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5 Characteristics of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was introduced by Fieldwork Education in 2000. Since its inception, the IPC has been taught in over 700 schools in 92 countries around the world.

The IPC is designed for children aged 5 to 11 years old.

Here are five key features of the IPC.

1.  Children are taught a thematic curriculum

Instead of the traditional chapters and subjects, the IPC is delivered to students through units of learning. Each unit of learning carries a theme that is created to appeal to the interests of children. Some examples of units of learning are Who Am I?, Chocolate and Mission to Mars. The units of learning make the IPC an innovative and creative curriculum that will help students learn about the world around them.

2. Children are exposed to a holistic learning process

A unit of learning is completed in six stages. Firstly, an Entry Point is an activity that introduce students to a specific unit of work. Next, teachers grasp how much a student already knows by conducting a Knowledge Harvest. After that, teachers will give an overview of the theme in The Big Picture. Students begin to study a particular unit of learning and carry out Subject Recording Activities. A unit of learning ends with an Exit Point where students present their recording activities to teachers and parents.

3. Children are given learning goals

Students in the IPC are given subject goals, personal learning goals and international learning goals according to which phase they are in. The IPC is divided into Milepost 1 (Ages 5 – 7), Milepost 2 (Ages 7 – 9) and Milepost 3 (Ages 9 – 11). Subject goals are achieved when students grasp the knowledge, skills and understanding related to a unit of learning. Personal goals aim to shape students into curious, resilient and thoughtful individuals. International learning goals help to develop students who are internationally minded.

4. Children are assessed not only through tests

Other than tests, another type of assessment in the IPC is the Assessment for Learning. Students are assessed at the end of each milepost where they are identified as beginning, developing or mastering a certain activity. Teachers are given a skills rubric to determine which stage a student is in. After that, teachers will develop a specific learning plan for each student to help them improve in the areas needed for them to progress to the next unit of learning.

5. Children’s parents are actively involved

Parents play an important role in their child’s learning journey with the IPC. They are encouraged to give suggestions and opinions on subjects and learning methods at the school. In addition, parents are regularly updated on their child’s progress in school. At the Exit Point of a unit of learning, parents are welcome to see what their child has been learning in the form of artwork, websites and videos.

Visit the Features section on the Education Destination Malaysia website for more informative articles on international school education!