The Career-related Programme (CP) is the fourth International Baccalaureate programme (along with the PYP, MYP and DP) and it is aimed at students entering the last two years of Secondary School who have a particular career path in mind. The CP allows students to specialise and dedicate themselves to an area of learning that they know they want to pursue. “For CP students, DP courses provide the theoretical underpinning and academic rigour of the programme; the career-related study further supports the programme’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning; and the CP core helps them to develop skills and competencies required for lifelong learning.” (IBO, 2020)
The programme is illustrated by a circle with the four parts of the core at its centre.
Figure 4: The IB CP Curriculum Model
The distinctive core components of the CP are: Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) “PPS is designed for students to develop attitudes, skills and strategies to be applied to personal and professional situations and contexts now and in the future. In this course the emphasis is on skills development for the workplace, as these are transferable and can be applied in a range of situations.” (IBO, 2016) Students have two blocks of PPS per fortnight and cover such skills and topics as Ethics; Intercultural understanding; CV and cover letter; job interviews; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at workplace recording their work in their PPS portfolio. Reflective Project (RP) “The RP is an in-depth body of work produced over an extended period of time and submitted towards the end of the CP. It is the product of the students’ own initiative and should reflect their personal experience of the CP. The RP is intended to promote high-level research, writing and extended communication skills, intellectual discovery and creativity through a variety of different approaches.” (IBO, 2016)
Students are required to identify, analyse, discuss and evaluate an ethical dilemma associated with an issue from their career-related studies and produce a 3000-word written essay or a combination of written work with audio/video material. Students will be provided an introduction session in the second semester of Year 12 and the supervisor will be allocated to support students during this process till its completion in the first semester of Year 13. Service Learning (SL) “SL provides opportunities for students to understand their capacity to make meaningful contributions to their community and society. Through SL, students develop and apply academic knowledge, personal skills and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem-solving, initiative, responsibility and accountability for their actions. The purpose is for students to contribute to society by improving the lives of people or assisting the environment or animals.” (IBO, 2016)
The students are expected to work on SL through 18 months of the course and complete a minimum of three service experiences (at least one of them being linked to their career pathway) and one service team project. Language Development (LD) “LD ensures that all students have access to and are exposed to a language programme that will assist and further their understanding of the wider world. The ability to communicate in more than one language is essential to the IB’s concept of an international education. LD encourages students to improve their proficiency in a language other than their best language.” (IBO, 2016) Students will have one contact block with the LD teacher and two independent blocks of independent work per fortnight to work on their LD portfolio. Students need to select a language that is not their best language and they may choose to study it as a language course within their DP course selection, or study the language with a tutor or via an online platform.
MYP & CP The CP builds on the skills, concepts and attitudes embedded in the Middle Years Programme. The MYP’s interdisciplinary and conceptual approach to teaching and learning, framed by global contexts, provides excellent grounding for the CP’s PPS course. The skills developed in the MYP Personal Project serve our students well in the Reflective Project, the major independent research project in the CP. Also, a student’s fulfilment of the MYP’s Community Engagement commitment should provide the fundamental skills and attitudes for participation in Service Learning.
Timetable and curriculum coverage CP students have the same DC lessons times, learning team support and timetable as the DP students. They attend DP lessons jointly with DP students. In addition, CP students have to follow a career-related course with one of our partner-providers. They will have more study blocks and they should use these blocks to study for their career-related course. We are offering the following options:
Lesson time with partner-providers Term dates with the partner-providers are different to the DC term dates and students are expected to attend all classes. There might be classes ongoing during DC holidays, and students should attend them and continue working on the course work. There will also be periods during the year when there are no career-related studies classes but students are at school so they will have a lighter workload in these periods.
For some HK-located partner-providers, students will have face-to-face classes a week (in the afternoon/evening) offsite. Days and times of these classes will be confirmed at the beginning of the school year and may vary through the year depending on timetable and availability of the partner schools’ teachers and facilities. Students might have to miss some of their DP classes to attend classes with the partner-providers.
Classes with the other partner schools are online. Students will have a dedicated block for e-learning support and should use their study blocks to study online using the e-learning platform of partner-providers.
The expectations of partner-providers in terms of work produced could be close to the first year university level. Students might be working alongside students who are older and/or more experienced. Students need to produce high volumes of quality work frequently and independently. Therefore, CP students will need to be extremely self motivated and dedicated as well as have maturity and confidence to deal with this, make use of all of the non contact periods in school and be prepared to proactively seek help with the professors if needed.