Middle Years Curriculum | SISD

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is a holistic programme in that it requires students to develop depth of knowledge across a broad curriculum. The MYP is organised around three main principles: multilingualism, intercultural understanding and holistic learning. The curriculum is organised around building conceptual understanding in a discipline-based model with interdisciplinary units in each year. Students develop academic skills organised into ten skill clusters known as the Approaches to Learning (ATL). The MYP culminates in the new MYP eAssessment suite of onscreen exams and eportfolios for the award of the IB MYP Certificate.

Elise Furr Swiss School Dubai

Elise Furr – Head of Secondary – “The Diploma Programme is often referred to as the gold standard in education and research shows that DP graduates are much more likely to be enrolled at top higher education institutions than entrants holding other qualifications.

Our passion and commitment to the IB extends throughout the whole school. At SISD , the Diploma Programme equips our students with the skills  for university, the workplace, and also for life.  The soft skills that students develop as part of the IB Learner Profile are unparalleled   The focus on conceptual understanding and the transfer of knowledge to unfamiliar situations is at the heart of IB learning. Additionally, the core components for example, enrich and strengthen the rigour of the programme and develop students in ways of thinking that permeate all the subject groups. Students are able to be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge and to rrecognise the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world, in a world post-covid. 

The IB is the education benchmark of the future, and as one of the only continuum schools in the world, we will ensure our students have the best chance of success.

The curriculum consists of eight subject groups:

  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition (or a second Language & Literature subject)
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Design

The MYP core comprises three additional components:

  • Interdisciplinary Learning is focused on developing interdisciplinary and critical-thinking skills. The interdisciplinary units involve two or more disciplines working together to explore a topic with more breadth. There is a strong focus on the transfer of knowledge and skills across disciplines to develop deeper conceptual understanding.
  • The Community and Personal Projects involve students working collaboratively (Community Project) and independently (Personal Project) on a topic or community need of their own choosing and under supervision completing an investigation related to their own areas of interest and particular talents.
  • Service as Action (SAA) in the MYP is built on a similar model to and introduces the Diploma Programme CAS component. The focus of SAA is to provide authentic, real life extensions to the academic programme which benefit communities and provide in many cases an experiential learning element. While it is not formally assessed, it is monitored qualitatively and completion is a requirement for every year of the programme.

Grades and Assessment

Each examined subject is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum) as a final grade. This grade is determined by how students perform against four assessment criteria in each subject. Through a programme of continuous assessment, students demonstrate progress against the assessment criteria throughout the year and final achievement levels determine the final IB grade. On completion of the fifth year of the programme, students take final onscreen exams and – if successful – are awarded the IB MYP Certificate.

At SISD, all our students undertake the externally-moderated eAssessment, which provides students with an internationally-recognised qualification. Universities recognize this as an alternative to other equivalent qualifications taken at age 16.


Students in the MYP pathway attend four weekly lessons of French or German as an additional language. As they learn to communicate perfectly in English, they also move towards fluency in French or German with intensive Arabic lessons.

Students in the bilingual MYP pathway study certain disciplines in French or German and others in English. The bilingual students who take subjects in French or German as well as English are eligible for the award of the bilingual MYP Certificate on completion of the programme.

At any point during a student’s SISD school career a change from the bilingual MYP to MYP will be discussed if progress reports, language support provisions and teacher feedback recommend this transition to the student’s academic benefit.

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