IBPYP - Essential Elements: Skills

There are five different skills sets, under the headings of: Self management ; Thinking; Social; Communication  and Research Skills. In class, staff choose to focus on skills from approximately three areas in each unit of inquiry. Therefore across the year and through all subjects, these skills should be enhanced and developed.

Self Management Skills

Gross Motor Skills

Exhibiting skills in which groups of large muscles are used and the factor of strength is primary

Fine Motor Skills

Exhibiting skills in which precision in delicate muscle systems is required

Spatial Awareness

Displaying a sensitivity to the position of objects in relation to oneself or each other


Planning and carrying out activities effectively

Time Management

Using time effectively and appropriately


Engaging in personal behaviour that avoids placing oneself or others in danger or at risk

Healthy Lifestyles

Making informed choices to achieve a balance in nutrition, rest, relaxation and exercise; practising appropriate hygiene and self-care

Codes of Behaviour

Knowing and applying appropriate rules or operating procedures of groups of people.

Informed Choices

Selecting an appropriate course of action or behaviour based on fact or opinion

Thinking Skills

Acquisition of knowledge

Gaining specific facts, ideas, vocabulary, remembering in a similar form


Grasping meaning from material learned, communicating and interpreting learning


Making use of previously acquired knowledge in practical or new ways


Taking knowledge or ideas apart; separating into component parts, seeing relationships, finding unique characteristics


Combining parts to create wholes, creating, designing, developing and innovating


Making judgements or decisions based on chosen criteria, standards and conditions

Dialectical thought

Thinking about two or more different points of view at the same time, understanding those points of view, being able to construct an argument for each point of view based on knowledge of the other(s), realizing that other people can also take one’s point of view


Analysing one’s own and other’s thought processes, thinking about how one thinks and how one learns

Social Skills

Accepting responsibility

Taking on and completing tasks in an appropriate manner; being willing to assume a share of the responsibility

Respecting others

Listening sensitively to others; making decisions based on fairness and equality; recognising that other’s beliefs, viewpoints, religions and ideas may differ from one’s own, stating one’s opinion without hurting others.


Working cooperatively in a group, being courteous to others, sharing materials, taking turns

Resolving Conflict

Listening carefully to others; compromising, reacting reasonably to the situation, accepting responsibility appropriately, being fair

Group decision making

Listening to others, discussing ideas, asking questions, working towards and obtaining consensus

Adopting a variety of group roles

Understanding what behaviour is appropriate in a given situation and acting accordingly, being a leader in some circumstances, a follower in others

Communication Skills


Listening to directions, listening to others, listening to information


Speaking clearly, giving oral reports to small and large groups, expressing ideas clearly and logically, stating opinions


Reading a variety of sources for information and pleasure, comprehending what has been read, making inferences and drawing conclusions


Recording information and observations, taking notes and paraphrasing, writing summaries, writing reports, keeping journals or record


Interpreting and analysing visuals and multimedia, understanding the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas, values and beliefs, making informed choices about personal viewing experiences


Constructing visuals and multimedia for a range of purposes and audiences, communicating information and ideas through a variety of visual media, using appropriate technology for effective presentation and representation

Non-verbal Communication

Recognising the meaning of visual and kinaesthetic communications, recognizing and creating signs, interpreting and utilizing symbols

Research Skills

Formulating questions

Identifying something one wants or needs to know and asking compelling and relevant questions that can be researched


Using all the senses to notice relevant details


Developing a course of action, writing an outline, devising ways of finding out necessary information

Collecting data

Gathering information from a variety of first and second hand sources such as maps, surveys, direct observation, books, films, people, museums and ICT

Recording data

Describing and recording observations by drawing, note taking, making charts, tallying, writing statements

Organising data

Sorting and categorizing information, arranging into understandable forms such as narrative descriptions, tables, timelines, graphs and diagrams

Interpreting data

Drawing conclusions from relationships and patterns that emerge from organised data

Presenting research findings

Effectively communicating what has been learned, choosing appropriate media

return to IBPYP page