International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme 

MYP Program Model

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2002, 2007


This diagram represents the curriculum model of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP). Based on the international success of the IB Diploma Programme, the International Baccalaureate established the Middle Years Programme in 1992. The MYP is a five-year program for students in grades 6-10. Like the IB Diploma Programme, the MYP is academically rigorous and promotes intercultural understanding and interdisciplinary study. However, the MYP offers schools the flexibility to follow locally-established curricula, while infusing such curricula with a focus on critical thinking, holistic development of the individual, communication in multiple languages and international-mindedness. The Middle Years Programme can also serve as excellent preparation for the IB Diploma Programme, as the two programs are part of one continuum of international education. 

The overall goal of the MYP is to develop students who will be life-long learners, critical thinkers and responsible global citizens.

The MYP is defined by three fundamental concepts:

Holistic Learning – in which the student develops an understanding by consciously learning how to learn and linking new knowledge to existing knowledge.

Intercultural Awareness – in which the student develops a sense of personal and cultural identity and a respect for themselves and others.

Communication – in which the student develops a good command of expression in a variety of forms, including a second language.



MYP at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School 

 The MYP  provides a coherent and comprehensive curriculum that merges a framework of academic challenges and life skills with the Montgomery County Public Schools Instructional Guides.  The program is intended to promote the education of the whole person, emphasizing the importance of a broad and balanced education.  Teachers focus on the inclusion of skills and processes built around a framework of concepts; the aim is to teach not only content knowledge but to also help students develop a genuine understanding of the underlying principles in each discipline and apply these in a new context in preparation for further learning. The curriculum is taught through the following eight subjects.  

Language A  


Language B  





Physical Education  

Students in the MYP follow the MCPS curriculum with an emphasis on the areas of interaction. The five areas of interaction develop connections between the eight subject groups so that students will see knowledge as an interrelated, coherent whole.  Each of the eight subject groups is taught through the context of the Areas of Interaction. The Areas of Interaction distinguish the MYP from either the IB Diploma Programme or a more traditional course of study and can best be understood as themes which are repeatedly addressed throughout the academic subjects. They include: Environments, Human Ingenuity, Health and Social Education, and Community and Service. The fifth Area of Interaction, Approaches to Learning, provides an additional focus on the explicit thinking and learning skills that are developed over the course of the five-year program. As a result of the interweaving of these contexts throughout the traditional academic subjects, students come to see the complex interrelationships between subject areas and content that have traditionally been taught in isolation.

Approaches to Learning – provides students with the tools to enable them to take responsibility for their learning. Central to this is “learning how to learn” and developing in individuals an awareness of how they learn best.  

Community and Service – starts in the classroom and extends beyond it, requiring students to participate in the communities in which they live. Giving importance to the sense of community throughout the program encourages responsible citizenship as it seeks to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Students should be encouraged to make connections between their intellectual and social development and the benefits that they can contribute to the community by asking themselves, “How can I make a difference?” Students participate in school wide community service projects and are encouraged to do community service independently. Students should log their community service hours. Further questions about community service should be directed to the coordinator.  

Human Ingenuity – allows students to explore the processes and products of human creativity. It considers their impact on society and on the mind. Students learn to appreciate and develop in themselves the human capacity to influence, transform, enjoy and improve the quality of life. It is at the core of the student-centered learning, where the students themselves are placed in the position of homo Faber, solving problems, showing creativity and resourcefulness in a variety of context throughout the curriculum and school life.  

Environments – aims to develop the students’ awareness of their interdependence with the environment so that they understand and accept their responsibilities. It deals with the importance of the local and global environment, the concepts of sustainable development in a context of increasing environmental threats.  

Health and Social Education – deals with physical, social and emotional health and intelligence, key aspects of development leading to complete and healthy lives. Students will become better informed about health issues.  


Application to the Diploma Programme

Tenth graders at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School have an opportunity to enter the IB Diploma Programme for their 11th and 12th grade years. The application process begins in December with an informational meeting for parents and students.  Students complete an application that includes a statement of interest, teacher recommendations.  You can learn more about why students choose the Diploma programme from this IB Experience at MCPS video.