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Issue 2: Summer 2009

The best of the International Primary Curriculum from around the globe

In this issue 3 Welcome all! 4 Thoughts from Martin Creating a learning-focused school

5 An IPC unit in action Blowing our top about The Active Planet!

6 Making the IPC work for you Supporting SEN with the IPC

8 IPC News Reporting from around the IPC world

10 The Best of the IPC Some of what’s going on with the IPC around the world

12 The Interview Page We talk to Alex Bell about his experiences teaching and working with the IPC

14 What’s New from the IPC A solution for science

15 Competition page Win £100 of gift certificates from National Geographic

16 The Surgery Answering anything you ever wanted to know about the IPC

18 Meet the IPC Professional Development Team 19 Fieldwork Education Take a look at the Looking for Learning Toolkit

Front: Grade Two students from SJI International Elementary School in Singapore ‘habitat hunting’ around MacRitchie Reservoir as a part of the Entry Point for the IPC ‘Do You Live Around Here?’ unit. Students took photographs, made drawings and wrote lists of the habitats they found in the park right down the street from their school.


Welcome all! Dear Colleagues, What a difference a year makes! This year we have seen a record number of schools around the world joining the IPC community. Some schools trial the IPC with one class, others jump right in with everyone participating. There is no right or wrong way and that’s the beauty of the IPC; the choice is yours to launch and implement as you think is right for your school. For some new schools, the difference of one year has been profound. Scargill Primary in Derbyshire, England has been in touch with us to say what a huge difference the IPC has made in helping to engage their year 6 boys. Garden International School in Malaysia says that the home and host country approach of the IPC has played a significant part in developing the internationalmindedness of its children. And it’s not just in the first year when many schools see an impact. Others take time for the IPC to embed throughout the school and then start seeing a big difference in years 3 or 4. And even wellestablished schools like the International School of the Hague (ISH) are still experiencing significant changes from one year to the next. This year, ISH focused much attention on taking the school to IPC Mastering level through the IPC Accreditation process and were successful in achieving this. Many congratulations to ISH for this superb achievement. You can read more about their success on page 9. Have you looked at the IPC website forum yet? It started off as a discussion about personal goals and developed into debates about other issues including reporting to parents. We are thrilled that in a very short space of time, the forum has formed a life of its own based on what you – our members – want to talk about. The reality is that it’s more of a blog than a forum so we’ve turned it into that just for you: thanks to everyone who took part in creating your very own IPC Blog! We hope you enjoy this issue of Eye On The World. Thank you to everyone who sent in photographs of Great Learning, Great Teaching and Great Fun taking place in their school. We hope you find a picture of your school within the next few pages.

With best wishes,

Janice Ireland, Anne Keeling and the IPC Team

P.S. If you would like to contribute a photograph or news from your school to the next issue of Eye On The World, simply send a jpeg photograph and short explanation to Janice Ireland at or Anne Keeling at


Thoughts from Martin

Creating a learningfocused school


artin Skelton is the co-founder and Managing Director of Fieldwork Education. Since he started the company 25 years ago, Martin has travelled throughout the world helping schools to improve learning and to develop internationalmindedness. Here Martin talks about creating a learning-focused school. Learning takes place in children’s heads. For all the busyness of schools, the action that really – really – matters takes place there. It’s important to remember this. It reminds us that the job of a teacher isn’t just to teach; it is to create the conditions in which learning can take place. Teaching can be a very different activity than this. Teaching can be about planning, delivering in the classroom, organising activities, display, about so many things. Because learning is what matters, a teacher who enables great learning to happen but doesn’t always end every lesson with a plenary is actually preferable to a teacher who does but whose children don’t learn. This is why the pressures on teachers have increased. Looking like a teacher isn’t enough anymore; we’re challenged to make sure learning is happening, or to demonstrate that it has. It’s a tough job and to do it well all teachers have to continually deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding of how learning happens and how to help learning happen. The responsibility for learning isn’t down to individual teachers. A child’s learning progress through the school

is a shared affair. Teachers, too, work in a shared community. As some of us have experienced, it’s hard to do our best work if the rest of the school is working against us. Learning-focused teachers work best when the whole school is learning-focused.

the recruitment process). It also requires learning-focused leadership throughout the school; people who are able to take others with them. This isn’t just the Head’s job, although an important part of it. We need learning leaders all over the school.

What does this mean? We think it means four things. First of all, individual teachers have to be passionate about learning. This process begins at the recruitment stage. Many advertisements don’t mention learning and so don’t attract people who are passionate about it; many interviews don’t spend long enough discussing learning. A learning-focused school sets out from the very start to attract teachers who share the school’s passion.

Third, the structures and systems of the school need to be learningfocused. We often ask this simple question: What’s the difference between ‘x’ and a learning-focused ‘x’? For ‘x’ you might want to substitute ‘staff meeting’, ‘performance management’ or ‘parent meeting’. A learning-focused school makes sure that everything is learning-focused. Do your public displays shout out that your school cares about learning or just that you’ve displayed some nice work?

Looking like a teacher isn’t enough anymore; we are challenged to make sure that learning is happening or to demonstrate that it has.

