The IB Five Year Review: what’s new

We’re doing an IB Five Year Review this year (though it’s not called that now) so I thought I should go to this session on  what’s involved, and what’s changed, presented by Stephen Keegan, who did a great job, given the nature of this presentation and its emphasis on governance and regulations.
Some of the changes to the process include:
  • Centralised documentation
  • Emphasis on ongoing development through the school’s action plan
  • More detailed explanation of the self-study process
  • More focused questions under each standard
  • Specific PD requirements to complete during the period.
There are 76 practices listed for schools to cover and they emphasised that they’d thrown the review back on schools, ‘you are evaluating yourself, dynamically, over the full five years’. They argued that the self-study should take around a year and that there is room for celebration as well.
The action plan lists objectives, actions, dates, whose responsible, budgetary implications and evidence. He suggested by starting with every practice as an objective, then starting from there. Not all need to be addressed in detail. Philosophy etc. might already have been dealt with, but Curriculum might need more attention. Lots of things are uploaded, especially policies.
There needs to be Professional Development plan, a curriculum review cycle. New requirements here come into play in January 2014.It isn’t necessary to upload evidence in the form of certificates to prove staff went to the PD. Also, only one teacher in each subject (eg Language B) needs to attend the PD; they argued for a reasonable and common-sense approach.
Next year the PD requirements will be stricter with a real emphasis on new teachers coming into a school having access to IB PD.
There was some discussion about gathering evidence,who does it, and what it looks like. Student surveys should be done, he argued. Parent might also be involved, either with a survey or forum. Existing school documentation should be emphasised. Only the overview is submitted to the IBO now. This is an area where providing some more information about the nature of the school might be useful, especially if one review looks very different to the others. The course outline required is a course outline – “it doesn’t need to be Atlas Rubicon up in lights” on registration ,but there is a lot of interpretation around the require, not for “comprehensive” curriculum. They argued that some sample curriculum would help: a unit plan from maths, some formative assessment from History etc. they also suggested that passwords into systems like Atlas would be fine. Also, if you say you exceed the practice, then you should provide evidence.
On another matter: first time I’ve seen PREZI used as a presentation tool too; nice transitions, but a big bunch of text on a slide isn’t really anything radically different from PowerPoint really and it was too small to read from the back of the room, even with my new 1.5 magnifiers!
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