The International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are student-centred, concept-based, taught through inquiry and driven by assessment. They are differentiated to meet the needs of all students. The following are frequently asked questions common to many schools delivering the IB programmes and were recently asked by our parent teacher association.
Q1: Why there is no textbook for the IB?
There is no prescribed content or syllabus in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP), but there is in the Diploma Programme (DP). There are textbooks for the DP programme, and we use them at BIBS. Several publishers produce books for the DP programme based on the prescribed syllabus. The MYP and PYP, though, do not have a prescribed curriculum or content. The programmes are a framework that allows schools to develop their curriculum to meet the needs of their students and their community. All schools are different; therefore, it is challenging for publishers to create books that meet the needs of every school. There are books and resources that we use in the delivery of our Inquiry programmes. For mathematics, we use the Hesse and Harris series in the MYP. We also use myimaths.com to support mathematics. For English and I and S, we use MYP by Concept by Hodder as a resource. All subjects are well resourced with material to support the development, planning and delivery of the units of work.
Q3: How is IB and Chinese national curriculum integrated?
We are currently Working on a project to integrate the Chinese National Curriculum (CNC) within our BIBS units of work in both the PYP and the MYP. In the PYP, the students study Chinese mathematics that directly follows the CNC. Students also study the prescribed books for the Chinese language from the CNC. Work in integrating the programme of inquiry with the CNC is at its early stages and is ongoing. In the MYP, we are mapping our courses to the CNC to see what content pieces we need to add. This work is also preliminary and is ongoing. The Chinese language directly follows the CNC. We also teach Chinese History and geography as part of a government requirement. We need to ensure we are meeting the government requirements for the Chinese National Curriculum and preparing our students for their future education needs. So there needs to be a balance with the development of the curriculum.