CP news

CP news for coordinators and CP teachers

Here you will find updates on the CP as well as spotlights on the new standards and practices and additional support material to aid collaboration and understanding amongst staff and students. Creating a greater concurrency between programmes forms a major part of your five year plan as you work towards evaluation. The focus predominantly here is on the core and how utilising the standards and practices can draw together all aspects of the CP experience for the students.

News and monthly focus - November 2021

Welcome everyone! These resources are for all schools offering the CP.
We all have very different educational contexts and reasons for being here; check out these suggestions to help you deliver your CP core or build on your existing programme with exciting, well-supported and effective learning resources. Here you will find just a few examples of resources for topic and theme exploration in PPS, skill development for the reflective project or case studies from around the IB World on the multitude of ways service learning can be delivered.
NEW for September 2021: Service Learning in the Pandemic 
SPOTLIGHT: Le Bocage International School (LBIS), Mauritius

As part of our case studies in our Service Learning resources, we put a spotlight this month on experiences of thriving with the CP during the pandemic.

Globally, educators have found themselves having to adapt more than ever thought possible with the challenges the pandemic has brought. Namrata Gujadhur, the CP Coordinator at Le Bocage, International School, tells us how she, and her team of dedicated teachers and students, have navigated the Service Learning course during the last 2 years and the adaptations made in such difficult circumstances. No doubt this is typical of many wonderful CP schools around the world.

Le Bocage International School (LBIS), Mauritius

At Le Bocage International School (LBIS), we have some cardinal principles that we abide  by and our main motto is to Learn, Build, Innovate, and Succeed, by nurturing innovative & holistic leaders for a changing world. It is almost unquestionable that the COVID-19 pandemic has eclipsed the lives of one and all. Different individuals have felt its effects at varying intensities depending on their status, place, and condition. This perhaps undesirable condition of the globe has pushed Service Learning at Le Bocage to discover   dimensions that otherwise would have been left veiled. 

Students have engaged in exhaustive research in finding NGOs, communicating and collaborating with them in order to develop online platforms through which these NGOs may reach out to a larger audience and accordingly dispense help to those in need. 

Beyond students under the guidance of teachers, initiated a “Bigs and Littles Programme” through which they mentored the younger and new students of the school, online. The intent for this activity was to allow the new students to familiarise themselves with the people and culture of the LBIS community as otherwise they would have been deprived of this opportunity due to the lockdown imposed soon after schools resumption in January. 

Students have wholeheartedly dedicated themselves to manufacturing masks, created ebook on nature’s cure for healthy living, organized food drives for the homeless, hosted online fitness, stretching and Zumba sessions, initiated a lockdown solidarity campaign with the Rotary club, etc. They also created digital brochures, and posters to raise awareness in view of the significance of abiding by the COVID-19 protocol suggested by the local government for the safety and benefit of all'

with huge thanks to Namrata Gujadhur

FOCUS: Language Development - Understanding the Fixed and Flexible nature of this course

Language Development: New for September 2021, we start to explore how to establish a language development course that is appropriate to your context. Out of all the core elements, this is the area that really reflects how unique a school is and how they can truly respond to their students' needs. Maybe you have a multilingual context that will allow for students to specialise individually in the career-related aspect of a language; maybe the multilingual context creates an opportunity for your whole cohort to explore a new language together such as sign language. Whatever your context, it all starts with creating an accurate student portrait at the beginning of the course; here we will build resources that help this development as well as case studies of how different schools are creating bespoke programmes.

Core: Language Development

Making up on of the four key core elements, Language Development celebrates the individual's unique lifelong relationship with language learning and intercultural understanding. The role that culture...

Building up your core provision? Check out these pages full of teaching ideas, thinking routines and topic work all for the CP learner. 

Core: Personal & Professional Skills

Personal and Professional Skills is a compulsory component of the CP core: a 90 hour course of personal and professional transferable skills for students to develop over the two years of the CP course....

Core: Service Learning

Service Learning is a compulsory element of the CP core, constituting a minimum 50 hours of the student's CP course. Whether you are well established in your DP and CP course offerings or completely new...

Core: The Reflective Project

The reflective project is one of the four elements that make up the core programme unique to the CP. Focusing on the process as much as the product, it is an independent piece of work that focuses on...

Exercises in Empathy

Understanding empathy can be tricky - least of all differentiating it from sympathy. Through the work of neuro psychologists and academics, we explore its definition and real world application. Students...

Responding to change

The ongoing global pandemic has brought to the forefront of young people's minds that change on a mass scale can happen seemingly overnight. What can we learn from ways 'leaders' have responded locally,...

Understanding 'Truth'

Here, we start to chip away at the idea of truth and how finding it in today's world demands highly developed critical thinking tools. Whilst the intention is to provide sources to prompt inquiry from...

