International School of Bergamo

Elementary Years

Primary school in English (PYP)

ISBergamo is an IB® World School following the Primary Years Programme. In the Elementary School, students build upon the foundations already laid in Kindergarten and Transition and continue their INQUIRY-BASED curriculum.




Teaching and learning is based around the Programme of Inquiry. This is made up of Units of Inquiry which give the children significant, relevant and challenging learning experiences, driven by a set of key questions which are conceptually based. Children are involved in a range of learning activities, planned in response to the key questions.

The Programme of Inquiry draws together elements of different disciplines into a meaningful whole.

Children in Grades 1 to 5 undertake 6 units of inquiry per year. In Grade 6 children undertake 5 units of inquiry and an exhibition.

The PYP focuses on inquiry-based teaching and learning. It allows students to be "actively involved in their own learning and to take responsibility for that learning.

Inquiry allows each students understanding of the world to develop in a manner and at a rate that is unique to that student" (IB 2007).

Students and teachers are actively involved in assessing students progress.Assessment involves the gathering and analysis of student performance and is designed to inform teaching and learning. It identifies what students know, understand, can do, and feel at different stages in their learning.
These are some of the assessment tools:
Rubrics: student and/or teacher-designed criteria
- Benchmarks
- Checklists
- Anecdotal records: brief written notes based on observations of students
- Continuums: which show a progression of achievement or identify where a student is.

The school will report on your child's progress in the following ways:
- Written report - February and June
- Parent-Teacher Conferences - meetings in October and February
- Student-Led Conference in June (involve the student and parent. The students are responsible for leading the conference, they will discuss and reflect upon samples of work that they have previously chosen to share with their parents)
- Regular correspondence (email, notes, class unit newsletter) from class teacher.

EAL support is provided from Grade 1 through Grade 6. EAL is English as an Additional Language programme, which teaches English to non-native speakers in an academic setting. Children who enter the Elementary school with no knowledge of the English language will be supported with a specific EAL Programme.

Discover the IB PYP


Part of our international mindset is the recognition we give to our host country and we are proud of the fact that IS Bergamo has strong roots in the Italian community. This enables us to provide international students with an italian experience and at the same time provide italian students with a unique opportunity to develop a global perspective while retaining their italian heritage. In line with the IBO guidelines, "Think globally, act locally", some Units of Inquiry focus on important aspects of the italian culture.


The primary years are ideal for children to develop bilingual skills because of their facility to absorb language.
Although most of our emphasis is focused on the development of English, the Italian programme is given ample space in the Elementary school timetable in order to provide native italians with a solid base for the correct development of their mother tongue.

Italian Mother Tongue classes begin in Grade 1, developing language skills (speaking, reading and writing) throughout the entire school curriculum.

During the Italian classes, children follow the “Programma Ministeriale”; work is based on programs, textbooks and contents designed for the Italian Primary School (Scuola Primaria Statale).

The aim of this class is to provide the necessary competences that will enable, if needed, the transition to an Italian public school.

ISBergamo will offer the preparation for the 5° Elementare (idoneità) and the Licenza Media with courses that are integrated into the IB framework.[/highlights]

For students who are learning Italian as a foreign language, the aim of the school is to develop language skills to help children speak, read and write with increasing fluency, so enabling our students to enjoy and better understand the host country.


The International School of Bergamo firmly believes in the importance of digital learning. All classes are equipped with smart boards and, since September 2012, all children in the Elementary School are involved in the iPad 1:1 Programme. Digital media are highly compatible with the school’s teaching methods, based on child-centred education, on the development of skills and attitudes, and on interactive, hands-on and collaborative work.