IB Middle Years Programme: Frequently Asked Questions

Students in the Middle Years Programme at the International School of Tanganyika

Aiming to help your child develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community, the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Middle Years Programme creates a strong educational foundation in your child. 

But with this big step in your child’s life, you probably have some questions about what this programme entails. We sat down with our IB MYP coordinator, Ms. Dharma Sears, who answered the programme's FAQs. 

What is the Middle Years Programme?

MYP is a curriculum for Grades 6 to 10 that focuses on conceptual understanding through content. Content is seen as a vehicle rather than the destination or end goal.

In an MYP classroom, students draw connections between subject areas and learning is explicitly linked to the world around them; through this, an understanding of other cultures is fostered.

A unique feature of the programme is that it extends the traditional curriculum to include 

  • Innovative approaches to learning
  • Action and service participation
  • A Personal Project, which is an independent piece of work that may be an essay, artistic production or another form of expression

What are the advantages of being in an IB Middle Years Programme?

We offer the IB MYP because we believe in the IB mission statement, “The IB programme aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” These values are fostered through research-based teaching methods and curriculums that draw from the best educational practices around the world. This concept-based learning allows for student inquiry, collaboration and transdisciplinary understanding, rather than just memory recall. Furthermore, IB programmes are recognized internationally and ease the transition students if their families relocate.

Do MYP teachers receive specific training for the IB?

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

Have studies been done on the impact of the attending an IB Middle Years Programme?

According to a National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) study conducted in 2013, teachers, parents and students stated that the MYP offers a broad, holistic and engaging approach to learning, linked to real-life situations and delivered through collaborative inquiry and critical debate. 

If you’re interested in discovering more research done on the IB, click here.

How can parents help their children excel in the MYP? 

Engage with your children in regards to the learning. Ask them to explain the concepts they are learning about and check in with them regarding their organization and time management. Encourage them to view their teachers as partners in learning and to seek out feedback and additional guidance. Model enthusiasm and passion for knowledge and learning. 

How does assessment work in the MYP?

Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. MYP teachers develop rigorous tasks that embrace a variety of assessment strategies. Some key features of the MYP assessment include:

  • A distinction between internal summative assessment and the supporting formative processes
  • Attention to the most accurate demonstration of student performance, rather than mechanically and uncritically averaging achievement levels over given reporting periods 
  • Assessment of student understanding at the end of a course, based on the whole course and not individual components of it
  • Recognizing the importance of assessing not only the products but also the process, of learning through Approaches to Learning feedback
  • A distinction between formative assessment FOR student learning and summative assessment OF student learning
  • Assessment based on individual criterion based on specific descriptors rather than only a single holistic, generalized grade

Are there meetings and/or events where parents can learn more about the Middle Years Programme at the International School of Tanganyika? 

IST hosts regular information sessions and coffee hours for parents. For our current families, please keep an eye on emails and our weekly bulletins for more information. For those wishing to join the community, check out our Calendar to know what’s going on at our campuses.  

Find out more about IST’s MYP Curriculum.

This information was brought together with the help of the IB website

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