Finally, learning-focused schools identify key evidence that helps them demonstrate and analyse how well learning is happening. This often involves entry and exit level assessments to see the progress children have made. In many schools, however, it doesn’t include enough evidence of whether learning is happening hour by hour, day by day. From this evidence come targets for individual children, year groups and the whole school; reports to governors, parents and inspectors and – equally importantly – the chance to celebrate what really matters.

Second, the collective team of teachers has to be passionate about learning too. This takes some achieving. Becoming a team means sharing meanings and practices, working together to improve and, occasionally, putting aside one’s personal desires for the overall success of the team. It requires individuals who want to work with others rather than who focus on themselves (and finding this out is another part of 4

A learning-focused school accepts the responsibility to do everything possible to support children’s learning. Nothing is left to chance. This is what great schools do.

An IPC unit in action Blowing our top about The Active Planet!


favourite with schools everywhere, The Active Planet – Earthquakes and Volcanoes – is a unit for 8 and 9 year olds. One IPC school that is using firsthand experience to enhance their learning within this unit is Montserrat Secondary School located on the island of Montserrat in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies. In 1995, two-thirds of the island’s population was forced to flee abroad to avoid the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano. The eruption continues today on a much reduced scale. The island is presently rebuilding itself and people are returning to live on the island once again. There are presently 4,000 inhabitants compared to an original population of 12,000.

Here Tricia Campbell of Montserrat school talks about their interpretation of the IPC Volcanoes unit:

“The school is situated on the south of the island quite close to the volcano which sometimes means we have to close when there is an increase in volcanic activity. We are working closely with the Scientists from Montserrat Volcano Observatory to add to the unit in terms of making more about our volcano and calling it Living with a Volcano. We now have students who can share with visitors what it is like to live with a volcano and because of their feeling of success they are seeing that learning has a purpose. The students really love the handson experience the IPC offers, so much so that other classes and teachers are hoping to become involved next year.”

Children from PDO School in Oman create memorable learning during The Active Planet unit.

Children from Abel Smith Primary School in Hertford, England get up close to a piece of volcanic rock from Mount Vesuvius during their work on The Active Planet unit.

Students from Montserrat Secondary School on a visit to Montserrat Volcano Observatory.

Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat.

A student from the American International School, Rotterdam using the wall display created by the children to explain how different areas and people have been affected by earthquakes and volcanoes.


Children from the British International School of Stavanger learning about the changes that occur when materials are mixed as part of The Active Planet unit.

Making the IPC work for you Supporting SEN with the IPC


leanor Shaw is Headteacher at Oaklands School, a special needs school in Leicester, England. She was quoted in the SEN Journal last year as saying “I’ve never come across anything that has quite met the needs of our children so powerfully as the IPC”. Here Eleanor tells Eye On The World how she has used the IPC to help transform the school: IPC Can you describe Oaklands for us? Eleanor Shaw We take children between the ages of 4 and 10 and have just about every type of special need from moderate learning difficulties and various degrees of autism to Down’s Syndrome; we also have some very quite disaffected children. We do not have an early intervention programme but we do a lot of streaming which we believe meets the individual needs of each one of our children.

to airports, railway stations and the nearby chocolate factory. IPC How are you helping your children to access their learning? ES Without a doubt the IPC is enabling that to happen. We have some severely autistic children who have very limited language skills and through the active, thematic learning of the IPC they are able to pick up the concepts, make judgements and think ‘what

IPC Do you have a mission statement for the school?

Creating continuity is very important for our children and the progressive learning links within each unit of work means that there’s no dipping in from one subject to the next without any connections.

ES It’s ‘Making Learning Fun.’ Introducing the IPC three years ago has really helped us to achieve this. If you take a look at our displays, which are very learning-focused, and walk around our classrooms, where there is a lot of active learning going on, you can clearly see that the kids are really enjoying the learning. We also make many visits to support our learning;

next?’ Creating continuity is very important for our children and the progressive learning links within each unit of work means that there’s no dipping in from one subject to the next without any connections. The length of the IPC units of work also mean we have plenty of time to develop skills and understanding, revisiting and 6

consolidating the same skills in many different ways which is very good for our children’s self-esteem. IPC How about your most challenging children? How are you keeping them on task? ES Through active and engaging learning. For example during the IPC I’m Alive unit recently, the teacher pureed lettuce and created a food trail for some snails. We had five children within the autistic spectrum at the most challenging level, close up to the snails watching them follow the food trail. They were totally engaged and they were also able to identify that the snail was alive because it was moving and following the food and then compare the snail to a stone and differentiate between the two. We would never have expected that of them a year ago. We are setting clear learning outcomes for each child which means that each child makes progress. They are going home with an achievement and that makes them very happy. IPC How much time are you spending on developing personal skills and how important is that for your children? ES We believe it is absolutely vital to enable our children to live, cope and work within their community and they are developing all their crucial social skills within their IPC learning. It’s

