The IB Advantage (PYP)




As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Sacred Heart Preschool is proud to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). SHP achieved authorization for the PYP in 2020 and is the only preschool in Kentucky with this honor.

IB World Schools share a common philosophy – a commitment to improving the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging high-quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

Learning experiences in the Preschool classrooms are student-centered, active, and inquiry-based. The IB approach to learning is centered on a dynamic cycle of inquiry, action, and reflection where teachers cultivate each child’s natural desire to learn. Children’s own love of exploration allows them to guide the learning through exploring their curiosities at the proper pace individually and in groups. The IB philosophy places a strong emphasis on problem-solving, critical thinking, cooperative group work, and social responsibility as students learn through real-life experiences and develop a sense of international-mindedness. In our early childhood education, questioning and imagining are central to our play-based, concept-driven approach to learning. Children’s innate ability to ask questions, think critically, and develop problem-solving skills frames our educational thinking. 

Our classrooms are reflective of this child-centered practice with play at the forefront and have a variety of appropriate and dynamic hands-on materials. Teachers incorporate Reggio and Montessori methods and materials into their environments, many of which are self-correcting and promote sensorial development.


Our curriculum includes exposure to math, language arts, science, history, geography, practical life, and sensory development through transdisciplinary learning experiences. Students are exposed to religion through age-appropriate lessons and activities that relate to the Ursuline core values of Community, Reverence, Service, and Leadership. We offer regular enrichment in visual arts, music, movement, and body mindfulness and the integration of classroom technology, such as interactive SMART boards.

Anyone in an early-years environment inevitably hears the questions, “why?” and “how?” repeatedly! The beauty of teaching in a PYP school is that these questions are invited and embraced.  Questioning and imagining are innate in children and in their approach to learning about their world.  We create environments and relationships that honor children’s ideas and understandings in a play-based, conceptually driven approach.  SHP believes that children are capable, unique, and creative and it is this image of the child that drives our practices.  PYP early years teachers plan for rich learning experiences that invite children to learn with each other in the classroom, in the community, and in nature.

Preschool teachers have a Child Development Associate credential, Montessori certificate, IB PYP certification, associate’s degree, and a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education or related field. Continuing education is required of all faculty.


Only schools authorized by the International Baccalaureate can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). 


For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit





Students nurture their natural curiosity and develop a life-long love for learning.



Students explore knowledge across a range of disciplines and engage with issues of local, national and global significance.



Students learn to think critically and creatively in order to tackle complex problems.



Students understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively, including a second language. They work in collaboration with others.



Students are honest, fair and act with integrity. They take responsibility for their actions.



Students embrace other cultures, seeking to understand and appreciate the personal histories, values and traditions of others.



Students have a commitment to service and act with empathy, compassion and respect.



Students are brave when faced with challenges. They explore new ideas and innovative strategies and understand that failure is part of the learning.



Students understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being.



Students give thoughtful consideration to our own learning and experiences and are able to assess their strengths and limitations for greater personal development.



The idea of being in service to the world aligns with our Ursuline values of Community, Reverence, Service and Leadership. As IB Learners rooted in the legacy of a long Ursuline history of Catholic education, we are ready to change the world.






The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3-12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and the world beyond. It is a framework guided by six themes of global significance: Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How We Express Ourselves, How the World Works, How We Organize Ourselves, and Sharing the Planet.


The child is at the center of everything we do in a PYP classroom. Our goal is to foster lifelong learners who demonstrate the attributes of the Learner Profile, and who will contribute to a better world. Teachers plan with the end in mind and work backward, asking the question, “What is the big idea that the student needs to understand?” This highly collaborative process begins with creating a conceptual central idea that is meant to be broad enough to allow students to individually create their own meaning. Within this framework, students begin to develop their own inquiries, increasing their engagement in the learning.