Integrating ATL Skills | First steps for MYP candidate schools

3 min read

The ATL skills are a distinctive feature of the IB programmes. These skills are transferable across subjects and contexts, and support students learning in the MYP and beyond. In order to give students ample opportunity to develop these skills, it is important for teachers to work together to determine where and when in the curriculum the skills can be addressed. 

As an MYP candidate school, you and your teaching teams will be working collaboratively to plan and document the progressive development of students’ ATL skills across the programme. This documentation comes in the form of the ATL planning document. This document is also an important source of evidence that the school has planned a coherent curriculum that will give students the opportunity to develop the full range of ATL skills.

What you’re required to produce for authorization

At the time of authorization, the ATL planning document should:

  •  Show the progression of ATL skills from year to year of the programme (vertical articulation)
  • Indicate when and how teachers can plan for the articulation of ATL skills across the subject groups at each grade level (horizontal articulation)

Resources you can get started with

You can refer to the Guide to Approaches to Learning Skills in the MYP to further develop your understanding of ATL skills. This section of the guide is a good starting point for an overview of the ATL skills framework for the MYP, and why we ‘teach skills’. 

Suggested professional development activities 

Here are some ideas for activities you and your teaching teams can engage in to get to grips with ATL integration! You’ll find a mix of collaborative as well as individual activities suggested here; choose the ones that best fit your needs and schedules! 

Getting to know the ATL skillsCollaborativePrint a set of ATL Skills Posters and post them around the room. Display or call out the following prompts, one at a time. In response to each prompt, teachers’ ATL Skills should move to the poster corresponding to their answer:
-Which ATL skill came most naturally to you as a student?
-Which ATL skill has been the hardest for you to learn?
-Which ATL skill is the most important for students’ success in your subject?
-Which ATL skill can students best develop in your subject?

Reflect: What are we already doing to support the development of ATL skills? How else can we support the development of ATL skills? 
Teaching the ATL SkillsIndividualRead Part 2 of Your Guide to Approaches to Learning Skills in the MYP and watch the video about adding ATL statements to MYP units. Select an ATL skill that you would like to include in one of your units. Access the ATL Skills Playbook for the ATL skill that you selected and browse for ideas to incorporate the ATL skill in an upcoming lesson.
BONUS: Use one of the Five-minute Lesson Plan Templates to outline your lesson!
ATL Skills in the SubjectsAsynchronousSend teachers the link to the blog and video Aligning ATL Skills with MYP Subjects so that they can read/watch it at their own pace. Make a copy of the Mapping ATLs for MYP subjects spreadsheet and share the link with teachers; have them use the comments feature to make at least three comments: – Something that they’re already doing in one of their units
-Something that could be adapted for use in one of their units
-Something new that they could add to one of their units

This blog is part of a series designed especially for candidate MYP schools. Click here to view the complete series!

Other resources you might like to explore:

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Disclaimer: This resource has been produced independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle’s resources seek to encourage sharing of perspectives and innovative ideas for classroom teaching & learning. They are not intended to be replacements for official IB guides and publications. Views and opinions expressed by the authors of these resources are personal and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB. Please seek assistance from your school’s IB coordinator and/or refer to official IB documents before implementing ideas and strategies shared within these resources in your classroom.