Course Planning New Curriculum

Mapping Your Course

How do you integrate the various course requirements into your particular schedule and location? This will vary somewhat from school to school.

Points to consider when designing your course

How will you teach the Skills for CS ? When does it work best for you to include the CS? Some suggestions on Integrating the CS

How can you help students develop good working habits in the Visual Journal and help them with Design and Layout Skills for the Process Portfolio?

How can you provide more opportunities for Curatorial Practice and  Visiting Exhibitions, for learning about Methods of Display , setting up exhibition, self selection, Documenting Artwork and  Self Assessment throughout the course?

How can you ease the crunch that inevitably accompanies the final month/s before exams? By planning well!!

Brainstorming an outline

In workshops I generally do a session on course planning and it is interesting to observe how many different approaches there are to scheduling activities, assessment deadlines, the quantity of guided work vs. independent work etc.. The bottom line is there is no prescribed method but there are certainly many tips and useful models to look at. As each school is different in it's breakdown of the academic calendar, I suggest you take your own yearly planner or a big sheet of paper and make notes from the examples in these pages, inserting activities and evaluations where they fit with your particular needs.

Underneath it all...

When mapping your course, keep in mind the 3 overlapping areas that underpin the IB Art as set forth in the new syllabus.

  • Theoretical Practice
  • Art Making Practice
  • Curatorial Practice

Where to put the CS?

This is up to you and what fits your teaching schedule best. One option might be to complete the bulk of the CS by the end of year 1 and add only the HL element ( connections with own art) early in year 2. On the other hand, SL students could very well complete the CS earlier in the course. Many teachers would prefer to have it finished by the end of year 1 simply to get it out of the way.

You will notice that in the planner below I have put the final CS in term 4, mostly because of the HL element that requires students to relate their own work to the work being compared. My thinking is that earlier in the course students may not have yet developed their own work to the extent that they have something more individual to compare.

A General Course Outline

If you don't have time to map your own course and would like to use the template below, feel free to make adjustments and modifications to the one suggested here. This course outline is a very bare bones template for you to tweak and add to as you wish.

All of the suggested activities in this general course outline can be found on this website, discussed in more detail.

18 month planner

The IBDP course is actually less than 2 years since assessment material must be submitted in April of year 2.

I have used terms rather than months or semesters because of time tabling and global calendars. Term 1 refers to September-December in the western hemisphere, term 2 January- March, in roughly 3 month blocks. Term 5 refers to the final run up to exams.

Download General Course Outline

IB VIsual Arts Theoretical Practice Art Making Practice Curatorial Practice
Term 1

Teaching visual analysis of an artwork

Comparing two artworks given by teacher


Building practical skills,

Introductions to techniques

Using the visual journal

Exhibition Visit

Written response (journal)

Collecting artist's statements

Term 2

exercise: comparing two artworks chosen by student

Building Art Vocabulary


Guided Studio Work

Guided Visual Journal Work

How to make PP screens from the Journal and ongoing experiments

Curating an imaginary exhibition activity (journal)

Documenting your studio work, establishing good practice.

Term 3

exercise: comparing your own work to another artist

First draft CS

Art and ToK topics

(all in journal)

Studio Work, more independent

Visual Journal Work, more independent

Set number of PP screens complete

Curating a group exhibition (could be site specific, installation)

Writing the Curatorial Rationale for it (journal)


Term 4 Individual Comparative Study complete (CS)

Independent Studio Work

Continue to build digital portfolio of completed work and PP pages that document process and include unresolved works

Exhibition Visit

Reflecting on different approaches to curation ( journal)

Planning Exhibition Space

Term 5

complete all tasks well in advance of scheduled exams

Formatting CS for E submission Process Portfolio assembling for E submission

Selecting works for and designing final Exhibition

Writing Final Curatorial Rationale

Putting together Exhibition Presentation for E submission

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