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Building well-being into the units of inquiry

Usha Kankipati, PYP Coordinator and homeroom teacher, Silver Oaks International School, India

This article explores examples of building well-being into a programme of inquiry, based on grades 2 and 4, under the transdisciplinary theme of “who we are”.

This year our school has given more focus to Personal, Social and Physical Education (PSPE) across grade levels, by building well-being into our programme of inquiry, through the transdisciplinary theme of “who we are”.

We started by looking at the PSPE strands of identity, active living and interactions and their related concepts from the PYP scope and sequence document, using these to frame our central ideas.

Accordingly, we started building a vertical plan from grade 1 to 6, drawing on the key concepts and subject specific key and related concepts to strengthen links to the transdisciplinary themes.

The examples below are taken from our explorations in grades 1 and 4.

Grade 1: Who we are

Central idea: Knowing about the people around, helps us understand ourselves and others

Lines of inquiry:

  • Personal abilities and interest
  • Roles and behaviors within relationships
  • Physical and emotional characteristics

Through this unit students inquired into the people around them, their interests, relationships and their behavior. Students reflected on their informed choices about likes and dislikes, developing a sense of well-being about their choices and relationships with friends and family members.

Students collected data about the likes and dislikes of their friends (see below).

Grade 4: Who we are

Central idea: Healthy lifestyle is dependent on a balance of interconnected factors

Lines of inquiry:

  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Factors that contribute in maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Changes that I can bring in my lifestyle

Through this unit, students inquired into the factors that lead to a healthy lifestyle. They investigated about the dimensions of health and how a healthy lifestyle is dependent on a balance of interconnected factors.

After the guest lecture, here’s a student’s reflection on “healthy lifestyle”:

This process has helped us to further embed the learner profile, action, international-mindedness and approaches to learning into student outcomes. And we have found alignment with the vision of our school which is to develop young people who will “Live for a purpose; Learn to apply; Lead with determination and Leave a timeless legacy”.


Primary Years Programme. Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education. January 2007 (revised December 2009).

Mission and vision of Silver Oaks:

Usha Kankipati is the PYP Coordinator and previous grade 3, 4 and 5 homeroom teacher at Silver Oaks International School, Hyderabad, India. She has 8 years of experience with the IB PYP and her aspiration is to become a workshop leader. Outside the classroom, she is pursuing her MA Psychology. Usha is passionate about developing and sharing significant and engaging educational experiences.






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5 Responses to Building well-being into the units of inquiry

  1. Padmaja 17 July 2018 at 2:04 pm #

    Good to know !

  2. Sunitha 17 July 2018 at 3:46 pm #

    Perfectly laid out, proud of the commendable job that the team has put forth.

  3. Hansraj dabi 18 July 2018 at 9:55 am #

    Thanks for sharing this blog. It has been developed very nicely.

  4. Lilian Ngoda 7 August 2018 at 11:13 pm #

    it is so helpful to my teaching and learning

  5. Sandra Stephens 26 October 2018 at 2:18 am #

    Very nicely put, not only were the examples posted were helpful but also right on point with what I needed to read about. We are incorporating Knotion into our International Programme and this read was very insightful.

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