We are an authorized Primary Years Program (PYP) International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) World School.

The International Baccalaureate Organization is a nonprofit, Swiss educational foundation dedicated to a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and exposure to a variety of points of view to encourage intercultural understanding and acceptance of others by young people. The IBO curriculum can be administered in any country and is recognized by schools and universities worldwide.

The programs help students grow intellectually, socially, aesthetically, and culturally. They teach students to think critically and encourage them to draw connections between areas of knowledge and to use problem-solving techniques and concepts from many disciplines. They give students an awareness and understanding of their own culture and of other cultures' values, and ways of life. IBO students are highly recruited by colleges and universities around the world. 

For more information about the IB Organization and education, click here.

PYP (Grades k- 5)

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) Primary Years Program (PYP) is a transdisciplinary program of international education designed to foster the development of the whole child. The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child so that it touches hearts as well as minds and encompasses social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.

The PYP draws on research and best practices from a range of national systems with a wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging, and significant educational framework for all children. 

The curriculum framework consists of development of and balance among five essential elements:  conceptual understanding, acquisition of knowledge, development of skills, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action. The knowledge component is developed through inquiries into six transdisciplinary themes of global significance that are supported and balanced by six subject areas.  Students incorporate every subject area during the completion of each of the six multi-week programs of inquiry throughout the year that are designed around the transdisciplinary IBO themes:  sharing the planet, who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, and how we organize ourselves. 

To access our school's Program of Inquiry, please click here.


Middle School (Grades 6-8)

The HDS middle school curriculum contains ten subject groups naturally integrated in an transdisciplinary approach.

  • Language Arts

  • Humanities/Social Studies and History

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • Spanish

  • Latin (7th & 8th grade)

  • Wellness/Fitness

  • Visual Arts

  • Performing Arts

  • Journalism

Students study these subjects through different lenses to prepare them for the changing demands of life in the twenty-first century. The curriculum has been adapted to guide students to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. 



All students have access to computers both in their classrooms and in the technology lab. Technology at Hickory Day School is naturally integrated with the curriculum as an effective tool that facilitates student learning. Students receive opportunities to work with Google Drive & Gmail, Edmodo, EdPuzzle,, Microsoft Office Suite, Edutyping, Storybird, WorldBook Online, and Padlet.

The Arts

Flat 3.jpg

Throughout the school year, the visual arts instructor works directly with the PYP classroom teachers to plan activities that correlate the arts to their Programmes of Inquiry.  Students create work to reinforce and enhance their studies and to fulfill the objectives required of the NC Standard Course of Study. Also, all HDS students focus on the performing arts as they present two major productions each year. Through these productions, students learn about technical theater and the powerful influence of music and the arts.


All Hickory Day School students receive daily Spanish instruction. The Spanish program allows students opportunities to develop and enhance their communication skills. Within the Spanish language, students learn the four language skills of writing, reading, speaking, and listening and gain the ability to apply these skills to real-world situations. The ultimate goal for our Spanish program is a conversant Spanish speaker upon completion of the eighth grade. Upon leaving HDS, most students place out of introductory high-school Spanish classes and begin in upper-level courses.



Students take Latin I over the course of two years -- 7th and 8th grades.  With a Latin foundation, students have a much clearer understanding of vocabulary, history, literature, and English grammar.  In addition, Latin prepares students for critical-thinking skills that help them thrive in high school and beyond.  Each year, students take the National Latin Exam and are prepared to enter Latin II once they leave HDS.


All Hickory Day School students receive daily instruction in wellness. We're situated on over 16 acres with several playing fields for various physical activities.  Our program allows students to appreciate and understand the value of physical education, as well as a healthy and active lifestyle. Students are exposed to a variety of new activities/games to aid in the development of their motor skills. Age-appropriate social skills, teamwork, cooperation, and self-reflection are all important parts of our wellness curriculum.