IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Similarities and differences of PYP and CfE –

IB’s Primary years programme (PYP) focuses on the development of the whole child. It aims to help prepare students to become active and caring life long learners taking part in the world around them showing respect towards themselves and others. IB’s PYP is taught from ages 3 to 12, this is similar to CfE’s curriculm which covers ages 3 to 18 however the curriculm is split in two and so the board general education curriculm covering ages 3 to 14/ 15 meaning the areas covered and focuses for their learners in the IB’s PYP are similar to CfE’s Board General Education.

For example IB learn these aims through the six PYP subject areas; language, maths, science, social studies, arts and Personal, social and physical education. These subject areas are similar to the ones taught part of CfE, having expressive arts, health and wellbeing, languages, maths, sciences, social studies as well a religious and moral education and technologies. However the difference with IB’s PYP is that pupils learn more than one language from the age of seven. This shows IB’s focus on languages from a younger age helping broaden horizons and making their aim for pupils to participate in the world easier. CfE’s 1 + 2 language approach has been a newer addition to the curriculm with hopes of achieving a similar outcome with confidence in communication making world connections easier.

IB’s PYP curriculm is also encouraged on being very chid-centred having questions be the lead in their learning. They state they use this method to allow it to be the students job to find meaning in the lesson and learning themselves. This is similar to CfE’s principles Personalisation and choice which also allows and encourages the students to have more of an imput in their learning helping keep engagement and interest in the lesson, allowing pupils to walk away having taken more from the lesson.

CfE’s principle relevance is also key in IB’s PYP curriculum as it too has a focus on relating each subject to another. In both CfE and IB this can be seen by having a lesson outdoors learning about biology of the plants and species  as well as the geography of the land and social issue of pollution around the world or even as simply as using maths skills to count how many red flowers there are compared to yellow. This is an affective criteria to include in lessons and is something both IB’s PYP and CfE agree on the importance of it being in their curriculum.

Finally CfE’s Principles include coherence, this principle could also apply to having a cohering group where member are able to communicate and understand while working together. The importance of family involvement in both the IB’s PYP curriculum and CfE curriculum shows this encouragement of coherence in both the curriculums. Having family involvement not only allows the parents to have a better understand of their child’s learning but allows them to help contribute towards it having the knowledge of how to help out with school hours.

Overall CfE is very similar to IB’s Primary years Programme, both curriculum encourage the same values and morals in their courses as well as the same affective teaching styles which in turn has helped both courses to be successful in their pupils learning.

Educational Trends

In the 1960’s traditional educational trends included a bigger focus on teacher centred teaching, where classrooms where more closed with a more didactic teaching approach which could come across as very patronising with only a right or wrong answer. In this situation pupils learned more by memorising facts and working from textbooks. Pupils were assessed through IQ tests, where there scores were then norm-referenced meaning their result was compared to an average pupil of same grade or age rather than reflecting on their past result and progress.   These traditional education trends began to progress and evolve for example instead of pupils being given all the same content, work was now more differentiated to suit the individual.

The focus on memorising formulas and information instead was encouraged on building the skills to critical think and analyse information. The classroom environment was encouraged on now being more child-centred with open plan rooms, with more of a student choice in their learning and constructive feedback given to help with their build in knowledge and skills as well as keeping morals higher in continuing to work to their best. Education progressed to testing a range of their pupils skills not just IQ and the learning became more transdisciplinarity meaning subjects relate to more than one area of knowledge. Results were then criterion referenced which instead built an average on what to expect in there individual progress rather than  comparing their score to an average pupil the same age.

Overall educations traditional trends expanded to become more broad and wider range encouraging multiple perspectives and a greater interest in learning more about other cultures such as languages by having the introduction of AV and AL languages.

The Curriculm for Excellence very much keeps with educations progressive trends. The progressive trend in helping make pupils learning more child-centred with having more of a student choice is seen in one of CfE’s Principles of curriculum of design. The Principle of Personalisation and choice in teaching gives pupils that input in their learning allowing them to take more of an interest and be more engaged in their learning. The personalisation also encourages differention in work load meaning pupils are working at a level and pace that suits their needs and ability. Instead of the class moving at too fast a pace and pupils losing their moral in being able to achieve, pupils are instead less likely to give up as the challenge given doesn’t feel out their reach therefore is challenging enough to keep pushing to achieve their best.

Progressive education introduced testing on a range of skills in order to make teaching more transdisciplinary. This aim is reflected in CfE’s Principles relevance and breadth. Teaching today in the curriculum for excellence is broad, not only covering various ways of thinking or problem solving but also various subject areas in a lesson. For example, a lesson outdoors may include elements of biology, maths, art etc. this shows pupils the relevance learning each subject has by showing the connections it has not only to other subject areas but also to the outside world. Giving examples to when pupils will use their knowledge outside of the classroom keeps pupil enjoyment and engagement.

