In Primary, BSJ offers a blend of the National Curriculum in England and the International Primary Curriculum, or IPC. Used by over 730 schools in 92 countries, the IPC takes a multidisciplinary, thematic approach to teaching, setting clear learning goals for students (some of which exceed those of England's equivalent). It also develops international mindedness and encourages personal learning.
During Year Five's latest IPC topic, The Time Tunnel, each class chose a period of history to study, including Ancient Egypt, the Romans, the Mayans, the Victorians and World War Two. This topic then provided a ‘wrapper' through which to learn History, Geography and Art, as well as skills not specific to a subject.
Through The Time Tunnel, the children learnt about chronology and the difference between history and the past. They looked at significant events and peoples, and what made them significant. They also examined art from the period, and designed and built their own historical artifacts to display.
A homework project, in which students choose their own historical period to study, helped the children to develop their knowledge and research skills. Throughout the unit, teachers encouraged them to apply their skills and understanding with growing independence, using their own interests to inspire their learning.
To celebrate the end of the topic, the students worked collaboratively in small groups to create exhibits and displays in an interactive ‘museum' set up in the year group pod. An earlier visit to the National Museum gave them ideas for presenting their work most effectively.