Since our Blog Post last month detailing the upcoming ManageBac Primary Years transition, we have been excited to collaborate with 25 PYP coordinators from around the world, who are asking us challenging questions and providing valuable feedback during the design process. In this blog post, we are sharing some of the key questions together with our clarifications.
How will the planner be structured?
Our PYP Next planner structure is based on the alternative planner provided by the IB. Two default templates will be available to schools: Early Years and Primary. As currently, stand-alone units can be created for specialist subjects with the transdisciplinary theme omitted.
How much customization will we have within the unit planner?
You will be able to enable and disable most curriculum components and add guidance text, although there will remain a default set of fixed components for some fields, such as transdisciplinary theme. Reordering will be possible within sections.
Some of our scope and sequence documents are based on grade level expectations, while others are in phases. Currently, we have to choose one format to input all of our scopes and sequences. Will we have more flexibility with this in the future?
Yes! Schools will have the flexibility to set up individual subject groups based on grade level expectations or phase.
Will ATL skills be directly aligned to Learning Outcomes?
Not yet, but this is being developed in a broad way for all four IB programmes. However, Learner Profile attributes and ATL skills will now appear within the Learning Goals section. You will also be able to tag and filter tasks, assessments and reflections with ATL skills and Learner Profile attributes.
Can you change the way Learning Outcomes are viewed and selected, to make it more like Concepts?
Yes! We will display all subjects using tabs, like Concepts. We will also remove the “years” dropdown and default to the unit year level. The dropdown will only show if the unit is mapped to multiple years.
How about the ATL skills and learner profile attributes that schools would like to self-develop? Will there be an option for this?
Yes, schools will be able to add their own Learner Profile attributes and ATL sub-skills. Additionally, the ATL skills for the Early Years will be built into the Early Years template planner.
How much customization will schools have for the gradebook? Can we expand gradebook or assessment options so we can track more formative data?
A gradebook update is planned for 2019 for all programmes which will support the tracking and analysis of a wider range of assessment data.
Is there a way to link learning experiences to their relevant resources?
Tasks and resources in PYP Next will be visible as part of the Stream view. This aligns the PYP to the other IB programmes and our Curriculum-First model.
What about supporting the exhibition and student action?
Our Service Learning worksheet will allow students to record and reflect upon action as a dynamic outcome of agency. Students will be able to record reflections, photos, videos and have dialogue with their teachers. Similarly, a Project-based Learning worksheet will support exhibition planning by students. This will also be provided as an editable template based on the new IB student exhibition planner.
I have read that the new interface will go live over the summer of 2019. Is it possible to release this earlier?
It will not be possible to transition to PYP Next before the summer due to the database migrations required. We planned this for the summer in order to avoid any disruption for schools within the middle of the current academic year. We expect to provide PYP Next to schools on the ManageBac demo sandbox in the early spring, so that PYP Coordinators can explore the new interface and design before the full transition in the summer.
We will continue to share our progress and designs via this blog, so that teachers know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
Questions & Feedback?
If you would like to participate in our PYP Next focus group, please contact our Curriculum Director, Leila Holmyard, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, email our Support Team at email@example.com if you have any questions or feedback. We will be organizing webinars and posting tutorial videos mid-2019 so please stay tuned for further updates.