Overall educations progressive trends focus on ways to keep pushing their pupils learning as well as keeping their engagement and interest this is also shown in CfE’s Principles a they too aim for learning to include the right level of challenge to also provide enjoyment.

IB Learner Profile

What are the similarities and differences? Have you experienced or observed the development of any of the IB Learner Profile attributes in your own education or experience working with children?

The IB learner profile was created as a ways “to develop internationally minded people who, recognized common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better world, more peaceful world.” This aim is believed to be made possible through the use of their world wide learning community having educators, supporters, students and their families unite under the IB name as well as their mission statement which is action reflects the traits desired in IB learner.

IB learners are encouraged to be inquirers, Knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, reflective, principled, open minded, caring, risk takers and balanced. Through the use of high quality education and encouragement of IB learner profile traits, IB believe they are helping working towards creating a better world.

The CfE 4 learning capacities – Successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributor are similar aims, for their learners, that also reflect the IB learner profile.

The first learning capacity, Successful learner, links with IB’s learners becoming inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers and communicators. It too aims for its learners to be motivated and enthusiastic for learning and determined to reach their highest level of achievement. CfE also aims to enable young people to become communicators through using communications skills in literacy and numeracy and being able to apply different types of learning to new situations.

CfE’s aims of enabaling young people to become confident individual is reflected in the IB learner profile by encouraging learners to be reflective and risk takers. This aim is shown in some of the attributes of being a confident individual. For example having a sense of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing requires reflection on whether they, as an individual, understand that concept and feel that way. The ambitious drive, learners have, comes from being self aware and assessing risks in order to make informed decisions about achieving their success in each activity.

IB traits of being caring and open minded reflect the learning capacity of being a responsible citizen. CfE aim for their learners to be caring by having respect for others as well as open minded by being willing to learn and understand different cultures and beliefs, then using that learning in helping develop informed, ethical decisions or views on complex issues.

The final learning capacity, effective contributor aims for CfE learners to build resilience in problem solving when working together as well as at times taking initiative to take lead and apply critical thinking to new contexts. IB learner profile traits principled and balanced, partly reflect and agree wit CfE’s encouragement for learners to be effective in their way of thinking and contribution given in each activity.

This shows that many of the IB learner profile attributes are encouraged in CfE classrooms as they are very much apart of the 4 learning Capacities. Encouraging pupils to work effectively together as a team or building acceptance and respect for others with differences such as culture and beliefs or physical and learning disabilities. Building open mindsets to aim for your personal best and reflecting on past work to evaluate what the next steps could be for improvement, are all situations seen in the classroom almost daily. These situations also reflect both the CfE Learning Capacities as well as IB learning Profile attributes.







Introduction to the IB programme

IB is based on a learning community aiming to help remove the boundaries which separate languages, countries and cultures, allowing people to work together and communicate more freely. Their 10 core values reflect these aims of developing an intercultural understanding and respect amongst each individual part of the IB programme.

The aims of the IB curriculum align with the main aims of Curriculum for Excellence. CfE also strives to help young people build the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for modern life. These skills are to help in their learning, life and work situations. This shows the connection to the IB aims as CfE also encourages breaking the barriers between different communities or cultures by teaching young people the skills and benefits on working collaboratively with others.

My time in education I have experienced the lessons about learning the importance of accepting and respecting one another by encouraging us as pupils to work together with individuals we may not have chosen in the first place.

Years later this value of acceptance has been continued even more so in my teaching today. Aiming to build a better understanding for respecting each other and learning about those of different backgrounds and cultures was a topic I saw often at my time on placement. This in many ways is a form of breaking down those barriers that the IB Curriculum aim to achieve as well.

IB strive for their young people to be curious learners who are keen to explore and ask questions, as well as communicators, not only in the number of languages they can speak but also being a confident individual and effective listener. As well as being fair, honest and responsible individuals, IB also hope their young people to be open minded and reflective individuals , focused on the well being of others as well as themselves. These link with the CfE four capacities of helping their young people to become Successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

IB’s aims are not the only area that aligns with CfE Curriculum but also its focus for the successful teaching of their programme. IB hopes for their programme to be engaging, challenging as well as significant and relative; helping to make connections with other areas. These focuses in creating a successful learning environment are also reflected in the Curriculum for Excellence programme/ Curriculum.



Still living in a world of racism

When asked last week what I thought race and ethnicity meant, my answer was that they were individual traits that make each of us unique to one another. Everyone’s race is different depending on your place of birth or skin colour and people’s ethnicities depend on their religious beliefs, history or culture. I realised that when talking about race and ethnicity we were almost dividing and categorising people into groups. I didn’t see an issue in these terms as it showed that although people have differences to one another, others have commonalities e.g. same skin colour or beliefs.

