Why IB MYP?
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME (IB MYP)
At The Mount Washington School, we are proud to create a unique learning
environment for our students as an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle
Years Programme (MYP) school. All students in grades six through eight participate in
the Middle Years Programme.
IB MYP is a program that helps teachers and staff provide a middle school learning environment that will help all students to develop as active, life-long learners: students who have the knowledge, abilities, and skills to function independently and collaboratively, and to be reflective as they grow as academics and internationally minded young adults.
Why IB MYP?
IB MYP provides MWS the structure to create a learning environment that demonstrates the importance and relevance of all subjects to every student. Our goal is for students to grow into young adults with the necessary skills and knowledge they will need to be able to make choices for themselves without limitations. The IB MYP framework addresses the whole child as students explore their own strengths and challenges in a way that helps them to grow in all areas.
The IB MYP is a framework specifically designed for teaching students all over the world in grades six through 10, called Year One through Year Five. At MWS, students in the Sixth Grade Class (Year One), the Seventh Grade Class (Year Two), and the Eighth Grade Class (Year Three) receive instruction that is based on the IB MYP framework every day and in all subjects.
IB MYP, as an instructional framework, combines effective and consistent backwards planning of units with real world, inquiry-based learning activities and assessments. Using this framework allows teachers create units that are designed to combine the content from the district with the unique needs of our students.
The IB MYP framework includes several key components:
All subjects are valuable to all students. Student schedules include at least 50 hours of instruction in each of their eight subject areas.
All subjects are connected to each other through concepts and skills:
Global Contexts (placing learning in the world)
Key and Related Concepts (focusing in thematic ideas)
Approaches to Learning (interdisciplinary skills)
Learner Profile Traits (personal attributes)
All students will culminate their IB MYP experience at MWS in Year Three by completing a community project which is designed to allow our students to demonstrate their ability to use the concepts and skills they have learned through self- directed research, action, and reflection. This project is introduced to students in Individuals and Societies, completed throughout the course of the year, and is supported by a school-based mentor.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) comprises eight subject groups:
The MYP requires at least 50 hours of teaching time for each subject group in each year of the programme. In years 4 and 5, students have the option to take courses from six of the eight subject groups within certain limits, to provide greater flexibility in meeting local requirements and individual student learning needs.
Each year, students in the MYP also engage in at least one collaboratively planned interdisciplinary unit that involves at least two subject groups.
MYP students also complete a long-term project, where they decide what they want to learn about, identify what they already know, discovering what they will need to know to complete the project, and create a proposal or criteria for completing it.
Our approach to teaching and 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 concepts:
Teaching and learning in context
Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world that 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:
identities and relationships
personal and cultural identity
orientations in space and time
scientific and technical innovation
fairness and development
globalization and sustainability
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. The MYP prescribes sixteen key interdisciplinary concepts along with related concepts for each discipline.
Approaches to learning
A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning (ATL) provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self management skills helps students learn how to learn.
Service as action, through community service
Action 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.
Assessments in MYP
In order for students to demonstrate their understanding of content and growth as students, assessments are in invaluable aspect of the MYP experience. Teachers work to create both formative and summative assessments that support the student experience the IB classroom. To learn more about the Mount Washington School approach and philosophy to assessments, please
review our assessment policy here.
As our students are challenged to growth both as individuals and students, the topic of academic honesty is an important issue. The staff at Mount Washington works to develop students’ ability to work in collaboration with others, as well as independently through principled practice.
This is closely tied to the Approaches to Learning that teachers use to explicitly teach students skills they will need to be successful and use information responsibly.
The Mount Washington School uses an academic honesty policy that helps to support students in the use of common educational protocols as they expand their ability to conduct research and learn from others. To learn more about our approach to academic honestly, please review our policy here.
Inclusion and learning diversity in MYP
As part of the MYP curriculum, schools address differentiation within the written, taught and assessed curriculum. This is demonstrated in the unit planner and in the teaching environment, both of which are reviewed during programme authorization and evaluation.
The MYP allows schools to continue to meet state, provincial or national legal requirements for students with access needs. Schools must develop an inclusion/special educational needs (SEN) policy that explains assessment access arrangements, classroom accommodations and curriculum modification that meet individual student learning needs.
To learn more about our approach to inclusion and learning diversity, please review our special educational needs policy here.
As a diverse MYP school, we recognize and value the role of language in identify and self-expression. The language of instruction is English with the exception of our Language Acquisition classes. Spanish is the language that students study in Language Acquisition which builds on their ability to communicate across cultures. We also work to provide students whose mother tongue is not English or Spanish the supports that they need to be successful.
To learn more about how Mount Washington approaches language, please review our language policy here.
Get more info!
Families who would like to learn in more detail about the IB MYP program are welcome to access the General regulations: Middle Years Programme document published by the International Baccalaureate Organization here.