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Impington Village College

The ICE Programme

What is the ‘ICE’ programme?

ICE stands for ‘Impington Curriculum Experience’. It is the brand new curriculum we began implementing for Year 7 in September 2014. Our intention is to innovate the curriculum along the lines of the best elements of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma that has been so successful in our sixth form over many years. The programme we have developed takes the aspirations of the IB Learner Profile (see below) as its starting point and delivers most elements of the National Curriculum through a thematically linked approach.

There will be five over-arching ‘themes’ or strands of interaction through the year. Subject teachers will draw out common links and connections around these strands while exploring the core knowledge and skills that are essential to individual subject areas. Each strand of interaction is based around a single ‘Big Question’ that is explored in a range of different ways but which provides a connection and coherence to the curriculum as a whole.

How will the ‘ICE’ programme be assessed?

Your children will be among the first cohorts nationally to sit a whole new suite of GCSE qualifications marked on a scale of 1-9 instead of the traditional A*-G range of grades. The government has also discontinued the old ‘National Curriculum Levels’ that you will be familiar with from Primary school and SATs tests. The IB has always marked students on a 1-7 scale.

As part of the ICE programme, we have developed a new way of grading students that will prepare them for a 1-9 grading scale when they come to sit GCSEs. Students will be graded from 1-7 (and receive minimum target grades accordingly) in years 7-9 for the ICE programme. This will then enable a relatively smooth transition to the 1-9 GCSE grading system at GCSE. The table below explains how we will set targets and the ‘equivalence’ of the ICE 1-7 grades to the old national curriculum levels that some of you will be more familiar with. We will send this to you with each progress check to help you understand and interpret the new grades as you become familiar with them.

How can I have confidence in the new curriculum?

The ‘ICE’ programme has been our main curriculum priority as a college for more than a year. A great deal of time has been spent planning and preparing an excellent new curriculum with updated schemes of work and assessments. Our primary aim has been to provide a challenging and inclusive experience that stretches children of all abilities to meet their potential. We are very proud of the plans in place and think that they reflect the very best of the content we have delivered successfully in the past, as well as introducing more dynamic and rigorous content that reflect our desire to be a truly great college.

The MOODLE (our online resource and information sharing facility) will be used to set all homework and to give you a wide range of information and resources to complement the curriculum. In addition, you will receive five progress reports (including a full written report) along with two consultation evenings to keep you informed about your child’s progress as they go through Year 7.

The ICE Strands of Interaction – Year 7 

Ways of Learning (6 weeks)
Students will be learning about the backgrounds to the different subject areas and the ways and methods of studying and learning used at secondary school level. They will learn about our expectations as a college and the different ways that they will be assessed and expected to work. Critical aspects such as effective group work, independent study and homework skills, health and safety rules and conducting kind and effective relationships with others will be established and explored. 
Big Question:
What does it mean to be a successful and supportive learner at IVC and beyond?
Communities and our place in them (8 weeks)
In all subject areas there will be a focus on how we are part of a single community as well as a number of wider ones; how the knowledge and skills we are acquiring are used or useful in those communities, and how we can be skilled and effective members of society and the community. Social and work related skills will be explored, as will local issues related to the city and immediate communities we live in.
Big Question:
How does what we are learning apply to our community and the people in it?
The Ingenuity of Individuals (8 weeks)
In this unit the main area of interaction will be in exploring how individuals have made or can make significant contributions in the different subject areas. This will involve learning about great achievements, but also looking at how a person can grow, develop and find enjoyment through gaining and applying a range of knowledge and skills. There will be an emphasis upon how to succeed and secure personal goals and targets. We will also look at a range of individuals who have made a big impact on humanity. 
Big Question:
What can an individual do to make a difference in the world?
Environments (8 weeks)
The physical, natural and built environment will be the area of interaction during this part of the year. Learning will seek a deeper understanding and appreciation of the beauty and potential of the places we live in and share, as well as discovering unusual or new environments. Issues of protection and preservation of the environment will be important, as will understanding how a subject or knowledge interacts with the context in which it emerges or is studied. 
Big Question:
How do our environments shape our understanding of the world?
Our health and societies (8 weeks)
The final area of interaction will be around exploring how a healthy body and mind is essential for happiness and success. Issues of health and well-being will be important, as will the ways that governments and societies work to support or hinder this. Topics will help students learn about the potential of the human body and the need for us all to be tolerant and aware of one another’s needs and differences.
Big Question:
What do we need to be healthy, happy and successful in life?

