Lower School


Annie Wright is an International Baccalaureate World School and is fully authorized to deliver the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the Lower School. The PYP is a flexible curriculum that addresses children’s needs holistically, focusing on developing them as inquirers, both in the classroom and the outside world.

We believe that a strong, inquiry-based curriculum is essential for our mission to cultivate individual learners to become well-educated, creative, and responsible citizens for a global society, and so that our students may thrive in the 21st century. Students acquire knowledge, explore concepts, and learn and apply skills in a program that is relevant and challenging. They learn how to learn and how to take responsible action to create a better world.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • I’ve heard a lot about IB. What exactly is it? 

    The IB, short for International Baccalaureate, is a nonprofit organization founded in Switzerland in 1968. Its mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better world through understanding and respect. Originally developed for children of diplomats, IB programs, currently offered to more than one million students in 144 countries, encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners. These programs also provide a framework to assess performance according to world standards.
  • Okay, so how is the PYP really different from a standard curriculum for young students?

    Like many solid programs, the PYP includes language (reading, writing and communicating), math, science, social studies, arts, and physical education.

    The most distinctive feature of the PYP curriculum is its focus on six themes that students explore across different subjects:
    • Who we are
    • Where we are in place and time
    • How we express ourselves
    • How the world works
    • How we organize ourselves
    • Sharing the planet 
    The essential components of learning include:
    • acquiring knowledge
    • exploring concepts
    • gaining skills
    • developing attitudes for learning
    • taking action
    The six themes form what is called a Program of Inquiry. In this program students learn through engaging and authentic experiences.
    Beyond just academics, the PYP also addresses students’ well being, encouraging independence, active learning and strong personal values. Students complete the program in Grade 5 with an in-depth, collaborative project that incorporates global issues and prepares them for the IB Middle Years Programme in Grades 6-8.
  • It sounds good in theory, but how does it play out in the classroom?

    Here’s an example: Annie Wright Grade 4 students study food distribution, exploring the PYP theme “Sharing the Planet.” Their study includes research, action and re ection. After auditing Annie Wright’s level of food waste, students support a school-wide composting program. Students also promote awareness of food waste and hunger through visual art, songs and videos.
  • Would my kids get the same experience in any PYP school?

    In a word: no. The PYP provides a framework for inquiry and conceptually-based learning, and schools that have adopted the PYP share its core curricula and philosophies. At Annie Wright, however, we embrace students as individuals in small classes, where they enjoy hands-on learning in a program enhanced by a variety of special subjects in a strong and nurturing environment. The result is the Annie Wright student is a compassionate, knowledgeable and globally-minded problem solver.


Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403

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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower  and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls  and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.