Children from Oaklands School engaged in learning with two IPC units: Food and Holidays Far Left: Eleanor Shaw

really been fascinating to watch how this is happening. Within the IPC unit of work we are finding opportunities whenever possible for the children to help each other. For example, a junior child showing the reception children something he has learnt. Or encouraging children to work in pairs to build their own rockets, planning what parts they need to take off and fly. These situations involve many personal learning skills that are absolutely essential for our children to use within daily living. IPC Are you involving children in their own assessment for their learning? ES For our more able children yes; through the IPC’s Assessment for Learning. The children’s rubrics which the children use themselves for selfassessment are absolutely fantastic. For most of the children we have to read their rubrics to them but they love knowing what the next step is that they have to take and are very good at remembering what they have to achieve. It instantly gives them a lot of self-motivation. I’ve got a considerable number of children on ‘mastering’ levels which I never thought would happen two years ago. IPC What about your less able children when it comes to assessment for learning? ES Some of our children could be at

‘beginning’ level forever but the IPC’s Assessment for Learning is too good a curriculum resource to lose because it’s not working for some. We are at a point where we want to trial some new levels within IPC’s Assessment for Learning to meet the needs of our lower ability children. IPC Is behaviour a big problem for you? ES Well, we used to have dreadful problems with the children after lunchtime. We struggled to get them settled, some children would refuse to

The delivery of the National Curriculum via the QCA units was too abstract for them; it absolutely did not meet their needs. go back into the classrooms and it was a constant issue. We tried everything including changing their diet but it boiled down to the way they were learning. The delivery of the National Curriculum via the QCA units was too abstract for them; it absolutely did not meet their needs. It was just meaningless to them and gave them no aspiration or incentive to learn. 7

Introducing the IPC changed all of that. Now they are working on topics that they think are fun like Earthquakes, Chocolate and Holidays. The Entry Point immediately engages them and the thematic and active learning approach keeps the children engaged throughout the length of the unit. The unit lengths are ideal too as no one has to be rushed. Of course we still have some behaviour issues and always will do, but the children now want to learn and that is crucial and there are now no issues about returning to the classroom after lunch. IPC What are your immediate plans for school development now? ES Our library. Up until now our library has been a place to send children when they’re not coping in the classroom environment and a place to find books with nice pictures. Since working with the IPC, that existing library has now become not fit for purpose. So the library is being moved into a larger space and being transformed into a working library where the children can find information; with books for topics and pre-loaded laptops ready for children to be able to do research. It will be a place for our children to find out things for themselves. For them and for all of us at Oaklands that’s a very exciting place to be.

IPC News

Reporting from around the IPC world

New Léman International School, Chengdu, China opens with the IPC Identified by the Chinese Government as a business model for the future, Chengdu, the fourth largest city in China will be opening a world class calibre school in September. The school, which will be the 620th IPC school, is designed to attract top quality expatriate workers to the city. Richard Mast, currently Director of the International School of Stockholm will be the founding Headmaster of Léman International School. Eye On The World caught up with Richard to find out more about it: “Léman International School is being built for 1,000 students on 50 acres of land” says Richard. “None of our students are currently in China; this

Richard Mast

is about the future, but we expect to have between 30 and 50 children from Kindergarten to Grade 5 when the doors open in the fall. As an international school we need to be as good, if not better, than the best schools our expatriate families will have left behind in their home countries. That is our aim at Léman International School which is why we have chosen the IPC for our children.” Richard knows the IPC well from his time at the International School of Stockholm, where it was introduced five years ago. “I have a very strong curriculum background” he says. “The IPC is the best primary curriculum I’ve ever seen in what it provides for

teachers, the children and the school. It’s a brilliant vehicle for teachers to interpret, implement and evaluate; modifying and adjusting the learning tasks for the particular needs of the children and the school. I am absolutely confident that the IPC provides the foundation to achieve high levels of academic and personal learning in a very engaging way and look forward to launching it in Chengdu.” Léman International School has been built in lush fields and gardens at the foot of the Chengdu hills. It will eventually be admitting middle and high school students as well as primary children.

The Léman International School under construction earlier this year


Congratulations International School of The Hague! The International School of The Hague (ISH) has been awarded IPC Accreditation; the first ever school to receive accreditation and, not only that, but they achieved it at ‘mastering’ level. ISH opened its doors five years ago and has been using IPC as the curriculum from day one. Pascale Hertay is Team Leader for curriculum coordination and she tells Eye On The World about the steps the school took towards accreditation: “During our five years we’d followed trainings from IPC to help us develop as a learningfocused school so good learning was already taking place at ISH. After the Good To Great IPC conference we were motivated to focus even more on learning being at the heart of the school.” In aiming for IPC Accreditation, the school set up a self-review committee of management and teachers. The team evaluated where they were within

the IPC’s nine accreditation rubrics, identifying areas requiring extra focus and including them in their school development plan. A pre-accreditation visit from IPC’s Howard Marshall helped the committee to move some themes of accreditation from ‘developing’ to ‘mastering’. John Holmes of the IPC carried out the accreditation review. “What this school has done is brilliant” says John. “I spoke to six groups of children and they were the real eye-openers. All the children talked about knowledge, skills and understanding. They approached a large part of their work in a collaborative way, choosing a project and identifying individual roles and responsibilities based on skill strengths enabling the other children to develop skills from their peers. The Senior Management team was the driving force and had embedded the aim of IPC Accreditation within everyone which had created a strong

Graeme Scott working with primary children at the International School of the Hague

passion amongst the team and, as a result, throughout the school. Without the hard work, dedication and passion of the teaching staff, ‘mastering’ level would not have been possible. They were and are the ones who put IPC into action day in, day out. For ISH it’s a process with many results, not least huge kudos within a competitive market but above all, helping and improving children’s learning.” Principal of Primary School at ISH , Graeme Scott says “Of course it is very satisfying to be the first IPC school to be accredited, but much more important is the way we have achieved this and the level at which we were judged to be working. The accreditation process was rigorous, so to be judged as ‘mastering’ in all levels is of course a great achievement, but there is still much to be done. ‘Mastering’ does not mean ‘mastered’! The accreditation process has helped us become a real learning community.”

