IB Middle Years Programme
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is an overarching curriculum framework that is holistic and intercultural in its philosophy, and has the student at the centre of its teaching and learning practices. It is flexible enough that it can be integrated with the requirements of the NSW Board of Studies.
The close alignment between Monte's Mercy values and the ‘not-for-profit’, International Baccalaureate organisation can be seen through the IB mission statement:
“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
IB programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”
In concrete terms, the implementation of the MYP has lead to changes in curriculum structure, teaching and learning approaches, and assessment practices, all of which aim to enhance the educational experiences and outcomes for students in Years 7 through to 10.
One of the significant changes has been to develop a curriculum structure that ensures students undertake a broad range of study across all 8 subject areas - English, Maths, Science, Humanities (History, Geography and Religion), Physical Education, the Arts (Music, Visual Art and Drama), Technology and a Second Language. While most subjects are prescribed for students in Years 7 and 8, there is a choice of the Second Language studied – currently French, German, Italian or Indonesian. Study of this language across a full four years is both academically rigorous and an essential aspect of developing intercultural understanding and a global outlook. In the final two years of the programme, the girls are given further choices of different courses within the required subject areas, so that while they continue a broad programme their individuality and growing maturity are recognised.
However, it is through aspects of the MYP that transcend the traditional subject disciplines, that the curriculum becomes most distinctive and exciting. When developing programmes teachers use five ‘Global Contexts’, authentic world settings, events and circumstances, to encourage international- mindedness and global engagement within academic learning. In addition, MYP disciplinary study is framed around key and related concepts – those ‘big’ ideas that transcend time, place and space. These powerful organising ideas help to deepen disciplinary understanding, build the capacity to engage with complex ideas and allow transfer of learning. Together, the contexts and concepts contribute to interdisciplinary learning and the development of critical thinking skills. They also contribute to building the learner’s independence and creativity, as open-ended Inquiry Questions are used to frame learning.
The MYP culminates in a Personal Project in the final year, where students undertake a significant individual study of an area of interest, as developed through one Global Context. The project follows the Design Cycle, introduced through the Technology subject area, and may be presented in a wide variety of creative formats. This project is evidenced in the MYP portfolio which also contains a record of the student’s Community and Service participation as well as a certificate of their subject grade achievements. While the final year MYP eAssessment model is optional, other monitoring and quality assurance processes put in place by the IB organization ensure that the results achieved by Year 10 Monte students will be of international standard.
We are confident that the Middle Years Programme enables our girls to become responsible citizens, ready to make a difference based on their Mercy values and global outlook.