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News

Raising Literacy Standards with the IPC image 1
03 April 2012

Raising Literacy Standards with the IPC

We don’t agree with everything Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief of Ofsted is saying, but he is absolutely right about literacy: “I expect better results from primary school children at the ages of seven and eleven…as soon as possible”.

What really thrills us is that many of the 1,000 UK schools using the International Primary Curriculum say that the IPC has had a big impact on their literacy improvements. Here’s some of the evidence:

1. IPC Feedback from Ofsted

A number of Ofsted reports have referenced the International Primary Curriculum as a route to supporting the improvement of literacy skills. Take a look at these examples:

“The school’s adoption of the International Primary Curriculum has had a very positive impact, making pupils enthusiastic about learning and giving them a global perspective. They have plenty of opportunities to practice their literacy and numeracy skills across a range of subjects, and use information and communication technology very effectively. - St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Tower Hamlets, London

“They regularly communicate with schools in other countries through email and webcam facilities, as part of the International Primary Curriculum. These aspects… mean the pupils are very well prepared for the secondary school curriculum… The curriculum is outstanding not only because it meets the needs of pupils to be literate and numerate, it is broad and balanced.” - Childwall Valley Primary School, Liverpool

“The International Primary Curriculum is already having a positive impact on pupils’ academic progress. As a result of the way in which the school organises what is taught, pupils…reinforce their literacy and numeracy skills in a range of contexts and are becoming more creative in their work. - St Malachy’s Catholic Primary School, Halifax

2. Ofsted encouragement to use the IPC, followed by improvement

Headteacher Cathryn Downing, Stamforf Park Junior School, Hale, Cheshire,  explains:

“Ofsted inspected us in September 2009 and absolutely slated us for our teaching and learning. Ofsted felt we’d limited children’s opportunities; that we’d created a ceiling. It was the Ofsted inspector who suggested we look at the IPC. The inspector felt that it was exactly what our school needed.

The IPC really helps to embed numeracy and literacy learning as it’s allowing children to apply their numeracy and literacy skills in a relevant and purposeful way. The vocabulary the children are now using is way above what we’ve seen in the past. Their complexity of thinking is way up.”

3. Huge impact in two Devon schools

Adrian Clements, Headteacher of St Catherine’s Primary School in Heathfield, Devon describes the impact of the IPC on the literacy standards:

“Last year, 100% of our children achieved two levels of progress in their literacy scores and we’re sure that the IPC had a big part to play in this. Where possible, we include IPC into our literacy genre teaching.

As a teacher at St Michael’s (prior to being Headteacher at St Catherine’s), I saw first-hand the impact that an IPC unit like the Volcanoes and Earthquakes unit had on the children’s writing. The detail and accuracy in their writing was extremely good. Their story writing was amazing. There was much evidence of use of relevant vocabulary and the boys, in particular produced really good work as a result. I do think that, where the opportunity and the relevance does exist, the IPC definitely supports the development of literacy skills.

4. Tower Hamlets: Success in the 3R’s against the odds

In 2011, Tower Hamlets local authority in London was referenced as one region in the UK showing success in the 3R’s against the odds. There are 22 primary schools in Tower Hamlets using the International Primary Curriculum to deliver the National Curriculum. Sir William Burrough primary school, where 85% of children come from ethnic minority backgrounds, 80% have home languages other than English, and over 60%  are entitled to free school meals, has been learning with the IPC since 2004 and 94% of children are currently attaining level 4 or above in KS2 tests. Headteacher Avril Newman says The IPC is hugely enriching because it’s using real experiences to contextualise learning.

5. A Study into the Impact on Pupils Writing

Ysgol Derwendeg in Caerphilly, Wales conducted a study recently (2011) providing evidence of improved standards in writing as a result of the IPC. Headteacher Loraine Hunter says: Where the IPC has really supported us is in our focus on improving writing.  A lot of this is because the children love the IPC themes. We were especially able to see good examples of creative writing. Read the entire study here - http://www.greatlearning.com/ipc/news/a-study-into-pupils-writing

For more information

The IPC can support the improvement in literacy in your school, too.

To speak to an IPC regional advisor directly about the International Primary Curriculum or to visit a school near you using the IPC, telephone 0207 821 4898 or email Karetha@greatlearning.com