Pascale Hertay helping children with their learning

Would you like to be an IPC reporter? Send us your story (in about 100 words) and an electronic photograph and we’ll try and include you in a forthcoming issue of Eye On The World. Email your news to Janice Ireland at or Anne Keeling at We look forward to hearing from you! 9

The best of the IPC

Some of what’s going on with the IPC around the world

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The IPC interview

We talk to Alex Bell about his experiences teaching and working with the IPC


eet Alex Bell, Deputy Headteacher at Sir William Burrough Primary School in Tower Hamlets, London. Eye On The World talks to Alex about his work with the IPC. IPC Tell us a little bit about your role within the school. Alex Bell Sir William Burrough Primary is located in the shadow of Canary Wharf. We have 330 fantastic learners and 50 well-established staff. My role is to lead on curriculum standards and innovation and the goal is to ensure that the curriculum is truly rich for every one of our children. This doesn’t just mean focusing on the children, or on the curriculum plan; it also means working closely as a staff. If we teachers are engaged with an exciting curriculum, it makes it so much easier for children to learn well. That means ensuring that our teachers feel comfortable not knowing all the answers; that they explore the learning with the children using new technology to keep the learning fresh. This is a 21st century way of learning; where the teachers are learning along with the children and it’s essential that teachers are encouraged and supported in taking this approach.

IPC When did Sir William Burrough introduce the IPC? AB Almost five years ago now. It was the right time for us. We are a school hungry to do things better. Back at the time, there were parts of the curriculum we wished to do better and the IPC fulfilled all those wishes providing a very thorough, structure that could not only meet all our learning targets but also provide flexibility to make the learning feel creative and personal.

If we teachers are engaged with an exciting curriculum, it makes it so much easier for children to learn well. IPC You mention the flexibility of the IPC. We encourage schools to interpret the IPC in ways that best suit the school. How have you been able to make the IPC personal to your children at Sir William Burrough? AB We are very lucky to be an inner London school in that we receive free transport to free public places. This means that we have an enormous 12

range of possibilities for giving our children hands-on experiences. There isn’t an IPC unit that goes past without going on at least two visits. We also often delay the ‘Knowledge Harvest’ until after a visit to give our children more reference points. It helps to give them something tangible from which to build their learning. We are also now writing some of our own units in the spirit of the IPC; units that are very relevant to us at Sir William Burrough. The flexibility of the localised adaptations is, in my opinion, one of the best things about the IPC along with the clarity of the learning process. IPC Have you been able to make links with any other IPC member schools, in particular international schools? AB Initially we made IPC links at leadership level, making connections with like-minded global peers. We did this face-to-face as nothing compares to that for building good, long-term relationships. The next step was to get all our staff on international visits which they have now all done, often informally. And now it’s the turn of the kids. We’re on our second Summer School exchange to Rome for our Year 4 children, some of our Year 6 children are hoping for a school exchange to Harlem and others have just returned from Washington. All these

Left: Alex Bell helping one of his pupils Above and right: Pupils of Sir William Burrough Primary School, Tower Hamlets

connections with our international peers help to challenge our thinking and everything we do with the IPC enhances this. IPC Do these links help your teachers to develop the global learning and international-mindedness of your children? AB Definitely. Internationalmindedness can’t just remain a theory. You have to get people out there sharing learning in different ways at a real human level. True internationalmindedness is about meaningful dialogue and it really is very exciting for everyone when that happens well. IPC It sounds like most of your teachers are very well embedded with the IPC. How do you help your new teachers become competent IPC practitioners quickly? AB Well, many of our new teachers come to Sir William Burrough because of the IPC. As for support, every new staff member has a mentor to keep for as long as they wish. It helps with their understanding of the practical aspects of the IPC and encourages them to share lots of tried and tested approaches to delivering the curriculum.

IPC You have recently started working with Fieldwork Education’s Looking for Learning Toolkit. Are you implementing this alongside the IPC? AB Yes we are and it is definitely enhancing the IPC. The Looking for Learning process turns ‘performance’ on its head. It’s enabling us to spend more time in each other’s classrooms; not observing but creating a teacher learning community and this is opening up trust between everyone.

The ILMP was one of the best things that I have ever done! The process of Looking for Learning is helping us to ensure we don’t allow any obstacles at all to get in the way of the learning . IPC Last year you took part in the International Leadership and Management Programme (ILMP). Have you been able to draw on that learning to improve your implementation of the IPC in any way? AB The ILMP was one of the best things that I have ever done! It was a combination of really good solid educational theory; a bringing together 13

of like-minded people from all over the world, and the discussion of common themes – including the IPC – from very diverse contexts. There were some highly respected mentors there who encouraged us to keep asking questions of ourselves. That really was very exciting. For me, the crucial learning came from that drive to create the optimum conditions for children themselves to learn well. I’m now working on applying that, especially within the context of the IPC.

