The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is for students aged 11 to 16 years old. It is designed to challenge students to excel in their studies and personal growth. The educational framework is interdisciplinary, building approaches to learning skills for communication, research, self-management, collaboration and critical thinking. The MYP emphasises intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world.
The MYP Curriculum
The MYP consists of eight subject groups: language acquisition, language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design. In Grades 9 and 10, students have the option to take courses from six of the eight subject groups, which provides greater flexibility.
The MYP has a unique approach, relevant for a global society
Teaching and learning in context: Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and the world that they have experienced. Using global contexts, MYP students explore human identity, global challenges and what it means to be internationally minded.
Conceptual understanding: Concepts are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically.
Approaches to learning (ATL): A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning provides the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skills help students learn how to learn.
Service as action (community service): Action (learning by doing and experiencing) and service have always been shared values of the IB community. Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service – making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Service as action is an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.
Language and identity: MYP students are required to learn at least two languages. Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to their development of intercultural understanding and crucial to their identity affirmation.
UWCT MYP Curriculum
In each tab below is an overview of the curriculum in the IB Middle Years Programme, Grade 6 to Grade 10, at United World College Thailand.
All units that we teach are continuously being developed and improved to best meet the needs of the students at UWCT. Therefore, the following overviews are only a reflection of current plans for these courses. Some changes to these courses may occur as a result of revision and planning done throughout the academic year.
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing that engage us in effective, imaginative and productive activities. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and individuality. A focus on the individual enhances our self-confidence, resilience and adaptability. It encourages our sense of belonging and community through the recognition of identities.
During adolescence, the arts provide an opportunity for age-appropriate and holistic development of the social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligences of the student. In MYP arts students have opportunities to function as artists, as well as learners of the arts. Artists have to be curious. By developing curiosity about themselves, others and the world, students become effective learners, inquirers and creative problem-solvers. Students develop through creating, performing and presenting arts in ways that engage and convey feelings, experiences and ideas. It is through this practice that students acquire new skills and master those skills developed in prior learning.
The aims of MYP Arts are to encourage and enable students to:
• create and present art
• develop skills specific to the discipline
• engage in a process of creative exploration and (self-)discovery
• make purposeful connections between investigation and practice
• understand the relationship between art and its contexts
• respond to and reflect on art
• deepen their understanding of the world.
Design, and the resultant development of new technologies, has given rise to profound changes in society: transforming how we access and process information; how we adapt our environment; how we communicate with others; how we are able to solve problems; how we work and live.
Design is the link between innovation and creativity, taking thoughts and exploring the possibilities and constraints associated with products or systems, allowing them to redefine and manage the generation of further thought through prototyping, experimentation and adaptation. It is human-centred and focuses on the needs, wants and limitations of the end user. Competent design is not only within the reach of a small set of uniquely skilled individuals, but can be achieved by all. The use of well-established design principles and processes increases the probability that a design will be successful. To do this, designers use a wide variety of principles which, taken together, make up what is known as the design cycle.
The aims of MYP design are to encourage and enable students to:
• enjoy the design process, develop an appreciation of its elegance and power
• develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions
to problems using the design cycle
• use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information,
model and create solutions, and to solve problems
• develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments
• appreciate past, present and emerging design within cultural, political, social, historical and
• develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems
• act with integrity and honesty, and take responsibility for their own actions developing effective
MYP individuals and societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. It encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider local and global contexts. MYP individuals and societies incorporates disciplines traditionally studied under the general term “the humanities” (such as history and philosophy), as well as disciplines in the social sciences (such as economics, business management, geography, sociology and political science).
In this subject group, students can engage with exciting, stimulating and personally relevant topics and issues. Many sensitive and personally challenging topics require careful consideration in the context of a safe and responsible learning environment characterized by respect and open-mindedness. The study of individuals and societies helps students to appreciate critically the diversity of human culture, attitudes and beliefs. Courses in this subject group are important for helping students to recognize that content and methodology can be debatable and controversial, and for practising the tolerance of uncertainty.
