IB Middle Years Program

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed for students aged 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning that emphasizes intellectual challenge and encourages connections between studies in traditional subjects and the real world. The MYP focuses on “learning how to learn” through the systematic development of approaches to learning (ATL) skills for communication, collaboration, organization, self-management, reflection, research, informational literacy, media literacy, creative and critical thinking, and transfer of learning. It also fosters intercultural understanding and global engagement —essential qualities for young people today. (ibo.org)

SMA Prep (grades 6 - 8) is guided by the teaching and learning framework of a whole school IB Middle Years Program (MYP) and has been an authorized IB World School since 2017. The MYP is not a curriculum. Instead it is a framework built upon best practice and current research in understanding how young people learn and the importance of developing within all learners the skills, character and interdisciplinary knowledge required to become a globalized and effective citizen in our modern world. SMA includes the explicit teaching of the Florida State Standards within the IB framework.

MYP Course Descriptions & Aims

Art & Music

In MYP arts, students function as artists as well as learners of the arts. Artists have to be curious. By developing curiosity about themselves, others and the world, students become effective learners, inquirers and creative problem-solvers. Students create, perform and present arts in ways that engage and convey feelings, experiences and ideas. Through this practice, students acquire new skills and master those developed in prior learning.

The aims of MYP arts are to encourage and enable students to: • create and present art • develop skills specific to the discipline • engage in a process of creative exploration and (self-) discovery • make purposeful connections between investigation and practice • understand the relationship between art and its contexts • respond to and reflect on art • deepen their understanding of the world

Design

Design, and the resultant development of new technologies, has given rise to profound changes in society, transforming how we access and process information, adapt our environment, communicate with others, solve problems, work and live. MYP design challenges students to apply practical and creative-thinking skills to solve design problems; encourages students to explore the role of design in historical and contemporary contexts; and raises students’ awareness of their responsibilities when making design decisions and taking action. Inquiry and problem-solving are at the heart of design. MYP design requires the use of the design cycle as a tool, which provides: the methodology to structure the inquiry and analyse problems; the development of feasible solutions; the creation of solutions; and the testing and evaluation of the solution. In MYP design, a solution can be a model, prototype, product or system independently created and developed by students. MYP design enables students to develop not only practical skills but also strategies for creative and critical thinking.

The aims of MYP design are to encourage and enable students to: • enjoy the design process, and 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 • appreciate past, present and emerging design within cultural, political, social, historical and environmental contexts • develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems • act with integrity and honesty, and take responsibility for their own actions developing effective working practices.

Individuals & Societies

The MYP individuals and societies subject group incorporates disciplines traditionally studied under humanities and social sciences. This subject group encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them, and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, geographical, political, social, economic, and cultural factors that affect individuals, societies and environments. The study of individuals and societies helps students to appreciate critically the diversity of human culture, attitudes and beliefs. Courses in this subject group are important for helping students to recognize that both content and methodology can be debatable and controversial, and for practising the tolerance of uncertainty. The IB’s approach to this subject area includes a strong focus on inquiry and investigation. Students collect, describe and analyse data; test hypotheses; and learn how to interpret increasingly complex information, including original source material. This focus on real-world examples, research and analysis is an essential aspect of the subject group.

The aims of MYP individuals and societies are to encourage and enable students to: • appreciate human and environmental commonalities and diversity • understand the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment • understand how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve • identify and develop concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment • act as responsible citizens of local and global communities • develop inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between individuals, societies and the environments in which they live.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Interdisciplinary learning can take place between different subject groups and between different disciplines within a subject group to encourage broader perspectives on complex issues and deeper levels of analysis and synthesis. Interdisciplinary connections must be meaningful. In the MYP, interdisciplinary learning is the process by which students come to understand bodies of knowledge and modes of thinking from two or more disciplines and then integrate them to create a new understanding. Students demonstrate this by bringing together concepts, methods or forms of communication to explain a phenomenon, solve a problem, create a product or raise a new question in ways that would have been unlikely through a single discipline. MYP schools must engage students in at least one collaboratively planned interdisciplinary unit in each year of the MYP in order to integrate knowledge and skills from two or more subject groups in an interdisciplinary manner.