The ILMP Middle Leaders 4 Day Course takes place in London from July 26th to 29th. Aimed at Coordinators, Department Heads, and Subject and Team Leaders, the ILMP ML provides a highly practical development leadership and management programme for Middle Leaders that can be applied to any school environment around the world. For more information go to www.internationalleadership at Fieldwork Education at or phone +44 (0)20 7531 9696.

What’s new from the IPC? Making science even stronger


or several years, primary science has been a priority for schools, not least because of the English National Curriculum focus on science as a core subject. The IPC’s Katie Fitch, who is responsible for writing IPC route reports and checking coverage for you, has many schools asking her about science coverage. She explains: “Over a two year cycle, schools often want to be reassured that they’re getting enough coverage of the four science components (materials, living things, physical processes, and enquiry or investigative science). It is important to remember to create opportunities to revisit the learning goals within a number of different units of work over that two year time period so that the essential knowledge, skills and understanding are consolidated. That’s why I’m here; to help make sure you have good coverage of science and all the foundation subjects” says Katie.

thorough coverage of the science components. Don’t forget that the IPC has been designed for schools all over the world and recognises the need for schools to adapt the learning to suit your own children and to meet the specific needs of your national curriculum. So we also encourage you to personalise your IPC units and add to them as you need; that’s the beauty of the IPC. Here are Katie’s suggestions of existing IPC units of work that provide strong coverage of the key science components:

Milepost 2 Young and Old Clean Water, Dirty Water Time and Place Milepost 3 Mission to Mars Growing Up Black Gold The Physical World

Saving Water

this in to some kind of context, we let them experiment in the nursery play pool using a variety of containers. They gained a much better understanding of the units of measure of water and what those measures mean in the real world. They were then able to apply this understanding when later discussing how water is wasted and can be saved. This lesson had super cross-curricular links to maths and is something we will refer to again in the future when continuing our learning about water. It was a really successful lesson which the children enjoyed immensely!”

As you can see from the picture, Alice Pearson, class 2A teacher from the British International School Vietnam created a fun learning experience for her children as part of the IPC Saving Water unit. “We wanted the children to get a realistic idea of the size of amounts of water, especially related to the amount of water we waste. To put

Katie Fitch joined the IPC development team last year. Her experience teaching the IPC is extensive. She taught the IPC in PDO (Oman) for four years before moving to teach the IPC in Sakhalin International School in Russia for another four years and then spent six months teaching in the United Kingdom before joining the IPC team. Katie has taught the IPC across all the mileposts and knows the IPC inside and out.

Milepost 1 Flowers and Insects Dressing Up The World of our Senses

We are presently updating and reviewing a number of IPC units of work, making science even stronger and creating even more options for

The IPC Saving Water unit for Milepost 1 is a short, 3-week unit of work with good science focus and so excellent to use at busy times of year when time is limited.

Katie Fitch


Children from the British International School Vietnam enjoy testing out capacity during the Saving Water unit

Competition Page!

Win £100 of gift certificates from National Geographic


hank you to every school that participated in our Flags of the IPC competition in the first issue of Eye On The World. There were two winning schools. One was Carolyn Wignall’s class at SJI International Elementary School in Singapore. We were particularly impressed with Dinithi’s account of her trip on the Mahaweli River. Excellent job Dinithi! The other winning school was Hanan Bassam’s class from the Royal Mile Primary School in Edinburgh, Scotland – not an IPC school but they got hold of a copy of Eye On The World and took part regardless! Let’s hope they join the IPC community soon! Congratulations to both schools who identified all 51 IPC country flags correctly, and were the first two entries picked in the prize drawing. You will be receiving your prize gift certificates in the post very soon. See the answers to all of the flags we asked you to identify below. Now for this issue’s competition: Where in the world are you reading Eye On The World? Eye On The World gets to some very

impressive places….as you can see! Here is our very own Soumaya AlRoubaiey with Eye On The World outside Buckingham Palace. And judging by the flag, the Queen was at home. Now it’s your turn to find a great place to read your copy of Eye On The World.

photograph with you and Eye On The World! Email your photograph along with the location that the photograph was taken, and the name of your school, teacher and class to or post your photograph and entry details to Janice Ireland, Eye On The World Competition Entry, International Primary Curriculum, 25 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LD One prize will be awarded to entries from Early Years and Milepost 1 classes. Another prize will be awarded to entries from Milepost 2 and 3 classes.

All we want you to do is take a photograph of someone or a group from your class with Eye On The World in a unique place or an amazing part of the world. You could do this while you are on a school field trip, or while you are on holiday somewhere exciting, while you are adventuring about at the weekend, or even in your own school playground. We just need one

Entries need to reach us no later than September 30th 2009. Winners will be announced in the January 2010 issue of Eye On The World. IPC will select the picture that they consider shows Eye On The World in the most unique location. The judge’s decision is final. Winners will receive a £100 gift certificate from the National Geographic Online Store at Good luck everyone!

