Our approach to learning in the Middle School is guided under the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), with a focus on developing the skills needed for students to continue their educational journey while further embracing an experiential learning model that allows for them to apply their ideas, stretch their thinking, and explore new things.
The Middle Years Programme (MYP)
The aim of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is to provide a well-rounded education where students learn to the best of their ability and are well-prepared for the next stage of their education.
Three fundamental concepts underpin the Middle Years Programme:
Holistic/Global Education: The MYP seeks to increase the student’s awareness and understanding of both the separate identities of the various subject areas and their inter-relatedness. From this foundation, it aims to increase a student’s perception of the problems of the real world and to find solutions to address them.
Communication Skills: Learning is emphasized as a tool for the acquisition of all knowledge. Effective written and oral expression enables the student to make impactful contributions and share meaningful insights by communicating with others and developing their own individuality and sense of self.
Intercultural Awareness: As an IB World School, the MYP celebrates the inclusivity and diversity of The York School Community and promotes an international perspective by awakening in young people an interest in the diverse cultures and attitudes of people. Students will be encouraged to celebrate their own unique heritage and to be welcoming of others. Teachers use resources and texts that capture a diverse range of voices and our homeroom programme and service initiatives further emphasize the fundamental, positive values of the common heritage of human beings.
Middle School Curriculum
The Middle School academic programme is comprised of nine core subjects: English, Humanities (Integrated), Science, Mathematics, French, Physical Education, Instrumental Music, Visual Arts and Technology. In Grades 7&8, students are also offered an elective course that they can choose based on their interests and passions (eg Mandarin, Learning Strategies, Drama).
Assessment and Evaluation
In the Middle School, learning is focused first on developing skills essential to academic success, such as responsibility, organization, collaboration, independent work and initiative. These learning skills are taught by homeroom teachers and supported by our Learning Specialists and Counselors. A student’s progress in these important skill sets are monitored by all subject teachers and the student will receive feedback on their report cards to chart their progress in these areas.
Formative assessment (assessment tasks for learning and as learning) such as quizzes and exit cards, allow students to attempt new skills and demonstrate recent learning without their performance affecting their overall grade.
Tasks for summative assessment (assessment of learning) such as essays, projects, tests, and exams demonstrate students’ learning and contribute to their overall course grade.The assessment tasks are designed to allow students to demonstrate all of the categories of achievement: knowledge and understanding, thinking and inquiry, communication and application/making connections. These four categories are weighted differently in each subject and are based on descriptors set out in both the MYP and Ontario Ministry Guidelines.