International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is an inspiring Dutch curriculum for the case subjects in primary education: geography, history and physics. Also, handicrafts, drawing, ICT, technology and music come in the IPC discussed. On the basis of the IPC are Shell, Fieldwork Education and Stichting NOB. The IPC is designed so that it can be given in any language.
The IPC is based on the key principles for good education:
- brain-friendly learning, including multiple intelligences
- self-discovery learning
- besides teaching knowledge is learning important skills
- the importance of international understanding
Why the IPC?
90% of what we know about how our brains work comes from research over the last 15 years. This knowledge directly affects education. In the IPC the latest insights and knowledge regarding the teaching of pupils has been processed. Teaching should take center stage at a school. Teaching and learning is the existence of a school. The IPC is based on a number of principles of brain friendly learning. For example, multiple intelligences, emotional involvement, the functioning of memory, learning styles and cooperative learning have all been taken into account.
The fixed structure of the IPC does not just take into account how pupils learn, the IPC make pupils aware of the ways of learning. Every person has a clear personal preference how to make something its own. In addition, the IPC gives pupils insight into their memory and strategies that can help them to learn better. Over several weeks, the pupils learn how to approach a certain subject in different ways. They go under the guidance of the teacher to find the answers to their own self formed questions. This may be done individually or in groups. Every individual receives room for their own input. That approach makes pupils more responsible and enthusiastic.
The IPC is fully acknowledged in the educational concept of Florencius, as there is a lot of attention given to the different talents and abilities of the pupils and the various intelligences. In addition, the clear description of the learning goals in this curriculum gives way to a very effective learning process. The IPC meets the key objectives of the Ministry.
How international is the IPC?
At Florencius we find it very important to prepare our pupils for life as a global citizen. The IPC fits here very well. The curriculum namely has a clear international component and distinguishes itself from most existing curricula. The starting point in the curriculum is its own (national) perspective of the pupils, from which they orient themselves to the world around them.
Within the IPC cultural varieties will get a natural place. The curriculum teaches pupils not only to develop respect for each other’s similarities and differences, but also knowledge of and respect for the nations / nationalities around us. The pupils learn that they are part of a larger whole and contribute to this (system thinking / sustainable learning).
The curriculum is structured so that the pupils can contribute their own knowledge, and to deepen and broaden same. Many activities focus on comparing different countries so that they can see and learn the likeness and difference of same.
How does the IPC work?
The IPC is divided into age levels, called mileposts. The mileposts are closely linked to the development and perception of the pupil in that period. At Florencius we use Milepost 1, 2 and 3 for the groups 3 / m 8. At every milepost learning objectives are clearly described, which must reach the pupils at the end. In these mileposts difference is made between subject-specific goals, personal goas and international goals.
A milepost is divided into units. In this unit, pupils work a few weeks to a central theme. The activities are designed in such a theme; attention can be paid to the various talents and skills of the pupils. Through assessments and a personal portfolio, each pupil, per unit and per discipline is registered how the different talents and skills develop. Each unit begins with:
- The starting point: start with an activity that excites and motivates pupils to work on this unit;
- knowledge harvest: the children answer the question of what we already know of the subject. Pupils activate their prior knowledge and put it firmly;
- The theme of the explanation: the teacher tells the students what they will learn through the learning objectives given by subject. The students have an overview of what they are learning, so they are better able to make new connections;
- activities: lessons consist of research and processing activities. The students achieve the learning goals in each subject, the personal goals and international goals;
- closing; the students get the opportunity to showcase their work, listening and looking at the work of one another. Thus, they also share knowledge with each other.
Within the IPC there is a good framework developed for tracking pupils. This framework is further developed into a kind of tracking system. This is one of the innovative features of the IPC. In this way the results in the so-called “case subjects” are clearly visible, where previous tracking system was primarily on reading, language and maths. Of course the following of pupils is done in such a way that it follows the development of the pupils and the way they were taught.
How do you stay informed as a parent?
By means of a parent letter, parents will be kept up to date with regard to what the pupils are learning during the period. Parents will get a good understanding of the goals and the activities that the pupils are during during this period.
Frequently parents will be invited to the closing of a period, so that the pupils can show their parents what they have learned and created.
During parent meetings, parents are informed of the developments that have gone through their child in the past period. The registration and portfolio of the pupil form the basis for reporting.