FAQs

 

List of FAQs

 


 

Are you releasing any new units to support coverage of the new English National Curriculum?

At IPC, we have you covered!

We've now released 10 brand new units of work, and updated over 50 of our existing units of work. Click here for a full list of these.

 

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What’s new in science?

We've released our final set of compact science units – giving us 24 in total. We have also released a brand new science-focused unit in Milepost 3 called ‘Out of Africa’, which focuses on the themes of evolution and inheritance.

All the science units also include international learning, as well as design and technology.

And they're versatile – you can use them in three different ways:

  • Use them on their own and teach science topics discretely in your different year groups.
  • Plan to teach the same topic at the same time as other mileposts, meaning you can share entry and exit points and experience a few awesome weeks of science projects.
  • Use the learning tasks from the science units to enhance science in your existing, larger thematic units of work. So if you're teaching 'We are what we eat' in Milepost 1, and you're keen to cover more on plants, for example, you can dip into our science-focused unit for that age group, 'Greenfingers'.

Despite the science outcomes being set out year group by year group in the National Curriculum document, the Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that the outcomes need only be covered by the end of the relevant key stage. This means you can teach Year 1 NC science outcomes in Year 2, and vice versa. Here is the information taken straight from Page 156 of the final NC document issued by the DfE:

The programmes of study for science are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2. Schools are, however, only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage if appropriate. All schools are also required to set out their school curriculum for science on a year-by-year basis and make this information available online.

 

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What’s new in history?

We have released two new history-focused units per milepost. The outcomes of the NC are so specific about time periods and chronology that the only way for us to support schools was to release these brand new units, rather than adapt the units we already had.

Our history writer is a published author of children's books - choose your own adventure style, remember those?! The units he's written are brilliant. They give lots of scope to cover British history, with specific examples and case studies, but set in a global context. They go above and beyond the requirements of the NC and will help your children develop the international mindset  we know you're committed to.

The units also include international as a subject, and some of them include music and art, addressing the NC requirements for these subjects too.

This means that in all likelihood you're going to have to replace one of your existing IPC units of work per year group with one of our history-focused units of work. Sorry about that, we couldn't cover the breadth of the new NC outcomes in any other way!

The following main themes from the NC have been incorporated into the units:

  • All the statutory outcomes for Key Stage 1.
  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and an in-depth study of Ancient Sumer and Ancient Egypt (these are the examples we have chosen to focus on).
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements, and their influence on the western world.
  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 (these are the examples we have chosen to focus on).

All of the above is set in a global context, so it will be your choice as to whether you want to teach all the world history that we've included, or just stick with the British case studies and examples and go deeper with these yourself.

The following aspects will need a bit of planning in your school:

  • A local history study – this is really dependent on your context. You can easily cover this through a more in-depth study of the many examples and case studies that we're already covering in our units. So, if you're missing out the global history you could spend more time on certain aspects of British history along the way.
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – one way you could approach this is by looking at and comparing modern day life with that of the ancients (ideas like democracy, rulers, the legacy of these ancient / classic civilizations). Our writer makes links in the units to more recent events such as later discoveries, sources and evidence, so these can be used as a starting point for the study of a post 1066 time period. It's also a great chance to keep some of the history you're probably already studying in school, such as WW2 – we know this is a popular topic with schools in England.

 

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What’s new in ICT?

Call us old fashioned, but we're sticking with ICT and not this new-fangled Computing lark, but it's the same thing!

It's about time we had some new ICT learning in our units so the updated NC has actually given us a nudge to get these done – a win-win all round!

Our ICT writer is a computer specialist and ex primary school teacher. She currently works with a number of schools in London, many of whom use the IPC, so she's experienced with planning and helping to team-teach our units of work.

We have released one ICT-focused unit of work per milepost. These are project based so you can teach them as discrete ICT lessons or combine them with one of your existing IPC units of work. For example, the Milepost 2 unit, 'Digital Gamers', helps children to design, code and debug a computer game as well as learn about other important aspects of ICT. This game could be based around the topic of an existing unit, or could be kept as a separate project.

Naturally, these units also include international learning! Our advice would be to teach these units in the first year of each milepost so you can practice and consolidate any new skills in the following year.

The units cover all the programming aspects of the new NC. With regards to general ICT skills, internet research, email, presentations etc, there are plenty of opportunities to practice these in our new ICT-focused units and all of our other units of work.

 

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What about all your existing units – are you updating those?

Over 50 of them have been updated and are now ready to use – download them from the Units section of the Members’ Lounge.

We started by looking at which units had the potential to cover a lot of the NC outcomes for science, and then backfilled these first. At the same time, we looked for opportunities for those units to also cover other NC areas of learning – art, music, design and technology, etc.

We also identified some existing units of work that had the potential to provide you with opportunities to teach the NC geography outcomes. These are quite specific to the UK, so the units won't contain any British geography so to speak, but do give you plenty of scope to achieve these NC requirements.

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Are you going to be creating a version of the online route planner for the National Curriculum for England?

We haven’t done this, no.

We know it sounds like it would make total sense to do this, but in reality it just wouldn't work. The trouble is, our IPC learning goals don't really match the NC outcomes any more, meaning we can't easily replace our learning goals with NC outcomes in the route planner.

We could have gone through every single unit of work (around 130 of them!) and tried to identify which NC outcomes they covered, but the NC outcomes are SO specific, the best we could to do is say that a unit 'kind of' covered something. Now, that's not very useful is it? We wanted to give you certainty, clarity and reassurance, which is why we've released our comprehensive new National Curriculum cross reference documents and sample route plans, which are available from the Documents section of the Members’ Lounge.

