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Junior School


ISF is an authorized Primary Years Programme (PYP) curriculum school. As such, it is engaged in using “structured, purposeful inquiry as the main approach to teaching and learning” across school ages and curricular areas. Our students develop the knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes that the IB identifies as the core of an International Baccalaureate education. It is challenging in its scope and ability to prepare internationally-minded students.

A PYP education is less focused than many models on test results as an indication of learning and more focused on demonstrations of the use of what has been learned through oral, written and electronic presentations as well as collaboratively developed projects and artistic representations. Classes are noisy, busy places where students can be observed constructing what they know.

At ISF, English is not a “subject” and instead, is the primary language of instruction and inclusion. As an internationally -minded school, nestled in Florence, we also teach Italian to all of our students. Mother-tongue is a very valued part of your childʼs development, and we encourage the nurturing and fostering of all mother-tongues.

The Primary Yearsʼ Programme (PYP) is structured around six transdisciplinary themes which are significant and meaningful to all students:

Who we are - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities, what it means to be human.

Where we are -in place and time - An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How we express ourselves - An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the world works - An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How we organize ourselves - An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the planet - An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

 Learn More about the PYP

Explore the link and videos below to learn more about the PYP as an educational philosophy 


PYP Model of Transdisciplinary  Learning   

Primary Years Programme Website  

Student Voices

Grade 1 & 2 

Italian classes become progressively more regular, with daily instruction by Grade 2.
Classes are grouped according to levels of Italian acquisition and learning is focused on the acquisition of Italian- reading and writing, speaking and listening.

From 3rd to 5th Grade

At the end of 2nd Grade, students are split into 3 different Italian levels. The goals of each differ and the placement into a program is at the discretion of the principal, based on assessments, family need, and teacher recommendation.


Italian language development and cultural awareness are integral in learning about our host country. Whether students are learning Italian as an additional language or as a home language we are able to support their learning through our units of inquiry as well as through stand-alone Italian language teaching.