We have set a date with the International Baccalaureate to send a team to visit us between 11-13 November 2020 for our five-yearly evaluation.
November 2020 might seem like a long way off but all the work to pass that evaluation needs to be done this academic year and be written up, documented and processed by 1st September 2020 (which really means by June 2020).
If you attended a regular school, it might seem like it’s an easy thing to present your curriculum for inspection, but that’s because most of us went to schools where the curriculum was handed to teachers having been written by professors and dissociated experts somewhere outside schools. However, the IB provides our teachers with just a framework. They have to design and write the curriculum and that doesn’t just mean unit plans – it means the overviews of each part, the scope and sequence of the whole curriculum, building into the design the opportunity for service, action, and generally making sure the curriculum is accessible, differentiated, concept-based, inquiry-based and constructivist in nature. Also, having created great opportunities for teaching and learning to occur, teachers have to design and create the tools to assess what’s being learnt in terms of what learners know, understand, can do and the development of their dispositions to learning.
So, when people suggest that our teachers have fewer hours than, for example, state schoolteachers, you might just give a thought to what it takes to construct the curriculum and the programme.
As said, the International Baccalaureate (IB) as an organisation provides us with the curriculum framework for our Middle Years Programme and the framework and syllabus for our Diploma Programme courses. More importantly, the IB sets out standards and practices that all schools running IB programmes must live up to. Those standards and practices (linked to here) are what schools aim to meet when they are undergoing the authorisation process and, as with our programme, evaluation of progress over the last five years.
While most standards involve learning, teaching, teachers and teaching resources, there are some that involve all of us. Here are a few:
3. The school community demonstrates an understanding of, and commitment to, the programme(s).
4. The school develops and promotes international-mindedness and all attributes of the IB learner profile across the school community.
7. The school carries out programme evaluation involving all stakeholders.
11. The school utilizes the resources and expertise of the community to enhance learning within the programme(s).
When the evaluation team arrives, they will want to speak to all members of the school community – parents, learners, teachers, etc. So, if you want to be more involved and more interested, let us know – we are always happy to explain what it is we do.
Robert Thorn, Academy Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org