The Middle Years Programme
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a programme of international education designed to help students develop the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills necessary to participate actively and responsibly in a changing world. It is designed for students aged 11 to 16 and is offered in hundreds of schools worldwide.
Kristin Middle School is the first school in New Zealand to be authorised to teach the MYP. The middle years period, encompassing early puberty and mid-adolescence, is a particularly critical phase of personal and intellectual development and requires a programme that helps students participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. Learning how to learn and how to evaluate information critically are as important as the acquisition of knowledge.
The MYP has three fundamental programme concepts:
1. A programme that is Holistic
2. A programme that fosters Inter-Cultural Awareness
3. A programme that stresses the importance of Communication
The five Areas of Interaction (AOI)
The curriculum contains eight subject groups together with a core made up of five Areas of Interaction. This is illustrated by means of an octagon with the five areas of interaction at its centre.
The Areas of Interaction have been carefully worked out by the IBO to act as lenses through which subjects can be approached. Parents can often help their children by discussing topical issues or homework using questions that relate to each of the AOI below. Sample questions appear in each section.
1) Approaches to Learning (ATL). Through ATL, teachers provide students with the tools to enable them to take responsibility for their own learning, thereby developing an awareness of how they learn best, of their thought processes and of learning strategies:
- How do I learn best?
- How do I think?
- Why is understanding good?
- How can I work with others to improve my own understanding?
- How can I work with others to improve everyone's understanding?
- How do I communicate my understanding?
2) Community and Service. This component requires students to take an active part in the communities in which they live, thereby encouraging responsible citizenship:
- How do we live in relation to each other?
- Why is it this way?
- How can I contribute to the community, school, locally and globally?
- How can I help others?
- Can I help change things for the better?
3) Human Ingenuity. Students explore in multiple ways the processes and products of human creativity, thus learning to appreciate and develop in themselves the human capacity to influence, transform, enjoy and improve the quality of life:
- Why do we create?
- How do we create?
- What are the good and bad consequences for individuals?
- What are the good and bad consequences for society?
4) Environments. This area aims to develop students' awareness of their interdependence with the environment so that they understand and accept their responsibilities:
- Where do we live?
- What resources do we have or need?
- What resources are limited?
- How are we affecting our environment?
- How can we improve our environment causing no harm?
5) Health and Social Education (HASE). This area deals with physical, social and emotional health and intelligence - key aspects of development leading to complete and healthy lives:
- How can I look after myself and others?
- How do I think and act?
- How does my body and mind work?
- How are my mind and my emotions affected by my body and how am I changing?