Middle Years Programme curriculum



The curriculum is illustrated by an octagon with eight academic areas or subject groups surrounding the five areas of interaction. The personal project appears at the centre.


The emphasis is on the fluidity of the curricular framework and the interrelatedness of the subjects. Aspects of the areas of interaction are addressed naturally through the distinct disciplines. In particular, the framework is flexible enough to allow a school to include other subjects not determined by the IB but which may be required by state or national authorities.

The overall philosophy of the programme is expressed through three fundamental concepts that support and strengthen all areas of the curriculum. These concepts are based on:

intercultural awareness

holistic learning


Under certain conditions, schools may deliver the programme in any language, although IB services are provided in:

• English
• French
• Spanish
• Chinese.

Where local conditions prevent a school teaching all five years of the programme, authorization may be granted for that school to teach the programme over fewer years.

Taken as a whole, the curriculum provides a balanced education that will equip young people for effective participation in the modern world.

Language B

The primary aim of language B is to encourage students to gain competence in a modern language other than their mother tongue, with the long-term goal of balanced bilingualism.

In addition, the study of language B aims to:

• encourage in the student a respect for and understanding of other languages and cultures
• provide a skills base to facilitate further language learning.
Proficiency in a second language gives students:

• access to a broader range of input, experiences and perspectives
• the enjoyment of being able to communicate in a language other than their mother tongue.

It is also acknowledged that learning another language greatly contributes to the holistic development of students and is believed to raise achievement in other subject areas.

Areas of interaction


The five areas of interaction are:

• approaches to learning
• community and service
• human ingenuity
• environments
• health and social education.

These provide the main focus for developing the connections between the disciplines, so that students will learn to see knowledge as an interrelated, coherent whole.

More particularly, the five areas of interaction:

• are embedded in the subjects and developed naturally through them
• provide both an organization and an extension of learning within and across the subjects, through the exploration of real-life issues
• inspire special activities and interdisciplinary projects
• form part of the framework for student inquiry and take investigative learning further than subject boundaries
• are a vehicle for refining conceptual understanding through different perspectives
• guide reflection and lead from knowledge to thoughtful action.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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