THE MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME
PREPARING STUDENTS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN SCHOOL AND TO BE ACTIVE, LIFELONG LEARNERS
What is an International Baccalaureate (IB) education?
The IB continuum of international education, for students aged 3 to 19, is unique because of its academic and personal rigour, challenging students to excel in their studies and personal growth. The IB aims to inspire a quest for learning throughout life that is marked by enthusiasm and empathy.
The IB aspires to help schools develop well-rounded students, who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind, are confident in their own identities, make ethical decisions, join with others in celebrating our common humanity and are prepared to apply what they learn in real-world, complex and unpredictable situations.
The IB offers high-quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision. An IB education:
- focuses on learners – the IB’s student-centred programmes promote healthy relationships, ethical responsibility and personal challenge
- develops effective approaches to teaching and learning – IB Programmes help students to develop the attitudes and skills they need for both academic and personal success
- works within global contexts – IB programmes increase understanding of languages and cultures, and explore globally significant ideas and issues
- explores significant content – IB programmes offer a curriculum that is broad and balanced, conceptual and connected.
Informed by values described in the learner profile, IB learners strive to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. These attributes represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.
What is the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)?
The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement—essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders.
The MYP is flexible enough to accommodate most national or local curriculum requirements. It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC).
The IB Middle Years Programme:
- addresses holistically students’ intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being
- provides students opportunities to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need in order to manage complexity and take responsible action for the future
- ensures breadth and depth of understanding through study in eight subject groups
- requires the study of at least two languages (language of instruction and additional language of choice) to support students in understanding their own cultures and those of others
- empowers students to participate in service within the community
- helps to prepare students for further education, the workplace and a lifetime of learning.
The MYP consists of eight subject groups: language acquisition, language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design. Student study is supported by a minimum of 50 hours of instruction per subject group in each academic year. In years 4 and 5, students have the option to take courses from six of the eight subject groups, which provides greater flexibility.
The MYP: a unique approach, relevant for a global society
The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community. MYP teachers organize the curriculum with appropriate attention to:
- Teaching and learning in context. Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and the world that they have experienced. Using global contexts, MYP students explore human identity, global challenges and what it means to be internationally minded.
- Conceptual understanding. Concepts are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically.
- Approaches to learning (ATL). A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skills help students learn how to learn.
- Service as action (community service). Action (learning by doing and experiencing) and service have always been shared values of the IB community. Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Service as action is an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.
- Language and identity – MYP students are required to learn at least two languages. Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to their development of intercultural understanding and crucial to their identity affirmation.
MYP projects provide students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in the MYP. In schools that include MYP years 5, all students must complete the personal project. In programmes that include MYP years 4 or 5, schools may offer students the opportunity to do both the community project and the personal project. In schools that include MYP year 3 or 4, students must complete the community project.
- The community project encourages students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community. Students may complete the community project individually or in small groups.
- Each student develops a personal project independently, producing a truly personal and creative piece of work that stands as a summative review of their ability to conduct independent work.