The aims of MYP individuals and societies are to encourage and enable students to:
• appreciate human and environmental commonalities and diversity
• understand the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment
• understand how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve
• identify and develop concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment
• act as responsible citizens of local and global communities
• develop inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between
individuals, societies and the environments in which they live.
“Learning to speak another’s language means taking one’s place in the human community. It means reaching out to others across cultural and linguistic boundaries. Language is far more than a system to be explained. It is our most important link to the world around us. Language is culture in motion. It is people interacting with people.”
– Savignon (1983)
The ability to communicate in a variety of modes in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes multilingualism and intercultural understanding, both of which are central to the IB’s mission. The study of additional languages in the MYP provides students with the opportunity to develop insights into the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realize that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world.
The aims of the teaching and learning of MYP language acquisition are to:
• gain proficiency in an additional language while supporting maintenance of their mother tongue and
• develop a respect for, and understanding of, diverse linguistic and cultural heritages
• develop the student’s communication skills necessary for further language learning, and for study,
work and leisure in a range of authentic contexts and for a variety of audiences and purposes
• enable the student to develop multiliteracy skills through the use of a range of learning tools, such as
multimedia, in the various modes of communication
• enable the student to develop an appreciation of a variety of literary and non-literary texts and to
develop critical and creative techniques for comprehension and construction of meaning
• enable the student to recognize and use language as a vehicle of thought, reflection, self-expression
and learning in other subjects, and as a tool for enhancing literacy
• enable the student to understand the nature of language and the process of language learning, which
comprises the integration of linguistic, cultural and social components
• offer insight into the cultural characteristics of the communities where the language is spoken
• encourage an awareness and understanding of the perspectives of people from own and other
cultures, leading to involvement and action in own and other communities
• foster curiosity, inquiry and a lifelong interest in, and enjoyment of, language learning.
“Language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history”.
– Octavio Paz
“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.”
– Boris Pasternak
Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating; therefore it permeates the whole curriculum. Indeed, all teachers are language teachers, continually expanding the boundaries of what students are thinking about. Mastery of one or more languages enables each student to achieve their full linguistic potential.
Students need to develop an appreciation of the nature of language and literature, of the many influences on language and literature, and of its power and beauty. They will be encouraged to recognize that proficiency in language is a powerful tool for communication in all societies. Furthermore, language and literature incorporates creative processes and encourages the development of imagination and creativity through self-expression.
The aims of MYP language and literature are to encourage and enable students to:
• use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression, analysis and social interaction
• develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts
• develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analysing literary and non-literary texts
• engage with text from different historical periods and a variety of cultures
• explore and analyse aspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary texts
• explore language through a variety of media and modes
• develop a lifelong interest in reading
• apply linguistic and literary concepts and skills in a variety of authentic contexts.
“Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of the world.”
– Roger Bacon (1214–1294)
The study of mathematics is a fundamental part of a balanced education. It promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract and critical thinking. Mathematics can help make sense of the world and allows phenomena to be described in precise terms. It also promotes careful analysis and the search for patterns and relationships, skills necessary for success both inside and outside the classroom. Mathematics, then, should be accessible to and studied by all students.
Studying mathematics, however, should be more than simply learning formulae or rules. Students should not have the impression that all of the answers to mathematics can be found in a book but, rather, that they can be active participants in the search for concepts and relationships. In that light, mathematics becomes a subject that is alive with the thrill of exploration and the rewards of discovery. At the same time, that new knowledge may then be applied to other situations, opening up even more doors for students. MYP mathematics promotes both inquiry and application, helping students to develop problem-solving techniques that transcend the discipline and that are useful in the world outside school.
The aims of MYP mathematics are to encourage and enable students to:
• enjoy mathematics, develop curiosity and begin to appreciate its elegance and power
• develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics
• communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts
• develop logical, critical and creative thinking
• develop confidence, perseverance, and independence in mathematical thinking and problem-solving
• develop powers of generalization and abstraction
• apply and transfer skills to a wide range of real-life situations, other areas of knowledge and future
• appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics have influenced each other
• appreciate the moral, social and ethical implications arising from the work of mathematicians and the
applications of mathematics
• appreciate the international dimension in mathematics through an awareness of the universality of
mathematics and its multicultural and historical perspectives
• appreciate the contribution of mathematics to other areas of knowledge
• develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to pursue further studies in mathematics
• develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others.
