What is 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.
Figure 2: The IB MYP Curriculum Model
The IB Middle Years Programme consists of eight subject groups:
Language and Literature
Individuals and Societies
Arts: performing & visual
Physical and Health Education
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.
The Global Contexts are:
Identities and relationships
Orientation in time and space
Personal and cultural expression
Scientific and technical innovation
Globalization and sustainability
Fairness and development
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.
Students are required to study a minimum of one interdisciplinary unit (IDU) per year level. As part of IDU, student inquiry and assessment are guided by a shared conceptual understanding that combines two or more disciplines or subject groups to create a new understanding.
Service as action
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. At Discovery College, students are required to participate in meaningful service through a cycle of inquiry, action, and reflection. They are encouraged to connect their classroom learning with real-world experience.
MYP service learning outcomes:
With appropriate guidance and support, MYP students should, through their engagement,
with service as action:
Become more aware of our own strengths and areas for growth
Undertake challenges that develop new skills
Discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
Consider the ethical implications of
Develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding
Language and identity
MYP students are required to learn at least two languages (language of instruction and an additional language). Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to their development of intercultural understanding and crucial to their identity affirmation.
In Year 11 (MYP Year 5), each student is required to research and create a unique Personal Project, an independent inquiry-based study in an area of particular interest that links skills from several academic subjects and a global context. The Personal Project may be a research essay, artistic production, scientific experiment, invention, some other means of expression, or improve the quality of life for a community or group. It is the capstone of the MYP. In addition to producing a product, a detailed process journal is kept and a report is required for IB submission.
Each student is assigned a supervisor and students are required to meet regularly with their supervisor, who guides the student in setting goals; making plans; initiating action; reflecting; evaluating; utilizing their process journal. Supervisors will also ensure the student’s personal project satisfies ethical and legal practices. The supervisor is not necessarily an expert in the chosen topic, but is available to advise about the process of carrying out a project and seeing it through to a successful conclusion.
The MYP personal project is an independent and significant piece of work completed by students in Year 11. Approximately 25 hours are required to complete this long-term project. While students are responsible for their own time, one weekly ATL Seminar class (40 minutes) is allocated during Discovery Time to help them develop approaches to learning skills necessary to complete their Personal Project.
The Personal Project is introduced to Year 10 students at Discovery College. Students begin brainstorming their learning goal and product for their Personal Project. Final completion of the Project is required at the beginning of the second semester of Year 11. Students will participate and get involved in the Personal Project Exhibition to showcase their learning and share their achievement with the Discovery Colleage community.
Approaches to learning (ATL)
ATL skills are a set of skills that are a unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups. Approaches to learning skills provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of students' knowledge, understanding, and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skills help students learn how to learn. The five approaches to learning categories and cluster are:
The purpose of MYP assessment is to provide feedback to students, teachers, and parents on student progress in relation to the MYP objectives and criteria. Students demonstrate their understanding through a variety of activities/tasks during the learning process. Assessment allows students to apply their knowledge and practice their skills. Through this process, they can identify and work on their areas of weakness. Assessments provide teachers with feedback on the effectiveness of their instruction as well as the progress of their students.
Assessment in the MYP is criterion-related, which means that students are assessed against specific criteria rather than being ranked against each other. Teachers are required to evaluate student achievement using their professional judgment, guided by the prescribed subject-group criteria that are public, and known in advance to ensure the validity and transparency of the assessment.
All subject specific assessment criteria are available in the MYP Assessment Guidance Handbook for Parents in Students. They are also explained to studnets at the beginning of the academic year, or when they start at the school.
School assessments include different approaches:
Formative assessment - Formative assessment is an assessment that happens during learning rather than at the end. It is designed to provide students with feedback on their understanding and progress, as well as to help teachers adapt their teaching. Often, formative assessment involves class discussions, quizzes, and self-reflection.
