Introducing the Middle Years Programme


Introducing the Middle Years Programme

Monday the 8th of June, 2020

Diocesan has been working through the process of becoming a 'Middle Years Programme' International Baccalaureate School. How could this help your daughter?

Over the last year, as part of our strategic plan, the Senior School staff have been working through the process of becoming an authorised International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) school. Dio already uses the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the Junior School and also offers the IB Diploma programme as part of our dual pathways in Senior Years 12 and 13. Adding the MYP will allow the school to provide a continuum of learning across the whole school.  

The MYP emphasises intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement—essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders. As a framework, the MYP also allows us to continue to deliver the New Zealand curriculum achievement objectives.

A central part of the MYP is the Learner Profile which places the student at the centre of an IB education. The 10 attributes reflect the holistic nature of an IB education, encouraging all members of the community to become: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective. These attributes highlight that along with cognitive development, IB programmes are concerned with students’ social, emotional and physical well-being, and with ensuring that students learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them. The development of these attributes is the foundation of developing internationally-minded students who can help to build a better world.

MYP teachers organise the curriculum with appropriate attention to:
• 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 across subject areas (Key Concepts) and within specific disciplines (Related Concepts). 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 skills (ATL). 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. Through explicit teaching, students are able to develop and apply Communication, Social, Self-management, Research and Thinking skills in order to help them learn how to learn. 

This year the school is focusing on implementing the MYP in Year 7. Teachers have spent considerable time training, reviewing existing curriculum programmes and developing units of work in each subject group that reflect an MYP approach to teaching and learning. It has been exciting to see some of this in action in Year 7 classes in Term 1. This is just a sample of the teaching and learning that is taking place in Year 7 across all subject areas:

In Science, students have been learning about the concepts of change, form and models in order to investigate the scientific properties of solids, liquids and gasses. This has been explored by taking part in a ‘Stranded’ game similar to the TV show Survivor.

During Maths, students have been learning about the concepts of form, space and representation through an exploration of the properties of 2D and 3D geometric shapes. Teachers have guided the students to examine how geometric shapes can be found and analysed in visual art, architecture and nature.

In Physical and Health Education, students have been learning about the concepts of relationships, interaction and environment in order to understand fundamental aspects of well-being. The students have then applied their understanding when designing a playground game of their own that promotes positive interactions and well-being for all.   

As part of the Spanish classes, students have been exploring the concepts of communication, context, word choice and conventions as they have been acquiring fundamental vocabulary and language skills. The students have then applied their understanding when learning to communicate and make meaning from the new language, in both formal and informal situations with a range of different people. 

Diocesan School for Girls is a Candidate School* for the Middle Years Programme (MYP). The school is pursuing authorization, expanding its status to a 3-programme, IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Dio believes is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP).  Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit