Middle Years Programme (MYP)

MYP Curriculum Overview & OUTLINE (Grade 6 – 10)

The Middle Years Programme spans grades six to ten, (MYP1-5) which includes grades 6-8 in Middle School and Grades 9 and 10 in High School. In the MYP we build on the inquiry-based learning that takes place in the Primary Years Program and prepare students for the challenges, which lie ahead in the IB Diploma. The International Baccalaureate’s MYP is a curriculum framework that allows schools to adapt their content to best meet the needs of their learners in the local context. You can also find out more about the MYP and other IB Programmes by clicking here and visiting the IBO Official Website.

The program is designed to:

  • be age appropriate
  • be rigorous, skills-driven and academically demanding, for example, in the final year, students complete a sustained personal investigation
  • promote the mastery of approaches to learning, a skill set to guide independent inquiry
  • develop self-awareness through opportunities for continuous reflection
  • encourage students to engage in meaningful service action
  • promote global citizenship and a sense of international mindedness
  • help students take informed decisions and exercise sound judgment in many contexts
  • help students lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle
  • give students the opportunity to develop their creativity, power of expression and individuality

Our teachers offer a variety of teaching and learning methodologies and we actively promote the sharing of ‘good practice’ through whole school initiatives and via formal and informal channels. We encourage the students to become intellectual risk takers and believe that they should be supported when they do so. The learning experience at BCIS aims to produce a climate where students can discover how they learn best in different contexts.

Subjects Available

  • Arts - Performing Arts: Drama and Music, Visual Art
  • Individuals and Society
  • Language and Literature - English, Chinese, Korean
  • Language Acquisition offered at levels (phases) appropriate to individual students language development - English, Chinese, Spanish
  • Mathematics
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Sciences
  • Design

Assessment & Reporting

  • Providing feedback on the learning process
  • Using the findings from ongoing and final assessed work to inform, enhance and improve the teaching process
  • Promoting positive student attitudes towards learning
  • Promoting a deep understanding of subject content by supporting students in their inquiries set in real-world contexts using the areas of interaction
  • Promoting the development of higher-order, cognitive skills by providing rigorous objectives that value these skills
  • Reflecting the international-mindedness of the program and allowing for assessments to be set in a variety of cultural and linguistic contexts

MYP Assessment Characteristics

  • The assessments in grades 6-10 are best described as being internal as opposed to external because the tasks, strategies and tools are designed, developed and applied by our teachers here at BCIS
  • The IB (International Baccalaureate) believes that teachers are best placed to assess the work of their students and the assessment model supports the professional judgment of the teacher in deciding the levels of achievement of individual students
  • The MYP assessment model is criterion-related as it is based upon pre-determined written criteria that the students and their parents have access to. (Please see the BCIS Assessment Guide attached to this page)
  • The work and progress of each student is measured against the written criteria descriptors for each subject.
  • Students are never judged directly against the work of their classmates

Reporting to Students and Parents

The reporting system G6-10 is designed to give accurate and frequent feedback to the students and parents. The sequence is as follows:

Semester 1

  • A Parent Teacher Conference is held midway through the semester. Communication at this conference is informed by information gathered through ongoing assessment tasks. The tasks and student grades are posted on ManageBac.
  • At the end of the semester each student receives a full subject report, which includes information about the student's achievement levels in each of four criteria for each subject. This report is designed to inform each individual student about their next steps to effective learning. Every MYP student must also complete a self-reflection where they analyze their study habits, approaches to learning and set personal goals for achievement in the second semester.

Semester 2

  • A Student-led Conference is held midway through semester two which gives the student the opportunity to reflect on their progress with regard to the subject-based knowledge, deepening conceptual understanding, skills development and attitudes to learning in each discipline.
  • The end of semester report includes a full subject report complete with reference to achievement levels in each of four criteria for each subject, grades as well as detailed teacher comments.
  • Students in Grade 10 co-write their Personal Project reflection with their Supervisor.

