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International Primary Curriculum

In KS1 and KS2, our children follow the National Curriculum, alongside the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum for 3-11 year olds, with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning.

We teach some subjects discreetly though, although where possible and relevant, there is always a cross curricular link running through. The subjects we teach ‘alone’ are: English, Mathematics, Computing, Religious Education and Physical Education.

What is the IPC?

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) has been successfully supporting schools to achieve the outcomes of the English National Curriculum for over a decade. It is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning.

Under the IPC, we teach: Information Communication Technology (ICT), Science (when the topic is centred around Science) and the foundation subjects of Music, Art and Design, History, Geography, Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE), Society, International and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL).

The goal of the IPC is for children to focus on a combination of academic, personal and international learning. Our children enjoy their learning; develop enquiring minds, develop the personal qualities they need to be good citizens of the world, and develop a sense of their own nationality and culture, at the same time developing a profound respect for the nationalities and cultures of others. Most of all, our children develop the skills they will need in order to confidently face the world of tomorrow.

Children learn through a series of IPC units of work. Each unit of work has a theme that they find interesting and relevant. Examples of these themes includes The Magic Toymaker, Our World, ICT 3D Designers, Mission to Mars and Beyond and They Made a Difference. Each unit of work lasts on average between four and eight weeks and children learn many of their subjects through this one common theme, so that their learning has meaning to them.

The IPC focuses children’s learning on a combination of knowledge, skills and understanding. The development of skills is a very big part of the IPC and learning activities have been designed so that children can develop these skills. This development of skills even applies to the personal learning goals which emphasise adaptability, resilience, thoughtfulness, cooperation and respect and which, as a result of progressive skill development, help children to become able and inspired learners.

Learning with the IPC takes a global approach; helping children to connect their learning to where they are living now as well as looking at the learning from the perspective of other people in other countries, a perfect recipe for a RRS school! Moreover, the IPC is used by schools in more than 65 countries around the world.

How does the IPC start learning?

Each theme or unit starts with a ‘WOW’ day in order to introduce the theme to the children and ensure all have a good base knowledge before starting the unit. From here, a ‘Knowledge Harvest’ takes place where the children tell the teacher what they already know about the topic (this really empowers our learners to realise they already know many things!) and what they want to know. Then the planning (taking ideas from the children) and real learning takes place. Finally, each unit ends with a celebration event during which children are able to show case their learning.


The new National Curriculum enables us to enhance our children’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through biology, chemistry and physics. We develop their understanding of the natural world, making them aware of the implications of science for today and in the future. We ensure that every class has one hour of Science a week. These lessons are both indoor and outdoor, guaranteeing that the learning environment is always stimulating. Children are encouraged to answer their own questions and link learning to every day life. This learning takes place both individually and within group discussions.

Our Science curriculum embeds every aspect of scientific skills and knowledge. Children learn about:

  • A wide range of living things – humans, other animals, green plants and how to protect the environment.
  • Materials – grouping and classifying, changes and separating a mixture or materials.
  • Physical Processes – electricity, forces, light, sound, and the Earth and Beyond.

Children apply their knowledge by carrying out systematic investigations and using a range of sources. They are able to make connections between ideas and communicate their findings to adults and peers alike.

At David Livingstone Academy, Science is a hugely valued aspect of our learning and school life. We aim to continually improve our understanding of the world around us and enjoy discovering new things!