Throughout this introductory unit I have been comparing both the PYP (IB Primary Years Programme) and the CfE (Curriculum for Excellence). I have discovered that there are many similarities and differences between the two which I will discuss in this post.
After reflecting on the PYP information document, the PYP video, the CfE curricular areas and principles of curriculum design document and the CfE video, I realise that there are many similarities between the two. For example, both education systems are completely child centred and aim to prioritise giving pupils a better understanding of the world around them in order to give them “skills for learning, life and work” as said by CfE. Each education system is flexible by giving pupils a say in how their learning will take place. This way pupils learning experiences are more effective as they will engage more from having their voices heard. Both systems also concentrate on making the ethos and community of the school positive and a happy place for pupils to be which allows pupils to feel happy while they learn, improving their learning experiences. In addition, both systems also focus on personal achievement as the PYP and CfE focus on developing pupils confidence and both systems definitely achieve this. PYP achieve this by allowing pupils to reflect on their learning regularly which gets them focusing on how they can become better versions of themselves and how they can be the best they can be. Effective reflection is also achieved in CfE through growth mindset, as well as being able to celebrate pupils achievements outside of school which also increases confidence. In the CfE there are four capacities that children are expected to demonstrate; Responsible Citizens, Effective Contributors, Confident Individuals and Successful Learners. Both systems show that pupils can be responsible citizens because pupils in PYP and CfE are responsible for their own learning and this also makes them effective contributors by immersing themselves fully into their learning. Lastly, both PYP and CfE cover the same subject areas; mathematics, language, science, social studies, arts and personal/social/physical education.
From my reflections, I gathered that even though both PYP and CfE very much have the same aims in what they want to achieve, they have slightly different methods of fulfilling their aims. For example, I felt that the example in the PYP video about the “plants” topic got me to see that with PYP, the system is much more people based as through learning different subjects the pupils are learning more about the world around them whilst learning the subject, for example learning about world issues such as deforestation in the topic of plants rather than connecting the topic to a different subject area such as maths or science. With the CfE, it is very much more subject based and focusing on different subject outcomes to complete whereas PYP don’t really have outcomes in their curriculum. PYP have different outcomes that focus on the development of the child as a person rather than developing intellectually and academically as their outcomes are “who we are”, “where we are in place and time”, “how we express ourselves” and “how the world works”. The CfE have principles that are more academically based such as “challenge and enjoyment”, “breadth”, “progression”, “depth”, “personalisation and choice”, “coherence” and “relevance”. In CfE the themes are very much subject based as teachers implement these into their lessons to make teaching the subject more effective, whereas the PYP themes are very much people based and are implemented in lessons to “effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas” as said by the PYP document. In short, CfE focus on making teaching each subject area as effectively as possible to give pupils the best quality education, whereas PYP are trying to steer away from the idea of subject areas and link all aspects of education into one.
In conclusion, I have learnt that there are many ways in which the PYP and CfE are very similar and also ho they are very different. Both education systems are very effective in their own unique ways! From my research it is making me very excited to see these similarities and differences in practice when I complete my IB placement!