IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)
The IB Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) is a curriculum framework developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization. Through the MYP at ISH, we aim to encourage your child to pursue personal excellence by being a curious, connected and compassionate learner.
Your child's learning will be centred on the understanding of Key Concepts or Big Ideas in Global Contexts. The work he or she does will be organised into units of work/inquiry. The aim is to make learning engaging and help see connections between what your child learns in class and life outside school. The Key Concepts helps your child to develop knowledge and understanding within and across different subjects. The Global Contexts, such as Fairness and Development, will help your child make connections between his or her own experience and the wider world and become more internationally minded.
For more in depth information about our MYP curriculum, please read the guides below
- Language & Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals & Societies
- The Arts
- Physical & Health Education
The ISH approach to the study of Language and Literature is built around the key concepts of communication, creativity, connections and perspective. Our teachers support students to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and their understanding of the world around them.
Key elements to the study of Language & Literature at ISH is engagement with the Dutch as our host country, English because we are an English language speaking school as well as the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) French, German and Spanish.
To help ensure your child(ren) find their path at ISH they'll learn to use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity and reflection. They'll develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, interacting and presenting ideas to their peers. Our teachers will help them develop not only creative and critical approaches but also personal approaches to analysing texts contributing to a life long interest in reading.
From Yrs7-11 students at ISH engage with texts from different historical periods and a variety of cultures, they explore and analyse aspects of personal, host and other cultures, through literary and non-literary texts. They are also challenged to look at language through a variety of media and modes applying linguistic and literary concepts and skills in a variety of authentic contexts.
A Year 8 English Language and Literature student studying Heroes and Villains will tackle questions like: What is the role of a character in a story? What is a conventional story structure? Can stories set our moral compass? Why do the same storylines echo through different societies?
In this unit students find out what Harry Potter and Moana have in common with Spider-Man. They learn about the different techniques authors use to create dynamic characters and study character archetypes and story structures to write their own Hero’s Journey.
To get more detail on the Language and Literature programme at ISH, read our MYP Guide at the top of this page.
As a school with a particularly diverse community and over 60 languages spoken, ISH is an excellent environment for your child(ren) to acquire language skills. Focusing on the following 4 objectives: listening; reading; speaking; writing, students learn a language other than their first language from a choice of either French, German or Spanish.
Consistent with the overarching MYP approach to learning, the curriculum sets out to challenge students in a range of situations beyond the classroom. Furthermore, students are taught using multimodality to support a deeper understanding and effective communication in the target language. Teachers also encourage the student's cultural and historical curiosity and inquiry throughout the programme.
Students begin from phase 1 and work up to phase 4 by Year 11 preparing them for access Diploma Programme (DP) or Careers Programme (CP) language courses.
For more information about the curriculum please refer to the MYP guide above.
When your child(ren) study Mathematics at ISH they’ll be doing so much more than simply learning formulae or rules. We encourage students to be active participants in exploration and enjoy the rewards of discovering concepts and relationships. Applying the ISH and IB philosophy our teachers promote both inquiry and application, supporting students in the acquisition of problem-solving techniques that go beyond the discipline and the school context.
Our teachers provide students with authentic examples of how mathematics is practically useful and relevant to their lives, encouraging them to go on and apply it to new situations.
We challenge students to be curious, to ask questions, to explore and interact with the environment physically, socially and intellectually.
As a school which understands the value and importance of technology, Mathematics at ISH integrates information and communication technology (ICT) as a tool for learning, applying and communicating mathematics.
Our mathematics teachers support students to acquire mathematical understanding by constructing their own meaning through increasing levels of abstraction, starting with an exploration of their own personal experiences, understandings and knowledge.
MYP Mathematics (Years 7 to 11)
The MYP mathematics framework includes four branches:
- Numerical and abstract reasoning (Number and Algebra)
- Thinking with models (Functions)
- Spatial reasoning (Geometry and Trigonometry)
- Reasoning with data (Statistics and Probability)
What will they learn?
There are also four clear objectives that define what students will be able to accomplish as a result of studying the subject. These objectives relate directly to the assessment criteria of MYP Mathematics.
- Knowing and Understanding
- Investigating Patterns
- Applying Mathematics in Real-Life Contexts
The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as asks the right questions.
The ISH approach to learning sciences goes beyond memorising facts and learning terminology. Our teachers support your child(ren) to become critical and creative thinkers, exploring the connections between what they learn in the classroom and the world around them. We inspire our students to think about science as an important tool for shaping a better future for all.
Our teachers are passionate about helping students discover the deep connections between science and the environment, global and local economies, morality and ethics. In keeping with the ISH Community Profile [hyper link] the way we approach science harnesses your child(ren)'s natural curiosity and compassion, helping them to become aware, to appreciate and respect other people’s views.
