Tuesday 23 January 2018

Explaining the International Primary Curriculum (IPC)


Anna Vaughan
Head of International Primary Curriculum and Education Lead

Anna Qa Session 4

There is a lot to the IPC. This is both an advantageand a disadvantage

The IPC was founded on and continues to develop with current research about learning and the brain. The learning goals on which the units are designed – a Backwards by Design approach – were created under the headings of Subject (academic), Personal and International Learning. We believe these three areas have equal status. Within each of these three, are three types of learning: knowledge, skills and understanding. Our IPC Professional Learning courses look at how these types of learning are different in the way they are learned, taught and assessed.  Improving Learning is our company’s mission statement; developing Internationally Minded students through the application of the areas and types of learning described above is what we support schools to do. The IPC has well over 100 units which are themed, relevant to children and engaging for the whole school community. The content of the units has been created for teachers to pick up and deliver, especially when starting out with the IPC for the first time.

These are all great advantages.Explaining all of the above in a concise accessible manner is tricky. This is a disadvantage.

I Skyped with the Senior Leadership Team of a school in the Middle East a few months ago. At the start of the call they said we’ve got maximum half an hour, tell us about the IPC. I began by saying that our introductory course; Implementing the IPC, is a two day course - they laughed. I tried to give them a flavour of the different yet fundamental elements to the IPC. I was aware how confusing it might all seem. Fortunately by the end, they had developed a big picture, and were keen to know more.

Education, learning and teaching are complex. Breaking down the day to day learning processes of schools into small neat packages is to undervalue the complexities. The same goes for a curriculum. It will take time, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

I had the pleasure of visiting three schools in a Federation in London soon after I started in this role. I asked the Executive Head, who has implemented the IPC for many years, how do you sum up the IPC when you have visitors or parents who are interested to know more? She immediately replied

The fun - it’s fun, and when learning is fun, children want to do more of it.

Their summative assessment results are fantastic; their learning is rigorous as well as fun.

We have recently started a series of schools sharing stories - 'IPC in Action'. These will be about particular areas of their school the IPC has had a positive impact on. We’d love to hear from you if you have a question about any area of the IPC regardless of whether you are Fieldwork Education Members or not.

If you are already a Member School please contact us here - members@fieldworkeducation.com

If you are not yet a member and wish to find out more about our International Curricula or our Professional Learning please contact us here - info@fieldworkeducation.com

Find out more about our Learning Goals here