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  • Our school is a caring and multicultural environment.

    With students from over 50 nationalities, our school values respect and integrity. Our children excel socially, personally and academically.

    Our School - British International School Ho Chi Minh City

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Cross-curricular learning through IPC

At BIS Primary, our humanities, art, design technology and international learning are taught through IPC (International Primary curriculum) which combines all these subjects in an exciting and engaging series of lessons.

This term, our learning in IPC has seen year groups travelling through time to meet dinosaurs and ancient civilisations; jetting off through space to Mars; and exploring the fascinating world of fashion, amongst other things.

To begin each topic, classes experience an ‘Entry Point’ activity which not only introduces the topic, but also creates a sense of excitement and curiosity. Recently in Year 5 as an introduction to their ‘Going Global’ unit of work, groups played a trade game with the aim of trading paper shapes with an international bank. Sounds easy? What if your group has no ruler? No scissors? Yet many pieces of paper? Through the bargaining, loans, frustrations and triumphs, Rachel in 5S noted that, “The activity taught me about countries of low, middle and high incomes and how it wasn’t fair that the wealthier countries had all the power over the poorer ones”.

Year 4 also had a high drama Entry Point to start their learning on ‘Active Planet’. After spending care and attention building model towns, they were distraught to see these had been ruined by tropical storms and earthquakes. Tae Oh in 4S commented, “It made me feel sad when Ms. Elaine flooded our town, but it taught me about natural disasters.” These immersive activities take children right to the heart of their new topic and spark a curiosity to explore the subject further.

The topics covered in IPC provide a fantastic opportunity for enquiry-based learning. Whilst researching ancient civilisations in ‘The Great, The Bold and The Brave’, the Year 6 classes have used ‘G.R.A.P.E.S’ as a foundation for research questions with students delving deeper into the specifics of their chosen civilisation. Khanh Lan and Kimberley in 6I explained their research areas of Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy and Society, along with the gory snippet that the Celts chopped of people’s heads and then kept them in a jar!

The Year 3s were delighted to find out that enquiry can take many forms – including eating chocolate! Classes were given a variety of chocolate types to investigate for texture and taste and discuss their findings to feedback to Mr. Willy Wonka. They have also studied Aztec patterns and designs and produced some fantastic artwork to decorate their classrooms.  Their ‘Chocolate’ topic will incorporate geography by discovering where in the world cacao is produced; history through timelining when chocolate was first used to its current popularity; and design as they begin to consider how to create a new bar.

Whenever I speak to children about IPC, they are always eager to discuss what’s been happening in class and their learning so far. With the cross curricular nature of subject and the immersive learning experience provided in class, it’s no wonder there is always a sense of excitement around the subject.

Ellie Chick, IPC Leader

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