THE STEPPING STONE BETWEEN PYP AND DIPLOMA
THE IB MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME (MYP)
The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a five-year-programme designed for students aged 11 to 16, a period that is particularly critical for personal and intellectual development. It provides a challenging framework of learning, which encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world, preparing them for success in further study and in life. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement; essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders. 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). It provides a rigorous and highly flexible framework that powerfully integrates with local and national educational requirements.
It highlights important shared features of an IB education:
• Developing the attributes of the learner profile
• Approaches to teaching and approaches to learning
• Age-appropriate culminating experiences
• An organized and aligned structure of subject groups or disciplines
• Development of international-mindedness as a primary aim and context for learning
The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community. Teaching and learning in the MYP is underpinned by the following aspects.
Concepts are big ideas, which form the basis of teaching and learning in the MYP. They ensure breadth and depth in the curriculum to promote learning within 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. The MYP prescribes sixteen key interdisciplinary concepts along with related concepts for each discipline.
TEACHING AND LEARNING IN CONTEXT
Global contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded, framing a curriculum that promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement.
Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world they have experienced.
Using global contexts, MYP students develop an understanding of their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet through developmentally appropriate explorations of:
APPROACHES TO LEARNING (ATL)
Approaches to learning, a unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, are skills which help students manage their own learning. They provide a foundation for independent learning and success in further education and the world beyond the classroom. Developing and applying these communication, social, self-management, research and thinking skills helps students learn how to learn.
The ATL skills that students should develop in the MYP are:
SERVICE AND ACTION
Service and Action is a required component of the IB MYP, which goes hand in hand with our SIS mission statement, “We inspire learning and intercultural understanding, enriqueciendo la vida de nuestros niños y nuestro mundo”.
Through their engagement with service and action, MYP students will continue to increase their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth, undertake new challenges, plan and initiate activities, work collaboratively with others, show perseverance and commitment, engage with locally and globally significant challenges and consider the ethical implication of their actions.
At SIS, students are provided with numerous opportunities for service involvement in each year of the programme, which are in turn aligned with the MYP learning outcomes. Action becomes part of the MYP unit plans, which demonstrate appropriate opportunities, through inquiry, to participate in service as action. Students will also get the chance to engage with service and action activities, at a local and global level, through our SIS student-led NGO, The Kindred Project.
All MYP students must fulfil the SIS expectations for participation in community service, which is a requirement of the IB MYP Certificate.
GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP PROGRAMME
At SIS we strive to encourage an understanding of the interdependence of individuals, societies and cultures and deeply believe that proactive, responsible young people are essential for overcoming the problems in the world and must be supported as drivers of positive change within their communities and beyond.
In line with this, SIS set up the Global Citizenship Programme (GCP); an exciting learning option, through which we aim to develop in students a spirit of inquiry, an enduring intercultural awareness, a respect for others and a sense of global responsibility. It also provides students with an excellent opportunity to fulfil the IB MYP requirements for participation in community service.
The Global Citizenship Programme structure is built around the following interconnected pillars encompassing content, skills and action: (1) Global mindedness; (2) social entrepreneurship; (3) service learning and (4) Learning to Learn skills.
To achieve our goals, an exciting array of activities and methodologies are offered involving experiential learning opportunities, guest speakers and in-class activities.
GCP not only raises awareness and inspires students to take action, but it also creates meaningful opportunities for them to find their own voice and passion, inside and outside the classroom.
MYP projects are guided by the service learning model and provide students with stepping-stones towards the Diploma Programme core requirements for Creativity, Action and Service (CAS).
MYP projects help students to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile; they enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. Students decide what they want to learn about, identify what they already know, discover what they will need to know in order to complete the project, and create a proposal or criteria for completing it.
The Personal Project is a culminating experience in which M5 students complete an extended, self-directed piece of work and are encouraged to strengthen and apply their Approaches to Learning skills. Personal projects revolve around a challenge that motivates and interests individual students. This compulsory component provides opportunities for creative and truly personal demonstrations of learning. All students in M5 must complete the Personal Project in order to obtain the MYP Certificate.
The personal projects are then displayed at a fair for the whole school and local community. Every year the fair overflows with projects that delve into the arts, science, health and fitness, technology, ecology, community service, and more. The scope of the projects and the fusing of creative energy with practical applications are tangible evidence of the power and richness of inquiry-based learning.
The Community Project provides an opportunity for M3 students to collaborate and pursue service learning. It focuses on community and service, encouraging students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community.
The MYP’s broad and balanced curriculum comprises eight subject groups, in each year of the programme:
SIS believes in providing opportunities for students to find their unique talent, be this in sports, arts, languages, sciences or beyond. Hence students in MYP years 4 and 5 are offered the opportunity to choose specific subject courses, which will be studied until the end of MYP year 5. Students’ subject choices should reflect their plans for further study, including adequate preparation of the Diploma Programme and beyond, where appropriate.
The programme promotes interdisciplinary study that helps students make connections between academic subjects. Each year, students also engage in at least one collaboratively planned interdisciplinary unit that involves at least two subject groups in order to integrate them and create new understanding.
The aim of MYP assessment at SIS is to support and encourage student learning. It is a collaborative process, which is varied and continuous. Assessment is used to provide feedback on the learning process and evaluate the effectiveness of both learning and teaching. Teachers organise continuous assessment over the course of the programme according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each subject group.
Assessment strategies, both formative and summative, provide feedback on the thinking processes as well as the finished piece of work. Formative assessment means that students will be given assessed feedback on their work, providing them with an opportunity to analyse their own learning and to recognise what areas need improvement. Students are actively involved in this form of assessment, often evaluating their peers and/or themselves. Summative assessment is internally designed by the teacher to provide evidence for evaluating student achievement using required MYP subject-group-specific assessment criteria.
Teachers are responsible for structuring varied and valid assessment tasks (including tests and examinations) that will allow students to demonstrate achievement according to the objectives for each subject group. These include: open-ended, problem-solving activities; investigations; organised debates; hands-on experimentation; analysis and reflection.
Regular school assessment and reporting play a major role. The recording and reporting of individual levels of achievement are organised in ways that provide students with detailed feedback on their progress as it relates to the assessment criteria for each subject group.
REPORTS AND PARENT-TEACHER CONSULTATIONS
We believe that the richest and most rewarding educational experiences a student can have are those which are supported by parents. The school is committed to education as a partnership between home and school. Parental involvement in the school is important and encouraged. We consider it crucial that parents attend school functions as often as they can and in particular that they attend the parent-teacher consultations.
We regard reports and parent-teacher consultations as a means of giving feedback to parents/guardians about the progress of their child and as a part of the process to encourage learning as a home/school partnership.
Our reports and parent-teacher consultations celebrate the student’s achievement and effort, identify targets for improvement and contribute to the entire learning process.
www.ibo.org. 2014. The International Baccalaureate [ONLINE] Available at: http:www.ibo.org/en/programmes/middle-years-programme/ [Accessed 21 April 2015]
For more information, please visit the IB website: www.ibo.org/myp
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