When then asked what my understanding of prejudice and discrimination was, I explained that it was a person or people’s negative opinions and views towards an individual or group. Discrimination was when those negative views became negative behaviours and potentially harmful actions. I also thought that these attitudes were a thing of the past. The stories of Rosa Parks or the killing of Emmett Till, were part of our high school history lessons. The parts Martin Luther king played in the civil rights movement and the various others who fought for their right for equality, were all parts of events in the past, which I thought we, as a society today, had learnt and moved on from. I was shocked after our lecture about how wrong I was.

The video above was filmed at the time of the recent Charlottesville attacks on August 12th 2017. It highlights the mind sets of those part of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, and how these racist attitudes, of white American’s being the superior race, still exist today.

I never quite realised how today when any form of uprising occurs we are quick to focus on the terms race and ethnicity. We use these words in a negative way to almost give a reason why everyone of that race or ethnicity should be blamed. We oppress these people by pointing out the fact they have differences and we still hold outdated prejudice views towards those who are out with the ‘normal’.

Many of those, such as black African Americans, have fought for their right to equality in the past and are yet still being discriminated against. In our lecture I was made aware of the amount of unarmed black Americans who have recently been shot due to prejudice and white superior mind sets of those in the police.  It amazed me to find out that black African Americans are 11 times more likely to be shot by police, and after watching a TED talk video from Clint Smith about how to raise a black son in America, I would never before, have thought that these serious life lesson would still be needed today.

To find out that issues from the past still haven’t been resolved today, and if anything are getting worst, was a shocking realisation of what a privileged life I live. I could never imagine the uncertainty a black African American must face when approached by those in society employed to protect us and make us feel safe, not more fearful. But not only Blacks, today prejudice views and acts of discrimination effects a wide spread of people. Race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality are just some of the few reasons people face oppression in their everyday life . The new American president, Donald trump uses his position of power to reveal his hate for Mexicans, Jews and Muslims and many others. Almost encouraging these acts of discrimination against them. Attitudes like these will not help move forward and will instead hold us back in becoming a society with equality for all.


Resources Allocation Workshop

On Tuesdays values seminar, we were split into 5 groups and given a task to come up with, and then create, something that we thought would help a new student starting university. Each group was given a packet of stationary and arts and crafts supplies to help make and present their idea. My groups packet contained various coloured paper, pens and post-its, as well as Sellotape, scissors, paper clips, rubber bands, blue tack and pencils. We initially struggled with understanding the tasks requests but after receiving plenty of support and help from the lecturer, we decided to use some of our materials to make a colour co-ordinated personalised timetable. We felt this would help stop the difficulty of trying to spot your personal classes in a mass of module codes and make the confusion of varying weeks, when only certain groups are needed, simpler.

After presenting our idea to the others I noticed that certain group weren’t treated how we were. We received praise for our idea while others were almost passed over quickly with little attention or else were interrogated by the lecturer, as if she didn’t believe their idea was possible or any good. After listening to one group in particular, I realised what little materials they were given. I didn’t think anything of it, just that it was part of the tasks challenge to be resourceful with what you had.

While making our colourful timetables the amount of support we received from the lecturer continued, to the stage that her caring check-ups became slightly annoying to us. I noticed when presenting our final idea that the same attention and attitude was given to certain groups who were again not treated as well as we were. At this point I fully believed the lecturer had complete dislike for either them or their product.

The final scoring was when I eventually realised there had to be something wrong. Our group was given an 8 out of 10, the second highest score in the class. This was a shock to us all, as although we were happy with our achievement we felt our idea was the simplest, easily done and required much support from the lecturer. However, the group, who I’d originally noticed had very little materials, only received a 2. Yet they had been more inventive with the use of their minimal supplies and would have taken much more effort and imagination to achieve their final product, unlike ours, which had basically been spoon fed to us. After all the confusion and disappointment with scorings we realised that those groups who received less materials were scored lower and given less attention than those of us with more.

The lecturer finished by asking how we could relate the task to society. That’s when I finally understood the purpose of this challenge. It wasn’t to build on our team-working skills or about getting to know new people, it was about showing us some of the harsh realities in society today.

Not everyone today is treated fairly and seen as equals, as the task showed, those who have more in society, for example money, are treated better or seen as more important and worthy of peoples time and attention. As being part of one of the better off groups it also made me realise how blind we can be to those needing help. Our group used very little of our materials given and yet even though I knew one group had basically nothing, it didn’t occur to me to offer any of our unused supplies to help. Instead I let them struggle, knowing the extra amount of effort they would have to put in to finish with a similar final product to ours. This task also made me realise how unappreciative we can be at times. At the end of the task, while listening to the other groups complain about the lack of attention and support they received, I thought about how, at times, our group began to find the lecturers caring annoying.

I feel this task has made me realise how easily we can become unaware of people and their situations around us. It’s taught me, when teaching, just how observant you need to be in order to provide the right amount of support and guidance to each individual child.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

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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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