International Baccalaureate

Takapuna Normal Intermediate School has been on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) journey since 2010, becoming a fully accredited IB PYP School in 2013. Over the past 10 years, TNIS has continued to develop what it means to create internationally-minded learners by offering authentic learning experiences and opportunities. The PYP links closely to our school motto; ‘Action, Connection, Excellence’. It encourages strong Connections between learners, teachers and the learning community, our learners take Action on issues that arise through their learning, and it is a curriculum that provides Excellent learning opportunities that are learner-driven.

The Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The PYP is a curriculum framework that focuses on the learner as a whole, including developing their academic, social, and emotional wellbeing. There are six trans-disciplinary themes that run throughout the year, which means that all learning areas are incorporated and fit into each theme. Learning is therefore relevant for TNIS learners across all homeroom learning and in our specialist programmes.

Through the PYP, concepts are used to help drive our focus for learning. For example, learners will inquire into “Culture” rather than learn a list of facts about a country or countries as this leads to a much broader learning and understanding.

Our Programme of Inquiry runs over a two-year cycle which can be viewed here.

The Learner Profile

The Learner Profile is a set of 10 attributes that we strive for our learners to hold. Having these 10 attributes will ensure that no matter where in the world our learners are or what they are doing, they will be successful. We celebrate learners showing these attributes through our ‘Learner Profile’ awards in assembly each week.

These 10 Learner Profile attributes are: 

  • Reflective

  • Knowledgeable

  • Thinker

  • Risk Taker

  • Balanced

  • Inquirer

  • Caring

  • Principled

  • Communicator

  • Open-Minded

Learner Agency

Learner agency is a key part of the PYP. In ‘The Learner’, a publication by the IB, Learner Agency is described.

“Students take initiative, express interest and wonderings, make choices and are aware of their learning goals. They are actively engaged and monitor and adjust their learning as needed. Students offer feedback to others and consult on decisions that affect them. In school, students take responsibility for their learning and collaborate with teachers and other students to plan, present and assess learning needs.”

Learner agency is strongly developed in our learners at TNIS throughout the two years that they are with us.

For more information on the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, please visit

Throughout a Unit of Inquiry, a range of formative and summative assessments are used to assess learners’ understanding and in particular their understanding of the Central Idea, Key Concepts, Learner Profiles and Approaches to Learning. 
Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment takes place authentically throughout a Unit of Inquiry and helps to inform further teaching and learning during the inquiry process. This assessment may take the shape of but is not limited to: listening to contributions to discussions, responses to questions during class discussions, work produced during learning experiences, self and peer reflections, self-initiated actions that learners take as well as their actions both inside and outside the classroom. 
Summative Assessment:

At the end of each Unit of Inquiry, learners undertake a Summative Task. This is a task that assesses a learner’s ability to apply the knowledge, skills and conceptual understandings they have gained throughout a Unit of Inquiry. Summative tasks are a fantastic opportunity for learners to demonstrate the Learner Profiles and Approaches to Learning focuses in a particular Unit of Inquiry. Further opportunities to take meaningful action are also provided through summative tasks and prepare our learners well for the demands of college and beyond.


In the PYP Exhibition, learners demonstrate their understanding of an issue or opportunity they have chosen to explore. Learners undertake their investigation both individually and collaboratively with their peers, together with a mentor. Through the Exhibition, students demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their learning – and their capacity to take action – as they are actively engaged in planning, presenting and assessing learning.

The Exhibition is a powerful demonstration of student agency, as well as the agency of the community that has nurtured them through their years in the PYP. The learning community participates in the exhibition, supporting and celebrating the development of internationally-minded learners who make a positive difference in the lives of others.


Please click on the button to view the program inquiry.