The ICE Strands of Interaction – Year 8 

One world (6 weeks)
In this unit students will be learning about the Global Village and about the similarities and differences there are between different cultures and religions. Issues that will be explored will include tolerance of others and their beliefs, how to avoid conflict, the pressure upon resources, globalisation and how we all fit together on the planet. It will also explore the technology behind and the advantages and disadvantages of the World Wide Web.
Big Question:
Is our world getting bigger or smaller, more connected or more divided?
The old, the new and the future (8 weeks)
Students will investigate past, present and future in this strand. This will involve gaining an understanding of the progression of time, how it has shaped our society and technology and where we will go from here. Students will investigate how we can take knowledge from what has gone past and apply this knowledge to create a successful future. They will explore the barriers to change and what skills we will require for the 21st century.
Big Question:
How, when and why does change occur?
Shapes, structures and rules (8 weeks)
In all subject areas there will be a focus on the shapes, structures and rules that govern our everyday lives; how these are developed and applied; what can happen, for good or ill, if they are not followed. They may also explore practical rules, systems and structures within subject areas. This will allow students to gain a greater insight into areas such as law, philosophy, programming and architecture. It will also allow them to develop a greater appreciation of how to work together as a team and the theories that can underpin this.
Big Question:
What are the shapes, structures and rules that affect our lives?
Ideas and beliefs (8 weeks)
In this unit students will learn about how important ideas and concepts are developed and their significance. This may be through the work of individuals, wider movements, or how opinions are expressed and shared. Ethical, moral and spiritual beliefs will be explored and students will be encouraged to think about, celebrate, share or express their own ideas and beliefs. The strand will likely build on the ideas introduced in ‘One World’
Big Question:
How and why do ideas and beliefs influence and shape the world we live in?
Cambridge (8 weeks)
Students will explore Cambridge’s importance, influence and impact upon society and the world. They will consider what it has given us as a legacy, what it promises for the future and how this global city can have a profound effect on our lives at IVC. Cambridge will be used as an inspiration and stimulus for a number of different activities and investigations. This strand is likely to involve research and knowledge acquisition specific to our local area.
Big Question:
How does Cambridge influence us and the wider world?

The ICe Strands of Interaction - Year 9 

In Year 9, the ICE strands of interaction are more flexible, to allow teachers to begin preparing students for their GCSE examinations. The five strands are based around different aspects of the IB Learner Profile and we have listed what those attributes hould look like in practice.

Term 1:  Caring and Communicators

We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world around us. We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
Big Question:
Who is right?

Term 2: Balanced and Reflective

We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives (intellectual, physical and emotional) to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognise our interdependence with other people in the world in which we live. We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experiences. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.
Big Question:
How do we know we have done the right thing?

 

Term 3: Thinkers and Open-Minded

We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned and ethical decisions. We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
Big Question:
Can we trust the evidence?

Term 4: Risk-Takers and Principled

We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to
explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenge and
change. We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
Big Question:
Just because we can, should we?

Term 5: Inquirers and Knowledgeable

We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life. We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
Big Question:
How do we build our knowledge?

Term 6: Revision and Consolidation

This term will involve revision and preparation for the end of year examinations, including extended project work in some subject areas.
Big Question:
How can I be successful in my end of year examinations?