To download the documents and access the FAQ's, please click here

 

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Can you tell me more about this new cross-referencing document?

We have now released our new cross reference documents, alongside two sample route plans for schools to refer to, and a comprehensive set of FAQ's to work in conjunction with these.

To download the documents and access the FAQ's, please click here.

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Are there any parts of the new National Curriculum that you WON’T be covering?

We're pretty confident that we've got it sewn up, but let me break it down for you subject-by-subject so you can share the good news with your staff.

Science – all outcomes are covered through some of larger thematic units of work, and through our smaller science-focused units of work – please check the cross reference document for science for more details.

Computing – the programming and debugging outcomes are covered through our new ICT-focused units of work. Other areas of ICT will also be covered through these, and can be achieved through our existing units of work as well. Please see the cross reference document for ICT for more details.

Art and design – these outcomes are covered in some of our existing units already, but we've updated more units to increase coverage. Please see the cross reference document for art for more details.

Music – ditto!

Design and technology – these outcomes are covered in some of our larger units, but also some of our science-focused units. It's likely that some units you choose for science will cover D&T as well. Please see the cross reference document for technology for more details.

Geography - opportunities to teach the NC geography are included in some of our existing, updated units. They won't be specific to British geography because we are an international curriculum! Teachers will need to be aware of the NC expectations for geography when teaching our units, to make sure the British specifics are ticked. Please see the cross reference document for geography for more details.

Citizenship – what's that? Apparently you don't have to worry about that in primary anymore! Just as well, we have society learning in some of our units, and international learning in ALL of them, so you can rely on us to help you teach your children to become well rounded global citizens.

Physical education – we have it on good authority that all our schools in England follow a separate scheme of work for PE, which is just as well. In our cross referencing document, we have shown you which units have opportunities to cover aspects of PE, but we recommend keeping this separate from IPC, although any PE you can deliver through the IPC is a bonus we think! Please see the cross reference document for PE for more details.

Languages – we don't cover those currently, and have no plans to cover them as part of our updates at this time.

English and maths – again, we don't specifically cover these in our units, although we do make suggested links. Personally, we think there is huge scope for delivering the outcomes for English through our units, and many schools have told us that they believe that teaching writing, reading, speaking and listening through our units has increased standards in these areas.

History – this is the biggie so we saved it until the end. The majority of history is covered through our new history-focused units. We've done a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Our history units enable schools all over the world to study the different time periods, and are therefore fully global in their approach. But, we've pulled out and zoned in on specific British history examples along the way. The following main themes from the NC will be incorporated into the units:

  • All the statutory outcomes for Key Stage 1.
  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
  • The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
  • The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and an in-depth study of Ancient Sumer and Ancient Egypt (these are the examples we have chosen to focus on).
  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements, and their influence on the western world.
  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 (these are the examples we have chosen to focus on).

All of the above will be set in a global context, so it will be your choice as to whether you want to teach all the world history that we've included, or just stick with the British case studies and examples and go deeper with these yourself.
The following aspects will need a bit of planning in your school:

  • A local history study – this is really dependent on your context. You can easily cover this through a more in-depth study of the many examples and case studies that we're already covering in our units. So, if you're missing out the global history you could spend more time on certain aspects of British history along the way.
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – one way you could approach this is by looking at and comparing modern day life with that of the ancients (ideas like democracy, rulers, the legacy of these ancient / classic civilizations). Our writer makes links in the units to more recent events such as later discoveries, sources and evidence, so these can be used as a starting point for the study of a post 1066 time period. It's also a great chance to keep some of the history you're probably already studying in school, such as WW2 – we know this is a popular topic with schools in England.

Please see the cross reference document for history for more details.

 

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We’re a mixed age class, help!

Help indeed! Bit tricky this one, but read on. The units of the IPC were designed to be taught through the following age phases: 5-7 years, 7-9 years and 9-12 years. We have a number of schools who face the same challenge, and they tell us that it's often easier to teach units that are suitable for the older children, and differentiate these for the younger children. Of course, you'll need to be very aware of the NC outcomes for each age phase in order to do this.

It might not be as hard in subjects such as art and music, where the outcomes are simply split into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, rather than our 3 mileposts.

We have asked some of our associate trainers to collate some general advice on planning, including mixed-age planning – please click here to access the ‘IPC Planning Advice’.

 

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Will you be changing your Assessment for Learning programme in any way?

We believe that our current Assessment for Learning (AFL) programme will be really useful for schools wanting to assess children's progress in the different foundation subjects. Our AFL programme is built around key skills, taken from the IPC learning goals. The IPC learning goals don't exactly match the objectives for the new national curriculum for England, but the skills we have written the assessment programme for are pretty standard, and should link easily to the work you're doing with the national curriculum.

Each of our core skills (which are highlighted in bold in our units of work) comes with its own teacher rubric, pupil rubric and learning advice to help move children's learning forwards. The rubrics and learning advice are available in Word format in the Members' Lounge, so can be adapted to match your particular needs. It is also possible to adapt the AFL programme in the 'School Setup' part of the Members' Lounge – here you can create additional subjects to assess (such as Maths or English for example), and even add your own skills, rubrics and learning advice. It's fully adaptable to your needs!

We believe our comprehensive skills-based AFL programme is one of the strengths of the IPC, and with national curriculum 'levels' being dropped, our approach guarantees that children and teachers take a partnership approach to both assessing and improving learning across Mileposts 1, 2 and 3. So the simple answer as to whether we're changing our AFL programme is no, but we're positive that our current programme ticks a lot of boxes for all schools, whether they're following the national curriculum or not.

 

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