The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Primary Years Programme (PYP) Learner Profile

The New Enhanced PYP Approaches to Learning


In the first Thistle article this year, I discussed the introduction of the New Enhanced Approaches to Learning (ATLs) where the students develop cognitive and metacognitive skills, which are transferable to different types of learning situations.

Through collaborative planning, the teachers consider how to develop the approaches to learning holistically, identifying connections between approaches to learning and the learner profile attributes; e.g. thinking skills are necessary to become an effective thinker or an inquirer.

Students and staff embed the approaches to learning implicitly in the classroom culture by:

  • using the language of the approaches to learning
  • modelling the approaches to learning
  • giving feedback about the approaches to learning.

Together with students, staff establish the approaches to learning explicitly through their programme of inquiry by:

  • identifying specific approaches to learning for development in a unit of inquiry
  • co-constructing approaches to learning goals
  • reflecting on specific approaches to learning from each unit
  • designing specific learning engagements to support the development of approaches to learning
  • monitoring and documenting the development of approaches to learning.

Teachers now have the flexibility to adopt, adapt and extend sub-skills most relevant to their context, for early learners and primary aged students. Some examples of sub-skills include:

  • thinking – critical, creative, transfer
  • research – ethical, media and information literacy
  • communication – listening, speaking, interpreting
  • social – interpersonal, social and emotional intelligence
  • self-management – mindfulness, time management, organisation.

Mr Warwick Norman
Junior School Dean of Teaching and Learning