IB MYP Curriculum (Form 1 to Form 3)

The Middle Years Programme at Creative Secondary School

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) is the framework through which we teach the Hong Kong Junior secondary curriculum to our students. The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups which provide a broad and balanced education for our students and has the flexibility to allow students to meet the requirements of the eight Key Learning Areas in the Hong Kong curriculum:


The IB Learner Profile
The IB learner profile describes a wide range of traits and attitudes that support, but go beyond, academic success.
The learner profile aims to develop learners who are:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective


The CSS Learner Attributes


Programme Model

IBMYP wheel


There are 8 subject groups in the IB Middle Years Programme: 

 Subject Area

 More Details  Hong Kong KLA
Language and LIterature (LL) This is usually the student's 'first' or strongest language. If a student knows both languages very well, they may sometimes do 2 LLs (Chinese and English) and no LA English & Chinese Language Education 
Language Acquisition (LA) This is the student's second or additional language (Chinese or English). The IB does not permit an MYP student to study two LA language course English, NCS Chinese Language Education
Individuals and Societies (I&S)

This subject is known as Humanities in many schools. In F1-F3 students study this as an integrated course.
In F4 students study Liberal Studies and may also choose electives such as Economics, Geography and History

Personal, Social & Humanities Education

In F1-F2 students study an integrated Science course. In F3, students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics on a 'carousel' (for a third of a year each)
In F4 students may choose Biology, Chemistry and Physics as electives

Science Education
Mathematics All students study Mathematics throughout MYP Mathematics Education

This is taught as Design Technology, ICT and Food Technology. In F1-F2, students study each of these three subject specialisms on a 'carousel' (for a third of a year each). In F3, students opt to study one of these, may continue to study it as an elective in F4

Technology Education

This is taught as Drama, Music and Visual Arts. In F1-F2, students study each of these three subject specialisms on a 'carousel' (for a third of a year each). In F3, students study one of these and may continue to study it as an elective in F4

Arts Education
Physical and Health Education (PE) All students take PE throughout F1 to F4 Physical Education






















Global Contexts

Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world. Each unit has a global context. By exploring this context, students are able to connect their learning to the wider world, developing an understanding of international mindedness and their common humanity.
The 6 global contexts are:
  • 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 (below) along with related concepts for each discipline.


 Arts  I&S  L&L  LA  PHE  Science  Maths  Design
 Time Places Space                
 Global Interactions                


Approaches to learning

Taught throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning (ATL) provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of knowledge, concepts and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self-management skills helps students learn how to learn.
Service and 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 and action are an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.
The Community Project
The Community Project is the culminating point of our MYP. It gives students an opportunity to find a genuine need to be addressed, to plan and implement meaningful action, and to present a report on their experience to an audience of students, parents and teachers. It is internally assessed according to MYP criteria. Students will carry out the project in small groups, each of which will be supervised by a teacher.
Inclusion and learning diversity in MYP
As part of the MYP curriculum, schools address differentiation within the written, taught and assessed curriculum. This is demonstrated in the unit planner and in the teaching environment, both of which are reviewed during programme authorisation and evaluation. The MYP allows schools to continue to meet state, provincial or national legal requirements for students with access needs. 


Formative and Summative Assessment

Formative Assessment

The aim of formative assessment is to gather feedback that can be used by the teacher and the students to guide improvements in on-going teaching and learning.
These are low stakes assessments. Formative assessment can be quite formal (a short test, an essay plan, a practice assessment). It can also be informal, including asking questions verbally or listening to a group discussion.

Summative Assessment 

The aim of summative assessment is to measure the level of proficiency that has been achieved at the end of a unit, a comparison against a standard or benchmark. In our case we have MYP assessment criteria to guide us.
Examples of summative assessments include projects, exhibitions and performances, essays, reports and exams.


Summative Assessment at CSS

We do not have an extended exam period during any year of the MYP. Some subjects will be assessed via exams or tests in some units, but a wide range of other summative assessment tools will be used as well. One of the aims of the MYP is to provide 'authentic' assessments which put learning into a real-world context.

Assessment Criteria and Grades

Each subject area addresses 4 overall subject objectives over the course of a year. When we summatively assess these, they are called assessment criteria.

These are the assessment criteria for the subject areas and projects:

MYP Assessment Criteria

 A  B  C  D
Arts Knowing and understanding Developing skills Thinking creatively Responding
Design Inquiring and analysing Developing ideas Creating the solution Evaluating
Individuals and Societies Knowing and understanding Investigating Communicating Thinking critically
Language and Literature Analysing Organizing Producing text Using language
Language Acquisition Comprehending spoken and visual text Comprehending written and visual text Communicating Using language
Mathematics Knowing and understanding Investigating patterns Communicating Applying mathematics in real-world contexts
Physical Education Knowing and understanding Planning for performance Applying and performing Reflecting and improving performance
Sciences Knowing and understanding Inquiring and designing Processing and evaluating Reflecting on the impacts of science
Projects Investigating Planning for performance Taking Action Reflecting
Inter-disciplinary learning Disciplinary grounding Synthesizing and applying Communicating



How students' levels are arrived at in an assessment

For each subject:
  • Each unit has a summative assessment task (or tasks), assessed according to one or more MYP criteria to ensure continuous assessment and feedback of students' performance against the MYP objectives.
  • The number of criteria assessed in one unit will usually depend on the length of the unit
  • When the assessment task is completed, the teacher awards a level (1-8, where 8 is highest) for each of the criteria being assessed
  • The level (1-8) is based on the IB's guidelines. There are clear criteria to show what is required to reach each level
  • Teachers then work together to standardise their marks for that task, to make sure that they are all marking at the same level
  • Over the course of the year, students will be assessed in each part of each of the 4 criteria at least twice - teachers must have sufficient evidence to be able to make a professional and informed judgment


How we decide on overall levels in each criterion:

  • Teachers award an overall level for each criterion (1-8)
  • This level is based primarily on students' performance in the summative assessments, but may also take into consideration achievement in formative assessment
  • The overall level is not simply based on an average of scores in assessments or just the latest score
  • The teacher gathers evidence for the judgment by analysing the achievement levels of students over the course of the marking period or year, which represents their summative performance for that period, paying particular attention to patterns in the data (such as an increasing level of performance), consistency and mitigating circumstances.
  • The judgments will reflect the teacher's professional opinion on the achievement level of each student in each of the criteria at the end of the marking period or year


Turning the levels into a final subject grade

  • Once the teacher has decided on the achievement level in each criterion, the marks (1-8) are added together to give an overall score out of 32
  • This score out of 32 is then turned into an overall subject grade from 1-7, where 7 is highest 
  • The grade descriptors give a general picture of how the student is performing in the subject, according to the table below:





 1  1 - 5

Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Very rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge or skills.

 2  6 - 9

Produces work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and context. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills.

 3  10 - 14

Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts, with occasionally significant misunderstandings or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classroom situations.

 4  15 - 18

Produces good-quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstandings and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations, but requires support in unfamiliar situations.

 5  19 - 23

Produces generally high-quality work. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.

 6  24 - 27

Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real-world situations, often with independence.

 7  28 - 32

Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skill will independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations.

External Assessment
The IB has introduced optional eAssessment, which is externally assessed. This happens at the end of the final year of a MYP Programme which includes a Personal Project. We have decided not to take part in this assessment because we feel that taking part in eAssessment would distract students from the HKDSE. We have therefore switched to a new version of the IB MYP which operates over three years, culminating with the Community Project at the end of Form 3. The 2017 - 18 cohort of Form 4 students will be our last cohort undertaking the previous version of the MYP which includes a Personal Project.
Other References