The International Primary Curriculum, commonly referred to as the IPC, is a flexible, cross-curricula programme, designed to encourage investigative learning and lateral thinking from an international perspective at all levels from Early Learning 1 (3 year olds) to Grade 5 (10 year olds). It accommodates the individuality of each learner, each teacher and the environment of the school. The IPC is well established in many international and national schools across the world and thus allows easy transfer of students from one part of the world to another. It is also well recognised by national governments.
The IPC was first introduced at ISB in 2003 and has now become an integral part of our Elementary Department. At ISB, we recognize that there is more to teaching and learning than following standard course books. Although stipulating the anticipated learning outcomes at each level the IPC only recommends how to achieve these. The methods adopted are left to the discretion of individual teachers and determined by the location of the school and the resources available. With a well-presented introduction that wets the appetite of eager students, a unit can take off and practically teach itself.
Divided into four stages; Early Years (Early Learning 1 & 2), Milepost 1 (Early Learning 3 & Grade 1), Milepost 2 (Grades 2 & 3) and Milepost 3 (Grades 4 & 5), the IPC provides age appropriate learning goals presented in a broad range of theme-based units. Each unit encompasses a variety of subjects, each with recommended activities and anticipated learning outcomes. Teachers are free to select the units they feel to be most appropriate for their individual circumstances. This "route-planning" helps to ensure that all the learning goals within a milepost are adequately represented. Bearing in mind that a milepost covers two years and the academic year is approximately 180 days, if each unit lasts between six and eight weeks, one could expect to cover up to ten different units in the two-year period.
Young students enjoy this kind of open-ended learning. They enjoy the freedom to investigate areas that particularly captivate their interest. Throughout each milepost students are developing their skills to plan, research, document and present their work. The IPC provides the kind of learning experience that helps students recognise their strengths as an individual and appreciate the value of cooperative group work.