Since the release of PYP: From principles into practice in October 2018, we have been working to upgrade ManageBac Primary Years and align it with the general updates completed in 2018 for all other curriculum programmes. These include a new user interface and the Curriculum First architecture. This upgrade will provide greater flexibility to customize your Unit of Inquiry planner template, introduce long-awaited new features such as real-time unit editing (in-line and with online presence), and align the user interface to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

This post provides a summary of the key changes, which we encourage you to share with your colleagues. You may also wish to explore our 2019 Product Roadmap to learn more about general changes we are making broadly across all programmes.


Pyp Nextgen Timeline 2

PYP Next will be available for schools on ManageBac to upgrade from summer 2019. Although the final transition date is to be confirmed, PYP Next will go into effect for all schools using ManageBac from August 1, 2019 for May-session schools and January 1, 2020 for November-session schools in the southern hemisphere.

Please note that the transition to PYP Next is permanent and irreversible. Once you have enabled PYP Next for your school’s account, it will not be possible to edit your legacy PYP curriculum; however, you will still have read-only access to your old Programme of Inquiry and Units of Inquiry.

What are the key changes in PYP Next at a curriculum level?

Some components have not changed:

  1. Transdisciplinary learning still underpins the PYP and, while there is support for specialist subjects outside of the PoI, planning with PYP Next continues to reflect the interconnectedness of different subject areas.
  2. Concept-based inquiry remains the pedagogical approach of the PYP, and PYP Next supports the exploration of lines of inquiry that are centered around a transdisciplinary theme.
  3. The IB learner profile continues to represent the broad range of human attributes developed in individual learners and valued by the IB learning community.
  4. Six Units of Inquiry are still required for most grade levels.
  5. Scope and sequences currently remain the same.

There are several changes that will broadly impact the PYP:

  1. Agency becomes the central principle of the PYP, with an increased focus on the human elements of a school and how their voice, choice and ownership impacts learning and teaching.
  2. Planning becomes more collaborative with increased flexibility, as the PYP planner can be adapted to reflect individual school contexts and needs.
  3. Reflection is no longer a key concept and is now more widely embedded into the planning of the PYP.
  4. Attitudes have been incorporated within the descriptors of the IB learner profile and are no longer a separate element of the PYP.
  5. Transdisciplinary skills have become the Approaches to Learning to reflect the terminology of the other IB programmes, and schools can develop their own sub-skills for the Approaches to Learning.
  6. Unit durations are flexible and open-ended, although they should last at least 3-4 weeks.

How are we supporting the PYP Next transition on ManageBac?

These are the key functional changes in PYP Next:

1. Unit Planner Flexibility: As part of alignment to Curriculum First, you will be able to customize your Unit Planner templates within ManageBac Settings. For PYP, schools will have the option to customize three unique templates with differentiation for (a) Early Years, (b) Primary Years, and (c) Specialist subjects. Within the Units Editor, you will be able to enable & disable most curriculum components and add guidance text. There will remain a default set of fixed components for some fields, such as Transdisciplinary Theme. The Units Editor will have full UTF-8 support, so it will be possible to create bilingual planner templates with a second language for all fields.

Pypng Uniteditor

2. Collaborative Planning: Together with this release, we will be introducing real-time in-line unit editing to ManageBac. Teachers will no longer be required to follow a step-by-step linear editing process; instead, they will now be able to collaboratively plan and edit units in-line. Changes will be rendered in real-time with the online presence of colleagues indicated on the right menu of each unit via a green circle on their avatar.

Pypng Realtimeeditor

3. New User Interface Alignment: PYP Next will aligned to our new user interface released in 2018 for other programmes. This will provide schools with a harmonized interface across the full IB Continuum. The new interface is more performative (faster page loads), with fewer clicks and a fully-responsive layout (web + mobile + tablet).

Pypng Programmeofinquiry

4. Settings: Coordinators will find a more streamlined and integrated Settings, which will allow for faster configuration of Homeroom and Specialist classes and assigning of teachers.

5. Assessment & Reporting: The Gradebook, including the evaluation of Scope and Sequence Learning Outcomes, will continue; however, certain assessment options such as evaluation of Trandisciplinary Skills will be deprecated in place of Approaches to Learning.

6. Portfolio: As part of our harmonization to Curriculum First architecture, we will integrate support for Reflections and Goals, which can be linked to the IB learner profile, student work and award levels.

7. Service & Project-based Learning: To further align with Curriculum First architecture, schools will be able to create and customize Service Learning and Project-based Learning worksheets. The Service Learning worksheet can be used by students to record and reflect upon action as a dynamic outcome of agency. The Project-based Learning worksheet supports Exhibition planning by students.

How will legacy PYP Units of Inquiry be migrated to PYP Next?

Fields that will be migrated over:

Legacy PYP PYP Next
Transdisciplinary Themes Transdisciplinary Themes
Central Idea Central Idea
Summative Assessment Ongoing Assessment
Key / Related Concepts Key Concepts
Lines of Inquiry / Essential Questions Lines of Inquiry
Learning Experiences / Strategies Designing engaging learning experiences
Learner Profile Learner Profile
Resources Making flexible use of resources
Unit reflection Teacher Reflections
Student Inquiries Student Questions

We will be migrating legacy fields, which are being deprecated, such as Transdisciplinary Skills over to the new planners as a read-only reference, allowing teachers to see previous inputs as a reference for completing the new planners.

Pypng Unitplan 3

New components will be added to broadly align with the ‘Additional design of PYP planner’ released by the IB, and reflection will be more granular throughout the Unit of Inquiry.

As a PYP Coordinator, these are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Within PYP Next, we are aligning to our standard Year Group structure to the MYP, DP and CP. This will allow you to create Project-based Learning and Service Learning worksheets for a whole Year Group.
  • Homeroom and Specialist classes will appear under the Classes. Under the Settings > Subjects, you will be able to configure the Homeroom subjects integrated within the Units of Inquiry and their corresponding year-levels (e.g. if you have a multi-year class spanning Grades 4 & 5). Specialist subjects can also be created separately.
  • Assessment options and rubrics will carry over automatically to PYP Next.
  • For your legacy PYP classes created during the 2018-2019 academic year, we recommend bulk archiving these classes, and creating new PYP Next classes.


Unit Roster

As a PYP Teacher, these are a few things to keep in mind:

  • On the Units Roster within your Homeroom or Specialist (subject-specific) class, the Units of Inquiry will be rendered under a Unit Calendar, in chronological order. This is a change from the Programme of Inquiry view, which your Coordinator may choose to customize. You will still be able to access the Programme of Inquiry matrix view from the right navigation menu.
  • To support your planning within PYP Next, we will display as a read-only reference the legacy Transdisciplinary Skills and Attitudes, so that you can select the most appropriate Approaches to Learning skills and IB Learner Profile attributes.
  • You will notice that you can now collaboratively plan your Unit of Inquiry in-line. When your colleagues are online, you will notice a green and orange circle on their avatar. Green indicates that they are currently online and orange indicates that they are editing the unit. Their edits and changes will also be visible to you in real-time and we have built-in a conflict check to prevent accidental overwriting.

Call for Feedback:

If you would like to participate in our PYP Next focus group, please contact our Curriculum Director, Leila Holmyard, by emailing Alternatively, email our Support Team at if you have any questions or feedback. We will be organizing webinars and posting tutorial videos mid-2019 so please stay tuned for further updates.