Meeting the MYP

I am inspired to write an article about the new Middle Years Programme (MYP), because it seems confusing for students and even some teachers. Read this article to see both the pros and cons of the new MYP system that has been hoisted on us like a boulder.

Firstly, formative tests, or tests which are used to assess your knowledge informally, are graded out of seven. Whereas when you do a summative test, or a formal exam, it is out of eight. This is puzzling to many students. One student mused that all the grades are not valid and this seems odd: “…if you receive a 3 as a grade, as well as a five, and a 6, the 3 is
not going to be valid, and only the 5 is seen because it is in the middle of both grades, and also it depends on which criteria the 3 is in.”

Therefore, I met with La Chataigneraie’s MYP Leader, Nigel Reid, to see if he could shed some light on the assessment process. The MYP Coordinator and our Assistant principal of year 7 -9 is called Aurelia Thompson-McNicol. The process of giving La Chats middle school an MYP curriculum began last year with year 7, and now they have added year 8. Teachers attend MYP team meetings every week.

The school changed the programme to improve the previous curriculum and to allow more options to link it to the existing Primary Years Programme (PYP) in La Chats primary school. This makes students less stressed abut tests. The old middle school program did not have a name. It was La Chat’s own program, designed by teachers here. This new programme is also developed by the teachers here, but it follows the general IB guidelines given. The teachers didn’t choose to make summative tests out of eight: each subject has four criteria, “A, B, C and D,” and it depends on the subject, but each criterion has eight maximum. So, if you took all four criteria, you would get 32, and that 32 is the way they simplify the grade. For example, when you say you got a school seven, that is between 28 – 32 points. If you only did two criteria, you divide it by two, so that’s 16. The school scale has always been from one to seven, and The International Baccalaureate Organization, or the IBO, are the ones who give the grade.

Here is the link to the general MYP grade description =

By Camille Cigognini, year 7

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