Teaching and Learning in the MYP

Distinctive features of the MYP

At the core of all IB programmes is the learner profile, 10 attributes fostered in students that promote their development as responsible members of their local, national and global communities. IB learners strive to be:



We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies.  We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.



We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere.  We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.



We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways.  We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.



We show empathy, compassion and respect.  We have a commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research.  We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.



We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others.  We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.


We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems.  We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others.  We recognize our interdependence with other people and the world in which we live.



We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.  We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.


We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience.  We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

In the MYP, students study 8 subject groups, with a minimum of 50 teaching hours per subject group each year.  

All students in grades 8, 9 and 10 take:

  • Arts (Visual Arts, Drama, or Music)
  • Design (Home Economics, IT, Technology Education)
  • Individuals and Societies (Social Studies)
  • Language Acquisition (French, Japanese, or Spanish)
  • Language and Literature (English)
  • Mathematics
  • Physical and Health Education (PE)
  • Sciences


Key and related concepts are big ideas, which form the basis of teaching and learning in the MYP. They ensure breadth and depth in the curriculum and promote learning within and across traditional disciplines.  They have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP student use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically

Global contexts provides shared starting points of inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded, framing a curriculum that promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement.  Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and the world that they have experienced. Through global contexts, MYP students explore human identity, global challenges and what it means to be internationally minded

Approaches to teaching and learning, a unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, are skills which help student manage their own learning. They provide a foundation for success in further education and the world beyond the classroom.  They provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of student knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skill help student learn how to learn (see below for detailed explanation of the Approaches to Learning skills).

Action and Service, essential components of the mYP, set out clear learning outcomes that grow from students’ participation in local and global communities. MYP projects are informed by respected models of service learning and provide stepping stones for DP core requirements for Creativity, Action and Service (CAS).  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.

Language and Identity - MYP students are required to learn at least two languages. Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to the development of intercultural understanding and crucial to their identity affirmation.

Personal Project, for students completing the programme in year 5, is a culminating experience in which students apply their approaches to learning skills to complete and extended, self-directed piece of work. This required component provides opportunities for creative and truly personal demonstration of learning

Assessment: rigours criteria, applied consistently worldwide.  MYP assessment standards are consistent around the world. In order to maintain the rigour for which the IB is renowned, the MYP assessment models is criterion related. Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB. Tasks are assessed against established criteria, not against the work of other students.

Approaches to learning

The Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills are “learning how to learn” skills that promote the Hugh Boyd mission to make our students lifelong learners.  These BC new curriculum’s Core competencies align closely with the Approaches to Learning skills.

Feedback on student progress in Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills will be ongoing in the classroom, shared with students and parents, and will be reported out on interims and report cards, as per the MYP report card.  Students will also reflect on and self-assess their progress on the ATL for interims; reflections will be provided as an attachment to the interim reports for all terms.

ATL Skill Categories 

  • Communication
  • Social
  • Self-management
  • Research
  • Thinking

On the MYP report card and interims, teachers will assess students' progress on the above skills based on the following descriptors.  Students will also self-reflect on their progress on these learning how to learn skills.

N = Novice/beginning—students are introduced to the skill, and can watch others performing it (observation)

L = Learner/developing—students copy others who use the skill and use the skill with scaffolding and guidance (emulation)

P = Practitioner/using—students employ the skill confidently and effectively (demonstration)

E = Expert/sharing—students can show others how to use the skill, and accurately assess how effectively the skill is used (self-regulation)

Alignment of the Approaches to Learning skills for IB World Schools and the BC Ministry of Educations Core Competencies align this way.

***All information from www.ibo.org