International Baccalaureate® Middle Year Programme

What is the IB Middle Years Programme?

The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning which encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.

The IB Middle Years Programme

  • addresses students’ intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being
  • enables students to understand and manage the complexities of our world, and provides them with the skills and attitudes they need in order to take responsible action for the future
  • ensures breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding through the study of eight subject areas
  • requires the study of at least two languages to support students in understanding their own culture and that of others
  • provides the opportunity for students to undertake an independent project into an area of interest

The curriculum

The IB Middle Years Programme consists of eight subject groups integrated through five interactive areas providing global contexts for learning. Students are required to study at least two languages (as part of their multilingual profile), humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In their final year, students will also undertake an independent ‘personal project’ to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding.


MYP assessment standards are consistent around the world. In order to maintain the rigour for which the IB is renowned, the MYP assessment model is criterion-related. Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB. Tasks are assessed against established criteria, not against the work of other students.

Language A

Language A is defined as the student’s best language. It is typically but not necessarily the language of instruction in the school, and is clearly fundamental to the curriculum as it crosses the boundaries of the traditional disciplines.

Language B

The primary aim of language B is to encourage students to gain competence in a modern language other than their mother tongue, with the long-term goal of balanced bilingualism.

In addition, the study of language B aims to:

  • encourage in the student a respect for and understanding of other languages and cultures
  • provide a skills base to facilitate further language learning.

Proficiency in a second language gives students:

  • access to a broader range of input, experiences and perspectives
  • the enjoyment of being able to communicate in a language other than their mother tongue.


Humanities has the potential to consist of a broad range of traditionally separate subjects, such as:

  • geography
  • history
  • economics
  • politics
  • civics
  • sociology
  • anthropology
  • psychology.

    Within the aims and objectives of this subject group, there are concepts that students must address and skills that must be developed over the five years of the programme. These include:

    • the concepts of time, place and space, change, systems and global awareness
    • technical, analytical, problem-solving and investigative skills.


This subject group may be considered as consisting of:

  • either the traditional subjects of biology, chemistry and physics, or
  • an integrated "sciences" course.

    Among other skills, students are expected to:

    • use basic laboratory equipment safely and efficiently
    • make sensible estimates and take accurate measurements
    • make scientifically supported arguments.

    Students are also encouraged to relate the content of the classroom and laboratory to the realities of life as they develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.


Mathematics in the Middle Years Programme aims to provide students with an appreciation of the usefulness, power and beauty of the subject.

Schools are required to develop schemes of work according to a framework that includes five branches of mathematics:

  • number
  • algebra
  • geometry and trigonometry
  • statistics and probability
  • discrete mathematics.

Aims and objectives include:

  • understanding mathematical reasoning and processes
  • the ability to apply mathematics and to evaluate the significance of results
  • the ability to develop strategies for problems in which solutions are not obvious
  • the acquisition of mathematical intuition.

The arts

  • visual arts
  • performing arts.

    From the earliest times, artistic expression has been common to all cultures as human beings make statements through a variety of non-verbal forms and create objects that are aesthetically pleasing. Beyond barriers of language, the discovery of the cultural values of civilizations through their artistic production is one of the best ways to promote international understanding.

    In addition, the course:

    • organizes learning around the creative cycle—a dynamic, ongoing process of sensing, planning, creating and evaluating art, and one in which all the senses are involved
    • encourages creative energy, communication, interaction and reflection
    • aims to help the student become a developing artist—one who is able to assess the level of skill and target the areas that need development
    • seeks to acquaint young people with the creations of men and women whose works have proved to be of enduring worth.

Physical education

The aim of physical education in the Middle Years Programme is to facilitate:

  • physical
  • intellectual
  • emotional, and
  • social development.

    This subject area also serves to promote intercultural awareness, since physical education is a reflection of elements of history, culture and values. It also enables students to establish links between different areas of experience and provides opportunities for different forms of self-reflection, communication and team work.


This course is essentially concerned with solving problems in an effort to stimulate students’ ingenuity and to encourage them to combine intellectual talents and practical skills.

Schools are granted flexibility in the choice of technology subjects, but each course provides a balance between three key areas:

  • systems
  • information
  • materials.

In particular, students are encouraged to display ingenuity and creativity in devising practical solutions to given tasks. Students use the design cycle to:

  • investigate
  • design
  • plan
  • create
  • evaluate.

This subject area is valuable for reinforcing and integrating skills learned in other disciplines, especially in the presentation and handling of data and the processes involved in the design and manufacture of a product. At the same time, it fosters awareness of the social and ethical implications of technological development.

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