International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

IPC Deep Dive

IPC - Excellence in Learning

At ISL Surrey we take an integrated and enquiry-based approach to the humanities, sciences and arts, using the prestigious International Primary Curriculum (IPC).

The IPC is a project-based programme for 3-12 year olds. It is a thematic and creative curriculum, with a clear process of learning that offers the perfect foundation for building meaningful connections, deep understanding, and key personal skills.

This programme is founded on robust research, and is used by thousands of schools in the UK and beyond. As leading practitioners of the IPC, and as the first ever school to achieve ‘Mastery’ status twice, we regularly welcome visitors from all over the world to learn from our expertise in delivering this advanced kind of learning.

Understanding the International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

At ISL Surrey, we have extended the utility of the programme to provide further opportunities for analysis, evaluation and reflection in class time, with the ultimate goal of building high-level critical thinking skills.

The curriculum is delivered in Units of Study, each lasting around six weeks, but with flexibility to respond to a class’ specific interests and needs. Each unit follows a similar pathway:

  • Entry Point: an exciting and enthusiasm-boosting introduction to the theme.
  • Knowledge Harvest: provides an opportunity for students to collate what they already know and become fully engaged in bringing the project forwards. This knowledge is developed throughout the course of the unit, and allows students to make real progress and develop connections to previous learning.
  • The Big Picture: identifies exactly what will be covered and lays out the path ahead. This information is shared with families to help support engagement beyond the classroom walls.
  • Researching and Recording: students are fully immersed into learning from the perspective of each subject area. They employ a variety of methods to enquire into units, and learning often spills over into English, Maths, Languages, The Arts and the Outdoor Curriculum. As the unit draws to a close, their research findings are interpreted and they must demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways.
  • Exit Point: the unit culminates in the student becoming the teacher – as they communicate their new knowledge and understanding to peers and families.

This programme is delivered across the school, divided into mileposts rather than year groups: Milepost 1 (5-7), Milepost 2 (7-9) and Milepost 3 (9+) which facilitates collaboration between classes and provides fantastic opportunities for leadership development from an early age. The focus on collaboration and cross-curricular understanding ensures that learning is meaningful, relevant, and fully embedded.

A major strength of the IPC is the focus on International Mindedness. Learning takes a global approach, helping children to connect what they learn to where they are living as well as considering the broader, global perspective. Global Thinking is at the heart of everything we do here at ISL Surrey.

This is a 21st century curriculum that extends knowledge, skills and understanding while supporting the development of key personal attributes known as the IPC Personal Goals:

  • Teacher helping a childEnquiry
  • Thoughtful thinker
  • Cooperation
  • Respect
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Morality

Find out more about our Maths programme

Find out more about English and Literacy

Find out more about Languages at ISL Surrey

Find out more about why we incorporate Real World Learning into our Curriculum

Find out more about outdoor learning with our on-site Forest School & Permaculture Garden

Find out more about our Community Engagement Programme as part of the curriculum

Find out more about the IPC

Find out more about helping your child develop an understanding of who they are and their place in the world with this useful PDF