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How do you select a school for your pre-teen or teenage child? When evaluating a private school in the Bern region or within Switzerland, be sure to consider the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) for its widely successful approach to teaching, as well as its diversity and opportunity.
At the International School of Berne, we are proud to offer the MYP to our students in Grades 6 to 8 in our Middle School and Grades 9 and 10 at our High School. The following ten reasons explain why you should choose the IB MYP for your child:
1. Students are part of a continuum programme.
In the Middle Years Programme, students are at a midpoint between preparing for university and establishing the fundamentals of education. The IB MYP curriculum is paced strategically for each grade level, so as not to overwhelm students, while still giving them an enriched education. The MYP comprehensively prepares students for the next stage in their journey, while expanding on academics and learning skills taught in the Primary Years Programme (PYP).
2. The Middle Years Programme covers a versatile range of subjects in conjunction.
Students in the IB MYP will become multilingual and knowledgeable in Sciences as well as Arts and Athletics. However, unlike standard programmes, diverse subjects are taught in conjunction with one another. Making connections between subjects makes learning easier on a student who, for example, excels in Humanities but struggles with Sciences.
3. Students learn invaluable ethical principles and life skills.
The IB MYP teaches essential life skills that go beyond academics. Open-mindedness, citizenship, action and ethical decision-making are some of the most core values of the IB model. Students become well-rounded not just because of their breadth of knowledge and development into a whole student, but also because of their development into a whole person. The student becomes an inspired, caring, cultured young person who is motivated to contribute good to the world.
4. The International Baccalaureate MYP is specifically designed to prepare students for Grades 11 and 12.
The IB Continuum Programme is intended to take students from preschool until the end of High School, making their education a fluid, continuous journey from one stage to the next. The MYP is formatted to prepare students finishing Grade 10 for the challenges they will face in the IB Diploma or Career-related Programmes, or Grades 11 and 12. This means gearing up for choosing a career path, narrowing their focus into a field of interest and learning curriculum that standard Middle School and High School students aren’t learning elsewhere.
5. Students are encouraged to become more confident and independent.
As they grow into young adults gradually building a career and life path, they are inspired to become confident, enthusiastic learners and independent workers. Through encouragement from supportive staff and faculty, students become self-sufficient hard workers reaching their greatest potential. Moreover, growing confidence in their abilities promotes higher achievement by ensuring that a lack of self-esteem doesn’t stand in the way of students working their hardest in school.
6. The Middle Years Programme recognizes academic learning skills.
Like all IB programmes, the Middle Years Programme emphasizes effective learning, rather than solely the curriculum taught. Practising good study habits, critical thinking skills, cooperation and independence fosters lifelong learners who are naturally inclined to learn quicker, make connections, inquire and innovate creative solutions. Skills like these will carry students from the MYP into the IB Diploma or Career-related Programmes, university and beyond.
7. Students get the personal support they need.
Students have a multitude of diverse learning styles, and the IB recognizes how important it is to identify the most effective method of teaching a single student, rather than generalizing. Standard school programmes do not invest nearly as much time and attention to individual students, whereas the MYP personalises support according to individual students’ needs. One of the main goals of the IB MYP is to wholly support students, treating them as unique individuals with unique strengths, weaknesses, prospects and interests. This individualised approach contributes to students’ growth of confidence as they receive exceptional support, and it allows students to realize their strengths and pursue their passions.
8. Students have more opportunities to grow interests and talents outside of academia.
IB MYP schools make for more opportunities for the individual student. Students are always encouraged to hone a variety of skills — there is significantly more opportunity accessible to one student. Auditioning for the school play or trying out for the soccer team is less daunting in a tight-knit community of students, and having these opportunities gives the student a wholesome education that also allows for passions outside of academics.
9. Students learn to apply classroom material to real-world, global contexts.
Along with learning subjects in conjunction with one another, the IB MYP also teaches students to make connections to the real world. This promotes students’ lifelong learning in growing to understand concepts with connection to real life. Moreover, the MYP curriculum fosters intercultural understanding, as students learn about cultures other than their own and understand how to apply the new material to life on an international, multicultural scale. Students are not only well-versed in a wide range of subjects, but they are also engaged in the world around them.
10. The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is globally recognised and highly regarded.
Lastly, the IB Middle Years Programme is an internationally renowned programme. Over 1,300 schools in more than 100 countries offer the IB MYP because it is so versatile, grounded in the real world, encouraging for students’ personal growth and focussed on preparation for future grades. Graduates of the MYP are young people with creative, analytical minds who value hard work and are enthusiastic about their success.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of the IB Middle Years Programme or the IBO, visit the organisation’s website here.
Founded in 1961, the International School of Berne (ISBerne) is a private day school for students aged 3 to 18 in Switzerland and we are an International Baccalaureate World School. Through dynamic and hands-on learning opportunities offered in and outside the classroom, a rigorous academic programme, community and service orientated experiences, and the international cultures represented by our community, ISBerne connects students to the greater world around them. Learn more about the MYP at ISBerne.
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- Middle School