Middle Years Programme
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in grades 6-10 connects the
IB Primary Years Programme (preschool-grade 5) and the IB Diploma Programme (grades 11-12).
The MYP provides a framework of academic rigour that encourages students to embrace and
understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, becoming
critical and reflective thinkers.
The MYP curriculum requires mastery of eight subjects – Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Physical and Health Education, Design, and the Arts.
The engine driving the MYP through every class moves on the belief that all students can be taught to be independent problem-solvers with strong study skills.
The Learner Profile
allows students to assess their progress against clearly defined personal attributes.
MYP teachers use internationally published IB assessment criteria as a benchmark for their grading.
They provide a variety of assessment tasks, such as open-ended activities, investigations, organized debates, hands-on experimentations, and reflections, allowing students to demonstrate their achievement according to the determined criteria.
The MYP culminates with the submission of a Personal Project in grade ten,
an independent, eight-month long assignment that showcases the skills that our
students have developed throughout the five years of their MYP studies.
The project is a rich opportunity for students to create an extended piece of work that
challenges their own creativity and thinking about personal issues. Graded against a
rigorous set of IB criteria, the Personal Project is not only an integral part of the MYP but
also a continuation requirement for students moving towards the IB Diploma Program.
Service & Action:
Students in grades 6 – 10 are expected to engage in service as action activities; meaningful action
created in response to the student’s own needs and the needs of others. The quality of each activity
is measured by the student and their mentor against the following criteria: Commitment, Leadership,
Impact on the community and Spark of Genius. Students will write a reflection at the end of each
activity and will complete a rubric, together with their mentor, measuring the quality of the activity
completed. Each academic year culminates in a Service & Action exhibition where students will
share their achievements with the wider Dwight community.
In keeping with the mission of the Dwight schools and the curriculum framework
of the International Baccalaureate, Dwight Seoul has a Service & Action requirement
for grades 6 – 10 where students are expected to show an increasing amount of initiative
in sourcing and creating relevant and meaningful activities throughout the year.
Service & Action Requirements:
- Physical & Health Education
- Language & Literature
- Advisory Program
- Individuals & Societies
- Language Acquisition
- Personal Project
Overview: Physical education (PE) in the MYP is concerned with more than just participating in sports and games. Its primary aims are to encourage the development of “growth minded and physically literate performers.” Throughout the five years of the MYP, students should develop knowledge, critical thinking and reflection skills, and a sense of responsibility, as well as interpersonal and self-motivational skills. This in turn should encourage choices that will contribute to long term healthy living.
Physical education will bring the unique perspective of learning through the physical, which can greatly contribute to students’ approaches to learning (ATL) skills, and is transferable across other subject groups. The learning and development associated with physical education should contribute to students developing the qualities of the IB learner profile and engaging with the fundamental concepts of the MYP—holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication. (MYP Physical Education Guide, November 2011).
Structure of the Course: Students in grades 6-8 attend physical education for four 50 minute lessons per week, whilst students in grades 9 and 10 engage in three 50 minute lessons per week for the entire year. The physical education program at Dwight School Seoul offers students a balanced PE curriculum with opportunities to become multi-skilled by experimenting with sports from around the world. Each class consists of individual, pairs and whole group activities. Individual sports activities allow students to get to know their limits while partnered sports activities help students learn to cooperate with each other as well as manage their competitive instincts and emotions showing full respect for their classmates, their environment and the equipment. In whole group competitions and/or in small-sided games, students develop a sense of sportsmanship and team spirit, as well as a sense of personal responsibility and “safe play.”
Overview: Language A is defined as the student’s first language. The IB encourages bilingualism and as such Dwight School Seoul offers students the opportunity to study both English language A and Korean language A courses.
“Language is fundamental to learning, thinking, and communicating, therefore it permeates the whole MYP Language A curriculum. The course is academically rigorous, and it equips students with linguistic, analytical, and communicative skills that can be used across all other subject groups. Through the study of language and literature, listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and presenting are developed as both independent and interdependent skills. The variety of quality literature also enables students to broaden their knowledge of the world and different cultures as well as to further develop the attributes of the IB learner profile.” (MYP Language A Guide, February 2010).
Structure of the Course: English language A students attend four 50 minute lessons a week for the entirety of the school year. Those students who choose to study Korean A in grades 6 and 7 are provided with two 50 minute lessons per week increasing to four per week in grades 8 through 10. The curriculum has a balance of genres including short and long fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, and visual texts. There is also a world literature component each year that incorporates work from different parts of the world, cross-cultural works, and/or works in translation.
