The Middle Years Programme (Grades 6 – 10)
As of September 2017, Lisa-Junior International School will move one step higher on the IB continuum of international education by offering another challenging programme, the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) in addition to the one that it is currently offering, the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). The introduction of the MYP will help our school to bridge the gap between PYP and DP.
What is the IB Middle Years Programme?
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) is one of the four educational programmes offered by the International Baccalaureate. It is a five-year programme of study designed to meet the educational requirements of students between the ages of 11 to 16. The programme is inclusive, and therefore it is open for students of all interests and academic abilities. It builds upon student’s learning experiences in the Primary Years Programme and provide the necessary academic rigour that would prepare them for the challenges of the IB Diploma Programme.
The MYP emphasises intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make practical connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world, preparing them for success in further study and in life. The programme embodies three fundamental concepts:
- Communication – is fundamental to learning, as it supports inquiry and understanding, and allows student reflection and expression. The MYP places particular emphasis on language acquisition and allows students to explore multiple forms of expression.
- Holistic learning – emphasises the connections across and within the subjects, providing a global view of situations and issues; and
- Intercultural awareness – focuses on the growing understanding of a student’s own culture coupled with an understanding and appreciation of other cultures. By encouraging students to consider multiple perspectives, intercultural awareness not only fosters tolerance and respect, but may also lead to empathy.
The MYP Curriculum Model
The essential elements of the MYP Curriculum are:
- The IB learner profile – these are the 10 attributes fostered in students that promote their development as responsible members of their local, national and global communities.
- The 8 subject groups which provides students with a broad – balanced education:
- Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals and Societies
- Physical and Health Education
3.The Concepts – MYP is a concept-driven curriculum and therefore teaching and learning is aimed at encouraging students to develop conceptual understanding. Concepts are those big ideas that we want to endure in our students after they have studied a unit of work. Students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically.
4.The Global Contexts – in the MYP students experience learning in context. The MYP has identified six global contexts through which students can contextualise their learning and these contexts build on the six powerful transdisciplinary themes around which teaching and learning is structured in the Primary Years Programme (PYP). By contextualising learning students are able to connect what they learn in the classroom with their own life experiences and this makes learning more meaningful.
- The Approaches to Learning (ATL) Skills – the ATL skills equip students with the necessary tools that will help them to develop as independent life-long learners. Through the ATL skills, students learn how to learn. ATL skills empower students to succeed in meeting the challenging objectives of the MYP subject groups and prepare them for further success in the IB Diploma Programme. Ultimately, ATL skills help to prepare students for the responsible participation in local and global communities.
- Service as Action – through community service activities, students are given the opportunity to put what they have learned into action. They get the chance to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment and in the process developed important values like responsibility and compassion. Participation in service activities is a requirement that all students have to fulfil for them to earn MYP Certificate in the final year of the programme.
Service as Action is also a good preparation for students aiming to continue their studies in the IB Diploma Program after MYP, as it is closely related to the Creativity, Action and Service (or CAS) component, which is one of the core elements of the IB Diploma Programme. The following activities listed below are examples of activities which can be considered as Service as Action activities:
- fundraising activities for local orphanage or homeless people;
- participating in tree planting or clean-up activities;
- support to students in primary school or in the library;
- charity events, e.g. Charity walks;
- support for animal welfare.
- The Personal Project – this is an extended piece of work that every student in the final year of the programme has to complete independently. The project takes around 8 months to complete and it should be the product of student’s own initiative and creativity. Whatever project that a student chooses to do, it has to be something that he or she is passionate about. Students who successfully completed their personal projects may earn IB MYP Certificates.
Assessment in Middle Years Programme
Assessment in the MYP is internal, meaning student’s work are marked by the classroom teachers. Teachers assessed student’s work based on pre-specified criteria for each subject group set by the IB. Teachers use both formative and summative assessment to collect information about students’ learning. In the final year of the programme (MYP 5), students have now the option of taking eAssessments that leads to the internationally-recognised IB MYP certificate or course results for individual subject areas.
Interested in learning more about the MYP? Please visit the IB website: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/middle-years-programme/