Curriculum Aims and Rationale
- To nurture and develop well rounded capable and caring individuals who are exemplary citizens, enabling strong future opportunities in which they can thrive.
- To give children the knowledge, skills and attitudes to lead a rich and fulfilling life, with positive relationships, and a strong sense of commitment to making a positive contribution to the world.
The International Primary Curriculum
Expectations around the foundation subjects are clear:
It is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, with a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for every subject. It also develops international mindedness and encourages personal learning. The IPC is a creative and engaging curriculum that encourages active learning and investigation. The goal of the IPC is to nurture a love of learning through a combination of academic, personal and international learning. Children develop the knowledge and skills which they will need in order to face the world of tomorrow confidently.
The IPC Learning Goals are broken down into three different types of learning – knowledge, skills and understanding, an essential combination to ensure the most effective learning experience.
Knowledge Learning Goals Knowledge refers to factual information. Knowledge is relatively straightforward to teach and assess, even if it is not always that easy to recall. You can ask your children to research the knowledge they have to learn but you could also tell them the knowledge they need to know.
Skills Learning Goals Skills refers to things children are able to do. Skills have to be learned practically and need time to be practised. The IPC’s Assessment for Learning Programme is based around the assessment of children’s skills.
Understanding Learning Goals Understanding refers to the consideration of big ideas, the ‘lightbulb’ moment that we all strive for. Understanding is always developing. You can’t teach understanding, but what the IPC units do is provide a whole range of different experiences through which children’s understandings can deepen.
The Entry Point is an exciting and memorable event that launches every IPC unit. The aim of the entry point is to get children thinking about, and engaged with, the learning that’s to follow.
The Knowledge Harvest provides teachers with the chance to find out what children already know about the theme and helps them to personalise the unit by finding out what children want to learn in order to tailor their lessons accordingly. It reinforces connections between existing and new learning and allows children to take ownership of their learning.
Explaining the Theme provides teachers, children and parents with the big picture of the unit before it launches so that connections between subjects and concepts can be facilitated.
The Big Picture provides teachers with subject-based background information and research which links to the learning contained within each unit.
Research Activities: Each subject area has planned research activities which are designed to make sure that children can access information in a way that is appropriate to them, drawing on a wide range of learning approaches such as role play, digital learning, library research and so on. IPC research activities are experiential and exploratory. Some are collaborative; others are designed to develop individual enquiry and resilience, and therefore help to embed and develop the IPC Personal Goals.
Recording Activities: The recording activities enable children to process and present the information they have gained in their research activities through a range of approaches which tap into their different strengths and interests, and enable them to get better at other ways of recording. This might involve learning through digital recording, drama, musical compositions, maps, graphs, experiments, art work and so on.
Exit Point: the exit point completes every unit. It helps children to draw on their prior learning, reminding them of all the connections between subjects that they have made, and creates time and opportunities to build their understanding of their learning, and to reflect on this individually and as a group. The exit point is an excellent chance to engage with parents, guardians and carers and involve them in celebrating the learning that has been achieved.
Key Skills in English and Mathematics
Particular skill areas are described as ‘key skills’ because they help learners to improve their learning and performance in education, work and life. These are embedded in the school’s curriculum.