Category Archives: 2.1 Curriculum

IB Reflective Activity 2

Developing your understanding of the IB Learner Profile

The IB Learner Profile attributes are as follows:

Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced and Reflective.

The CfE’s four capacities are as follows:

Successful Learners, Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals and Effective Contributors.


Between IB and CfE, there are many similarities and differences between these.

There are many more similarities than differences. To begin, The IB attribute ‘inquirers’ links to the CfE capacity ‘successful learners’ because they both encourage pupils to learn independently and in a group and also enables pupils to feel enthusiasm and motivation for learning.

Next, the IB attribute ‘knowledgeable’ applies to the CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ because they both provide opportunities for commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life and to engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. They both allow pupils to understand the world in which they live better.

Furthermore, the IB attribute ‘thinkers’ relates to the CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ because they both allow pupils to think critically and make informed choices and decisions in society and to develop informed ethical views of complex issues. This helps them to think about issues relevant to the society in which they live, helping them to understand how to contribute positively into society through making the right choices.

The IB attribute ‘communicators’ is similar to two CfE capacities; ‘confident individuals’ and ‘responsible citizens’. It is similar to ‘confident individuals’ because this capacity teaches pupils self-respect and gets them thinking about secure values and beliefs. The ‘communicators’ attribute enables pupils to express themselves creatively. It is similar to the ‘responsible citizens’ capacity because it enables pupils to have respect for others and understand different beliefs and cultures. The ‘communicators’ attribute enables pupils to listen carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

The IB attribute ‘open-minded’ is  very important because it encourages pupils to not be judgemental and accept anyone for who they are and what they believe in, even if they are different to themselves. The CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ is similar to this attribute because, again, it encourages pupils to understand different beliefs and values. The ‘open-minded’ attribute gets pupils to critically appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others, seeking to evaluate a range of points of view. This helps to create a more positive society for the future as it discourages negative mindsets and issues such as racism in society. Similarly to this attribute, the IB attribute ‘caring’ links to ‘responsible citizens’ in the CfE capacities because again it encourages pupils to have respect for others. The ‘caring’ attribute makes pupils show empathy compassion and respect.

‘Risk-takers’ in the IB attributes is also a very important attribute. It encourages pupils to approach uncertainty with forethought and determination and also makes pupils resilient in challenge and change. This is similar to the CfE capacity ‘effective contributors’ as it also encourages resilience and self-resilience in pupils. It also encourages pupils to apply critical thinking and new contexts.

‘Balanced’ is an IB attribute which relates to the subject of Health and Wellbeing in the CfE curriculum. The attribute is all about making sure the pupil has a good well being by having a good balance of intellectual, physical and emotional wellbeing. This is similar to the CfE in the ‘confident individuals’ capacity as it also gives pupils a sense of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Both curricula strive for pupils to be happy and have a good well being, so that they can be the best they can be and achieve their full potential.

Finally the ‘Reflective’ IB attribute is similar to the area of Growth Mindset in CfE. This gets pupils to think about how their learning is going and how they feel about their own learning. The ‘reflective’ attribute gets pupils to think about their strengths and weaknesses, which is similar to what Growth Mindset does for pupils in CfE.


The differences I noticed between the IB attributes and the CfE capacities were that the CfE is very much centred around Scotland; for example, although pupils do learn about the world around them, the ‘responsible citizens’ capacity states that children have the knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it. Whereas, IB schools do not have a focus and learn about the world around them in greater detail. In addition, I noticed that the ‘communicators’ attribute makes it a priority that pupils can speak more than one language in order to achieve better communication with the world around them, however, the CfE has made language learning bigger in schools, there is still less of a focus on speaking more than one language than in an IB school. Lastly, the ‘principled’ attribute teaches pupils to take responsibility for their own actions and their consequences, however this is not expressed as much in the CfE.