As adolescence is a time when students undergo unique physical, intellectual and emotional changes, a teacher Advisor and advisory group can help guide and support students through their experiences. Each student is assigned a teacher Advisor and is a member of an advisory class. This class meets at the start of the school year for several periods, then for ten minutes every morning and one period each week in the regular timetable. Through frequent contact and communication, the advisory program helps students quickly receive the support they need.
The teacher Advisor will act as student mentor, counsellor, and advocate. Teacher Advisors serve as a central point of contact for parents. Our MYP advisory curriculum consists of the following strands:
• Global Citizenship.
• Spark of Genius.
Overview: The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing that engage us in affective, imaginative and productive activity. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and understanding of the world, while providing opportunities to develop self-confidence, resilience and adaptability.
In the MYP, the arts challenge students to consider authentic issues and develop their skills beyond superficiality and imitation. Students are provided with opportunities to function as artists, as well as learners of the arts. To be an artist one has to be curious, and by developing curiosity about themselves, others and the world, students become effective learners, inquirers and creative problem solvers. In the MYP, students are guided to create, perform and present art in ways that engage and convey their own feelings, experiences and ideas. The IB learner profile should infuse teaching and learning in the arts. (MYP Arts Guide, September 2009).
Structure of the Course: The arts at Dwight School Seoul consist of Visual Arts, Drama, Music and Media. In grades 6 and 7, students study Drama, Music and Visual Arts over a single semester or for the entire year. In grade 8 students also study Media within the Arts rotation. They will continue to study these two chosen arts in grades 9 and 10.
The Process Journal is common to each of the arts. It allows students to document and reflect on the artistic process. The Process Journal provides the opportunity for experimentation and critical thinking. It is here that students show that through the planning, creation and presentation of an artwork, initial ideas or themes are developed to a point of realization. Reflection, evaluation, artistic self-expression, collaboration and communication are intrinsic to the beliefs and values held at Dwight School Seoul.
The aims of teaching and learning MYP Visual Arts is for students to develop skills and understanding about visual literacy through active engagement in artistic experiences. This course aims to develop a deep understanding of visual art that will allow students to appreciate art in a meaningful way. This is gained through focusing on the ideas underlining art, making art and understanding the role of art in society. The projects in this course will encourage students to employ the “design cycle” in the process of making artwork. Students learn that the cycle can be entered at any point and that all stages are necessary for the deliberate development of artwork. Students discover both digital and visual art forms.
In order to maintain consistency throughout the five years, the visual arts curriculum is organized through four areas of development:
• Artistic perception
• Creative expression
• Historical and cultural context
• Aesthetic valuing
The emphasis of the MYP Drama curriculum is to encourage aesthetic perception, creative expression, understanding culture and theatre history, aesthetic valuing, group work and self-motivation. There is a great emphasis on encouraging a creative and imaginative student who feels able to express him or herself freely and confidently through drama.
The MYP Music program provides students with the opportunity to develop musical knowledge and literacy in addition to exploring and improving their musicianship through various units of work. At Dwight School Seoul the focus is on the creation of music through the development of listening skills and understanding and appreciating the change in musical forms and genre related to various periods in time. Listening to a variety of quality and intellectually challenging literature assists students in making informed musical judgments, understanding relationships between music and other academic disciplines, and understanding their own and others’ historical and cultural heritage.
The MYP Media curriculum at Dwight allows for the exploration of the art of storytelling through moving images. Students will investigate the photographic components that contribute to composition of film images and experiment with the skills and techniques in scripting, cinematography, sound recording and editing to create film. They will develop an appreciation of the power of film as a tool for crossing cultural boundaries.
Overview: “Technology and technological developments have given rise to profound changes in society, transforming how we access and process information, how we communicate with others and how we work and solve problems. MYP technology aspires to develop creative problem solvers who are caring and responsible individuals, able to respond critically and resourcefully to the demands of an increasingly technological society and to appreciate the importance of technology for life, society and the environment.” (MYP Technology Guide, August 2008).
Structure of the Course: Students in grade 6-10 study Computer Technology four 50 minute lessons per week for the entire year. Technology uses the design cycle as a model of thinking and the strategy to help students investigate problems. The use of the design cycle promotes an inquiry-based approach, therefore assisting students with the creative and critical thinking processes. The design cycle requires students to:
• Investigate Problems & Design
• Evaluate the Products / Solutions Generated
The design folder is a compulsory component of MYP technology. As students progress through the different stages of the design cycle, they will be constantly researching, brainstorming and experimenting with ideas, making changes and critically evaluating their work. The design folder is a compilation of evidence that accompanies the final product.
Overview: “MYP humanities encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with a skills base appropriate for a learner in the 21st century. Humanities involves inquiring into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural contexts that influence and have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. This encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider varied local and global contexts.” (MYP Humanities Guide, February 2012).
