Category Archives: 2.1 Curriculum

International Baccalaureate

Exercise 2

The IB’sten core values are; inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open minded, caring, risk takers, balanced and reflective which can be compared and contrasted to the Curriculum for Excellence’s four capacities of; Successful learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors.

Although the IB may be more specific in terms of what they are looking for from their learner’s, a lot of their values correspond with our four capacities intertwining the two curriculums as they have the same end goal.

For example, as a Successful Learner, the CfE aims for children to be enthusiastic and motivated to learn, have determination to succeed and being open-minded.  They should be able communicate well, use literacy and numeracy skills, technology, learn independently and as a part of a team etc.  Already we can see that within being a Successful Learner, the IB’s core values of open-minded, inquirers, communicators cross paths as they encourage their learners to do the same.  Within CfE, being a confident individual means having self-respect, having ambition, being aware of their mental, physical and emotional well-being e.g. by having a healthy lifestyle, assessing risks, having their own beliefs etc. Again, similar to that of the IB’s values of knowledgeable, thinkers, risk-taking and balanced.  Being a responsible citizen means that our learners should have respect for others, be open-minded to and understand different cultures, being fair and being considerate to the world around them.  Similar to being ‘caring’, ‘principled’ and ‘knowledgeable’ within the IB. An effective contributor is seen to have resilience, working in partnership, problem-solving and using initiative which coincides with a few IB values e.g. being ‘reflective’ and ‘thinkers’.

During my first-year placement, I was involved in a “Big Battery Hunt” with my class, where the children were able to write letters to local companies with the aim of them donating batteries to our school. Our class were responsible citizens as we collected batteries, counted them and gave them to recycling showing our commitment to participating responsibly in life.  Similar to the IB’s value of ‘caring’ where is states that they act to make a positive difference to the world around them.

Through exploring both the Curriculum for Excellence’s capacities and comparing the International Baccalaureate’s core values, I can appreciate the similarities that they both have in order to nurture and prepare their learners for the outside world.  The IB’s values interlock with CfE’s capacities well where I also found that a lot of the values discussed can fit into more than one capacity, meaning that both curriculums run similarly.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Exercise 1

The international baccalaureate (IB) is a programme for students aged 3-19 to encourage academic and individual success for all.  It offers four educational programmes;

  • Primary Years Programme
  • Middle Years Programme
  • Diploma Programme
  • Career-related Programme

The IB highly focuses on developing their young people to ‘create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’ (IB, 2016).  Therefore, meaning that the everyday barriers to different countries e.g. languages and cultures can be taught and understood better. The IB aims for its young people to become more globally engaged e.g. a better understanding of language much like the 1 & 2 approach in Scotland which allows every child the opportunity to learn a modern language.

The IB discusses its ten core values – inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principle, open minded, caring, risk takers, balanced and reflective – at the heart of its learning, ensuring respect for all people.  These core values align well with the Curriculum for Excellence four capacities – Successful learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors which I will discuss further in exercise 2.

The IB educational programme puts students at the heart of its learning, similar to the national approach in Scotland, Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) in which the wellbeing of children and young people are supported immensely ensuring that the correct support is available to children and their families from the correct services at the correct time.

During my previous practice, I worked in Early Years where the GIRFEC approach was prominent.  For example, we had Speech and Language Therapists who we often worked collaboratively with including parents and/or carers to ensure that children were able to develop and achieve appropriately. Other professionals we worked with e.g. educational psychologists, occupational therapists, local police etc meant that the children’s overall wellbeing – how safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included they were – was supported.

The IB programme is supported by assessment in which teachers can then plan, implement and evaluate in order for children to move on in their learning and reach their next steps. During my first-year placement, one of my goals was to focus on formative assessment in which I was able to research and therefore understand assessment on a deeper level.  For example, asking questions as an assessment tool. I learned that questions must be open-ended, stimulating and child centred which allows children to develop their own thinking and opinions.