Action is integral to the process of learning in the Primary Years Programme, as well as agency, the learner profile and international-mindedness. Action is student-initiated and can be carried out individually as well as collectively. It may be a short-term action, or an action which is revisited and ongoing. Furthermore, action may not always be visible or immediately have an impact. Action may be teacher-led, teacher-initiated shared, student-initiated and/or student-initiated and led. 

Action in response to student inquiries lays the foundation for Service as Action in the MYP and CAS in the DP. Through taking action, students show how they can link their learning to real-life issues, being authentic, meaningful and mindful.

At International School Hilversum, the students in the PYP are encouraged to take any form of action, no matter how small or how large. We see that action generally arises from an inquiry within the students unit of inquiry. For example, a student may be inquiring into environmental issues in their class and they take action by doing a beach clean or taking steps in their own lives to be more conscious of their effects on the environment. Another form of action that arises often is that a student brings in an object or a book that is connected to their unit of inquiry. Often, these forms of action steer the inquiry during the unit. 


Examples of Action in the PYP:


After being set a task connected to her reading book where she created a robot out of cardboard, a Grade 3 student decided to take action and create another robot. This time, she created one out of wood! It even included hooks for keys!
During the first COVID-19 lockdown, a website called ‘Little Inventors’ chose ideas of interesting inventions from students around the world and turned it into a daily challenge for students to participate in. A Grade 4 student participated in this and, after the summer holidays, two of her inventions became daily challenges. Students are told about the Little Inventors website during a Grade 3 unit all about inventions. This is an example of student-initiated and student-led action which arose from teacher-initiated action.

A Grade 4 student set up an old phone collection box in the primary to raise donations for Tara Bodong. This is an organisation in India that helps provide education to girls by putting them in schools, as usually they help on the farm of their parents while the boys go to school. He decided to start this collection as his father was going to India to visit the foundation and he thought he could help as well. The student saw that a phone collection box was used in the secondary school and therefore decided to implement this in the primary.


A Kindergarten student took action near his house. When crossing the street one day, he noticed that there was no traffic light and that they had to wait a few minutes to cross the road safely. The student indicated that he wanted to ask ‘the King’ for a traffic light to make it safer. After a discussion with his parents about such requests and to whom they should be addressed, he wrote a letter to the Gemeente (local council) explaining the situation. The Gemeente has replied and are looking into future developments.