Answers to Flags IPC competition 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Bahrain Belgium Brazil Brunei China Costa Rica Cuba Czech Republic Denmark

10. Dubai 11. Egypt 12. England 13. France 14. Gabon 15. Germany 16. Ghana 17. Iceland 18. India

19. Indonesia 20. Iran 21. Israel 22. Italy 23. Japan 24. Kenya 25. Kuwait 26. Malawi 27. Malaysia

28. Malta 29. Mauritius 30. Montserrat 31. Nigeria 32. Norway 33. Oman 34. Pakistan 35. Poland 36. Qatar


37. Russia 38. Saudi Arabia 39. Singapore 40. Slovenia 41. South Africa 42. South Korea 43. Spain 44. The Sudan 45. Sweden

46. Switzerland 47. Tanzania 48. The Netherlands 49. USA 50. Vietnam 51. Wales

The Surgery

Answering everything you ever wanted to know about the IPC


anice Ireland is the IPC Membership Director and has all the answers to everything you could ever need to know about the IPC. She also understands it from a teacher and Headteacher’s point of view too, having worked with the IPC at the International School of The Hague for several years before changing roles and moving into the IPC office. The IPC Surgery is the place for you to ask Janice any question, however simple or complex, about the IPC. Just email your questions to Question We started using the IPC last year and love the wide range of units in each Mile Post. However, one of our teachers would love to write a unit based on an aspect of our local history. Where should she start? Janice Answers You are in luck! We encourage teachers to do this if and when they want and have created a guide to producing your own unit with a template which follows the same structure as the IPC units. Details can be found in your IPC folders, or simply contact the IPC office and ask the team to email the template and guide to your school. Question During next term we will be having a whole school sports event and would like to combine it with one of the IPC units across the school, is this possible? Janice Answers This is something many schools had great success

with last year when we launched the Olympics units – there are four units relevant for Early Years and for Mile Posts 1, 2, and 3. The Olympics units are a great way to bring great learning, great teaching and great fun into your school sports events. You will find these units on the IPC website. Question Our teaching assistants really enjoy the IPC but would like to have a better understanding of the principles behind the curriculum. Last year two of our teachers attended your ‘New to the IPC’ course at Summer School. Do you think our assistants would benefit from this course too? Janice Answers The ‘Learning to Use the IPC’ course is open to anyone with a passion for learning and an interest in finding out more about IPC implementation. In the past we’ve had teachers, school leaders, teaching assistants, school governors, school owners and even a lunch time supervisor attending the training sessions which span over two days with the much deserved and highly popular IPC BBQ at the end of the first day! It’s not only excellent learning but the chance to share experiences and to make contacts with teachers, teaching assistants, leaders and everyone else associated with the IPC from literally all over the world. It’s great learning but also a really fun time. Take a look at the events section of our website for details of this year’s Summer School or contact our events coordinator, Laura Phillips at


Question I’ve heard that I can ask the IPC team for a ‘Route Map’ document. This sounds like a great idea. Is it an A to Z guide to travelling to other IPC Schools around the world? Janice Answers That’s a great idea, but having so many new schools joining each week I think it would be difficult to get around more than 600 schools worldwide and keep the guide up-to-date! Our Route Map document is actually a long term plan of your route through the IPC units across each Mile Post and throughout the whole school. We have sample IPC routes which are available on-line or, if you would prefer to plan your own route we can send you a blank template to get you started. Please don’t forget that we offer a route report service free to our members – this helps you ensure that you get the best possible coverage in all areas of learning. Question I’ve been using the IPC ‘Parents Letters’ and really personalising them by adding our school logo plus extra information about trips, visitors and special events. Thank you so much for producing these on-line, it used to take me such a long time to write these myself! Is it ok for me to personalise them and when do you think it’s the best time to send them home to parents – we’ve been debating this in the staffroom? Janice Answers We are delighted that you find our pre-written letters so useful and easy to adapt – of course you can do that. Several schools have

told us that parents love them too as they can really become involved in the Big Picture of their child’s learning. The best time to send the letters home is before the unit begins to give parents time to think ahead and consider how they can help their child and, if appropriate, offer support to the school. We’ve heard that lots of schools now upload their parents’ letters onto their website for easy access and to ensure that they reach everyone – in this way they are there for reference throughout the unit. Question My class and I love the way subjects are blocked into weeks within an IPC unit and as a school we’ve noticed that absenteeism has really gone down because children are so engaged in their learning that they don’t like missing out on the tasks they get involved in! One question I do have though is do we have to follow the sequence of the subjects or can we do them in any order? Janice Answers We’ve heard from many schools that children love the way subjects are blocked and it results in deep, meaningful learning rather than fragmented lessons spread over several weeks. It’s great to hear that attendance has improved in your school too! We recommend that you follow the sequence of subjects as listed in the units. The subject sequences have been designed to build on previous learning and as we all know children (and adults) gain a better understanding when they can make connections in their learning.