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
– John F Kennedy
MYP physical and health education aims to empower students to understand and appreciate the value of being physically active and develop the motivation for making healthy life choices. To this end, physical and health education courses foster the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will contribute to a student’s balanced and healthy lifestyle. Through opportunities for active learning, courses in this subject group embody and promote the holistic nature of well-being. Students engaged in physical and health education will explore a variety of concepts that help foster an awareness of physical development and health perspectives, empowering them to make informed decisions and promoting positive social interaction.
Physical and health education focuses on both learning about and learning through physical activity. Both dimensions help students to develop approaches to learning (ATL) skills across the curriculum. Physical and health education contributes a unique perspective to the development of the attributes of the IB learner profile, promoting the health of individuals and communities.
The aims of MYP physical and health education are to encourage and enable students to:
• use inquiry to explore physical and health education concepts
• participate effectively in a variety of contexts
• understand the value of physical activity
• achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle
• collaborate and communicate effectively
• build positive relationships and demonstrate social responsibility
• reflect on their learning experiences.
“The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as asks the right questions.”
– Claude Lévi-Strauss
With inquiry at the core, the MYP sciences framework aims to guide students to independently and collaboratively investigate issues through research, observation and experimentation. The MYP sciences curriculum must explore the connections between science and everyday life. As they investigate real examples of science applications, students will discover the tensions and dependencies between science and morality, ethics, culture, economics, politics, and the environment.
Scientific inquiry also fosters critical and creative thinking about research and design, as well as the identification of assumptions and alternative explanations. Students should learn to appreciate and respect the ideas of others, gain good ethical-reasoning skills and further develop their sense of responsibility as members of local and global communities.
The aims of MYP sciences are to encourage and enable students to:
• understand and appreciate science and its implications
• consider science as a human endeavour with benefits and limitations
• cultivate analytical, inquiring and flexible minds that pose questions, solve problems, construct
explanations and judge arguments
• develop skills to design and perform investigations, evaluate evidence and reach conclusions
• build an awareness of the need to effectively collaborate and communicate
• apply language skills and knowledge in a variety of real-life contexts
• develop sensitivity towards the living and non-living environments
• reflect on learning experiences and make informed choices.
Thai Language and Culture is a requirement from the Ministry of Education in Thailand. It is designed to be the intercultural guide to Thai culture, society, language and etiquette. This course prepares the students to understand Thai people through Thai language and events.
A key aim of the Thai Language and Culture for the students to be able to respond and interact appropriately in Thai community.
Experiential learning activities (service programs and outdoor education) are at the heart of the UWC educational model. UWC Thailand’s (UWCT) commitment to community and service is embedded in its learning philosophy and embraced by its mission where we aim to challenge and inspire students to act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the planet.
We believe that participation in the course, will actively promote engagement and leadership that can bring many benefits to our students as well as the communities the projects serve. Now more than ever, we need our students to know, understand and inspire each other to make a difference.
The Experiential learning programme that is offered during the MYP Years at UWCT will allow us all to use knowledge gained during classroom discussions to actively seek practical solutions to problems encountered. We truly hope, that for many students this component of their UWCT experience will be among the most enjoyable and meaningful times, both on and off campus.
The Experiential learning programme will build upon the “service as action” initiated in the primary school and continues as an essential component of the learning process, both as part of the UWCT educational philosophy and as a practical outcome of students’ learning. Students will be encouraged to make connections between the things they learn as part of their MYP and in their surroundings, as well as thinking about what they can give the community and the benefits the community can bring to them.
This unique course at UWCT offers students the opportunity to participate in a variety of different service, teamwork, leadership, Duke of Edinburgh, and adventurous outdoor activities. Through participation in the Experiential learning programme, each individual will be challenged to develop a spirit of discovery, self reliance, develop a range of personal skills, become more aware, concerned and responsibility towards service to the local and global community.