Primary Years Programme

ISA Tianhe is authorised as an IB World School in the Primary Years Programme. The PYP is an international, trans-disciplinary programme for Year 1-5 students designed to foster the development of the whole child, not just in the classroom but also through other means of learning. The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs.


The curriculum is expressed in three interrelated ways:

  • The Written Curriculum – what do our students learn?
  • The Taught Curriculum – how do our students learn?
  • The Assessed Curriculum – how do we assess our students?


The ISA International Curriculum offered at Tianhe blends the IB PYP inquiry approach with the best curriculum standards offered in a number of countries, producing a well-rounded teaching programme. We use American common core for English and Mathematics, as well as the C3 framework for Social Studies and Next Generation Science Standards for Science. Design and Technology is adapted from the UK standards, whilst the New Zealand curriculum informs our Arts, PE and Health programmes.


At Tianhe, we aim to develop internationally-minded students by encouraging the development of the traits described in the IB learner profile. We support children to become inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers and to be knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective. We expect our students to be independent and take responsibility for themselves, their belongings, and their learning. Homework is given daily to all children, who are responsible for completing and returning it to their class teachers. All lessons are taught in English, except Chinese and Mother Tongue classes. Associate Teachers will occasionally use Chinese to explain difficult ideas, but will usually use English to support students.


All students have five hours of English and four hours of Chinese lessons per week. Students with a different Mother Tongue will also have four hours of language tuition, currently offered in French, Italian, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. Students with a Chinese heritage can choose to do an extra four hours of Chinese or English lessons. Please refer to our Language page for more information.