Introducing the International Baccalaureate (IB): A Future-Focused Educational Framework

Welcome to our new M’KIS International Baccalaureate Blog (IB) Series! Starting this month, our M’KIS IB Coordinators and Faculty will be providing engaging updates about the IB Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme, and the Diploma Programme at M’KIS as a window into our students' IB classroom experience. From program updates to exploring the unique strengths of this challenging framework, we look forward to sharing the latest IB developments with our community.

For our inaugural blog, we invite our readers to learn what makes this rigorous, globally-recognized curriculum so valuable for today’s students. Read on below!

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP): Nurturing Curiosity via Inquiry-Based Learning

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a student-centered curriculum framework of education for children aged 3-12. Through an inquiry-based approach, it nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. M'KIS was officially authorized to deliver the PYP in 2019.

The PYP framework is based on 5 essential elements: Knowledge, Key Concepts, Skills, Attitudes, and Action. In addition, the PYP is underpinned by 10 Learner Profile attributes that describe what we want our children to be: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced, and Reflective.

As educators respond to the challenges and opportunities facing young learners, the PYP has evolved to provide a future-focused approach to education. The PYP curriculum framework begins with the premise that students are agents of their own learning and partners in the learning process. It prioritizes people and their relationships to build a strong learning community driven by children's natural curiosity.

PYP students use their initiative to take responsibility and ownership of their education. By learning through inquiry and reflecting on their own schooling, PYP students develop knowledge, conceptual understanding, skills and the attributes of the IB Learner Profile to make a difference in their own lives, their communities, and beyond.

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP): Encouraging Growth and Independence

This will be the third year of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) at M’KIS after officially being authorized as an MYP school in 2020.

The IB MYP is an educational framework that encourages students aged 11 to 16 to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. At a time when students are establishing their identity, building self-esteem, and developing important learning habits, the MYP is uniquely designed to offer a well-rounded education and help students achieve success in school and beyond.

As we revise and improve our Middle Years Programme to meet the evolving needs of our student population, we are implementing valuable teaching and learning opportunities that ensure a breadth and depth of understanding across multiple subject areas.

Despite the continued challenges of virtual learning, our MYP students are engaging with big ideas, taking an active role in their education, and developing learning skills that they can rely on as they continue their education. In the classrooms (whether virtually or in person), both teachers and students are finding creative and innovative ways to advance critical thinking skills, develop confidence and agency, and prepare for the academic challenges of the Diploma Programme (DP) in the later years.

As we move forward in the new school year, our MYP focus at M’KIS will be to continue the implementation of our inquiry-based learning framework as we support student growth during this critical middle school period. By helping students relate their studies to real world situations, we are preparing the next generation to confidently face the challenges of our global, interconnected world.

The IB Diploma Programme (DP): Cultivating Motivated, Intellectually-Curious Global Citizens

The Diploma Programme (DP) offers Grade 11 and 12 students a challenging and rewarding two-year, pre-university academic experience that leads to one of the most widely recognized external qualifications in the world. We are proud to have offered the IBDP at M’KIS for the last 20 years.

The Diploma Programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge, and who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. The DP curriculum is made up of 6 subject groups and the DP core, which comprises of Theory of knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS), and the Extended Essay (EE). Through the Diploma Programme core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research, and undertake a project that often involves community service.

At M’KIS, DP students can select 22 different subjects at a Higher or Standard level, creating a combination of 42 different course options to meet their needs.

We are excited to add a new course at the Diploma level this year — Global Politics — which draws on a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. The new course offers students the opportunity to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies, and also invites comparison between these examples and case studies to ensure a transnational perspective. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims.

In an increasingly globalized world fraught with cultural challenges, political conflicts, and a rapidly changing media environment, these skills are invaluable to success at university and in the workforce.

As we move forward this year, we would once again like to celebrate the achievements of our last Diploma Programme cohort, the Class of 2021, for their impressive IB exam results. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, last year’s results are some of our highest ever. Due in large part to the DP’s academic rigor and focus on holistic education, we are confident our most recent graduates are well-prepared to meet future challenges. 

We hope you've enjoyed this first IB update, and we look forward to sharing more developments with you in our next IB blog!