From PYP to MYP is a natural step

Contribution by Ms Evelyne Le Poole and Ms Sandip Jagdev

The transition from primary to secondary is often seen by parents and students as a big step. However, the skills and knowledge our students gain throughout PYP, prepare them to succeed in MYP. The focus in both programs on the Approaches to learning (ATL’s) equips students with the necessary skills.

You could say transitioning from PYP to MYP is a natural ‘ next step’ in their learning journey.

Connections between PYP and MYP
PYP students study and explore six transdisciplinary themes of global significance that offer students the opportunity to explore the commonalities of human experience.

They are described as transdisciplinary, because they focus on issues that transfer across subject areas. MYP students connect their learning with their life and the world through the use of Global Contexts. The MYP has identified 6 global contexts for teaching and learning, that extend from the PYP transdisciplinary themes.

Approaches to learning in PYP

  • The PYP Approaches to learning (ATL) are 5 sets of interrelated skills, designed to support transfer of learning between curricular areas.
  • These are Thinking skills, Research skills, Communication skills, Social skills and Self-management skills.
  • Teachers work with children to help with the development and application of these skills.
  • The ATL skills are extensively worked on and highlighted during the PYP exhibition. By continuously working on these skills we can prepare the students to prepare naturally for the MYP.

Middle Years Programme

MYP students continue to develop their knowledge, concepts and skills by studying eight subject areas through the 6 global contexts (see above). Each subject is taught through their key-concept and related concepts with links to the global context. Each subject area needs to assess their criteria (A,B,C,D) two times a year. Each year level is also involved in at least one interdisciplinary project every year to enhance their learning.

Throughout the MYP, students are involved with Service as an Action. Just as the PYP culminates in the PYP exhibition, the MYP does that in the Personal Project in MYP 5.

Further developing ATL skills in the MYP
The focus on Approaches to Learning skills (ATL’s) is to help students to develop the self-knowledge and skills they need to enjoy a lifetime of learning. ATL skills empower students to succeed in meeting the challenging objectives of the MYP subject groups and they prepare the students for further success in the rigorous DP programme.

These ATL skills are transferable across their courses and into the students personal lives They are worked on in each unit, throughout all the years of the MYP programme. The Personal Project in MYP 5 provides students with the opportunity to showcase these skills before they take the next step into the diploma programme.

The IB Learner Profile
Finally, students, as well as staff and parents, are encouraged to recognize and support the learner profile attributes. They are promoted and talked about from PYP to DP onwards.
By allowing students to follow these attributes, we can prepare them to be internationally-minded lifelong learners.