It is easy to forget to look at possibly the best IB resource – that of the Online Curriculum Centre – the OCC. Apart from routine resources, such as programme guides, examination papers and session reports, you can access specimen papers, markschemes and grade descriptors from the Business Management homepage under the assessment dropdown. The general documents section includes the Teacher Support Materials (TSM) for 2016, which contains information on conceptually focused teaching, contextualized teaching through case studies and links to assessed student work.  In addition, the Business Management forum allows you to discuss delivery of the programme with other teachers and to share subject resources and teaching ideas.

The main OCC homepage has links to the latest news and programme developments, which are relevant to the delivery of all IB programmes, including Business Management, and to IB teachers in general. At present, for example, there are a number of significant news items. One of the most important of these is the addition to all subject pages of a link to the recently released support materials for ‘Approaches to teaching and learning’ (ATL). ATL represents the major focus for all IB programmes in the coming years and from which the conceptual based focus for Business Management derives. From the ATL homepage, you are able to access ATL resources, including a guide to teaching and learning in the DP, as well as videos, interviews, examples of DP unit planners and unit plans, and a self-reflection tool for teachers. They were developed through close collaboration with IB teachers and learners, and a key focus is on exploring how ideas can be put into practice in the classroom.

Other recent news articles relate to the extended essay and CAS. With effect from the November 2016 examination session, schools will be required to electronically upload all extended essays. Receiving an electronic version of an extended essay will make it easier for examiners to gauge at which point an essay has reached 4000 words. In preparation for electronic upload, supervisors must remind candidates that the model for the extended essay is a paper in an academic journal. No provision is therefore planned for the upload of media other than the essay itself and accompanying images. Appendices must be used sparingly. Examiners are not required to read appendices, so material essential to the essay must always be included in the body of the essay (including large images) and any material in the appendix should be minimal and selected with care.

CAS, which presently stands for Creativity, Action and Service is being renamed Creativity, Activity and Service to avoid confusion with the word ‘action’ in PYP and MYP. A pre-published guide for CAS, effective from September 2015, is available on the OCC.

If you have forgotten in recent times to look at the OCC, put accessing the OCC in your diary as a regular reminder to ensure you are up-to-date with all IB programme developments; particularly those which affect you as a teacher of Business and Management.