What is the IPC?
The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum for 3-11 year olds, with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning. The Learning Goals are the foundation on which the International Primary Curriculum is built.
The Learning Goals define what children might be expected to know, what they might be able to do and the understanding they might develop as they move through school. Well written learning goals guide teaching and learning and help to focus assessment and evaluation.
The subject goals
The subject goals cover the knowledge (the facts and information children might learn), the skills (those practical abilities children need to be able to do) and the understandings (the deeper awareness of key concepts which develops over time). There are subject Learning Goals for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Information Technology, Design Technology, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Art and Society.
There is a distinct learning process with every IPC unit, providing a structured approach to make sure that children’s learning experiences are as stimulating and rigorous as possible.
How do we know children have learned?
The IPC is a learning-focused curriculum; designed to help children learn and to enjoy what they are learning. To be learning-focused means that we have to be assessment and evaluation-focused too. Both assessment and evaluation matter because they are ways in which we find out whether children are learning. Knowledge, skills and understanding are learned differently, therefore taught differently and assessed or evaluated differently:
Knowledge is about facts. Facts are right or wrong. The easiest way to find out whether children have learned facts is a regular test - we all know how to do that.
Skills are practical and experiential. Skills aren’t right or wrong; they are developmental and so the IPC talks about beginning, developing and mastering when it comes to skills learning. The boundaries between these three levels are not clear-cut and different people have different ideas of what each stage looks like.