Understanding the IB Standards and Practices

What are the IB Standards and Practices?

The IB Standards and Practices are a set of criteria for schools to guide how they implement programmes. These criteria shape the purpose, learning, culture and environment of the school – you can find them here.

How should my school be using them?

It can be tempting to view the Standards and Practices as a checklist for a school to work through. However, I have found that they are more powerful as ongoing guides for discussions about what matters in school, what we are working to achieve and what we believe about education.

If we use them as a tool for thinking about our identity as a school community then they become not a checklist for schools to comply with, but a philosophy that guides our approach to education.

Which members of our school community need to know and understand the IB Standards and Practices?

There is a strong argument that all staff members should be familiar with the IB Standards and Practices. By knowing the guiding philosophy for IB schools we can ensure that we have buy in, shared understanding and common purpose. However, this is rarely a practical expectation. It is key that all leadership know, understand and are actively working towards the Standards and Practices. As a programme coordinator I am working to share these with a wider range of our school community. Later, I would love to bring families in to learn more about these too so that they can be more informed.

Introducing the IB Standards and Practices: ways to learn/learn about them

Here are AIS we are trying out 2 different activities with our leadership team in the coming month.

The Single Point Rubric

In this activity we choose 3-4 practices and perform a quick self-assessment. Where are our areas of strength (and what evidence can you point to) and what how could we continue to grow? For example, you make look at tech across your school.

A single point rubric can be used to dive deep into the Standards and Practices.
Using a single point rubric to dive deep into the IB Standards and Practices

The Action Plan

Our second activity is a modified version of the IB recommend task. We identify an area for development and then find standards, practices and requirements that support this in different ways.

Using an action plan approach can also help us understand the standards and practices.
Approaching the IB Standards and Practices from an action planning perspective

One great resource we were able to get our hands on (and copies of!) at the IB Global Conference in Abu Dhabi 2019 is the S&Ps as cards. Available in PDF format these are easier on the eye than the official S&P document and offer more ways to get to know the standards.

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