understanding of ancient civilizations

  • the properties and purposes of a civilization’s infrastructure

  • the various members of a civilization’s social structure



 Central idea: The Earth provides us with the resources we need to live, but the use of those resources has consequences.

Key Concepts: from, connection, responsibility

Related Concepts: resources, geography, erosion, impact, interdependence, choice

Lines of Inquiry:

  • various natural resources

  • how humankind uses natural resources

  • the consequences of such use

  • our responsibility to make decisions about our use of natural resources

Language – Aims and Content

The aim is to develop the child’s ability to express himself/herself confidently, in fluent and accurate English.

Oral Communication – Listening and Speaking

Children will continue to learn to develop appropriate listening and speaking skills. They will listen appreciatively and responsively, and be able to follow more detailed directions, instructions and messages. They will participate appropriately in discussions and will talk about a wide range of topics. The children will be given the opportunity to perform to an audience through classroom activities, assemblies and concerts. 

Written Communication – Reading and Writing 

Reading – the children will be taught using a balanced literary program including a variety of reading strategies and structures. This may include individual instruction, levelled and heterogeneous guided reading groups and literary response groups. There is an emphasis on reading to learn through literature-based instruction. Selected novels are the core reading materials for independent readers. 

Writing – the children, through daily writing experiences, will write independently and with confidence. They will show knowledge of the writing process and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of genres and apply grade appropriate literary devices. The children will be able to identify and apply the six writing traits in their own and others’ writing. Students will review manuscript printing and develop legible Zaner-Bloser cursive writing.


Oral Communication

  • listening – learning to listen to gain information and respond appropriately

  • speaking – using spoken language to communicate effectively; express feelings and state opinions

Written Communication

  • reading – learning about the structure of print and the meaning it conveys

  • writing – using writing to express ourselves meaningfully and creatively using rules and conventions of English

Visual Communication

  • learning to use, understand and construct different forms of visual images

  • experimenting with visual media

Dramatic Communication

  • learning how to develop creativity, self-expression and empathy

  • participating in drama

Learning Outcomes

By the end of Grade 3 students are expected to:

Oral Communication: Listening and Speaking

  • listen appreciatively and responsively

  • use language confidently, appropriately and with increasing accuracy

  • develop story telling and public speaking skills

Written Communication: Reading and Writing


  • read independently, fluently, accurately, and with understanding

  • locate and select resources appropriate to their reading level and for a specific purpose

  • respond to text by identifying main idea, cause and effect, fact and opinion


  • write for a range of purposes, both creative and informative, for self and others

  • accurately spell most common spelling patterns

  • write in a consistent, legible, cursive style

  • refine to use word processing and publishing skills

Visual Communication: Viewing and Presenting

  • search for, record and present information from a variety of media and texts.

  • demonstrate the awareness of the important elements of a poster

Dramatic Communication

  • work independently and with self confidence in small groups and pairs

  • create improvised settings and use a variety of materials and body language to convey elements of a story


Teachers use a variety of resources and mathematics schemes in their planning and teaching. The emphasis is on learning mathematics through practical activities, discussion and application. 

The aim of the programme is to help students to develop:

  • an understanding of the nature and the purpose of mathematics
  • skills in mathematical thinking with a supporting network of concepts, facts and techniques
  • confidence in using and applying mathematics
  • an appreciation for its challenges and satisfaction from solving mathematical problems
  • an awareness of the place of mathematics in solving the problems of everyday life


The mathematics curriculum is divided into five strands: Shape and Space, Data Handling, Measurement, Pattern and Function and Number.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of Grade 3 students are expected to:

Mathematics objectives are currently in the review cycle. They should be updated by the end of the first trimester.