Middle Years Programme
MEHMS and GMHS in Partnership
George Mason High School (GMHS) is a candidate school*, in partnership with Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School,(MEHMS) for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP). This partnership is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These schools share a common philosophy: a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that both schools believe is important for our students.
*Only schools authorized by IB Organization can offer any of its four programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, or the Career-related Program (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.
The IBO Mission Statement:
The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
What is the MYP?
The MYP continues to emphasize the basic principles of the IB programme: creative problem solving, hands-on learning, student-led inquiry, international mindedness, and service learning. Students enrolled in grades 6-10 will participate in the MYP. It will build upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB PYP in grades 1-5 and will prepare students to meet the academic challenges of the IB DP in grades 11-12.
Students will continue to embrace the 10 IB Learner Profile attributes: inquirer, knowledgeable, thinker, communicator, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-taker, balanced, and reflective.
The MYP helps students develop subject-specific and interdisciplinary understanding. The MYP framework includes:
- * Approaches to Learning (ATL), helping students learn how to learn by developing skills for research, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and self-management
- * Key and related concepts, helping students explore relevant big ideas
- * Global contexts, helping students understand the relevance and importance of their study for understanding their common humanity and shared guardianship of the plan.
The MYP culminates in an independent learning project entitled the Personal Project. Students develop a focus for the project based on personal interests and complete this project over an extended period of time, encouraging them to consolidate their learning in the MYP and reflect on their outcomes of their work.
The common language and instructional approach help to provide greater consistency from one level to the next of the IB continuum. The attributes will be explored and applied in an increasingly sophisticated manner as the students continue to grow and mature.
To learn more about the MYP, pleases visit: www.ibo.org.
How does the MYP affect the current curriculum?
As with the PYP, the MYP does not replace the current curriculum. It is designed to enhance the curriculum and foster creativity for both students and teachers by using an inquiry-based curriculum framework. Students will continue meeting all Virginia SOL objectives and participating in SOL assessments.
The MYP framework allows students to make connections among the subjects they are studying and apply them to real life. MYP encourages global thinking, and supports the development of effective communication skills.
Timeline for Adopting MYP in FCCPS
Since 2012, teachers at MEHMS and GMHS have been collaborating by subject area and grade level to develop unit plans combining MYP objectives with Virginia SOL objectives. Teachers will continue to develop, implement and refine unit plans for all subject areas with the help of our MYP coordinators and a consultant assigned to our schools by the IBO. FCCPS will apply for authorization in 2015/16.