MFL lessons could be integrated. We know of some specialist MFL teachers who have completely adapted an IPC unit to teach their students with great success. Question My school has been doing the IPC for a year now and we LOVE it – teachers, children, parents and governors. We’ve noticed a big change in the motivation of our learners and the creativity of our staff! One thing we’d like some advice about is actually making the IPC personal goals come alive in our school. Any suggestions? Janice Answers It’s great to hear that the IPC is helping to improve teaching and learning in your school. Making the IPC personal goals come alive is so important for everyone in your learning community – from the Nursery children to the oldest member of staff; the IPC personal goals have been recognised as important attitudes and qualities we all need to develop. Many schools now introduce each personal goal to the children then ask them to identify someone in their community that is actually demonstrating each quality. This really helps children gain an understanding within a relevant and meaningful context. Alternatively, you could identify inspirational people who demonstrate the IPC personal goals for your children. Here are some suggestions: Enquiry – Stephen Hawking Adaptability – Kylie Minogue Resilience – Aung San Suu Kyi Morality – Shirin Ebadi

Question We teach a modern foreign language from Nursery to Year 6. Do you think it’s possible to use the IPC to deliver our MFL lessons?

Communication – Barack Obama

Janice Answers A number of schools have asked us this same question recently and the answer is YES! Whether you have a specialist teacher facilitating the lesson or a class teacher, the IPC can bring meaning to an MFL. You may consider using an IPC unit which lends itself to key vocabulary that you are introducing in your MFL lesson and chose some of the tasks where the children will be able to apply their vocabulary meaningfully. Alternatively look at your current unit and consider how your

Respect – Oprah Winfrey

Thoughtfulness – Bob Geldof Co-operation – Kofi Annan

This list was actually generated in an IPC training session with teachers but similar activities can be done in several ways with children throughout the IPC units. For example in IPC’s Milepost 2 Significant People unit, the children firstly create a class Knowledge Harvest of significant people. Then in History task 1, the class looks carefully at the significant people they listed in the Knowledge Harvest and go on to research why 17

they are significant. Following this the children could be asked to identify and group the people who demonstrate each of the IPC personal goals. Another suggestion is in IPC’s Milepost 1 Words in the Air unit: Identify people that demonstrate communication skills. And in IPC’s Milepost 2 Inventions and Machines unit: identify people that demonstrate enquiry. These activities, embedded within a unit help the children to become consciously aware of the personal goals and exactly what they mean. We recently asked our members ‘How do you make the IPC Personal Goals come alive?’ on the IPC forum and we had some great ideas that you may like to read. Look out on, what is now called the IPC Blog. Question Can you tell me which country has a ‘Knowledge Harvest’ and what time of year it takes place? Janice Answers The IPC ‘Knowledge Harvest’ is not actually an annual festivity, although it is a ‘gathering’ involving individuals or groups! We recommend you do an IPC Knowledge Harvest after your Entry Point to find out 3 things: • What the children know • What they think they know • What they want to know The ‘Knowledge Harvest’ is a great way for teachers to find out what prior experiences the children have had at the beginning of a unit related to the theme. This starting point also helps to ensure that we build on previous learning and make relevant connections. A ‘Knowledge Harvest’ is a great way to map out ideas, generate questions and discussions, and give children the chance to say what they would like to learn about during the unit. Comparing an initial ‘Knowledge Harvest’ created at the beginning of a unit with a completed ‘Knowledge Harvest’ at the end of a unit really shows the children just how much they’ve learnt over several weeks. Please don’t forget to put your ‘Knowledge Harvest’ somewhere for children to use and share throughout the unit.

Meet the IPC Professional Development team Y

es, there are lots of us! Actually these pictures show just some of the IPC Professional Development team. We’re all here to help you to implement IPC and to increase learning in your school.

Helen Thurston is the Manager of IPC PD. Here is her advice about professional development: “If you aim to make learning engaging and exciting for your children, then every single one of your teachers and support staff need to be just as engaged and just as excited. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of your professional development time.” Here are some tips from Helen and the IPC PD team to make sure you don’t waste those crucial INSET hours: • Plan your training well in advance. Call or email Helen or Clare Marshall (IPC PD Coordinator) to schedule the day of your choice and to discuss your objectives. Once we know your outcomes, we will be able to assign the most experienced trainer for your specific needs. • Take time to discuss your PD needs with your assigned trainer in advance of your training day. They will then be able to tailor your training to the exact needs of your school and your staff. • Prepare all your staff ahead of the training so that they come to the INSET with focused issues, questions and situations to share.

• Don’t try and squeeze your PD in amongst other tasks. Teachers get little enough professional learning time as it is, so value the opportunity as much as you can.

• Revisit the training with your staff as a follow-up to the training. Touch base one week, one month and one term after the training to ensure the training has been understood, actioned and embedded by everyone. • Keep in touch with your trainer. They want your PD to succeed and will want to know how things are progressing. • Get in touch! We’re here to help. Contact Helen Thurston at helen@ or Clare Marshall at Create Your Hello Page Now available on the IPC Members Lounge is the Hello Page. It’s like having your very own IPC Facebook! It’s there to help you share ideas, ask questions, swap experiences and find contacts about IPC. Want to know if any IPC school has a rainforest in their school grounds? Ask on your Hello Page. Discovered a superb website for the Treasure unit? Share it on your Hello Page. Want to make a connection with a school in Kenya? Announce it on your Hello Page. All the steps to setting up your page are right there on the ‘My Page’ of the Members Lounge. It’s professional sharing and learning at your fingertips.


