Our Primary Years Programme (5 to 11 years)

Southbank’s Primary Years Programme creates a stimulating and challenging environment that nurtures a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect, and helps them to develop a lifelong love of learning.

At the heart of the Programme are six themes of global significance. These are explored using skills and knowledge acquired from six subject areas, as well as during town meetings, (assemblies), in the playground and from participating in extra-curricular activities.

Overall, we strongly believe that our Primary Years Programme:

  • develops the academic, social and emotional wellbeing of students
  • encourages students to become independent and take responsibility for their own learning
  • supports students’ efforts to gain understanding of the world and function comfortably within it
  • helps to establish personal values that support international mindedness.

Some questions you may have

The PYP is available at our Kensington campus in Notting Hill and at our Hampstead campus. Both are relatively small, with each having a maximum capacity of around 220 students. This helps to create a family feel and close-knit community.

A normal school day for PYP students starts with registration at 8.40 and finishes at 15.20, with an hour for lunch and play.  After school, we offer dozens of extra-curricular activities that students can get involved in.

The size of our PYP classes is typically 12 to 18 students. We believe this small class size optimises the teaching and learning experience, and encourages to speak more confidently and freely, and collaborate more.

The six themes of our Primary Years Progamme are:

  • Who we are
  • How we express ourselves
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How the world works
  • Sharing the planet

These themes incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum, helping students to see their relevance in the world and how they connect to it.

Find out more in our PYP curriculum guide.

The six subject areas are:

  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Personal, Social, Physical, Economic Education
  • Arts (read more in our Arts section)

PYP students may study these subjects in separate classes or as part of their inquiries into the six themes of the Programme.

Find out more in our PYP curriculum guide.

PYP students have the opportunity to learn Spanish as an additional language.

For students whose first language is not English or Spanish, we also support the development of their home language, to help maintain their cultural identity and emotional wellbeing.

In addition, we offer English as an additional language (EAL) lessons to students aged under nine (Grade 4) who speak little or no English.

We also make a big effort to celebrate the cultures and mother tongue languages of all our students. This provides an opportunity to learn from each other and fosters an appreciation of people’s different backgrounds.

Find out more in our Languages section.

We embed and integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all areas of the PYP curriculum.

In addition, we have excellent IT labs at our Kensington and Hampstead campuses, and we run a one-to-one device programme at each school.

Throughout the year, PYP students have a wide range of extra-curricular activities to get involved in. After every one of our three school terms, students can then change their choices if they want to. This is so they can sample as many of our free clubs as possible and mix with a wider range of students.

Some of the extra-curricular activities we may offer are:

Animation         Basketball         Chess

Choir                  Cooking             Football

Gardening         Lego                   Photography

Robotics             Sewing              Street dance

Find out more in our Extra-curricular activities section.

We have recruited outstanding teachers from around the world who encourage a global perspective.

They also place great importance on assessing the individual needs of each student and providing the tailored academic and personal support they need.

Both our Kensington and Hampstead campuses offer our PYP students outstanding facilities and resources. These include well-equipped IT labs, music and art rooms, and libraries that are used regularly to develop information literacy skills.

Because of the superb locations of our PYP campuses, students also have easy access to world-class museums, art galleries, theatres, parks, historic buildings and much more.

Visit our Kensington campus and Hampstead campus pages to find out more.

In their final year, all PYP students participate in the PYP Exhibition, which is viewed by students during the day and parents on an evening.

The project involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into a real-life issue or problem that’s pertinent to them. This typically involves the use of a variety of source materials and a range of media and forms of expression, including moving and still images, audio, animation, work, oral presentations and performances.

Find out more on our PYP exhibition page.

Visit our Admissions section for comprehensive information about applying for a place at Southbank. You can also contact our Admissions team on admissions@southbank.org or +44 (0)20 7243 3803 if you have any questions.

Southbank Kensington
+44 (0)20 7229 8230
Southbank Hampstead
+44 (0)20 7431 1200
Southbank Westminster
+44 (0)20 7436 9699