Part 2: Planning IB PYP in the Specialist / Single Subject Classroom 2014 Overview

I have had some great feedback on my initial post about specialist/single subject music planning in an IB school. Apologies for not writing this one sooner.

This post is a wrap up of my programming in my 3rd year of teaching in an IB school. Please note I still see myself on a learning journey in my IB planning and each year I change it slightly as I begin to understand the inquiry method better, through professional conversations with people in my workplace and at conferences.

In 2014 I continued to plan linked UOI only where I saw an authentic link and the rest of my program was covered by the Stand Alone UOI running over the whole year.

There are units that went well and units that didn’t, as I’m sure occurs in your classroom too.

2014 was the first year I took part in Exhibition.

While there wasn’t an authentic link with the Central Idea or Lines of Inquiry, I helped my students to create one of their presentation pieces to show their learning over the Exhibition.

Music-Room-Book-7_COVERTo show what the students had learnt through Exhibition they rewrote the lyrics of the song Putting It Out There to reflect their understanding of the CI & LOI. The they arranged, played  and recorded all parts of the song into GarageBand, presenting this at their exhibition stalls on their iPads. We used an app called Explain Everything to create a Digital Portfolio, where the parents were able to read the lyrics, see a screen shot of their GarageBand project and play the song at the same time. The song is from Fairbairn, Leehy & O’Mara, 2011, Music Room: A developmental classroom music program, Book 7 –Upper Primary, Bushfire Press   

Here is an example of the project. 


To learn more about Digital Portfolios view my Digital Portfolios blog post.

My units are available for download below. Feel free to use them as a basis to help you plan.

A step by step guide to the Exhibition project is in the pipeline for publishing with Bushfire Press, stay tuned.

I will follow this post in a few weeks with a wrap up of 2015.


Teach to transform!


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WLPS Reception PYP Music Overview 2014

WLPS Reception PYP Music Overview 2014







WLPS Music Year 1 Overview 2014_Page_1

WLPS Music Year 1 Overview 2014







WLPS Music 2 Overview 2014_Page_1

WLPS Music 2 Overview 2014




WLPS Music 3_4_5 Overview 2014

WLPS Music 3_4_5 Overview 2014





WLPS Music 6_7 Overview 2014

WLPS Music 6_7 Overview 2014





WLPS_Music_UOI_Form & Style_6_7_2014


22 thoughts on “Part 2: Planning IB PYP in the Specialist / Single Subject Classroom 2014 Overview

  1. I find myself in your predicament, but with absolutely no support from the Head. Thank you so much for sharing this site. It will transform my life as well.

    Jenni Gebhardt Madrid

  2. It’s sad, but lovely to see that we’re not alone. My school is as supportive as they know how and are constantly trying new ways to support all their specialist. However, being a specialist is a very isolating experience.
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, I am very lucky as well to be in a small school where we are very much supported, valued and encouraged to be part of the PYP in an authentic way.

  3. Another thing I’ve learned in the OUP process is that grade levels sometimes do not teach units in order. Our depends entirely on the science kit delivery schedule. Adjustments must be made on dates every year. This can throw off your stand Aline’s and what you can teach with a unit. Just keep it simple.

  4. Dear Cheryl, thank you for sharing your PYP planners, it is extremely helpful,
    I am also at an International school PYP system, I teach the whole of Primary music this is Early Years all the way to Grade 5. As part of my job, I have to fully integrate with at least one of the UOI’s and really struggle to do this. Is there an easy way to do this perhaps.
    Looking forward to a response.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Michelle, a quick answer to your question is if I couldn’t link by merging curriculum outcomes, I looked at how music is used in the world/society and linked there.
      For example merging curriculum is linking a classroom unit on time was linked with a unit on beat and tempo. Families was linked with instrument families and tone colour. Cultural music for links with Ancient civilisations.
      When linking outside of the music curriculum I made sure that all my curriculum outcomes were achieved in my stand-alones. I then linked making instruments with recycling units and also with electricity units, then ticked off curriculum outcomes by playing those instruments.
      I collaborated using music for different purposes and audiences by kids making backing music for video presentations of their work for exhibition.
      I hope this helps
      Thank you

  5. Hello Miss Cheryl.. Can I use your planner for my music class? I find your planner interesting and will love to try it in my class. I will appreciate your help a lot. Thank you so much.

  6. Hello,
    Thank you so much for this incredible planner!
    Could use it for my music planner as well?
    It is so inspired!

  7. Hi Mrs. Cheryl,

    This is so helpful! Thank you very much for sharing these planners. May I also use them for my music planner?
    Thank you Very much in advance!

  8. Hi!
    Thank you very much for sharing these. May I also use them for my planner? I’m new in pyp and these will really help me a lot. Thank you in advance!


  9. Thank you very much for sharing these,,, it help me a lot,,, I am a new PYP music teacher and have no idea how to teach music lesson of IB curriculum…

  10. This is an extremely wonderful resource you are providing. I know this was posted years ago but do you mind if I use your planners as I plan out PYP music at a new school? this is my 3rd year in PYP but first at this school and I find that I am in square one about making a decision on how I am going to plan. Your way is refreshing and really the most ideal way to have a standalone music program along side the POI. Honestly, you could post these on teachers pay teachers!

  11. Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing this wonderful resource.
    I head a Kindergarten here, in Dubai, and I’m sure our music teachers would appreciate these very much!!
    Was wondering if you’d have samples of similar planners for other areas of Arts – Drama, Visual Arts, etc?

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