Through my educational experience, I have seen the attribute ‘reflective’ on more than one occasion. The first occasion I witnessed the attribute during my work experience in S6 when the class were focusing on Growth Mindset. The class completed a survey with the teacher on how they felt their learning was going throughout the year, being asked questions such as how they feel about how smart they felt, or how good they felt at a subject. In addition, I also came across it in my MA1 placement when the teacher did a Reflective Learning activity with the pupils, providing stations around the class rooms with questions about what they enjoyed learning about etc. Pupils have also been ‘risk- takers’ through completing the Chilli Challenge in my MA1 placement as well through having the chance to challenge themselves in choosing an activity that could be a bit more difficult.


On the whole, both curricula are extremely similar, and both work very well and provide pupils all over the world with the best quality education.




IB Reflective Activity 1

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a not-for-profit foundation, motivated by its mission  to create a better world through education (IB, 2015). From researching it further, it has made me realise connections IB and the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). The aims of IB are that it centres on learners, develops effective approaches to teaching and learning, works within global contexts and explores significant content (IB, 2013). The aim of the CfE is to help children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century, including skills for learning, life and work (Education Scotland, 2019).

The aims of the IB align with the aims of the CfE, for example, to begin, the aim of ‘centres on learners’ is very similar to the fact that in the CfE the children are the main focus of absolutely everything that goes on in the classroom. The pupils are the centre of attention and it is important to give them the best quality education possible.

In addition, similarly to CfE, IB develops effective approaches to teaching and learning. From my educational experience in the CfE, I have seen many effective approaches to teaching and learning such as creating good classroom talk, formative assessment and good restorative behaviour management. I can understand that IB will use similar approaches to help encourage people to listen to each other and learn from each other through communication, and understand each other better through the restorative approach and also through having a mix of different cultures existing in the school.

Furthermore, IB gets children to work within global contexts and explores significant content. This is similar to the aim of the CfE where children are given skills for learning, life and work and skills and attributes for living in the 21st century. These align because content learnt in both IB and CfE schools are significant and apply to the principle of relevance in the CfE. Skills needed for the CfE aim are significant to contributing positively into society and learning within the global context is also significant to this as well because it is important to be understanding about those who are different from you to contribute positively into society and to decrease issues such as racism. Children in CfE also learn about different cultures through RMPS which also helps to decrease these issues. Both curriculua encourage learners to be open minded.

Throughout my experience in working with children, I have experienced the aspect of making content significant through adding meaning to lessons for the pupils to help them be more engaged and ready to learn. For example, throughout my MA1 placement, I taught the pupils literacy in a Harry Potter context (which was their class novel at the time) which helped them to be more interested in the topic and encouraged them to engage more as it was in a context that the pupils were really interested in. It made them more enthusiastic about learning literacy which helped to improve their learning experiences.


The Health and Wellbeing of the Child is Crucial to Development- Reflection

After watching both Suzanne Zeedyk and John Carnocha’s videos about the brain development of children in their early years, it made me understand even more just how important it is that we as practitioners do everything in our power to promote positivity into every child’s life.

It was particularly eye opening for me to understand in better depth from Suzanne Zeedyk’s video just how much the environment a child grows up in can affect the development of their brains in both good ways and bad. If the child grows up in a calm and more predictable environment then they will feel happier themselves which effectively makes them learn more efficiently. However, if a child lived in a more stressful and unpredictable environment, it causes them to feel anxious and uneasy which can negatively impact on their learning as all their energy is focussed on feeling nervous and limited to learning. These factors effect children’s futures as the children living in more calm environments find it easier to succeed in life as they don’t have to focus all their energy on being nervous as they have nothing to be afraid of. Whereas for children living in environments that involve problems such as abuse, it can make it hard for them to connect with others later in life as they come across as anxious as they don’t know who to trust.

John Carnochan’s video reinforced to me the fact that it is also important to be as caring and nurturing to children as possible, especially in the early years of their lives. By doing this, it can make a remarkable difference to the way their brains develop later in life. By adding positivity into their lives at an early age, it makes a huge difference as it allows children to feel happy and safe in ways they maybe cannot at home if they are living in an abusive household. This consequently will increase the productivity of their learning in the future as it helps reduce stress and anxiety by having someone they can trust to help them.

