September 23, 2012

Middle School

The Middle Years Programme spans Grades 6-10 and is designed to help students develop the knowledge, conceptual understandings, attitudes and skills they need to participate actively and responsibly in an increasingly interrelated world.

As such, it focuses on more than just “knowing” and includes problem-solving and analysis, clarification and discussion of personal beliefs and standards on which decisions are made. Within a concept-driven programme, the central purpose of teaching and learning is to help students develop and extend the concepts they use to understand the worlds, solve problems and communicate effectively as they become life-long learners.

The MYP is based on the knowledge that students learn best when learning is engaging, challenging, rigorous, relevant and significant and when they are given opportunities to collaborate with one another. We know also that students learn best when they feel secure and feel that their ideas are valued and respected. In the MYP at ISOCS, diverse learning styles are accommodated and assessment is central and supports teaching and learning at all times. Through reflection, students become aware of and understand how they learn.

The MYP has eight subject areas, each with their own prescribed aims and objectives, and students study all for all five years of the programme. In order to help students recognise the extent to which knowledge is interrelated and to build connections to the real world, subject areas are connected through Transdisciplinary Areas of Interaction (see diagram). Thus, each unit of study in each subject is set in a context that is relevant to the lives of students. Through the course of the programme students acquire insights into local and global concerns affecting their health, the community and environments and develop a sense of individual and collective responsibility and citizenship. it offers us a framework and methodologies with which to design the best learning environment possible for student development. The IB MYP offers a seamless transition from the strong IB Primary Years Programme already established in the ISOCS primary section.

As a programme, the MYP aims to enable students to build upon their spirit of discovery to develop an understanding and enjoyment of the process of learning, independently and in collaboration with others. As a rigorous academic programme, it aims to enable students to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills, and prepare them for further learning. A central aspect of this is helping students to recognize the extent to which knowledge is interrelated. Learning to communicate effectively in a variety of ways, and in at least two languages, is also an important aim. Encouraging active global citizenship also means helping students to acquire insights into local and global concerns affecting health, the community and the environment and develop a sense of individual and collective responsibility. This is only achieved if students also develop a sense of personal and cultural identity and a respect for themselves and for others.

ISOCS is authorised by the Inspectorate of Schools in Canton Zug.