Monthly Archives: August 2019

IB progressive trends alignment to CfE

The first trend which I believe links between the two curriculum’s is criterion referenced. In relation to classroom teaching this means testing a child’s knowledge on a specific subject area in relation to a set of standards. This relates to CfE as they have the experiences and outcomes which a child should have taken part in and also the benchmarks which a student should be meeting at key stages in specific subject areas.

Transdisciplinarity is another progressive trend which can be seen in both curriculum’s. In CfE this can be used to engage learners by making subjects more relevant to the students. For example social studies and religious, moral education can be linked together by discussing what religions were around in a specific time era. In CfE I believe transdisciplinary learning is brought into the classroom by the teachers approach to engaging and interesting learning.

The progressive trend of student choice links to CfE as children are encouraged to have personalisation  and choice in their education so they can have an active and engaging role in their education. 

I believe CfE is also child-centred because all curriculum diagrams have the learner themselves at the centre for example “A schematic guide for curriculum planners”. CfE also has getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) this legislation ensures each child receives an education which suits them and is adapted to their own abilities.  This can be done through curriculum supports such as the principles of curriculum design.

A final progressive trend I believe is shared is critical analysis. In CfE children are encouraged to reflect on their own learning and are also asked to create learning goals for themselves in relation to the topics they are covering in class.

In conclusion, I feel many of the IB trends have a relation to CfE however, the progressive trends stated above are those with the closest links.

Do IB and CfE students have different attributes?

The IB curriculum has 10 learner profile attributes these are inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. The CfE curriculum has the 4 capacities which are successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Difference: The first difference is strikingly obvious, the IB attributes are much more obvious of what is required from each learner. Where CfE requires extra questioning, what does it mean to be a successful learner? How do I show that I am a confident individual?


Inquirers, as IB believes are students who ask powerful questions (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe this links to being a responsible citizen because these are students who participate in political, economic and cultural life and to be able to do so you have to be able to question what goes on in the world. Open-minded, as IB believes are students who are appreciative of their own and other peoples cultures (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe this links to being a confident individual because these children have secure values and beliefs and are also self-aware. Responsible citizens relates as well because these students are respectful of others and are able to understand different beliefs and cultures. Knowledgeable, as believed by IB are students who explore locally and globally significant ideas (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe this relates to responsible citizens as these are students who are able to develop knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it. Caring, these are students who are committed to helping our community (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe being a caring person links to all 4 capacities as learners are encouraged to think about themselves, others and the world around us. Thinkers, are critical, creative, decision makers (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe this relates to successful learners as these are students who are able to think creatively and independently. Risk-takers, are students who are courageous, resourceful and resilient (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe this links to confident individual as these learners are able to be self-aware and can assess risks and make informed decisions. Communicators, are confident in more than one language (Cambridge High School, 2015). Communication is a key part of being an effective contributor however, there is a difference between IB and CfE. This is because IB is linked more to being a worldwide communicator and a CfE effective contributor is a learner who can work well as part of a team. Balanced, these students are focused on caring of well being of ourselves and those around us (Cambridge High School, 2015). This relates to confident individual where students have a sense of physical, mental and emotional well being. Principled, learners who are honest, fair and responsible (Cambridge High School, 2015). This is another attribute which I feel is shared evenly between all 4 capacities as students are taught to be respectful and to work well alone and together. Reflective, learners are thoughtful and hopeful for the future (Cambridge High School, 2015). I believe this relates to confident individual as these learners have ambition.

Difference: Looking closely at both curriculum’s I believe there is a difference between the world the curriculum’s are setting their students up to be able to live in. IB is based on bringing people all over the world together whereas CfE is based on creating learners who are resilient to the change in an ever developing society.

Difference: A final difference between the two curriculum’s is that CfE is based mainly on Scotland with the rest of the world being global learning. Whereas IB does not have a specific location and is adaptable to being taught all over the world.

In my recent professional practice I witnessed the attribute of knowledgeable. During a maths topic children were shown three different types of learning in maths (concrete, pictorial and abstract). This allowed each child to learn in a way that suited them but also allowed them to see different approaches to gaining knowledge. I also noticed the attribute of being reflective, each child had their own targets booklet where they recorded learning which they wanted to improve on with a timescale in which they would try to complete the target. As a school I noticed the attribute of caring by providing a breakfast club for the children who needed a soft start to the morning.


Cambridge High School. (2015) What is an IB education? Available At: (Accessed: 23/08/19)


The alignment of aims between IB and CfE.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) and Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) share an almost identical aim. Where both curriculum’s strive to create learners for life and not just school (Education Scotland, 2019) and (International Baccalaureate Organisation, 2019).

Where the CfE strives to create successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors (the four capacities). IB aims to produce learners who are inquirers, curious, and enthusiastic life long learners, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open minded, caring, risk-taking, balanced, reflective passionate life long learners (Cambridge High School, 2015). Although, IB clearly states each attribute their learners should acquire it is clear to see their link to the four capacities. For example, IB learners are encouraged to be thinkers who are critical and creative decision makers (Cambridge High School, 2019). CfE learners are encouraged to be “innovative thinkers, who accept a challenge and find imaginative solutions” when aiming to become a successful learner (Scottish Executive, 2006).

Not only do the aims and learner outcomes have a significant resemblance both curriculum’s intend to provide learner education in similar ways. CfE has the principles of curriculum design (challenge and enjoyment, breadth, progression, depth, personalisation and choice, coherence and relevance) (Education Scotland, 2019). Where IB aims to be interesting, relevant, challenging and significant (Cambridge High School, 2019). As a future practitioner of both curriculum’s it is clear to see how preparing and delivering lesson content is interchangeable between both curriculum’s.

In my recent studies I have become aware that effective classroom talk is vital in a classroom. This key study relates to both curriculum’s in discussion as it allows CfE effective contributors and IB communicators as children are taught to listen, engage in discussion and express their own thoughts and opinions in a polite manner.

During my first placement I noted that the school used newsround on a daily basis with a question and answer session after so the children were encouraged to explore and find out about issues occurring in the world around them. This would also be appropriate to do in an IB school as they strive to be “knowledgeable learners who explore local and global significant ideas” (Cambridge High School, 2015).


Cambridge High School. (2015) What is an IB education? Available At: (Accessed: 22/08/19)

Education Scotland. (2019) What is Curriculum for Excellence? Available At: (Accessed: 22/08/19)

International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2019) Primary Years Programme, Available At: (Accessed: 22/08/19)

Scottish Executive. (2006) A Curriculum for Excellence Building the Curriculum 1, Available At: (Accessed: 22/08/19)