As primary practitioners, it is important for us to make all children feel welcome in the classroom and feel at ease by creating a positive ethos in school. By creating a positive ethos both in school and in the classroom, it effectively encourages to children that school is a safe and enjoyable place to be. It reassures children that they will feel comfortable and wouldn’t need to feel anxious in any way. To create a positive ethos, teachers and all staff in the school need to be happy, open, approachable, and trustworthy to children. By being this way, it means that pupils will not hesitate to speak to teachers if they have any questions or want to talk about problems which develops positive relationships between both the teacher and their pupils. In addition, it is important for the school environment to feel welcoming and friendly, for example by adding lots of colour onto the walls and displaying pupils’ work on the wall. This helps to make all pupils feel like they are included members of the school which helps to boost their confidence. On the whole, by making school a pleasant and positive place to be, it will effectively enhance the learning of all children as they gain positive attitudes and mindsets from this. As primary practitioners, we need to be as caring and nurturing as possible to all children in the school to reinforce this positive ethos.


Learning Language- My Experience

Language was an area of the curriculum that I really enjoyed when I was in school. It is an extremely important area of the curriculum as it is a way of expressing ourselves and a key way for us to learn.

There are four areas of language: writing, reading, speaking and listening. When I was younger, I developed my writing skills greatly by writing many different stories. Since this was a very enjoyable part of my childhood, it motivated me to keep developing my writing skills by writing even more stories, helping me to improve more. In school, we also used work sheets to trace letters onto which helped massively with my handwriting.

To develop my reading skills I would always read stories with my parents most nights before going to sleep, which allowed me to hear more frequently how certain words were pronounced which helped greatly. Furthermore, reading out in class at school also developed my confidence massively in reading which helped me progress even further by  making less hesitations and becoming more fluent.

My listening and talking skills were developed by doing both solo and group presentations in school. These successfully helped me gain more confidence in speaking to a larger number of people and also improved my listening skills from watching other presentations.

As a teacher, I would like to encourage the methods I used to help develop my writing, reading, speaking and listening skills as I felt that they really helped me and were very effective for me to make as much progress as possible.

Dance- Actively Engaging Children

This morning I participated in a dance workshop and it made me understand in great depth how dance can be used in schools to allow children to learn in an active way. Not only does it improve the fitness of children but it can also develop many other skills without them even realising.

I learnt that dance can link to many areas of the curriculum very effectively. By involving dance in lessons, it encourages children to see a variety of subject areas in a completely different way and it also makes lessons seem more interesting for them which motivates them to focus more. For example, instead of learning about RME in the classroom in front of a board, dance can be used to enhance the knowledge of the different cultures people live by, which makes the children understand these better by actively participating, rather than sitting at a desk. Another area of the curriculum I could think of that dance could be incorporated into was Numeracy by learning about rhythm and different counts to the music.

I also believe that dance is an amazing way for children to express themselves. Being open to new ideas from the pupils and positively encouraging them with the dance moves they do effectively gives them more confidence in their own learning which evidently encourages them to want to actively engage in lessons and to not be afraid to show their peers what they can do. This also allows children to really get as much out of the lesson as possible by feeling comfortable and allowing them to reach their full potential by not feeling too shy to give it their all. This will evidently improve their knowledge of the area of the curriculum that dance links to as pupils are encouraged to try their best.

Lastly, dance is a great way for pupils to work together with their peers in a respectful manner. By working in groups, children can hear everyone else’s ideas and take them all on board. It can also play a part in growing the children’s confidence as for the shyer pupils dancing on their own can seem daunting, but the support from their peers can really bring a positive impact onto their learning by encouraging them to get as much out of the lesson as possible and to not be afraid. It also develops team working skills which are essential for later in life.

Over all, dance is an amazing way for children to learn as it gets them out the classroom for a while but they can still learn very important aspects of the curriculum that need to be covered in an active and engaging way. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and now feel that I can use dance in lessons in many more ways than I knew before.