The Middle School
Students between 11 and 14 are starting to move away from childhood into early adolescence. At this age, children become more independent yet still need guidance and support from adults. At the International School of Port of Spain, we place a lot of emphasis on developing personal and social skills to cope with this change. A careful balance is needed with their academic skills, to ensure subject-specific concepts and skills grow as they move through the years at ISPS.
In their academic studies, ISPS middle school students find a balance between the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills and the development of conceptual understandings. It is our belief that students need to do more than simply learn content. What will be key to future success is the ability to analyse what they know, examine what they learn, synthesize learning, and develop deeper understandings as well as create new ideas. Our model prepares our middle school students for their transition into high school and pursue their unique potential. To balance their academics, middle school students are encouraged to participate in a variety of after-school activities.
All Middle School students participate in the Exploratory programme, which offers students a chance to explore fields of their own interest. At the beginning of each quarter, students choose from a range of academic, vocational and recreational exploratory courses. Our exploratory classes may include: Community Service Projects, Debate, Cooking, Choir, Crafts, Digital Design, Ultimate Frisbee, Dance, Steel Pan Orchestra, and others (offerings change throughout the year). Grade 7 offers an innovative outdoors-program through the Sciences, sometimes combining with English Language Arts and Individuals & Societies.
Teachers encourage close contact with parents to gain further insight into their growth and concerns as they mature into young adults. If any student is struggling, in any way, the middle school team works together with the counselor, nurse, homeroom teachers and others to help provide support.
The Middle Years curriculum is designed to be engaging, preparing students to act with confidence and integrity as caring global citizens. Through guided, collaborative and personal inquiry, the programme helps students grow holistically as learners and global citizens.
Students in MYP study a wide range of subjects in a well-rounded and well-balanced course of study using approaches set out by the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). In all subjects, the courses are designed to go beyond just the acquisition of knowledge and skills, as learning is linked through key concepts that bring real-world perspectives to the classroom. Learning is inquiry-based, meaning students are encouraged to ask questions and to pursue learning because they want to find the answers. Students then use what they learn by applying it to other subjects and other situations.
MYP Curriculum Model
The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents. They provide a broad, traditional foundation of knowledge, while the teaching activities and strategies used aim to increase the students’ awareness of the relationships between the subjects. Students are encouraged to question and evaluate information critically, to seek out and explore the links between subjects, and to develop an awareness of their own place in the world.
At ISPS, we offer English Language Arts, Individuals & Societies (IS), Mathematics, Science, Spanish, and Physical & Health Education (PHE). Design Technology is integrated throughout the Middle Years Programme curriculum. Students receive year-round instruction in the Arts. We offer Visual Arts and two performing arts: Dance and Music.
A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning (ATL), provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of students’ knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self-management skills help students learn how to learn.
For more guidance on MYP curriculum, please use the following link: MYP booklet
The Grading System
The school year consists of at least 180 instructional days divided into semesters and quarters. Parents and students can monitor progress in all MYP subjects through our online gradebook. Formal reports are issued at the end of each quarter and semester. The MYP assessment criteria offer a rigorous evaluation of a student’s academic achievement, while ISPS also reports on a student’s overall approach to learning skills.
For more guidance on MYP assessment, please use the following link: MYP Assessment booklet