Training Pods Keep New Ideas Coming Look out for nine free web-based short courses (Training Pods) on the IPC Members Lounge Training Room in July (they will be launched at Summer School). Introducing key elements of children’s learning, the Training Pods are designed to be accessible to all members of staff to give you the support when it’s needed. The themes of the Training Pods include: • An Appropriate Balance of Knowledge, Skills and Reflection Leading to Understanding • Implementation of Themes through Integrated yet Separate Subjects • A Clear Focus on Children’s Learning The nine web-based short courses form the foundation of the 27 courses towards IPC Accreditation; helping you take your school from good to great. Final Chance – Don’t Miss Out! 2009 IPC Summer School: Monday July 27th to Wednesday July 29th at the University of Greenwich in London. Join all the IPC team for Great Learning, Great Teaching and Great Fun. For more information go to the IPC website: internationalprimarycurriculum. com or call Laura Phillips at +44 (0)20 7531 9696 or email laura@

Fieldwork Education

Take a look at Looking for Learning


lex Bell from Sir William Burrough Primary says “it turns ‘performance’ on its head.” Gail Seay at the American School of Doha says “it’s crucial to moving schools in the right direction.” And Mike Horton, Headmaster of the British School of Chicago says “it is absolutely significant for helping to understand how much learning is going on. It’s transformational.” They are all talking about Fieldwork Education’s Looking for Learning Toolkit. Earlier this year a feature appeared in the UK’s Child Education Plus magazine about the Looking for Learning Toolkit. Here is part of that feature: What is learning? Sounds simple, but ask yourself and all your teaching colleagues the same question and you’re likely to get a wide range of different answers. That’s exactly what Robin Bosher, Headteacher of Fairlawn Primary school in Lewisham did with his staff two years ago. “Most of us misconstrued it as a question about teaching”, he says. “Until recently the emphasis in schools has been on teaching. It has always been assumed that if there’s good teaching, then learning will take place. Now we know that’s not the case” he says. Becoming learning-focused It was this realisation that a focus on learning was critical, that inspired Robin Bosher to adopt a new approach for Fairlawn Primary; one that helped the whole school become learningfocused. It was a programme called Looking for Learning, developed over a six year period by Fieldwork Education. Looking for Learning aims to help schools answer crucial questions such as ‘What is learning?’ and ‘What does it mean to be a learning-focused school?’ and helps schools to identify, improve and increase the learning that is taking place within their classrooms.

to establish a clear understanding amongst all the staff of what learning really means. “Looking for Learning provided just the right help we needed to define the different kinds of learning and to ask the right questions of children in the classroom to identify what learning was going on,” explains Robin. Progress

Robin Bosher and Fieldwork Education’s Pam Harper with the Looking for Learning Toolkit.

“There’s been a complete change in 18 months as a result,” says Robin. “We’ve moved from a focus on ‘Am I teaching well?’ to ‘Are the children learning?’ and this is a whole school philosophy that every teacher has adopted.” So how did Robin and the teachers at Fairlawn make the change with the Looking for Learning Toolkit? “We approached it in three ways” says Robin. “As an audit about quality teaching and learning, as a lead for looking at key questions for monitoring learning within the classroom, and as an observation process that focuses on whole school improvement” he says. Fundamental to the process was Fieldwork Education Summer Learning Network 2009 ‘Everything that matters about learning and nothing that doesn’t’ July 30th-31st, Greenwich, London, call Laura Phillips at +44(0)20 7531 9696 or email

So just how much difference has this process made to the school? “Six months after introducing Looking for Learning we had an Ofsted inspection and learning was regarded as ‘outstanding,’ says Robin. “In the space of just six months we had shifted from ‘good’ at a max, to ‘outstanding’ in many lessons. Looking for Learning definitely took us from good to great and we continue it today to maintain and, hopefully improve, on the standard of our learning. You can’t underestimate the change that it has made for us.” The Looking for Learning classroom observations are just one of five steps in the Looking for Learning Toolkit; a cost-effective, multi-media, self-help toolkit of resources about learning designed to enable schools to become driven by learning. The Toolkit includes 5 practical, jargon-free manuals guiding schools every step of the way from putting the Looking for Learning process into practice, to understanding learning, to creating, leading and managing a learning-focused school supported throughout with three DVDs and an effective range of resources. In addition, the Looking for Learning Toolkit includes a membership of the Learning Network, a web-based resource for learning more about learning as new developments and thinking are published. For more information about the Looking for Learning Toolkit go to www. Fieldwork Education is part of the WCL Group.


INTERNATIONAL PRIMARY CURRICULUM 25 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LD T: +44 (0)20 7531 9696 F: +44 (0)20 7531 1333 From Fieldwork Education, part of the WCL Group Š WCL Group Limited. All rights reserved.

Eye On The World  

Eye On The World Magazine, Issue 3: Spring 2010 The best of International Primary Curriculum from around the world.

Eye On The World  

Eye On The World Magazine, Issue 3: Spring 2010 The best of International Primary Curriculum from around the world.