Wednesday 22 January 2020

The IPC is turning 20 this year!


2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of The International Primary Curriculum (IPC). We are thrilled to have grown a large global presence and to have helped international learners in over 92 countries around the world with our innovative curriculum.

Fieldwork Education was founded in 1984 by two British Headteachers who had a vision to improve learning and provide an English curriculum that could be used internationally. Our founders recognised that students’ learning was the single most important factor by which teachers, schools and communities contributing to that learning should be judged by. This is where the idea of an international curriculum was born.


It took 4 years to develop the International Primary Curriculum and for it to become a full cross-curricular and thematic programme. With an initial 70 units spread across 3 mileposts and based around themes of real interest to the children learning, the IPC was ready to be tested in the classroom. The IPC was first implemented and trialled in 14 international schools that were attended by children of expat workers currently living abroad. This would be a vital test to see if the IPC was truly an international curriculum.

After a successful trial period and such strong reviews received from teachers and parents, Fieldwork Education formally launched The International Primary Curriculum (The IPC) in April 2000. A direct quote from the book ‘Taking the IPC forward’ published in 2012 stated that the ‘Introduction of the IPC in schools at the beginning of the century was revolutionary in terms of children’s learning’.

The very first introduction of the IPC outside of the 14 trial schools took place when Martin Skelton (one of the founders) delivered a presentation at the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Conference to an enthusiastic audience. During the conference it became clear that the IPC would work and be valuable to students worldwide with its academic, personal and international learning.

Soon schools around the world could purchase and deliver our new primary curriculum and became known as IPC schools. Teachers would recognise the curriculum and would be excited to deliver a fresh approach to students. Our IPC community started to grow, and teachers received training with our Fieldwork trainers to implement our brand-new curriculum. After a few years teachers would look for schools delivering the IPC and schools looked for teachers with experience or enthusiasm to deliver the IPC after seeing such a different in student’s abilities.


Over the last 20 years the IPC has been successfully improving learning across 5 continents. Schools and teachers continue to deliver and adapt their learning to the IPC curriculum with a strong focus on international mindedness of students on a global scale.  We have seen 1000’s of IPC students move onto secondary/higher education with an eagerness to learn and we have recently received news of the first of our IPC alumni (from one of the first schools in 2000) becoming a fully qualified teacher delivering the IPC in their own classroom.

Adapting over the last two decades, the number of units doubled, and we designed various themes that would fit with the ever-evolving world around us such as ‘Digital Gamers’, ‘Climate Control’ and ‘Space Scientists’. We are thrilled to reveal that more exciting changes are on their way during our 2020 birthday year. 

Head of International Primary and Middle Years Curriculum, Therese Andrews is looking forward to the year ahead ‘We are delighted to be releasing an update to the IPC in its 20th year, reflecting updated thinking that will enable our member community to continue to improve learning in their schools.

Over the next 12 months we will be sharing new updates, exciting competitions, guest blogs and 20th birthday celebrations. Keep an eye on the IPC social media channels for exciting announcements using #IPC20 and we look forward to seeing what the next 20 years hold for the International Primary Curriculum! 

Find out more about the International Primary Curriculum