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IB Middle Years Programme

St. John's is implementing the IB Middle Years Programme (Grades 6-10) to become an IB school throughout (having been an IB school in the Elementary School and High School since 1978.)

Each student is challenged to achieve personal excellence in academics, arts, athletics, and social emotional learning. 

Students are enrolled in eight core subjects: math, science, English, French, social studies, world religions, physical education, and advisory. All students engage in a year-long rotation in drama, music and visual art courses, and every student selects two preference courses per year. Preferences include: third language study, astronomy, forensics, food and textile studies, media production, and a course in design thinking called Passion Project.

The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community.

Teaching and learning in the MYP is underpinned by the following concepts:

Teaching and learning in context

Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world that they have experienced.

Using global contexts, MYP students develop an understanding of their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet through developmentally appropriate explorations of:

  • identities and relationships
  • personal and cultural identity
  • orientations in space and time
  • scientific and technical innovation
  • fairness and development
  • globalisation and sustainability.

Conceptual understanding

Concepts are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically. The MYP prescribes sixteen key interdisciplinary concepts along with related concepts for each discipline. 

Approaches to learning

A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning (ATL) provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self-management skills helps students learn how to learn. 

Service as action, through community service 

Action and service have always been shared values of the IB community.

Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Service as action is an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.


The Advisory program has an important role in Middle School. Students of this age are going through many changes and need a safe environment for discussion where their voices are heard— a safe place to discuss whatever is important to the individual whether social or academic, in the knowledge that someone is listening. Small groups are central to the program, enabling an holistic approach. The advisor gets to know each advisee, and the students in the group learn to support each other.

The advisor gets to know each advisee, and the students in the group learn to support each other.

The core curriculum of Advisory is based on a social and personal development course. Students meet several times a week and participate in a variety of activities that allow them to develop important fundamental skills key to this age. These activities include role play, work sheets, writing, discussion, problem solving and team work. Additionally, celebrations, physical activities, community service activities and unstructured discussion will take place as the opportunity arises. Students work with their advisors to develop the self-assessment skills necessary for preparation of the spring student-led parent-teacher conferences.

Areas of development include:MS Group

  • responsibility and self-confidence
  • effective communication and cooperation
  • positive relationships with family and friends
  • organizational and decision-making skills
  • goal setting
  • time management and study skills
  • cultural awareness
  • health issues

For course descriptions and information brochures, please visit the Downloads section.