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Home Educational Frameworks Primary Years (K-4)

Primary Years (K-4)


At the heart of the Soundview Primary Years Programme (PYP) philosophy is a commitment to structured student inquiry. The PYP combines the best research and practice with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools. The curriculum encourages international-mindedness, a positive attitude to learning and reflects real life with meaningful, in-depth inquiries into real issues. An IB programme of inquiry is designed to be accessible and relevant to all learners. Soundview School provides learning environments that are flexible and engaging, where:

  • Students are seen as competent and are listened to.
  • Students are encouraged to be curious, be inquisitive, ask questions, explore and interact with the environment physically, socially and intellectually.
  • Students are supported in their struggle for mastery and control on their journey to become independent, autonomous learners.
  • The learning experiences are customized to accommodate the range of abilities and learning styles in the group.

The PYP’s holistic approach focuses on the total growth of children, encompassing social, emotional, physical, and cultural needs in addition to academic rigor. As a result, students have the necessary tools to be successful, independent people. Children are full of curiosity, and the PYP provides a framework that gives crucial support for them to be active inquirers and lifelong learners.


The PYP curriculum framework consists of six transdisciplinary themes. These themes reflect a set of shared human experiences, or “core commonalities,” that form the basis of an international education. From Kindergarten through 4th grade, students engage in six units of inquiry that correspond to these themes. Each unit of inquiry is designed to give students a well-rounded and developmentally appropriate educational experience. The units are carefully planned and students are encouraged to contribute their own curiosity to the development of each unit. The units are transdisciplinary, integrating traditional subject areas.


Who we are

Where we are in place and time

How we express ourselves

How the world works

How we organize ourselves

Sharing the planet


Our ancestors help us understand our identity.

Understanding how people lived in the past sheds light on the resources and way of life of the present.

Understanding various styles of art deepen the appreciation of the audience.

Inventions solve problems that help shape the future.

Communities function when members understand their roles.

Animal groups adapt to their habitat.

1st Grade

Friendship based on mutual effort contributes to emotional health.

Navigation tools assist in understanding our position in the universe.

Autobiography allows us to share our personal experiences.

Understanding natural systems may affect survival.

A community makes decisions which affect how its members get help.

Interdependence of organisms may promote biodiversity.

2nd Grade

Community membership may contribute to self-identity.

Homes provides shelter, protection, and may provide safety.

Stories contain common elements that reflect the culture of the author.

Dynamic forces affect the composition of the Earth.

Transportation plays a role in connecting agricultural production with distribution.

Human activities can challenge plant and animal survival.

3rd Grade

The health of your skeleton may affect your quality of life.

The need for new opportunities drives migration.

Storytellers use a variety of media to reach their audience.

Work may require mechanical assistance.

Resources force consumers to make economic decisions.

Access to equal opportunity

4th Grade

Food and exercise choices impact the human body.

Exploration may lead to new discoveries.

Media has the power to influence.

Our solar system is part of a larger universe which affects life on Earth.

Governments provide structure for society.

We need skills of negotiation and diplomacy in peace making.

Learn About the PYP: A Basis for Practice

Literacy in the PYP includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These skills are taught both within the units of inquiry and as stand-alone lessons. As our students move at different paces along the continuum of literacy development, our PYP teacher team works flexibly with a variety of curriculum materials to ensure that specific learning needs are met. While much of our curriculum is teacher and student created, each grade maintains consistency of skills through the use of standard elements of the curriculum such as Handwriting Without Tears and Words Their Way for phonics and word study.

Singapore Math provides the foundation of the Soundview math curriculum for all of our students. The curriculum was developed by the Ministry of Education in Singapore and is being adopted in many U.S. schools due to its focus on greater depth of study and students’ increased mastery of math concepts. Students use manipulatives and visual representations as they move through the continuum of development, using concrete, pictorial and abstract elements. The curriculum encourages students to reflect on how, why and when they are solving problems. It provides the tools needed to break down complex concepts and problems, which in turn supports positive attitudes and greater confidence in our students.


