Research Skills: Working towards the IB ATLs

As mentioned in an earlier post Mark and I have been working on ways to build a community of researchers in school. We’re excited to be presenting about this at the upcoming IB Global Conference in Abu Dhabi.

Before we could begin thinking about what this might look like in the classroom, we identified a struggle many teachers were having with the ATLs. Even after reading the guidance in From Principles to Practice on the subskills that make up Research Skills, and some great work from educators such as Suzanne Kitto who shared great graphic breakdowns online, teachers still didn’t feel confident that they knew which skills within these approaches to learning they were aiming to teach.

As a school that operates with students grouped by grade we decided that for us the most logical step would be to break the skills down further to show progression through PYP, transition into MYP and continued growth through to Grade 10. This would increase the implementation of the ATLs by building teacher understanding and confidence, increase student capability by helping them to understand and access the pathway to growth, and help administrators target professional development support by having a clearer picture of areas of strength and need. It also works to help us smooth the transition between programmes in a continuum school, as teachers can see where students have come from and are heading towards.

To make the document easier to read we’ve provided 2 separate PDFs; a PYP version and an MYP version.

PYP (Grades PreK-5th)

MYP (Grades 6-10)

As an example, here is the breakdown for our youngest learners (3-5)

We’ve tried to align the MYP to the PYP as best we can to help with the transition between programmes and to help students as they’ll be extending their skills in similar areas each year – an approach we’ve had great success with in writing in the past two years.

This is just a supporting document in the process of building research skills in our community. The next steps are all about how we make sure this becomes practice, and not just a pretty looking chart!

13 thoughts on “Research Skills: Working towards the IB ATLs

  1. We are a candidate school just beginning our PYP/MYP journey. I am the Head of Libraries…and I love you both. Thank you so much for making this available.

  2. Thanks for sharing. The research continuum is impressive. What was the process for identifying the actions at each grade level? It’s a fabulous resource! Love it!

    1. Thank you! We worked backwards from the IB guidance for end of PYP and MYP and then combined this with classroom practices that support each action. We’re thrilled at how well received our work has been!

  3. Thanks Emma, that’s helpful. I’ve started following you on Twitter and will be looking out for any others that you’re working on!

  4. WOW!!!! This is so amazing! I was just sitting down to create something similar and gather ideas. When I stumbled accross yours I was blown away. So here my question! Did you already create this for the other ATL Skills? If yes, would you be willing to sell the rights to them? I would be more than happy to pay, since I know it is a TON of work. We could then adjust it to make it fit for our school.
    I completely understand if you do not want to do that, I just thought I’d ask, since in my case – and I am sure everyone else’s- TIME IS MONEY 🙂
    Great work, thank you!
    Please email me with your response.
    Thank you!

  5. Love this. Is there any chance I can purchase a copy of each from you to show our teachers and start working on a similar format for ourselves? I love that you’ve color coded and it will save us sometime.

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