Central to the philosophy of the PYP is the principle that structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas. Hence, in the PYP there is a commitment to a concept-driven curriculum as a means of supporting inquiry.
 
A set of eight key concepts have been drawn up to deepen each inquiry in this transdisciplinary curriculum. The concepts and their guiding questions are:
 
Form
What is it like?
Function
How does it work?
Causation
Why is it like it is?
Change
How is it changing?
Connection
How is it connected to other things?
Perspective
What are the points of view?
Responsibility
What is our responsibility?
Reflection
How do we know?
 
When viewed as a set of broad, open-ended questions, the concepts form a manageable research tool with a structure that helps deepen and sustain inquiry.