Structure of the Course: All MYP students study humanities for four 50 minute lessons each week. Humanities at Dwight School Seoul is organized according to different concepts, knowledge, content and skills. The key concepts that form the basis of any humanities course are:
• Time / Place / Space
• Global Interactions
As the scope of these concepts is vast, they are explored at different levels of complexity and using varied content. MYP humanities supports an inquiry based approach and requires students to develop their knowledge base through researching, asking relevant questions, thinking critically about ideas and issues and communicating their findings.
Overview: Learning an additional language furthers intercultural awareness and gives us the opportunity to reflect upon and explore other cultures. Learning languages is essential to the idea of international education, which promotes and fosters intercultural understanding. Learning a language in the Middle Years Programme enables students to communicate successfully in the global context of the 21st Century. (MYP Language B Guide, March 2012).
Structure of the Course: Dwight School Seoul currently offers students the opportunity to study Mandarin, Korean, Spanish and German as a language acquisition course, progressing through different phases as they move through the MYP. Grade 6 and 7 students study two additional languages, each for two 50 minute lessons each week. In Grade 8 students choose one language from the two studied and continue with this language until Grade 10. To ensure sustained language learning and continuity, the Language Acquisition department does not encourage students to transfer from one language course to another partway through the MYP. In the final year of the MYP the phase level being studied becomes the level for which students are registered for MYP certification.
Language Acquisition at Dwight School Seoul is organized according to four objectives:
• Oral Communication & Accuracy– the student’s development as a speaker of the language.
• Visual & Aural Interpretation – the student’s ability to interpret visual and spoken text.
• Reading Comprehension – the student’s ability to comprehend written text.
• Written Communication & Accuracy – the student’s development as a writer of the target language.
Overview: “Mathematics plays an essential role both within the school and in society. It promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract and critical thinking. Moreover, understanding and being able to use mathematics with confidence is not only an advantage in school but also a skill for problem-solving and decision-making in everyday life.” (MYP Mathematics Guide, January 2011).
Structure of the Course: Grade 6-8 students study mathematics for four 50 minute lessons each week. Grade 9 and 10 students study mathematics for five 50 minute lessons each week for one semester and four 50 minute lessons each week in the second semester. In grades 9 and 10 the concepts and skills of MYP mathematics are arranged such that students can work at two levels of ability: standard mathematics and extended mathematics. Extended mathematics consists of the standard mathematics but is supplemented with additional concepts and skills. This level provides a solid foundation for students who wish to pursue further studies in mathematics, for example mathematics higher level (HL) as part of the Diploma Programme.
Mathematics at Dwight Seoul is organized according to different concepts and skills based on the following branches:
• Geometry & Trigonometry
• Statistics & Probability
• Discrete Mathematics
Part of learning mathematics requires students to use mathematical language to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of concepts. This involves an appreciation of the importance of the processes involved in problem solving. The course is designed to expose students to a variety of techniques which may be used to solve everyday problems. Students will need to reflect upon their knowledge and understanding of the subject in order to discuss the application of mathematics in everyday life.
Overview: Science and its methods of investigation offer a way of learning that contributes to the development of analytical and critical ways of thinking. Inquiry is at the heart of the Dwight School Seoul science program and aims to support students’ understanding of the subject by providing them with opportunities to independently investigate relevant issues through both research and laboratory experimentation.
Traditionally, science is broken down into the study of living systems, changes in matter, and the effects of energy. Respectively: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. As is becoming apparent in contemporary research, these divisions are increasingly artificial. So, while our Units of Work often lean towards one of these subject areas, we try to include the related issues and implications of a particular piece of science rather than treating it as an isolated piece of knowledge.
Structure of the Course: Grade 6-8 students study science for four 50 minute lessons each week. Grade 9 and 10 students study science for four 50 minute lessons each week. The science curriculum at Dwight School Seoul is organized according to three domains:
• Skills & Processes.
• Concepts of Science.
• Personal, Social & Global Awareness
(Attitudes and Beliefs).
Over the course of the five years students revisit common themes and concepts, building an increasingly sophisticated understanding that encourages a greater appreciation of the world around them. Learning science provides students with the opportunity to develop scientific ways of knowing and working. Working scientifically involves students in acquiring practical skills as well as developing their knowledge and understanding.
In grade 10, the final year of the programme, all students are required to complete a personal project. This project is a significant body of work that is undertaken over an extended period of time. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate initiative and creativity, to explore in depth an area of interaction of their choice and to apply the approaches to learning (ATLs). The personal project is seen as the culminating activity through which students present, in a personal way, their understanding of real-life themes and issues. Each student is given a Personal Project guide as they start the project and assigned a teacher who acts as a personal supervisor throughout the project.
All projects will be exhibited at the end of the year.