In Yr7-Yr9 students begin with integrated sciences, then in Yr10-Yr11, as they prepare for the DP they have the opportunity to focus on Biology, Chemistry or Physics. There are 4 key objectives within the MYP: Knowing and understanding; Inquiry and designing; Processing and evaluating; Reflecting on the impacts of Science.
For those working toward their DP, science students at ISH have the opportunity to develop the skills needed for careers in academic and corporate research, to become laboratory assistants, teachers, to take part in essential fieldwork or become journalists.
The ISH vision of inspiring your child(ren) to become pro-active and compassionate global citizens of the future is never more present than in our approach to the teaching of Individuals and Societies. This broad subject area begins with Integrated Humanities for our Yrs7-9, then divides and dives deeper into Business management, Economics, Geography and History specific subjects for Yrs10-11.
Central to our philosophy is encouraging students to understand, respect and make sense of the world around them using authentic examples to stimulate interest in an inter-connected world.
The programme helps students to develop the skills required to inquire into the factors that impact upon individuals, societies and environment. The programme examines the nature and activities of human behaviour and challenges students to question what they see and hear every day, supporting them to become the critical thinkers of tomorrow for both local and global issues.
In the Integrated Humanities course - The Birth of Civilisation: Humans, Mammoths and Fire students tackle questions like: What were the factors that affected human development?
How did the relationship between humans and their environment affect the development of humankind? Do civilisations develop in response to their environment?
In answering these questions, students develop an understanding of how civilisations developed from hunter-gatherers to early settlements. Through exploring some key ideas such as early migration patterns, the role of the environment in where people settled, in particular, the role of rivers and the processes that occur within these and how early civilisations began, students, gain an understanding of how humankind has developed.
Design is an important part of our lives and influences so many of the decisions we make every day. It affects actions we take, the things we buy and how we see ourselves within the world. At ISH your child(ren) will be given the opportunity to acquire the skills to solve design problems using a number of materials, tools, computers and software.
From day one Yr7-Yr9 students learn about both Digital and Product Design and are taught to overcome real-life challenges using the design cycle (pictured below) - inquiring and analyzing, developing ideas, creating the solution and then evaluating. Supported by our Design teachers they are exposed to a number of practical techniques and design challenges, learning how to manage and complete a project whether the solution is physical or digital.
In Digital Design students investigate and work on topics involving web design, graphic design, movie making, spreadsheets, databases, robotics and programming.
The Product Design syllabus concentrates initially on learning basic modeling skills such as cutting, measuring and nets. Students then progress to working with resistant materials, such as wood, and CAD tools to create products using a laser cutter and other equipment. The work is designed to be fun, but always challenging so that students continue to grow throughout the course.
The MYP Design Cycle
Design students at ISH benefit from the use of 2 Computer Labs with Apple iMac computers. We also integrate iPads into the lessons giving students insights as to what can be achieved on a range of different platforms.
Furthermore, in order to support the Product Design lessons, the school has 3 well-equipped workrooms with modern tools to explore what can be made using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) techniques. Examples of these machines are a laser cutter, a 3D printer and a vacuum former. The product design department also aims to promote sustainable materials such as bamboo.
The ISH approach to the Arts encourages self confidence, resilience and adaptability and is built around the key concepts of aesthetics, change, communication and identity.
From Yr 7 to Yr 9 your child(ren) will be given the opportunity to study Visual Arts (VA), Drama and Music and find their voice through the language of sound, sight and movement. Working collaboratively with the students we guide them to see creativity as a powerful form of communication and a way of influencing the world around them. Consistent with the ISH philosophy across all subjects, we support students to explore, discover and make connections between their understanding of the world so far and the Arts.
ISH Arts students benefit from excellent facilities such as fully-equipped art, music and drama studios, a 300 seat theatre, music practice rooms and access to the latest audio and visual technology.
Immersed in projects and productions designed to challenge and inspire, students learn quickly to develop specific, practical skills within each discipline so that they can express themselves through their work.
Central to our philosophy is providing students with opportunities to connect with the real world – as such we have strong links with the community: local artists, musicians and theatre makers. We also host a yearly Artist in Residence to provide more in-depth collaboration with a local artist/ musician/ theatre maker or collective.
As a school with a rich and diverse community we have a commitment to developing multilingual skills and this comes through in our Arts programme. For example performances and showcases are also conducted in another language such as Japanese or German.
Having grown as artists, beginning to find their personal excellence Yr 10 and 11 students then enter a two-year intensive course preparing them for the IB Diploma Programme where they increase independence further in relation to materials, techniques and artistic intentions.
MYP and DP classroom learning is complemented by a variety of co-curriculur activities including choir, jazz and rock ensembles, theatrical productions and art clubs, such as, making art from discarded materials in Recycling Club to learning how to present their art and design work in the Portfolio Club.
Studying Physical and Health Education (PHE) at ISH can enrich your child(ren)'s learning experience and add an important facet to their journey through the school. Research shows unquestionably that well-designed, well-implemented school programs can effectively promote physical activity, healthy eating and contribute to increased academic performance. Students at ISH benefit from an ideal setting with both excellent facilities for teaching students how to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle, and a natural environment that lends itself to a multitude of activities.
