MYP at GEMS World Academy - Dubai
Middle Years Programme
The Academy follows the International Baccalaureate's Middle Years Programme (MYP), which is a natural progression from the PYP and excellent preparation for the DP in Grades 11 and 12. The MYP spans Grades 6-10, a time when adolescents are undergoing rapid and far-reaching physical, emotional and intellectual development. The curriculum that is taught and the teaching and learning provided are all designed to meet the needs of this particular developmental stage. Students will gain knowledge and undefined information with rigor in an environment that promotes student inquiry and the development of conceptual ideas and creative and critical thinking.
Middle Years Programme Coordinator
Meet The MYP Coordinator
James, who is originally from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, has worked in international, independent, and public schools in Canada, the UK, Qatar, China, Austria, and the United States. James has been employed in a number of schools in a variety of roles, including as a Grade 6 to Grade 12 teacher of English language and English literature, a Head of Department, a College Counselor, an Academic Dean, and as an IB MYP Coordinator (in three previous schools).
Explore the MYP
The MYP consists of eight subject groups:
Language & Literature A
Language Acquisition B
Mathematics Standard and Mathematics Extended in G9 & G10
Design (with units focusing on both Product & Digital Design)
Individuals & Societies
Integrated Humanities (including units that focus on History, Politics, Economics, Geography)
Integrated Science (with units in Biology, Physics & Chemistry)
Physical and Health Education
The MYP is a genuinely unique approach, as it focuses not only on academic knowledge, but also aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and foster their sense of responsibility in their communities.
This is developed through a unique set of components to its framework, including:
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.
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) Skills
A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning provide 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.
The Personal Project
Each student develops an independent Personal Project, producing a truly personal and creative piece of work that stands as a summative review of their knowledge, their skills and their responsible action, focusing on a passion of their own choosing.
GEMS World Academy - Dubai students begin the Project during Grade 9, and complete it during Grade 10.
MYP assessment standards are consistent around the world. The MYP assessment model is based on four criteria. Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB. Tasks are always assessed against these established criteria, not against the work of other students.
The MYP also encourages teachers to assess the students’ Approaches to Learning Skills (ATL), including how to succeed in written examinations.
Typical MYP assessment tasks include open-ended, problem-solving activities and investigations, organised debates, tests and examinations, hands-on experimentation, analysis and reflection. MYP assessment is carried out internally by teachers, according to the criteria defined by the IB, and uses rigorous moderation practices to ensure consistency. However, certain components are also externally marked and moderated by IB examiners, such as the Personal Project.
The MYP assessment criteria across subject groups can be summarised as follows:
Language and literature
Comprehending spoken and visual text
Comprehending written and visual text
Individuals and socities
Knowing and understanding
Knowing and understanding
Inquiring and designing
Processing and evaluating
Reflecting on the impacts of science
Knowing and understanding
Applying mathematics in real-world contexts
Knowing and understanding
Physical and health education
Knowing and understanding
Planning for performance
Applying and performing
Reflecting and improving performance
Inquiring and analysing
Creating the solution
Training and Development
All GEMS World Academy - Dubai staff are fully qualified teachers, and receive regular internal and external training on the MYP framework and assessment, as well as from other expert providers at the forefront of educational pedagogy.
What makes the Academy's Middle Years Programme special? We do not only prepare students for their next academic challenge, whether this be at IB Diploma level or another academic system (e.g. ‘A’ Levels or American Common Core), but also encourage and develop students’ curiosity and skills in all aspects of life, from their own interests and hobbies, to using a strong entrepreneurial mindset to find solutions, and to become active and successful members of their local and global communities.
Entrepreneurship and The HUB
GEMS World Academy - Dubai opened its entrepreneurship HUB in 2019, and has already had huge numbers of students enrolled in a wide variety of experiences.
These include in school (and virtual) workshops with local and global entrepreneurs, Samsung innovators, gaming and coding competitions, and our own GEMS World Academy - Dubai Social Impact Challenge.
The HUB is continuously developing its programs in line with the MYP curriculum and its Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills, to create opportunities for students to challenge themselves, and todevelop innovative projects beyond their classroom learning.
The HUB is led by our EIS Director, Ms. Helen Al Uzaizi.
The Social Impact Challenge
The Social Impact Challenge (Large Scale Inquiry) is an annual three-day event in which over 450 students from Grade 6 to Grade 9 work together in mixed teams to solve a specific challenge. In January 2020, the challenge focused on the UN Sustainability Development Goal #1 – No Poverty. Students are tasked with coming up with an impactful, sustainable and scalable solution, service or product to tackle this challenge, and to establish a realistic company to provide or manufacture the product.
This Challenge utilises both the IB inquiry cycle and its EIE pillars, helping students to build on from their PYPX in Grade 5, and continue to develop the skills required for success in their Personal Projects in Grade 10.
In the January 2020 Challenge, 75 social enterprise companies were created and displayed at a final EXPO, with external judges from Dubai’s entrepreneurship community selecting the Top 10 companies. These Top 10 companies were invited to display their projects and pitch their ideas to top executives and entrepreneurs at GEMS World Academy - Dubai's entrepreneurship, innovation and social impact center, The Hub.
GEMS World Academy - Dubai has a weekly programme of hundreds of possible activities that take place across each day. This are roughly split into those offered by staff within the Academy, and those provided by outside companies. Those with outside providers usually incur an additional cost.
The Enrichment Opportunities (ASA) Programme has three sessions – one per term – and usually run for 8 weeks each. Previous examples have included:
In the Academy
Duke of Edinburgh International Award
Model United Nations
Board Games Club
The GEMS World Academy – Dubai’s Enrichment Opportunities Coordinator is Ms Fiona Ryan ([email protected])
Teaching and learning in the MYP
Teaching and learning in the MYP at GEMS World Academy - Dubai is based in the understanding that students learn best when the learning is:
- engaging, challenging, rigorous, relevant and significant
- appropriately supported with feedback
- understood and accommodated for students with diverse needs
- structured so students feel secure and that their ideas are valued and respect
- based on how students "learn best" and supports the development of new thoughts, ideas and connections between other disciplines
What is the Middle Years Programme?
The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16.
It provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasises intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement—essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders.
It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career Related Programme (CP).
What are the advantages of an IB education?
- IB World Schools (the only schools authorized to offer IB programmes) are subject to a strict accreditation process monitored by the IB, ensuring that schools provide a high-quality education.
- IB teaching methods and curriculums are research- based and draw from the best educational practices from systems around the world.
- IB teachers are required to participate in many professional development opportunities to continually promote their awareness of current educational practices and new thinking.
- IB programmes are recognised internationally and ease the educational transition of mobile students so that their education is not adversely affected if their families relocate.
Do IB teachers receive special training?
All MYP teachers receive professional development in the IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the MYP.
How the MYP Helps Students
The MYP enables students to develop the skills below. Please click https://www.ibo.org/programmes/middle-years-programme/ to learn more
Addresses students’ academic, social and emotional well-being
Provides students opportunities to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need in order to manage complexity and take responsible action for the future
Ensures breadth and depth of understanding through study in eight subject groups
Requires the study of at least two languages (language of instruction and additional language of choice) to support students in understanding their own cultures and those of others
Empowers students to participate in service within the community
Helps to prepare students for further education, the workplace and a lifetime of learning
More To Explore
Take your first step towards an IB-through education.
Pre K through to Grade 5. the PYP provides a holistic approach to curriculum design and places the child at the center of the learning process.
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond.
Join our IB Bridging Programme to transition your child to an IB Diploma.