Category Archives: Professional Studies

IB Reflective Activity 4


The most obvious similarity between the two curriculums is that they are child centred. Every decision is made to suit the children by taking into consideration their wellbeing and the world around them. The curriculums both have documentation which encourages teachers to create learning which is child centred 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).

Both curriculum frameworks aim to involve the world around us for example CfE has made an effort to be inclusive of outdoor education, where children link their classroom learning to their own community. This also encourages children to understand learning doesn’t only occur in the classroom. The PYP curriculum involves the world around them by ensuring pupils are also receiving valuable learning from their countries national curriculum so that they do not miss out on cultural learning. PYP also has children learning a second language from the age of 7 so they can be involved and participate in communication around the world.

PYP and CfE bot encourage learners to learn about the world and be accepting of different cultures and religions. They both encourage learning about place and time, where children are encouraged to learn about history and its influences on where we are in the world today.

A final similarity between the two curriculums is the pedagogy of effective classroom talk, where children are encouraged to be leaders in the discovery of their own learning. Instead of tick box exercises both curriculums guide teachers to help create a support system for pupils to discover learning for themselves by providing the correct resources and boundaries.


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. Also, 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.

A final difference is between documentation, different aspects of each part of learning is given different emphasis in the curriculum guide lines. For example, the four capacities are left to discussion on what each means whereas PYP has 10 learner attributes which are made clear what each means and what is expected of a learner. However, CfE has the principles of curriculum design which makes it clear what learning should be inclusive of e.g. relevance, personalisation and choice but IB only states these ideas in their aim and doesn’t include specific documentation for it.

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.

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)