The Reflective Project

The reflective project is one of the four elements that make up the core programme unique to the CP. Focusing on the process as much as the product, it is an independent piece of work that focuses on...

Ethical dimensions, issues and dilemmas.

Finding a suitable ethical issue and dilemma to analyse critically is at the centre of the reflective project process. However a student also needs to be able to understand the ethical ramifications of...


Supervisory sessions can be made more dynamic with user-friendly activities and tools to support discussions. Students can receive up to five hours of supervisory support throughout the reflective project...

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking can sound scary and unattainable for students but it is a lot more accessible than they imagine. Returning to the learner profile to consider the inquirer and communicator can prompt...

SPOTLIGHT: Programmes and Standards

Curriculum and stakeholder development

Every newly authorised or well established IB school is on a journey of development, benchmarked by five year self assessment and evaluation visits. As educators, we all try to do too much but when it comes to understanding and embedding the new standards and practices, select one to zoom in on and develop with your team.

Learning: Students as lifelong learners (0402)[1]

This week's spotlight in on Standard: Students as lifelong learners (0402) with particular focus on practice 6, 'Lifelong learners 6: Students take ownership of their learning by setting challenging goals and pursuing personal inquiries'. A good starting point is to discuss this standard through the lense of Service Learning, leading into other areas of the core

DISCUSSION: where your students are given opportunities to develop personal learning goals and pursue personal inquiry and action within your school's context?

'CP1: The school provides opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning through the CP core'

REVIEW how CP students specifically are given opportunities to take ownership of their learning in the CP core. What is working well and not so well? What does student autonomy and ownership look like in your context? What might be one measure you could put in place in their core programme that could increase sense of ownership and responsibility?
March 2021
This month, as the reflective project process draws to a close for CP2 cohorts, we turn our attention not just to the CP1 reflective project process but the whole core experience.
For many the new term can signal a loss of momentum in the reflective project process that parallels an improvement in the weather. Scaffolding the student experience with thinking processes and extra support for supervisors can really help students over this hurdle.
Select resources to position the reflective project as a process not a product and using the Researcher's Reflection Space, in whatever form they choose, can really help them make decision as well as inform their RPPF.

Research skills

An open-minded and adaptable approach to researchStudents developing research skills early on can help them quickly ascertain whether their intended research question and area will work; there are many...

Reflective Thinking

Reflection is generally seen as an exercise in looking back on what has been done. The part that is missed out is to use this knowledge to shape what can be done in the future. This is how reflection...

February 2021: Reflective Project supervisors

As centres launch the reflective project for their CP1 cohort, it is a good plan to think ahead to giving supervisors the confidence they need to help students in their RP. A good supervisor has a range of attributes but being an expert in the field of their student's reflective project topic area does not have to be one of them! Being a good questioner and listener is definitely far more important.

For more activities and advice, see Supervising  and Giving feedback pages as well as advice on how to spot really good Ethical Thinking , Reflective Thinking and Critical Thinking. Also see Planning and process management and Self assessment for ideas on giving students the autonomy they need.
NEW: Understanding 'Truth' is a new set of resources in the PPS hub with very close ties with the Reflective Project. A great way to start 2021!

Here we explore the concept of truth. post-truth and misinformation (fake news!) in the context of 2020 and 2021 and activities to help students navigate this tricky landscape.

December 2020: Look out for updates

The CP coordinator is constantly looking keeping up to date with updates from the IB but even more so in 2020. With the release of Supporting guidance for the May 21 and November 21 exam sessions, there are consistent addenda too. Loom out on 3rd December for updates on internal assessment and non-examination/coursework assessment components. There are updagtes for Studies in language and literature (Language A: language and literature-individual orals, Literature and Performance), Language Acquisition (Language ab initio, Language B SL and HL - individual orals), Business Management, Geography, Global Politics, Sciences (general update and Group 4 project), Design Technology, Dance, Film, Music, Theatre (including pilot), Visual Arts, Extended Essay (sciences and geography) and, last but not least, Reflective project.

The Reflective project has updates on the moderation process and advice from the chief examiner from the M20 session. Highlights to be included below soon.

Core news resources

Podcasts and interviews

 Guiding students with the reflective project by Wilma Shen: December 2020

In addition to the IB voices podcast below from November 2020, there is another focused on the reflective project with Wilma Shen from Renaissance College in Hong Kong, well worth a listen. Another perspective on the reflective project and how it can be structured and supported in your school

The Reflective Project - Big Picture: November 2020:

“Everything in the reflective project gives students the skills needed to navigate their career path”.

IB Voices are making a series of podcasts that concentrate specifically on the CP core. In the first, I am interviewed by Robert Kelty about the reflective project and my 2019. Less than 30 minutes, it gives insights, advice and tips for meeting the challenges of the reflective project and helping students recognise the real world relevance.

