In order to help teachers to get to grips with the new skills more easily, we needed to align them with the FOSIL skills. We had to demonstrate that these frameworks are not just two different versions of the same thing, but that they can work together effectively to support learning and make planning easier. The FOSIL skills are generally more concrete, they show how students progress as they move through the school, and have linked resources (that students are already used to) showing what that skill might look like in the classroom.
We were aware that there was a HODs’ horizontal curriculum planning day coming up on June 11th and were keen to put something together before then to help to demonstrate how the two frameworks could be meaningfully integrated to make their jobs easier. The main challenges we faced were:
Some of the ATL skills encompassed a vast range of skills in a single sentence, so we mapped several different rows of FOSIL skills to the same ATL skill.
Because of the way they were arranged, several skills were repeated worded in slightly different ways in different categories, so we mapped several different ATL skills to the same row of FOSIL skills.
Some ATLs relate to social development and have no specific analogue in the FOSIL framework, either because they are developed over the course of a whole inquiry (e.g. Demonstrate persistence and perseverance) or because they do not relate to inquiry skills at all (e.g. “Practice strategies to prevent and eliminate bullying”). We decided to categorize these as either “whole inquiry” or “PSHE” skills.
Chris, our Head of Student Research, began the process by identifying which stage of inquiry he thought each ATL skill was most suited to, Lucy continued it by matching individual ATL skills to specific FOSIL skills, and I pulled everything together into a spreadsheet (see images, above). My first task was to rearrange the FOSIL skills into separate rows showing how a single skill progresses up the school, something we have been meaning to do for a while, then I could match each ATL to one or more rows.
Although still a work in progress, we presented the spreadsheet to the Director of IB, MYP Co-ordinator and Deputy Head (Academic) on Monday (May 20th), along with examples of a concrete set of FOSIL resources that had been used in inquiries to support particular FOSIL skills – and therefore could now be matched to ATLs. They were excited enough by the prospect of a resource that could help HODs to link the ATL skills and FOSIL – and, perhaps more importantly for them, to help HODs to understand what the ATL skills might look like in the classroom – that they have invited Darryl, our Head of Library, to lead a session at the upcoming HODs’ horizontal curriculum planning day on June 11th. This is an exciting and important opportunity, but doesn’t give us long to complete, polish and refine the integration so that it is ready for use!
We know that several of you will be on the same journey and would love to hear where you have got to and what you have learnt so far.