IB introductory module- reflective activities

Reflective Activity 1:

How would you summarise the main aims of an IB education?

  • IB schools aim to offer children not just the facts of different curricular areas, but providing them with the tools and knowledge of different learning techniques and strategies to allow them more freedom and flexibility when learning in school.
  • IB schools aim to include a range of different learning approaches in lessons understanding that each child will approach new activities and lessons differently, thus factoring in for each child’s abilities.
  • Furthermore IB place a strong importance on including learning on current world events and different cultures to accommodate to their wide range of children coming into their schools from a host of different countries and cultural backgrounds.

Have you experienced any aspect of the IB aims when working in school or in your own education?

  • IB approaches learning in a holistic manner and this is something that interests me greatly, ive not worked in a school before that approaches learning in this way however i believe this is the way forward for education and i feel i myself at school would’ve benefitted greatly from this style of learning.

Reflective Activity 2:

What are the similarities and differences?

  • Similarities I noticed between the two learner profiles is the importance placed on producing responsible caring members of society. In the 4 capacities it states “commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life.” The IB learner profile reflects similar values stating “We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.”
  • Moreover, both learner profiles place significance on producing learners who are not afraid to take risks in learning and not to be afraid of voicing their own views and thoughts of the world around them.
  • However it can be seen in the IB learner profile there is much more focus on children learning through inquiry and creatively rather than purely as outlined in the 4 capacities just having the ability to gain the appropriate knowledge from the curriculum.
  • although the 4 capacities does mention learners being able to “think creatively and independently.” but it is clear there is not as much drive towards the importance of inquiry and creative learning.

Have you experienced or observed the development of any of the IB learner profile attributes in your own education or experience working with children?

  • When reflecting on my own teaching experience in schools i have seen aspects of the IB learner profile brought into the curriculum however not so often in the Scottish primary schools that i have worked in.
  • I feel i can best link my own experience and the IB learner profile to when i worked in an Indigenous primary school in Australia, due to much of the behavioural problems and other cultural aspects to the school they did take the more holistic IB learning/teaching approach with the children. I was able to see this through much more hands on learning activities, more opportunity for sporting and creative activities too. Furthermore through multiple school days that were dedicated to the children at the schools cultures and celebrating the indigenous people of Australia and different aspects of their lives and culture.

Reflective Activity 3: 

Reflect on which of ‘progressive’ trends align with your understanding of teaching and learning within CfE?

  • When reading through the progressive trends in the History of IB there are multiple that stand out from my own learning of the CfE, these trends being Student choice, Child-centred and Constructivism. However when reading into the rest of these trends it became clear to me that most of them are unfamiliar and I haven’t seen them in the CfE or used in practice before.

Reflective Activity 4:

Reflect: on the similarities and differences between the PYP and CfE. You should make reference to CFE’s curricular areas and principles of curriculum design.

  • The PYP and CfE I believe are quite different, when reviewing both documents its more clear that the PYP is not just one rigid set approach to learning for specific areas of the curriculum like how the CfE is structured, but instead definitely gives a more fluid and flexible approach to teaching and learning.
  • It is outlined in the videos how PYP is based upon transdisciplinary learning because this is the way our world is structured.
  •  I believe there is a a host of links between the CfE and the PYP but it is still restricted slightly more. However I do see more and more aspects of the PYP being introduced into our schools and teaching styles.

“Why would you want to be a primary school teacher?!”

“Why would you want to be a Primary school teacher?!”

This is a question I’ve been asked several times by people, usually with a concerned look on their face at the time. “Why would you want to do that?” “Do you know how much work is involved?” Usually the person would end by saying – “I wouldn’t be able to do that.” My answer is simple, because I love it and have found my passion. This I learned to be undeniably true after spending six of the most challenging months of my life working and living in an indigenous school in Northern Australia. It was there I encountered the most challenging behaviour I’ve ever had to experience. Verbal and sometimes physical attacks were the norm at Djarragun College, yet I loved working there and working with the dedicated staff and the kids. Being able to build strong, meaningful, relationships with both the students and the teachers was the most rewarding experience. Growing from being labelled a “c****sucker” and a “white s***”, into a “sister” in the eyes of the kids made it all worth it. I will never forget the first time I helped a preppy spell their name, or working with a year 3 on a persuasive essay on why we should “eat healthy food” and seeing the sense of achievement and pride appear in their eyes knowing that they had done that. The hardest part about leaving Australia, funnily enough, wasn’t leaving the warm climate or the stunning scenery (although neither would go a miss on cold, wet, November nights like this one!) but having to leave my Primary school kids. I truly understand that Primary teaching is much more than teaching a child their A B C’s and 1 2 3’s, important as that is, but equally and importantly to do with the relationship of trust built between a teacher and a pupil. This relationship is paramount in helping a child develop and grow; making sure they know you are someone who they can turn to not only when they’re stuck on an equation, but also if they’re experiencing problems at home or with friends – someone who they can talk to and confide in.

It hasn’t just been the vital working experiences I’ve had in a variety of schools which made me realise I wanted to teach. Experiencing my own struggles at school being the “1 in 10” pupils with dyslexia certainly has contributed. Having the invaluable support from my own teachers instilled in me a great sense of admiration for them and boosted my confidence. Without their confidence and support in me I am quite convinced I would not have been able to make it as far as I have. Going to SFL from Primary 3 up to S4 gave me the tools which have helped me revise and learn all the way up to now. The perseverance and certainty my teachers maintained in me was an important aspect of my success in school, earning me 5 A’s at Higher. I wish to be that support, and instil that belief, in those who I teach, as I know what a positive effect it can have on a child’s development.





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Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

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