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The Primary Years Programme (PYP) at UWC Thailand encompasses Nursery to Grade 5. Throughout the PYP, children are provided with the opportunities to be an agent for their own and others’ learning through the concept of learner agency. Learner agency is connected to a student’s belief in their own ability to succeed; where they use his/her own initiative and will in order to take responsibility and ownership for their learning. This is supported through a holistic approach to learning and teaching that is concept-driven, skills-focused, and designed in a manner that encourages children to inquire, question, wonder, research, act, and reflect about themselves, others and the world around them. Understanding what sparks curiosity and motivates our learners is the foundation of our approach to the learning and teaching within our Units of Inquiry. Our students’ academic experience is further enriched by dedicated class time for Art, Music, Physical Education, Thai Language and Culture, and Mindfulness practice. Our class sizes are modest, ensuring teachers have an opportunity to differentiate for student needs.

The PYP curriculum balances inquiry with direct instruction to ensure students have the necessary, foundational knowledge in areas such as literacy and numeracy. As a transdisciplinary programme, our Units of Inquiry extend our students’ experience to be further enriched by time to engage with Art, Music, Physical Education, Thai Language and Culture as well as aspects of the pillars of UWCT: Mindfulness, Outdoor Education, and Service.

The PYP culminates in the Grade 5 Exhibition, in which students demonstrate their understanding of an issue or opportunity they have chosen to explore. They undertake their investigation both individually and collaboratively with their peers and the greater learning community through mentorship and advisors. The emphasis of the Exhibition is not on the product of their learning, but on the process of the journey. It is a powerful demonstration of student agency that enables learners to further develop their international-mindedness and see themselves as confident, capable, action-oriented, contributing members of the community who make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others.

Primary Years Program Phuket


Our Early Childhood Centre (ECC) is made up of our Pre-Kindergarten (Mini-Mantas) and Kindergarten classes. Our ECC firmly believes in the IB-Primary Years Programme (PYP) curriculum framework, which is created with current research and best practices in early childhood education in mind. In the PYP, children learn through questions, ideas, and observations (called inquiry); in the ECC, play and authentic exploration are the main vehicles that drive this learning and development. Our ECC programme first seeks to understand the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs of each child. We listen intently to the needs, interests and experiences of our learners and act to create environments for each child to become the best versions of themselves while embodying the IB Learner Profile. We value fun and curiosity -- we know that in many cases, the ECC is the first educational experience for our young learners and we know that students “who feel good, also do good.”

Overview of our ECC

At UWCT, we believe that children are capable and curious learners who — when given the opportunity — will act with agency to naturally question how the world works around them and test their theories through playful inquiry and research. Following the principles of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), we construct learning opportunities and provocations that are hands-on, authentic and developmentally appropriate.

Through play, children actively construct meaning from their interactions with their physical and social worlds. It is our belief that building opportunities for agency and self-efficacy are fundamental to learning; at UWCT children of all ages are given voice, choice and ownership over their learning. You will see students of all ages negotiating, problem-solving, being creative and contributing to our UWCT family in their own passionate ways. Even our youngest students know they have agency over their learning and have been known to take meaningful action around campus.

In the past we have seen a variety of forms of action including students advocating for and physically setting up tire swings on various playgrounds for all to enjoy, re-organizing our recycling center, creating kindness campaigns, teaching each other phrases in different languages to making others feel welcome to seeking ways to take care of the bugs and insects on our outdoor campus.

UWC Thailand Primary Years Program

Learn more about our Early Childhood Center and how the PYP programme is experienced by our youngest learners. 

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