We believe our students have to know themselves and where they come from – and identity is always important – but we also encourage them to look beyond Galloway and recognize the incredible opportunities that are created by diversity and the richness of cultures across our planet.
Teaching children about global issues and encouraging them to see the world through other eyes is of huge importance. In an increasingly interconnected world,our children must be able to engage in communication with people from a wide range of different cultures and traditions, they argue.
The IPC, The International Primary School, is used in grades PK3-4th grades. IPC is an engaging, rigorous, thematic project-based curriculum that focuses on essential and transformational knowledge and on the development of subject skills. These are achieved using clear learning goals for all subject, personal and international learning. The International Primary Curriculum is the result of years of development, training and improvement underpinned by the desire for rigorous learning, high levels of engagement, international-mindedness and personal development.
The IPC also focuses on the slow, steady progress towards deeper understanding. The conceptual theme (the big idea) provides a context to the subject learning which helps students to develop their understanding of their learning. Journaling and the media project exit points provide time and place for students to crystallize their learning and to express their understanding of the big idea through a creative presentation.
The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was developed in response to three key questions that serve as the basis for each global unit of instruction:
What kind of world will our children live and work in?
Teaching and learning is exciting (and difficult) because it looks both forward and back. We look back because, in part, learning is about taking on the heritage of our culture and learning about what has made us who we are. W look forward because we know the world is going to be different than it was and we accept the challenge of making the best judgments we can about what that world will look like.
What kinds of children are likely to succeed in the world?
We are tasked with making the best predictions possible about the state of the world in the future. We have to do this because it guides our thinking about what kinds of people children will need to be. Their personal dispositions will be the key to whether children can make the best of their learning in the years to come.
What kinds of learning will our children need and how should they learn it?
A view about the future world and the personal qualities that will matter helps us decide what kinds of learning children will need. Knowing what kinds of learning they need guides us to what learning should look like in the classroom.
There is a distinct learning process with every IPC unit, providing a structured approach to make sure that student’s learning experiences are as stimulating as possible. This process of learning, which has taken into account findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, helps students to become deep, engaged,active learners rather than passive participants in their schooling.
The IPC was four years in the making and it remains in development today to ensure a current and highly relevant curriculum that continues to evolve. No one can properly predict the nature of work that will be available for today’s primary age children by the time they are adults. Many of the jobs they will have simply don’t yet exist, especially in the fields of ICT, technology and science. So the principle of the IPC is to focus on personal, academic and international learning that will prepare children, wherever they may live, for the world of tomorrow.