As the Ministry of Education plans to undertake a compressive curriculum reform in the country’s primary and secondary schools, private schools are also following suit with changes.
Oshwal Academy is adopting a more rigorous learning curriculum with high levels of engagement, international –mindedness and personal development called International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which is one of the fastest- growing curriculums in the world.
The IPC has not only been designed to ensure rigorous learning but also to help teachers make all learning exciting, active and meaningful for children.
“We have been so used to a norm where teachers are the font of knowledge and students are there to listen and jot down notes and revise on those notes. Children have always been taught for exams and that is it, some are usually never as bold as to challenge something that the teacher has said... The IPC created a change in culture as students were now able to express their own ideas, share their own learning, and find out more about their learning without having to depend on their teachers anymore,” said Jackeline Aming’a, head of Junior School at Oshwal Academy Mombasa, who adopted the IPC in 2007.
The foundation of the IPC is built upon Learning Goals, which define what children might be expected to know, what they might be expected to do and the understanding they might develop as they move through school.
Well written learning goals guide teaching and learning and help to focus assessment and evaluation. These goals are categorised into: Subject goals, personal goals, international goals, knowledge skills and understanding.
The IPC operates within units of work called themes. It has over 130 different thematic units of learning which are all child-friendly, modern day topics appealing to all ages of primary children.
Examples of these themes include Time Detectives, Airports, I’m Alive, Inventions and Machines and Global Swap shop.
The theme enables young children to remain motivated and also allows them to make purposeful links and connections throughout their learning and to see how their subject learning is related to the world they live in.
Within each theme, the IPC suggests many ideas for collaborative learning, for active learning, for learning outside the classroom, for role play, and for children learning from each other.
“The children become confident researchers, problem solvers, risk takers and critical thinkers. They are good collaborators and confident independent learners too. They become articulate communicators, resilient learners, and they become internationally minded. The IPC has made all this happen,” Aminga said.