IB Middle Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP)

Het Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest is one of five schools worldwide that developed and piloted the IBMYP in the early 1990s. The Middle Years Programme (MYP) designed for students from 11 to 16 years of age, is offered by some 1000 out of the 3736 IB World Schools. The IBMYP is a complete and coherent programme that provides a framework of academic challenge and life skills appropriate to this stage of adolescence. It aims to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to proceed successfully to the IB Diploma Programme.


Unique Characteristics

“From the beginning, the MYP was guided by three principles that have had special currency for learners aged 11-16, inspired by the IB mission: holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication. These fundamental concepts of the programme provided a strong foundation for teaching and learning in the MYP. They represent an early attempt to establish a philosophy of international education. […] Holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication are implied in, or are part of, the IB learner profile, especially in the attributes “balanced”, open-minded” and “communicators”. Contemporary MYP educators have continued to focus on how best to meet the needs of adolescents, who are confronted with a vast and often bewildering array of choices in a complex and rapidly changing world. A focus on higher-order thinking skills gives students opportunities to explore their expanding concerns and their growing awareness of themselves and the world in ways that develop sound judgement.” (p. 4, MYP: from principles into practice, 2014)


MYP Programme Model

The student is at the heart of the programme, represented by the IB learner profile. The first ring around the centre describes the features of MYP that develop generic understanding. The second ring describes important outcomes of the programme. The third ring represents the broad and balanced curriculum.

Language and Literature: the student’s best language. The school offers English and Dutch.

Language Acquisition: a modern foreign language. The school offers French, Spanish, and Dutch.

Individuals and Societies: History, Geography (MYP 1-5), and Economics (MP4-5).

Mathematics: Mathematics Standard (MP1-5), and Mathematics Extended (MP4-5).

Design: investigate,  plan, create, and evaluate (MP1-4)

Arts: Visual Arts (MP1-5), Drama and Music (MP1-3 students follow both performing arts, choice of either in MP4-5)

Sciences: General Science (MP1-2), Biology, Physics and Chemistry (MP3-5)

Physical and Health Education: health, hygiene, individual and team sports(MP1-5)


Teaching and Learning in the  IB MYP

The IB identifies MYP students to be : “independent, creative and internationally-minded learners ready to meet life’s challenges.” In order to achieve this, MYP teaching and learning goes through a continuous process of inquiry, action, and reflection, or in other words, asking, doing, and thinking.

Inquiry based learning features throughout the written, taught and assessed curriculum, ensuring that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging, and significant.

Action relates to learning activities within, across, and beyond the classrooms. Action connects learning to real-world experiences. It enhances the learning experiences beyond facts and information, demanding the students to make responsible choices and learning about one’s self and others. Action may extend into service learning and advocacy.

Reflection is the process of gaining deeper understanding through curiosity and experience.  It ensures students become critical of their work and that of others. They will be able to use this insight to extend themselves in further performances and learning outcomes.

The process of inquiry, action, and reflection is assisted by theapproaches to learning. These are competencies for research, critical and creative thinking, collaboration,  communication, managing information and self-assessment.


Contexts, Concepts, and Contents

It is easy to get lost in the terminology used to indicate the various elements of the MYP, especially when they seem to be so alike.

The Global Contexts provide authentic settings through which students engage with issues and ideas of personal, local, and global significance. They are developed from, and extend the PYP’s transdisciplinary themes, thus, ensuring further alignment between the IB programmes. There are six global contexts for teaching and learning:

· Identities and Relationships

· Orientation in Space and Time

· Personal and Cultural Expression

· Scientific and Technical Innovation

· Globalisation and Sustainability

· Fairness and Development

Concepts are BIG ideas, a tool for student inquiry into issues and ideas of personal, local, and global significance, giving direction to how the topic can be explored. Concepts require the students to think beyond facts or topics, and enable students to see connections, and how their learning relates to the world, equipping them for further study and life beyond school. The IB sees education first as the construction of meaning and developing personal understanding, and less as the transmission of knowledge and rote learning of facts.

The MYP offers students access to a broad range of content that spans academic subjects. It offers them the opportunity to engage with a curriculum that is broad and balanced, conceptual, and connected. Students develop disciplinary, as well as interdisciplinary understanding.  Assessment that is ongoing, varied, and integral to the curriculum provides meaningful feedback. Consolidation of learning culminates in the Personal Project in MYP 5.


MYP Certificate 

Final external assessment in MP 5 allows the student to demonstrate disciplinary and interdisciplinary understanding, international-mindedness, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving skills and the ability to apply knowledge in unfamiliar situations. On-screen examinations and ePortfolios lead to IB-validated grades and certification.



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