MYP for parents

The IB Middle Years Programme (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.

Preparation for further studies

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 future academic challenges, including the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-related Programme (CP).

The MYP:

  • provides students with 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

 

How does the MYP compare to other qualifications, like GCSE?

In comparison to other programmes, the MYP is unique in the way that it is developmentally-geared toward the needs of younger adolescents. MYP students are not only academically challenged but also personally nurtured to prepare them for the future and to contribute to a global society. 

An examination of the teaching and learning benefits of the MYP in the UK found that the programme positively impacts school culture and classroom environments, promotes feedback and reflection, and is engaging and motivating for both students and teachers. 

A study by the Australian Council for Educational Research found that MYP students use critical thinking and analytical skills more frequently than non-MYP students, and displayed strong writing and English language skills.

Teaching and learning in the MYP

The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding and 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 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 provides the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of students’ 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 

The MYP offers summative projects that provide students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned and engage in self-directed work. In year 3 or year 4, students complete the community project. In year 5 students complete the personal project.

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.

Personal project

Each student develops a personal project independently, producing a truly personal and creative product or performance. In a structured report, students apply the skills they have developed in the programme and reflect on their personal and academic growth. 

How this works in schools

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. However, the personal project is mandatory in year 5.

In schools that include MYP year 3 or 4, students must complete the community project.

 

MYP eAssessment

The IB is known for its world-renowned team of experts in student evaluation. MYP eAssessment provides external validation of achievement for students in MYP year 5 (15–16 years old). External assessments in the MYP focus on conceptual understanding and the ability to apply knowledge in complex, unfamiliar situations. They offer robust and reliable assessment of student achievement in the MYP.

  • Two-hour examinations in four subject groups (language and literature, sciences, mathematics, individuals and societies) and in interdisciplinary learning are individually marked by IB examiners.
  • Portfolios of student work for four subject groups (language acquisition, physical and health education, arts, and design) are moderated by IB examiners to international standards.

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