he philosophy offered by the Middle Years Programme takes a holistic approach towards education which our students really enjoy. Teaching the idea of concepts gives an MYP student a much broader education compared to the national curriculum.

Ate Hemmes - MYP coordinator, International School of London, London

Middle Years Programme: Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions from students and parents in the UK about the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme:

What is the Middle Years Programme?

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a curriculum framework designed for learners aged 11–16 by the International Baccalaureate (IB). The MYP is a five-year programme, that can be implemented in a partnership between schools or in abbreviated two-, three- or fouryear formats.

In an MYP classroom, you’ll notice that the students are at the centre of learning. They are drawing connections between all subject areas, learning is explicitly linked to the world around them, participation in a foreign language is required, and a variety of formal and informal assessments are used to inform teaching and learning. MYP learning experiences infuse global points of view wherever possible in order to promote understanding of other cultures, an awareness of the human condition and an understanding that there is a commonality of human experience.

The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents. Students take the core courses of language and literature, individuals and societies, mathematics, sciences, physical and health education, language acquisition, arts, and design. A unique feature of the programme is that it extends the traditional curriculum to include immersion in four themes— approaches to teaching and approaches to learning, global contexts and concepts. Students also complete a personal project, which is an independent piece of work that may be an essay, an artistic production or another form of expression.


What are the advantages of an IB education?

  • IB World Schools (the only schools authorized to offer IB programmes) are subject to a strict accreditation process monitored by the IB, ensuring that schools provide a high-quality education.
  • IB teaching methods and curriculums are research-based and draw from the best educational practices from systems around the world.
  • IB teachers are required to participate in many professional development opportunities to continually promote their awareness of current educational practices and new thinking.
  • IB programmes are recognized internationally and ease the educational transition of mobile students so that their education is not adversely affected if their families relocate.

Do IB teachers receive special training?

All MYP teachers receive professional development in the IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the MYP.

Are IB programmes considered “gifted” programmes?

In most cases, the MYP requires schoolwide implementation and therefore encompasses all students. All teachers who teach in MYP classrooms are required to participate in collaborative planning and reflection to make their teaching practices consistent and to foster a holistic approach to education. A growing body of evidence suggests a positive relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement.

Students who complete the MYP are well prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Programme or Career-related Programme.

Does this mean that my child’s school will not teach the National Curriculum or GCSEs?

The IB is committed to making sure that students in IB programmes meet and exceed local or national standards. With the implementation of any IB programme, schools are required to examine their curriculum carefully to ensure that there is alignment with local, state or national standards. More information on the IB is available at www.ibo.org.

Have studies been done on the impact of the MYP?

The IB places great value on external validation of its programmes, curriculums and professional development. According to a National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) study conducted in 2013, teachers, parents and students stated that the Middle Years Programme offers a broad, holistic and engaging approach to learning, linked to real-life situations and delivered through collaborative inquiry and critical debate. Additional studies on programme impact, quality assurance, programme development and assessment research are available at www.ibo.org/research.

Are there external assessments in the MYP like in the Diploma Programme?

In the final year of the programme, the optional MYP eAssessment provides a balanced and age-appropriate strategy that schools can use to validate student achievement: Students demonstrate their understanding and skills through classroom performance, onscreen final examinations and a personal project conducted over an extended period of time. Students who undertake external assessment are eligible for IB Course Results and the IB MYP Certificate. Find out more about MYP assessment.

How can I learn more about the IB and MYP?

  • Visit the IB website at www.ibo.org
  • Attend school meetings and events
  • Speak with your school’s MYP coordinator
  • Speak with your child’s MYP classroom teacher.

Learn more about the Middle Years Programme