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The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) explained

At La Côte International School Aubonne, we follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) in Year 1 to Year 6, for the subjects Geography, Science, Technology, Society, History, Art, Computing and International Learning. It is a comprehensive, thematic and creative curriculum with specific learning goals for every subject.

two primary students exploring their topic work through the IPC (International Primary Curriculum)

Mark O´Brien, Assistant Head of Primary and IPC Lead at LCIS, explains: "What makes the IPC stand out from other curricula is the strong focus on developing students as global citizens and becoming internationally-minded. International learning goals are unique to the curriculum and help students to develop an increasingly sophisticated national, international and intercultural perspective." 

IPC is now taught to over 1,000 schools across 90 countries around the world, with many opportunities for students and teachers to share their experiences and learning.

The IPC has been designed to ensure rigorous learning, whilst providing both students and teachers learning opportunities that are exciting, meaningful and active.

The curriculum is split into 3 Mileposts:

  • Milepost 1 for students age 5-7 (Y1 & Y2).
  • Milepost 2 for students age 7-9 (Y3 & Y4).
  • Milepost 3 for students age 9-11 (Y5 & 6). 

Units of work cover a range of themes, age-appropriate and relevant to each age range. In the younger years, units are based on topics that enable students to draw on their own experiences such as ‘The Toy Maker’ and ‘A day in the Life’. Older students study more complex topics which focus on developing their investigative and research skills, such as ‘Mission to Mars’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Champions for Change’. Each thematic IPC unit includes an international aspect, to help students to develop a sense of ‘international mindedness’.

Within the IPC, learning is developed in three forms: knowledge, skills and understanding. Each unit of work has a clear set of learning goals with particular emphasis on developing students’ skills. Assessment for Learning plays a crucial role in supporting and challenging students. There are clear rubrics for teachers to identify students’ strengths and areas for development, as well as the opportunity for children to be part of the assessment process with self-assessment rubrics written in child-friendly text.

IPC Learning Goals

As well as academic rigour, the curriculum is underpinned by the Personal Goals; these are individual qualities and dispositions, which are essential for children to develop in the 21st century. There are 8 IPC Personal Goals - Enquiry, Resilience, Morality, Communication, Thoughtfulness, Cooperation, Respect and Adaptability. Opportunities to experience and practise these qualities are built into the learning tasks within each unit of work and celebrated on a weekly basis.

Importantly, the IPC also helps engage parents in their children’s learning, and highlights the relevance of learning in the classroom and at home. At LCIS, parents are invited to ‘Exit Point’ sessions which are towards the end of a unit’s learning process and provide an opportunity for parents to engage in and celebrate the learning that the students have achieved.

Mark O’Brien, Assistant Head of Primary, says, “At LCIS, we integrate the IPC curriculum through a variety of subjects. One of our goals, with Early Years and Primary students, is to develop an appreciation for the French language and an understanding of the Swiss francophone culture. From Year 3 and up, students at our school have a choice of following the IPC in either English or French – allowing them the option of having up to 40% of their curriculum taught in French.”

Mr O’Brien has conducted some exceptional IPC units with Year 4 students, who produced this fantastic video on their learning and findings about the Digestive System from the unit ‘How Humans Work’

“IPC offers students the opportunity to truly develop their knowledge, skills and understanding through exciting and meaningful units of work,” says Mark O’Brien.

I love that IPC places such emphasise on developing the student’s personal traits and equips them with transferable skills they can use in any situation, both in an educational setting and in the community around them. Mark O´Brien, Assistant Head of Primary and IPC Lead
two primary students exploring their topic work through the IPC (International Primary Curriculum)

Join us for our next Virtual Open Day to learn more!

Virtual Open Day