Published on July 3, 2019

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) is continuing to be implemented at HVGS and over the past two years the whole community has gradually been immersing in all aspects of the program.

New Year 7 and 8 programs have been written, planning for Year 9 2020 units and the Personal Project in 2021 has begun, faculties are reviewing and mapping the MYP Approaches to Learning and guided inquiry is being embedded in classroom teaching. The Wellbeing team are including the language of the MYP in their programs and activities and, along with the Curriculum team, have reviewed and revised the Service-Learning Program.

Students smiling at teacher

One might ask why we would undertake this work when HVGS already had strong teaching and learning, a supportive wellbeing program and opportunities for service. The answer lies in the framework of the MYP, which ties all these wonderful experiences together. The characteristics of thinking (head), empathy (heart) and action (hands) permeate all student experiences; curriculum and wellbeing.

The students study each subject topic through the lens of one of the six Global Contexts (Identities and Relationships, Globalisation and Sustainability, Personal and Cultural Expression, Fairness and Development, Orientation in Space and Time, Scientific and Technical Innovation). These frame the learning within a meaningful context, encourage a deeper reason for learning, extend students beyond the curriculum content and help them to recognise our common humanity.

The curriculum units are also designed to stimulate critical and creative thinking, inspiring students to ask questions and initiate action, particularly in the form of service. The topics frame the context and ‘why’ of service and link into the HVGS Service-Learning Program, which provides the opportunities for sustained service activities.

Student in army clothing

Approaches to Learning (skills of thinking, communication, social interaction, self-management and research), which are both explicitly and implicitly taught, permeate the subject units and wellbeing programs. These skills (often referred to as 21st century skills), develop the students into life-long learners and are mandatory for success in our rapidly changing world. 

The deliberate development of the IB Learner Profile attributes (inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, courageous, balanced and reflective) and the dispositions embodied in the HVGS values (responsibility, integrity, respect, citizenship, courage, compassion, optimism and gratitude) will cultivate an environment where our students mature into “internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world”.

The IB MYP gives us the framework for the holistic development of the students in our care, providing integrated opportunities for thinking, empathy and action – the Head, Heart and Hands of Learning.