The aims of interdisciplinary learning in the MYP are to: • develop a deeper understanding of learning skills and apply them in meaningful contexts • integrate conceptual learning, ways of knowing and methods of inquiring from multiple disciplines • inquire into compelling issues, ideas and challenges by creating products or explaining phenomena • reflect on and communicate understanding of the interdisciplinary learning process • experience the excitement of intellectual discovery—including insights in

Language Acquisition

The ability to communicate in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes intercultural understanding, and is central to the IB’s mission. The study of additional languages in the MYP provides students with the opportunity to develop insights into the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realize that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world. Acquiring an additional language and exploring and reflecting on the cultural perspectives of our own and other communities: • is central to developing critical thinking and international-mindedness • provides an intellectual framework to support personal development, cultural identity and conceptual understanding • greatly contributes to the holistic development of students and to the strengthening of lifelong learning skills • equips students with the necessary multiliteracy skills and attitudes to communicate successfully in various global contexts.

The aims of MYP language acquisition are to encourage and enable students to: • gain proficiency in an additional language while supporting maintenance of their mother tongue and cultural heritage • develop a respect for, and understanding of, diverse linguistic and cultural heritages • develop the communication skills necessary for further language learning, and for study, work and leisure in a range of contexts • develop multiliteracy skills through the use of a range of learning tools • develop an appreciation of a variety of literary and non-literary texts and to develop critical and creative techniques for comprehension and construction of meaning • recognize and use language as a vehicle of thought, reflection, self-expression and learning in other subjects • understand the nature of language and the process of language learning • gain insight into the cultural characteristics of the communities where the language is spoken • gain an awareness and understanding of the perspectives of people from own and other cultures • develop curiosity, inquiry and a lifelong interest in, and enjoyment of, language learning.

Language & Literature

Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, as well as providing an intellectual framework to support conceptual development. It plays a central role in developing critical thinking, cultivating international-mindedness, exploring and sustaining personal development and cultural identity, and responsibly participating in local, national and global communities. MYP language and literature courses equip students with linguistic, analytical and communicative skills that help to develop interdisciplinary understanding. Students develop skills in six domains—listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting—both independently and with others. MYP language and literature courses include a balanced study of genres and literary texts, including a world literature component. Students’ interactions with texts generate moral, social, economic, political, cultural and environmental insights. Through their studies, students learn how to form opinions, make decisions, and engage in ethical reasoning.

The aims of MYP language and literature are to encourage and enable students to: • use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression, analysis and social interaction • develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts • develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analysing literary and non-literary texts • engage with text from different historical periods and a variety of cultures • explore and analyse aspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary texts • explore language through a variety of media and modes • develop a lifelong interest in reading • apply linguistic and lit

Mathematics

The framework for MYP mathematics outlines four branches of mathematical study. 1. Number 2. Algebra 3. Geometry and trigonometry 4. Statistics and probability The study of mathematics is a fundamental part of a balanced education. It promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract and critical thinking. The MYP mathematics and extended mathematics courses promote both inquiry and application, helping students to develop problem-solving techniques that transcend the discipline and are useful in the world outside school. Mathematics in the MYP is tailored to the needs of students, seeking to intrigue and motivate them to want to learn its principles. Students should see authentic examples of how mathematics is useful and relevant to their lives and be encouraged to apply it to new situations.

The aims of MYP mathematics courses are to encourage and enable students to: • enjoy mathematics, develop curiosity and begin to appreciate its elegance and power • develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics • communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts • develop logical, critical and creative thinking • develop confidence, perseverance and independence in mathematical thinking and problem-solving • develop powers of generalization and abstraction • apply and transfer skills to a wide range of real-life situations, other areas of knowledge and future developments • appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics have influenced each other; the moral, social and ethical implications arising from the work of mathematicians and the applications of mathematics; the international dimension in mathematics; and the contribution of mathematics to other areas of knowledge • develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to pursue further studies in mathematics • develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others.

Physical & Health Education

MYP physical and health education aims to empower students to understand and appreciate the value of being physically active while developing the motivation for making healthy and informed life choices. To this end, physical and health education courses foster the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes contributing to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Students engaged in physical and health education will explore a variety of concepts that help foster an awareness of physical development and health perspectives, as well as positive social interaction. Physical activity and health are of central importance to human identity and global communities, creating meaningful connections among people, nations, cultures and the natural world. Through physical and health education, students learn to appreciate and respect the ideas of others, and develop effective collaboration and communication skills. This subject area also offers many opportunities to build positive interpersonal relationships that can help students to develop a sense of social responsibility and intercultural understanding.

The aims of MYP physical and health education are to encourage and enable students 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 • reflect on their learning experiences.