Since the start of the 2011-2012 academic year we have been using ManageBac, which provides ongoing access to student assessment information, as well as key information about the teaching and learning focus of each unit of study across the eight MYP subject groups.

Areas of Interaction

The Global Contexts are central in helping students connect classroom based learning to the outside world

  • They provide settings or contexts to guide teaching and learning
  • They help students see the interrelated nature of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes across the subject disciplines and they can be used as an aid to transdisciplinary teaching and learning
  • They help students and teachers connect the local with the global.
  • They provide a framework for student inquiry where increased awareness can lead to a deepening of understanding providing further opportunities to reflect and take action
  • They give a unit focus and provide a lens to view the learning in a purposeful way. When a student asks the question “why are we studying x” or “what’s the point in doing y”, the Global Context can help the teacher explain the rationale underpinning the topic or theme in question
  • They can lead students from academic knowledge to thoughtful action helping students to develop positive attitudes and a sense of personal and social responsibility

The areas of interaction are found in the classroom, on field trips like Week Without Walls and in transdisciplinary teaching and learning opportunities such as the United Nations Global Development Goals focus.

The Learner Profile

This is a set of values that defines the attributes of an internationally minded individual. It permeates the very heart of all IB World Schools such as BCIS and the values of the Learner Profile are embedded in our mission, and built into the very fabric of our policies.

The Learner Profile acts as an ethical and civic benchmark for the school community, it encourages us to lead by example and feeds intrinsic motivation.

The IB learner profile encourages us to be Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, and Reflective

The Learner Profile can be explicitly taught or experienced in a more implicit way through our opportunities to engage with one another.

The MYP emphasizes the development of the whole learner, (affective, cognitive, creative and physical). At BCIS we believe that learning is not just about what occurs in the classroom, and the inherent value and spirit of the program is also very strongly reflected in the range of activities complimenting our academic studies. This combination is what gives the learner a fuller more rounded experience at Beijing City International School.

The IBO places particular emphasis on language acquisition, which does more than promote cognitive growth, it is crucial for maintaining cultural identity, personal development and intercultural understanding.

Our Commitment to Community and Service

As a starting point we encourage the students to deepen their understanding of and assume responsibility towards their own communities. Communities are built on the communication of their members and BCIS aims to promote an open atmosphere forged through dialogue and conversation.

We value and strive to create an inclusive community that not only helps us to understand and respect our differences but also reinforces what we have in common.

Service Action in the MYP

What does it involve?

Service Action can take many forms including direct service; indirect service; advocacy; research

What's encouraged?

Students are encouraged to reflect on questions such as the following:

  • What are my responsibilities?
  • How can I get involved?
  • When should I respond to the needs of others?
  • How can I come up with solutions to resolve issues within communities?
  • Am I aware of all intended and unintended consequences of my action?

What are the expectations?

  • To participate and on occasion lead individual or group based community and service activities
  • To keep a journal to reflect on personal involvement in and leadership of community and service initiatives

The Personal Project

Students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity in all the stages of the investigation from the moment they choose their topic through to the culminating public exhibition of their finished product. The process of investigation is considered to be just as important as the product itself and the Personal Project presents an opportunity to find novel solutions, to be creative and to discover new things through reflection. The project must include a personal appreciation of one Global Context and the application of skills acquired through the approaches to learning.

It builds upon the exhibition from the Primary Years Programme and is excellent preparation for the extended essay on the IB Diploma giving the students grounding in research methodology.

Academic Honesty

The IBO promotes academic honesty throughout all its programmes. This is a set of values that promotes personal integrity and good practices in learning and assessment, and in the MYP is part of approaches to learning. As a school community, BCIS fully expects all teachers, students and families to encourage good practices. Please refer to the BCIS Student/Parent Handbook.


Homework is an area addressed in ATL by all subjects. The students are taught how to develop strategies to become better organized and more efficient in their use of time in general, but this is also extended to Homework. A homework schedule has been created, allowing all subjects to issue homework assignments when appropriate. Homework assignments might be issued to support class work, but not to supplement class work.