An International Baccalaureate education for middle school
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is a rigorous academic program for middle school students. Established in 2010, the program weaves a global perspective into students’ learning while encouraging self-direction, critical thinking and collaboration. MYP is acknowledged worldwide.
All students who attend Discovery are automatically enrolled in the program; however, MYP is open to all VPS students through the boundary exception process.
The program consists of eight subject groups that integrate the six global contexts. Students study their mother tongue, a second language, humanities, sciences, math, arts, PE and technology. Throughout the eight subject areas, students will develop an understanding of the IB learner profile. The 10 qualities of the learner profile inspire and motivate the work of teachers and students by providing the values of the IB and a definition of “international mindedness.”
- Open-minded. They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view and are willing to grow from the experience.
- Caring. They show empathy, compassion and respect toward the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service and act to make a positive difference on the lives of others and the environment.
- Thinkers. They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
- Communicators. They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
- Principled. They act with integrity and honesty and with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
- Inquirers. They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning, and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
- Risk-takers. They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
- Knowledgeable. They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In doing so, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
- Balanced. They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
- Reflective. They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
- Orientation in space and time: Personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; and the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations from personal, local and global perspectives
- Identities and relationships: Identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human
- Personal and cultural expression: The way in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic
- Globalization and sustainability: The interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities, the relationships between local and global processes, how local experiences mediate the global, reflections on the opportunities and tensions provided by world-interconnectedness, the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment
- Fairness and development: Rights and responsibilities, the relationship between communities, sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things, access to equal opportunities, peace and conflict resolution
- Scientific and technical innovation: The natural world and its laws, the interaction between people and the natural world, how humans use their understanding of scientific principles, the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments, the impact of environments on human activity, how humans adapt environments to their needs
Students are encouraged to complete community service hours each year:
- Sixth grade — four hours
- Seventh grade — eight hours
- Eighth grade — students will complete a community service project
Forms to document hours are available online, in the office, in the commons and from teachers.
“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. “
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”