Summative assessment - Summative assessment is part of every MYP unit. It is designed to provide evidence for evaluating student achievement using the required MYP subject-group-specific assessment criteria. Summative assessments provide a summary of students' overall performance in one or more areas, and they are graded based on their achievement.
Peer & self assessment - Peer assessment involves students evaluating their peers' work, while self-assessment involves students reflecting on their own learning. Students can benefit from both types of assessments as they gain a better understanding of MYP objectives and criteria, and take on responsibility for their own learning.
Assessment criteria for all MYP subjects
Each MYP subject assesses students on four equally weighted criteria, except for interdisciplinary learning and the MYP Personal Project, which has three criteria. Some of these criteria will have the same letter in each subject where those criteria are assessed. For example, Knowing and Understanding will always be criterion A, and Communicating will always be criterion C.
MYP final exams
Year 11 students will take the MYP final exams in Language & Literature, Language Acquisition, Science, Math, and Individual & Societies at the end of Year 11. Final grades will appear in Semester 2 reports.
The purpose of the MYP final exams is to familiarise Year 11 students with the practice of sitting formal exams in the DP. It is also to develop their exam-taking strategies and help them learn how to deal with exam pressure.
In order to keep students and their families informed about their progress, the following reports are provided:
Progress Reports - In the MYP, courses are organised into different units of work. Based on the assessment tasks upon completion of a unit of work, teachers provide students with feedback and evaluate their performance using one or more subject-specific assessment criteria.
Student progress reports include the next steps (feedback from teachers), students' reflections in response to their teachers' feedback for further improvement, and relevant criteria grades. The ESF Ding app will update parents on their child's progress monthly. Unit progress reports are always available in the app in the ARR (Assessment Recording Reporting) section.
Semester Reports - In the MYP Semester Reports, we provide a brief course outline of what has been accomplished during the semester. A student's achievement grade is determined exclusively by the assessment tasks completed during that Semester. Grades do not “carry over” into the next Semester. The Semester system is used because many universities, particularly those in North America, require transcripts from Year 10 onwards.
In the Semester Reports published in February and June, an overall 1-7 MYP grade summary is included for all subjects. The Three-way Conferences will take place every mid-semester, and teachers will be able to discuss students' progress in each area of the curriculum at these meetings.
Learning Teams and Learning Advisors All students will be in a Learning Team. Learning Teams meet each morning for 10 minutes and once a week for one block for the Extended Learning Team on Wednesday. The purpose of the Learning Team is to provide students with an opportunity to develop relationships with their peers and build a sense of community.
Learning Advisors get to know each student in their group, help to monitor their welfare and progress, and are the constant at the start of every school day. Advisors and Year level Deans deliver the Personal and Social Education curriculum to their student groups. Personal and Social Education programmes are linked to positive learning approaches and developmental outcomes such as knowledge of self, self-efficacy, healthy decision making and risk taking, goal setting, negotiation, reflection, and empowerment.
The time together will be spent either assisting the students to look at curriculum progress, goal setting, checking on due dates, or providing academic and pastoral support. The Learning Advisor will be the centre of the student support system and be supported by a Dean responsible for that year level.
The timetable is made up of four blocks each day, covering Language and Literature, Language Acquisition (Chinese or Spanish), Individuals and Societies, Mathematics, Science, Physical and Health Education, Design or the Arts (Visual Arts, Theatre, Music, and Media Arts in Year 10 &11). Subjects rotate over a fortnight. Each block lasts 80 minutes.
Discovery Time occurs each day, and age-appropriate classes are offered depending on the Year Level. During this time, students may participate in year-level assemblies, guided study classes, service learning planning, and house-based activities, or they can choose their own activities under adult guidance during the Agency in Action class. Year 11 students may also use this time to meet with their Personal Project supervisors or student mentors.
Teachers from most subject areas are available to help students with their learning during this block. This is a time to specifically provide an environment where students assume increasing independence and responsibility.