The programs

IB learner profile

The IB Learner Profile describes the type of student which engagement in the MYP might produce: an internationally-minded world-citizen, who takes confidence in their common humanity, accepts responsibility for their planet and the stewardship entrusted to them and who is committed to producing a better and more peaceful world.

 

Inquirers           They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

Knowledgeable          They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.

Thinkers            They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

Communicators         They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

Principled          They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.

Open-minded   They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

Caring                They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.  They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Risk-takers        They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

Balanced            They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

Reflective          They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

Source: MYP: A Basis for Practice, IBO, 2009

 

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed to assist students develop the knowledge, attitude and skills necessary to participate in, and contribute to, an information-rich and dynamic knowledge environment.  The curriculum base is broad and inclusive, drawing upon established intellectual disciplines, with an emphasis upon the interrelatedness and interdependence of these disciplines in comprehending real-world phenomena.  The MYP celebrates our vast inheritance of knowledge traditions, but its scope extends far beyond mere recall or even understanding.  Both are vital capacities.  But the MYP places a primacy on higher-order cognitive capacity – critical and creative thought, evaluation and analysis, reflection and action.   The MYP values the application of knowledge in problem-solving, the skills of collaboration which might optimize this process, the insight and reflection on the beliefs and standards upon which we might judge the decisions we make, and, ultimately, the bases upon which we might take action.

The MYP seeks as a central aim to produce independent learners, who can adapt a variety of disciplinary perspectives to new and evolving real world problems.  The MYP seeks to generate students who can with confidence approach the problems of the real world, either in an individual or group setting, and propose solutions with insight into implications and rationale.

 

The three fundamental concepts of the MYP

The IB Mission Statement provides the foundation upon which the MYP was devised.  Central to this Mission Statement are three fundamental concepts:

Holistic learning                the IB Learner Profile describes the type of student which engagement in the MYP might produce: an internationally-minded, world-citizen, who takes confidence in their common humanity, accepts responsibility for their planet and the stewardship entrusted to them and who is committed to producing a better and more peaceful world.

Intercultural awareness  an international-mindedness, represented by awareness and exploration of, and willingness to engage with, other cultures.

Communication                  the encouragement of open and effective communication, with clarity and in a variety of forms, as well as to be receptive to communication, with insight and with empathy.

 

 

The MYP curriculum framework

The IB prescribes aims and objectives for all subject groups and for the personal project.  The MYP requires schools to teach a broad and balanced range of subjects in every year of the programme.  These are organized into eight subject groups:

·         Language A (ideally the student’s mother tongue – Arabic)

·         Language B (a second modern language – English)

·         Humanities

·         Sciences

·         Mathematics

·         Arts

·         Physical Education

·         Technology

The diagram below sets out the interrelationship between these subject groups and their connection to the Areas of Interaction.

The Areas of Interaction

The Areas of Interaction provide the MYP with its unique core. 

 

Approaches to Learning (ATL)    represent the learning skills, both subject-specific and holistic, that students apply during the programme and beyond.  These include subject-specific skills as well as organization, collaboration, communication, information literacy, reflection, thinking and transfer. 

Community and Service               considers the layers of community – family, classmates, school, nation and world - in which each student is immersed, and the reciprocity upon which this community is founded.

Health and Social Education       examines human societies and the issues which affect them.  Through this Area of Interaction students develop the insights and skills of citizenship and develop the capacity to make informed decisions relating to their personal and community welfare.

Environments                                 considers the interrelationship between humanity and their environments.  It extends to the interaction between differing environments and reflection upon the global environment.

Human Ingenuity                           examines the impact of human thought and action.  This Area of Interaction seeks to examine the ways in which human thought – in its multiple forms -  has influenced the world

 

The Personal Project

In the fifth year of the MYP programme students are engaged in a personal project.  The personal project is a multi-disciplinary enquiry in which each of the Approaches to Learning, and the skills entailed, and at least one other Area of Interaction, are integrated into a piece of focused and self-initiated research and/or action. 

Assessment of the Personal Project looks to the student’s ability to work independently and to draw upon the Areas of Interaction as a frame of reference.

 

MYP assessment

Assessment in the MYP is both summative and formative. Ideally, formative assessment, as part of a developmental feedback loop to students, designed to improve performance, precedes summative assessment.  Self-assessment and peer assessment is encouraged by the IB.  Students and parents should receive regular feedback as to progress. 

