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A look into our Middle School curriculum

If you’ve scoured our website, met with me 1:1 on Zoom, or toured our beautiful campus you’ve heard a lot about our Middle Years Programme and the IB. 

Let’s take that a step further. The Middle School team helped me unpack our course offerings - what they are and the objectives they’re designed to achieve.

 

Language and Literature: (aka English)

This is an integrated language and literature course. The emphasis in Lang and Lit is placed on the ability to communicate both orally and in writing. Students study a wide variety of texts: novels, short stories, poetry and plays as well as non-fiction texts, to which they are encouraged to respond creatively and critically. Development of skills with grammar, spelling and reading comprehension are all emphasized and students are expected to produce written assignments for a wide variety of purposes and audiences.

Main objectives:

The study of MYP Language and Literature is to encourage and enable students to:

  • use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression,and social interaction

  • develop critical, creative, and personal approaches to studying and analyzing literary and non-literary works

  • develop a lifelong interest in reading widely and apply language skills in a variety of real-life contexts

 

Language Acquisition: French, Spanish or Chinese (Novice/Int. or Adv Levels)

Language Acquisition meets the needs of students of mixed ability with varied backgrounds in the study of languages. The curriculum encourages students’ curiosity, interest and enjoyment of language and culture. Students develop their linguistic skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing. In addition, students become socially involved with the language and learn about the culture and people of the target language countries.

We accept students into Middle School without any prior target language experience. We offer novice programs in both Spanish and French.

For students with Spanish, French, or Chinese backgrounds, we can do language assessments to determine their level of proficiency and placement.

Main objectives: 

The subject’s objectives, which are achieved at different levels in accordance with the criteria of the students’ placement, are to be able to:  

  • communicate information, ideas and opinions  

  • demonstrate comprehension of these, both orally and in writing  

  • identify main ideas and supporting details and draw conclusions in these same ways, using appropriate structures and vocabulary  

  • request and provide information in formal and informal exchanges related to global contexts and to cultural and international issues

 

Individuals and Societies: (Something akin to History, Civics, etc.)

The Individuals and Societies course helps students to develop knowledge, conceptual understanding, and skills which contribute to the development of the student as a whole.

We encourage students to respect and understand the world around them, to enjoy and appreciate this area of study, and to develop a skills base for future learning. This is achieved through the study of individuals, societies and environments in a wide context: historical, contemporary, geographical, political, economic, and cultural. It is intended that students gain a greater understanding of their own identity and their place in the world. Students develop an international perspective which includes awareness and appreciation of cultural identity, respect for the values of others, a sense of responsibility towards community and environment within a global context.

Main objectives: 

The aim of MYP Individuals and Societies is to encourage students to:  

  • gain knowledge and conceptual understanding  

  • develop research, analytical and interpretive skills  

  • develop and use effective communication skills  

  • encourage students to respect and understand the world around them  

  • provide a skills base to facilitate further study

Our Advanced target language students can choose to take this in English, Chinese, French, or Spanish in 6th and 7th grades. Individuals and Societies is only offered in English in 8th grade and students prepare for English-speaking high schools.

 

Science: Life Science (6th), Earth Science (7th) and Physical Science (8th)

The science courses provide a sound foundation of scientific knowledge through the application of scientific principles. Students learn to view the world objectively without bias, preconceived ideas, or prejudice. They also learn how to construct and present arguments to support scientific theories.  The curriculum encourages students to reflect on social and ethical implications of science and provides them with the skills to communicate their understanding.

Main objectives:

The study of MYP Science is to encourage and enable students to:  

  • develop inquiring minds and curiosity about science and the natural world  

  • acquire knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills to solve problems and make informed decisions in scientific and other contexts  

  • develop skills of scientific inquiry to design and carry out scientific investigations and evaluate scientific evidence to draw conclusions  

  • communicate scientific ideas, arguments and practical experiences accurately in a variety of ways  

  • think analytically, critically and creatively to solve problems, judge arguments and make decisions in scientific and other contexts  

  • understand the international nature of science and the interdependence of science, technology, and society, including the benefits, limitations and implications imposed by social, economic, political, environmental, cultural and ethical factors

 

Math: Standard and Advanced Tracks

The study of mathematics helps to develop logical thought and critical thinking skills. Throughout each year of the IB Middle Years Programme,  students work on a range of mathematical topics such as algebra, geometry and statistics, developing knowledge and understanding while also gradually being introduced to more advanced concepts. Students formulate questions, make general correlations between mathematical relationships, and create mathematical models. Project work based on real-life situations and current events is used to explore concepts, establish understanding, and inspire life-long learning.

Main objectives: 

MYP Mathematics aims to:  

  • equip all students with the knowledge, understanding and intellectual capabilities to address further courses in mathematics  

  • prepare students to use mathematics in their workplace and life in general  

  • develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics  

  • develop logical, critical and creative thinking  

  • advance confidence, perseverance, and independence in mathematical thinking and problem-solving  

  • develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others

 

Arts: Visual and Performing

It is the philosophy of the Arts department (Visual Art and Music) that arts education is fundamental to human growth and provides students with intellectual and creative experiences that connect them to the world around them. Arts provide invaluable opportunities for students to use their imagination, to experiment, and to problem solve using their own creativity. Students have the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively as they pursue their creative process in the arts. Through activities in the arts, the creative potential of every student is developed through exposure to artistic principles, processes, techniques, and skills. Students also develop their awareness of the arts in contemporary society, throughout history and throughout the world. 

Main objectives:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the art form studied in relation to societal, cultural, historical and personal contexts  

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the elements of the art form studied, including specialized language, concepts and processes  

  • communicate a critical understanding of the art form studied in the context of their own artwork  develop an idea, theme or personal interpretation to a point of realization, expressing and communicating their artistic intentions  

  • apply skills, techniques and processes to create, perform and/or present art  

  • reflect critically on their own artistic development and processes at different stages of their work  use feedback to inform their own artistic development and processes;  demonstrate curiosity, self-motivation, initiative and a willingness to take informed risks  

  • be receptive to art practices and artworks from various cultures, including their own

 

Physical and Health Education

This course develops inquiring, motivated, collaborative students who enjoy participating in physical activities and sports and who make informed choices enabling them to lead active, balanced, and healthy lives. Skills taught encourage and enhance lifelong participation in health-related, active pursuits. The PHE department works to create a social/emotional environment that is safe for everyone. This is accomplished through careful monitoring of students, evaluating and managing the role of competition in lessons, and seeing the uniqueness of each student with individual interests, talents, and abilities. 

Main objectives:

The PHE curriculum aims to:  

  • use inquiry to explore physical and health education concepts  

  • participate effectively in a variety of contexts  

  • understand the value of physical activity 

  • achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle  

  • collaborate and communicate effectively  

  • build positive relationships and demonstrate social responsibility

 

Design

Design equips students with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to understand the role and impact of technology in an increasingly technological modern world. Students understand that technology is a tool used to identify needs or problems. They use creativity, innovation, teamwork and personal experience to meet needs and systematically solve problems. Students learn that technology is an all-encompassing discipline, in which direct links are made with other subjects and daily life contexts and scenarios. Students use the Design Cycle: a cyclical approach to problem-solving that involves inquiring and analyzing, developing ideas, creating a solution and evaluating.

Main objectives:

The study of Design is to encourage and enable students to: 

  • enjoy the design process, develop an appreciation of its elegance and power  

  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions to problems using the design cycle  

  • use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and to solve problems  

  • develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments  

  • develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems 

 

Please contact the Admissions Team to continue the conversation about our Middle School course offerings and what sets us apart.

 

 

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