Art ⁄ Music ⁄ Spanish ⁄ PE

The PYP Art program at Soundview inspires a new avenue in seeing, problem solving and visual communication skills. Through hands-on projects, students learn by doing. Students are presented with four art strands:

  • creative process
  • elements of art and design
  • visual arts in society
  • reflection and appreciation

Art lessons integrate with core subjects and use PYP transdisciplinary themes to organize the units of study. Our projects are designed for students to explore various art mediums and discover a wide range of art techniques. Visual art education aims to encourage innovation, creativity and self-expression.

Students complete a series of art exercises designed to strengthen their fundamental understanding of the elements and principles of art. Students learn to draw from observation, learn basic blending techniques using colored pencils and oil pastels and express their ways of seeing with watercolors and acrylic. They also explore mono print, make collage art and create 3-D sculptures. An emphasis is placed on the studio-related skills of becoming more familiar with the different stages of the creative process and students use a sketchbook as a reflective tool to record ideas or observations. Students also begin to discover the interrelationship between the elements of art and principles of design and they develop an awareness and appreciation for the varied perspectives on how art is made, viewed and valued.

The primary goals of the PYP music program is to build a comprehensive framework for understanding, using, coding and expressing music, while also encouraging students to develop a clear sense of their musical self.

The PYP music curriculum is designed and presented using the Kodaly-inspired philosophy of music education. An expansive repertoire of learned folk songs and music games provide the major body of reference for the development of music fundamentals and the components of music literacy. Songs and music games of other cultures are studied, along with the rich and diverse material of the American music heritage. In addition, students at Soundview explore all types of instrumental music. Young students begin with rhythm-based instrument playing. Students then progress to studying orchestral, band, and world instruments. Not only do they learn to play the instruments, they learn about instrument classification and mechanical and scientific operation. In preparation for 5th grade band, all 4th grade students are guided through the instrument selection process with special attention to the individual student’s preferences and needs.

The PYP Spanish program is designed to prepare our students for more intensive language study as Spanish becomes a Middle Years Programme (MYP) core class.

Our program emphasizes fun, active participation in a safe, nurturing environment. Our Spanish teacher joins our library and media specialist to present bilingual storytimes and puppet shows and they also utilize drama and conversation to expose our students to the language. The Spanish teacher also works directly with the PYP classroom teachers to support the PYP units of inquiry. Together the teachers present Spanish instruction as it relates to the units.

Students learn and review Spanish vocabulary in numerous categories, such as the alphabet, colors, shapes, numbers, family members, time, and common expressions. Themes in Spanish culture also represent an important part of the curriculum.

Our PE program aims to help our students become more well-rounded in their physical fitness and instill a life-long value of health. Our PYP students follow the CrossFit Kids curriculum, which does not coach them to be good at just one thing. The workouts consist of constantly varied, functional movements that provide a fitness that is broad and inclusive. In general, no two workouts are the same, so the students never get bored and the novelty of each workout keeps them excited about participating. The functional movements involve exercises that are fundamental to all things that children need to do when they play. The workouts will increase physical competence in 10 fitness domains: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. In addition to two CrossFit Kids classes per week, the PYP students will spend their third class of the week engaged in a variety of group games designed to encourage positive sportsmanship, community building and fun.

Teacher Team

  • Kirsten Johns
  • Kindergarten

  • Devin McClain
  • 1st Grade

  • Molly Bisset
  • 2nd Grade

  • Ethan Benson
  • 3rd Grade

  • Sarah Berkley
  • 4th Grade

  • Teri Jellad
  • Spanish

  • Laura Higgins
  • Music

  • Li-Ting Hung
  • Art

  • Valerie Stein
  • Library & Media Specialist

  • Tim Cole
  • PE Specialist

6515 196th St SW • Lynnwood, WA 98036 • 425-778-8572 • Contact       © Soundview School