 COMING SOON Spring 2021 (Northern Hemisphere!)

I am really delighted to interview Sara Woodcock on developing the core element of Language Development in your school's context. Sara is an expert in this field! Whatever stage you are at with the CP, whether moving towards Authorisation or Evaluation, this discussion will help you consider your course from new perspectives.

Another really enriching listen with Chad Lower from North Kansas City High School discussing creating authentic language development for his students to enhance their experience of the CP
Reflective Project Updates[2]

The editable PDF version of the RPPF should be used for all examination sessions. The RPPF is essential for the fulfilment of criterion E so non-submission of this form means a mark of zero for this criterion. From May 2020 the form has a career-related study section and candidate initials as well as a word count for each student reflection. Centres absolutely should use this form by 2021 exam session at the latest and E-upload with reflective projects as is normal procedure.

Using Reflective Project Assessment Criteria

The subject report for the Reflective Project is brilliant for helping supervisors in their role, tweaking delivery for the next school year and, most importantly, to keep in mind for the marking of the draft stage (by the time final moderation comes about, any major issues are hard to tackle). The suject report gives you information about the grade boundaries set for that year by the chief examiner; however always use the descriptors in the official criteria for marking as these are the only constant. Also ensure that you are using the revised version of Criterion A from September 2017 for first assessment in May 2018.

Curriculum reviews[2]

Each element of the core is undergoing a curriculum review at the moment as part of the IB's 7 year curriculum cycle. The IB always encourage current CP teachers to become part of the review cycles which is worth investigating as a really good way of keeping key staff proactive in the delivery of the core.

Personal and Professional Skills, Service Learning and the Reflective Project are undergoing curriculum reviews and in the early stages of development.

Language Development is in the development stage of this cycle and has already published updates last year. With all reviews the aim is unpack the theoretical framework and find ways to clarify the purpose, scope and nature of the core element. Here the focus is very much on how do student's gain a full understanding of their cultural and linguistic starting point and how can they effectively curate this evidence. The idea being that a greater understanding and illustration of the unique nature of every individual's language background leads to a rich and meaningful language development journey.

Spotlight on ... Academic Integrity

Spotlight on academic integrity

Academic Integrity is a fundamental aspect of the CP course and no greater way is played out than in the reflective project process. For schools offering CP or multiple IB programmes including CP, this is familiar territory indeed. Academic Integrity is also an area that all stakeholders need refreshing about every year so ensuring that Core, DP and CRS staff are up to speed with what malpractice can look like and what to do if they are suspect issues, is crucial. In addition to this, 2020 has thrown many challenges at us; adapting to ensure that academic integrity is not compromised by the new ways we have had to teach and learn is just yet another.

Advice released on the 20th  October[3] and 3rd November by the IB[4] gives clarification of changes to assessment for M21 and N21 sessions as well as core specific guidance for the CP. Such literature indicates a reality of moving core teaching and learning online and carried out remotely; conversations with different centres have illustrated successes and setbacks in such a process but certainly what unites everyone is a commitment to make it work.

Interestingly, in the core guidance it is the reflective project area that needs arguably more attention. It details the need here for supervision to move remotely and how this can be carried out. Remember the role of the supervisor is to witness the reflective project process in a way that they can verify that the work is the student’s own authentic research and exploration. It might be that remote supervision calls for supervisors to pay close attention to comparing previous work with current work to check that the student’s work is consistently progressing without anomalies. Certainly, it is also sensible to ask students to provide excerpts and evidence of the research they have done to confirm not only the amount of work they have done but also how they have used it.

It remains that the supervisor’s key role is to ask good open questions that guides students into getting the most out of the reflective project so the more the student feels they can interact in as natural way as possible with their supervisor the better; making real use of a shared online RSS – essentially a journal  with vlogs, blogs, photos, videos, comments, questions, extended reflections can make the job of tracking the student’s reflective project process a lot easier and also more enjoyable. Arguably it establishes a use for the Research and Reflection Space in a far more authentic and useful way than is often utilized by students in ‘normal’ times. Many centres also use plagiarism software which can be really helpful but obviously results need to be scrutinized and not taken at face value.

The reality remains that in tough times such as this, students and parents may feel tempted to access outside tuition and guidance – especially if they perceive the support network has not been effectively establish by school. This is a very tricky area and essentially compromised academic integrity.


  1. ^ https://resources.ibo.org/ib/psp/Standards-and-Practices/works/edu_11162-51685?&root=
  2. a, b Career-related Programme Coordinator notes: December 2020
  3. ^ Supporting Guidance for CP Schools M21 and N21: On the Completion fo the CP Core 
  4. ^ Information and/or support for the May and November 2021 examination sessions
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