All students at the school follow the Physical and Health Education (PHE) Middle Years Programme in Yr7-Yr9. In Yr10-11 students can choose either the PHE Middle Years Programme or the Physical Exercise and Well-Being (PEW) programme where they will experience a variety of activities in the following different categories: individual activities, team activities, aesthetic activities, alternate activities and fitness and health activities.
The aims of PHE for students are to encourage and enable them to develop the following attributes:
- an appreciation and understanding of the value of Physical and Health Education and its relationship to a healthy, balanced lifestyle;
- an interest in the promotion of health and wellness;
- the motivation to participate fully in all aspects of Physical and Health Education to their optimal level of physical fitness;
- effective communication strategies, verbal, non-verbal and written;
- the skills and understanding necessary to participate successfully in a variety of physical activities, for example, learning, practising, refining, adapting, thinking, interacting;
- the ability to reflect critically on all aspects of Physical and Health Education, including being a critical performer;
- an understanding of international perspectives on physical activity, sport and health education;
- a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of physical activities as a participant.
The MYP core remains the same in all International Baccalaureate schools and very much holds the curriculum together. This structure helps students to develop skills that cross subject boundaries. It also helps your child to see how everything is connected and gives them the opportunity to put their learning into practice in a way that is meaningful. All teaching and learning in the MYP connects with the MYP Core.
A real strength of the MYP for students is the emphasis placed upon Approaches To Learning (ATL) where they are supported to improve at finding and evaluating information, organising themselves and their work. In their MYP classes your child will work on developing essential skills in technology, collaboration and communication. The following ATL skill categories are practiced in all MYP subjects in a way that is relevant in each subject and discipline:
One of the great strengths of the MYP is the requirement for students to make a positive difference in the world around them - a concept which is central to the ISH vision for your child to become a proactive and compassionate global citizen. At its heart this is about learning by doing rather than learning purely in the classroom. Through real-world activities, students are given the opportunity to reflect on their own strengths and interests, and importantly use their skills and aptitudes to support for positive initiatives. Ideas for action are often connected to the curriculum, but students can also engage in projects for which they have a passion, outside of the school curriculum.
In the final year of the MYP, students are required to complete a Personal Project which they work on, supported by a supervisor. The Personal Project is an extensive independent piece of work that offers students the opportunity to undertake an in-depth inquiry into a topic that interests them personally. The project consists of three components: a process journal, a product/outcome, and a project report.
The Personal Project can take on many forms, depending on the student's topic and personal preferences. For example, it could be an original artistic creation, an original science experiment, a design project, a website, a business plan, an awareness-raising campaign, an event, or an academic paper. The goal of the project however, must be clearly focused on one of the MYP global contexts, which focus on developing the student's greater understanding of these important issues.
The students' product/outcomes are celebrated in the Personal Project exhibition which takes place in December. This is a wonderful moment in the school calendar when the community has the opportunity to see the outcome of our students personal journey of inquiry.
By emphasising the pursuit of personal excellence, we recognise that every individual is a unique and wonderful bundle of interests, talents and ambitions.
MYP Pathfinder students develop this potential by working with their teachers to construct relevant and challenging units of inquiry, and pursue their own personal goals throughout the year. In doing so, they start to create their own unique path in the world.
Pathfinder is built on the fundamental idea that every individual has something unique and wonderful to offer the world, and the aim of school should be to help them discover and develop this.
Oliver Quinton, Pathfinder Coordinator
- What is Pathfinder? An overview of the programme in theory and practice.
- How does Pathfinder work? How we balance student choice and voice with the necessities of the curriculum.
- What are the advantages of this approach?
- Pathfinder in the Curriculum
At ISH we are proud of our diverse community and recognise that all students are individuals, have their own ways of learning and their own specific support requirements.
That's why we have the ISH Mentor programme where students have regular meetings and guidance throughout the school year, language support from the English as an Additional Language (EAL) department when required, access to the Student Wellbeing team and more bespoke services through the Learning Support department.
Support for English Language Learners in EAL
Different levels and types of additional English language support are available at ISH. The main aim of these classes is to help students develop language skills needed for their other subjects. Students are also encouraged to focus on grammar and vocabulary development as well as structural aspects of writing and speaking. There are two main programmes provided by EAL (English as an Additional Language) teachers within the EAL department.
The Academic Language Programme (ALP):
The weaker English speakers in Years 7–9 (English B/ Language Acquisition, phases 1-3) receive 3 additional English support lessons per week. These lessons focus on academic language and the aim is to develop language skills needed for the other subjects, especially humanities and science.
Additional support may be tailor-made to meet students' needs that cannot be covered within the 3 ALP lessons, in particular for very weak English speakers who are only just starting at ISH.
ISH Digital Citizens