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 Middle Years Program

Designed for younger adolescents in Grades 7 to 10, the Middle Years Program (MYP) engages students in a liberal arts program that provides a solid platform for future studies in all disciplines

The program also teaches students the essential skills for learning how to learn, as well as their own unique learning strengths and areas for growth.

The MYP focuses on the development of the whole girl, and it includes learning in arts, athletics, and developing skills and interests. MYP students also learn to take on leadership roles and community service activities.

The IB Middle Years Program is a liberal arts program in which students study English, mathematics, sciences, technology, physical and health education, the arts (drama, music, visual art), humanities and a foreign language every year.

When our Grade 6 students progress from the Junior School to the Middle School, they are already adept at structuring their inquiries; examining information sources for bias; assessing what they have learned and what they still need to learn; and planning their next steps. They respect the viewpoints of others and have a strong sense of the issues facing the world. These students are thoroughly prepared for Grades 7 through 10, in which the IB's Middle Years Program philosophy has become integral. New girls at these levels are absorbed quickly into the learning structure and supported constantly.

By the end of Grade 8, all Branksome girls have already earned five Grade 9 ("reach-ahead") credits. With the support of their advisor and guidance counsellor, these adolescents learn to balance studies, athletics, community service and creative expression as they strengthen their capacity for time management.

The MYP prepares our students for the IB Diploma Program, through a learning experience carefully tailored to the needs of adolescent girls. In these years, students develop critical-thinking skills and the capacity for teamwork as they strengthen their work habits, sense of independence and organizational abilities. Information and communications technology and the development of solid approaches to learning are also integrated into the MYP curriculum. All Grade 7 students undertake a week-long inquiry project, at the end of the school year, through which they demonstrate and solidify their inquiry skills and approaches to learning.

The MYP curriculum requires the development of communications skills, both verbal and non-verbal, and intercultural awareness. Its holistic approach to education helps students link what they learn to their personal experience, emphasizing interdisciplinary connections. Guidance counsellors and teacher librarians help teachers convey and assess essential learning skills.

Five inquiry areas
Five areas provide perspective for students' inquiry, helping them to understand the relevance of the curriculum and make connections across subjects and to the world outside the school:

1 ​ Approaches to Learning: Students develop skills to learn how to learn, and to understand the thought processes necessary for effective critical, coherent and independent thought and inquiry.​ ​

2 ​ Community and Service: Through participation in community service programs, students gain an understanding of how they can contribute to their communities. ​

3 ​ Health and Social Education: Students develop the understanding and skills necessary to support a physically and emotionally healthy life. They also deepen their sense of responsibility for their own well-being and for the health of their physical and social environment. ​

4 ​ The Environment: Students develop understanding of their interdependence with the world at large, to help them accept responsibility for maintaining sustainable communities and environments. Through curricular activities, students grapple with political, environmental and economic issues at play in their homes, school and local communities. They gain appreciation for the balanced thinking required for effective decision making in the modern world. ​

5 ​ Human Ingenuity: Students learn to appreciate the human capacity to influence, transform, enjoy and improve the quality of life by studying creative genius and its impact on society and the human mind. They are encouraged to see the relationships between science, aesthetics, technology and ethics. ​

The arts
Branksome's MYP also encourages girls to develop their self-expression through engagement in the arts. Our curriculum is structured so that, by the end of Grade 8, students have already earned 6.5 Grade 9 credits in music, drama, visual art, physical education, information technology, geography and learning strategies.

Advisor groups
Starting in Grade 7, students are assigned to a faculty advisor, in groups of approximately 10 girls, ensuring that each individual receives the care and support she needs.

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