Approaches to learning (ATL)


Through approaches to learning (ATL) in IB programmes, students develop skills that have relevance across

the curriculum that help them “learn how to learn”. ATL skills can be learned and taught, improved with

practice and developed incrementally. They provide a solid foundation for learning independently and with

others. ATL skills help students prepare for, and demonstrate learning through, meaningful assessment.

They provide a common language that students and teachers can use to reflect on, and articulate on, the

process of learning. The focus of ATL in the MYP is on helping students to develop the self-knowledge and skills they need to enjoy a lifetime of learning.


IB programmes identify five ATL skill categories, expanded into developmentally appropriate skill clusters.


IB ATL skill categories MYP skill clusters
Communication I Communication
Social II Collaboration
Self Management III Organisation

IV Affective

V Reflection

Research VI Information Literacy

VII Media Literacy

Thinking VIII Critical Thinking

IX Creativity and Innovation

X Transfer



IBO  From Principles into Practice