The IB provides subject-specific criteria for each of the subject groups.  Assessment in the MYP is continuous.  Assessment relates not only to knowledge outcomes, but also to thinking strategies and processes. Assessment activities are many and varied.  They include, amongst other things, problem solving activities, debates, hands-on experimentation, analysis and reflection, tests and examinations.  In assessing a piece of work teachers utilize the ‘best-fit’ approach.  Teachers are asked to refer to the IB-provided, subject specific, performance rubrics.  They should start from 0.  As they read through the performance descriptors they arrive at a level of attainment that the work being assessed has not attained.  The appropriate award is therefore the preceding level. There is, necessarily, a matter of judgment involved. 

At the end of each assessment period, teachers are required to summarize attainment either as a Progress Grade or a culminating award. This is done on the basis of the IB-provided general description of attainment, recorded below.

Grade

Descriptor

Grade 1

Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.

Grade 2

Very limited achievement against all the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.

Grade 3

Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.

Grade 4

A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Grade 5

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.

Grade 6

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. Consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation is shown where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.

Grade 7

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. Consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation is shown where appropriate. The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

MYP: A Basis for Practice, IBO, 2009

 

The IB Diploma Programme

Life in the 21st century, in an interconnected, globalized world, requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness, something that International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme students come to know and understand.

 

The IB Learner Profile describes the type of student which engagement in the MYP might produce: an internationally-minded world-citizen, who takes confidence in their common humanity, accepts responsibility for their planet and the stewardship entrusted to them and who is committed to producing a better and more peaceful world.

 

What is the Diploma Programme?

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities.

The curriculum

IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level or standard level. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1 to 5.

 

Group 1: Language A1

English and Arabic are offered at Standard and Higher Level. Students will need to develop their writing and oral skills and respect for the literary heritage of the English and Arabic languages. This is complemented by an international perspective given through studies of world literature.

 

Group 2: Second Language (Language B)

Students will have the opportunity to study English or Arabic at Higher or Standard Level depending on student demand. The principal aim for subjects in Group 2 is to enable students to use the language in a range of contexts and for many purposes. The courses focus on written and spoken communication, and reading comprehension.

 

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

Subjects included in this group are: Business and Management and Economics, and each will be offered at Standard or Higher Level depending on student demand. Environmental studies are also offered in this group at Standard Level only.

 

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Biology, Chemistry, and Physics will be offered at both Standard and Higher Level, based on student demand, Environmental Studies is also offered in this group at Standard Level only.

 

Group 5: Mathematics

In order to gain an IB diploma, all candidates are required to complete a Mathematics course. In response to the different ability levels in mathematics, three distinct courses are offered: Mathematical Studies and Mathematics Standard, both at Standard Level, and Mathematics at Higher Level. The three courses are based on student need, catering for different abilities and levels of student interest. Each course aims to deepen a student’s understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.

 

Group 6: Arts and Electives

Art and Theatre Arts will be offered at both Standard and Higher Level. Alternatively, students may elect to take a second subject from Groups 2, 3 or 4. The availability of the electives will depend on student demand.

 

The Core Elements

In addition the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding.

The extended essay (EE)

The extended essay of some 4,000 words offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student's six DP subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity - resulting in approximately 40 hours of work. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of no more than 4,000 words, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject, It is recommended that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview - viva voce - with the supervisor. http://www.ibo.org/diploma/curriculum/core/

 

Theory of knowledge (TOK)

The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The theory of knowledge course is in part intended to encourage students to reflect on the huge cultural shifts worldwide around the digital revolution and the information economy. The extent and impact of the changes vary greatly in different parts of the world, but everywhere their implications for knowledge are profound. Theory of knowledge encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of that they encounter. Its core content focuses on questions such as the following:

What counts knowledge? How does it grow? What are its limits?

Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge?

What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?

TOK activities and discussions aim to help students discover and express their views on knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen and learn from what others think. In this process students' thinking and their understanding of knowledge as a human construction are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Programme subjects, in CAS experience or in extended essay research; distinctions between different kinds of knowledge may be clarified.  http://www.ibo.org/diploma/curriculum/core/

 

Creativity, action, service (CAS)

Creativity, action, service is at the heart of the Diploma programme, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies throughout the IB Diploma Programme. The component's three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

Creativity      arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking

Action        physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme

Service      an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) encourages students to be involved in activities as individuals and as part of a team that take place in local, national and international contexts. Creativity, action, service enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development as well as their social and civic development, through experiential learning, lending an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the IB Diploma Programme. It should be both challenging and enjoyable - a personal journey of self-discovery that recognizes each student's individual starting point.

Activities should provide:

Real activities        purposeful, with significant outcomes

Personal challenge             tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope

Thoughtful              consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress and reporting reflection on outcomes and personal learning.

http://www.ibo.org/diploma/curriculum/core/