IMYC (Years 7 to 9)

The International Middle Years Curriculum improves the way that 11-14 year olds learn.

It is a challenging, engaging, internationally-minded, concept-focused curriculum designed specifically for the unique learning needs of 11-14 year olds in lower secondary.

The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) helps your students to make meaning of their learning by:

  • Linking all subject learning to a conceptual theme
  • Responding to the specific developmental needs of 11-14 year olds
  • Working towards understanding through a personal and global perspective

Linking all subject learning to a conceptual theme

Each IMYC unit of work follows a conceptual theme known as the big idea. Neuroscientists say the brain learns ‘associatively’, always looking for patterns and linking to previous learning. In primary schools, teachers often find these links for students and regularly mention links between discreet subjects’ learning.

The organisation of secondary school teaching and learning is often within departments, resulting in students suddenly having the responsibility of finding their own links in their learning. The aim of the IMYC is to help students develop the habit of identifying links in their learning for themselves through linking all learning with the Big Idea. The IMYC links the knowledge, skills and understanding of each subject to the most appropriate Big Idea.

Responding to the specific developmental needs of 11-14 year olds

The adolescent brain is undergoing major changes, mainly maturation of the prefrontal cortex and specialisation. This involves ‘pruning’ connections between brain cells and changed behaviours. We typically see increased risk taking, Increased sensation seeking, and greater peer affiliation according to Dr Jay N Giedd (MD), currently Chief of the Unit on Brain Imaging in the Child Psychiatry of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) USA at their conference in New York.

The International Middle Years Curriculum has been designed to respond to these specific needs of the adolescent brain. As a result, each IMYC unit of work provides opportunities for students to work with and learn from peers, to lead their own learning and to take risks, to tackle a wide range of self-directed investigation, to experience security and familiarity through a consistent learning process, to reflect upon their learning and to connect their learning to the world around them.

Working towards understanding through a personal and global perspective

Journaling throughout IMYC units help students to reflect and link their subject learning throughout the unit developing understanding and making personal meaning from the perspectives of ‘self’ and ‘other’. Students then represent what the Big Idea means to them personally and from a global perspective through their creative media project exit point.

The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) helps your teachers to connect learning by:

  • Interlinking Learning
  • Preparing students for the next stage of learning
  • Being part of a worldwide community to share learning experiences, ideas and resources

Interlinking Learning

To help students link their learning, the IMYC asks all subject teachers to collaborate to connect all subject learning to the Big Idea.

Although subject learning remains independent and rigorous, it also forms part of a whole, interdependent unit. Subject teachers connect through the conceptual idea and collaborate during various stages of the IMYC process of learning. Experience has shown that this teacher collaboration helps to develop a shared focus on student learning.

Preparing students for the next stage of learning

IMYC learning builds upon enquiry-based thematic primary and helps teachers to prepare students for the next stage of their learning.

This includes the development of foundation subject knowledge and skills that students need for GCSE, iGCSE, IB Diploma and A levels; skills required for complex researching and recording, for presenting and for using a range of media forms to present learning. In addition, the personal and international skills that students develop throughout their learning with the IMYC also provide crucial foundations for their senior school learning and even for future work opportunities.

The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) helps your students to develop their minds by:

  • Delivering rigorous and transformational knowledge, skills and understanding
  • Creating a challenging, student-led learning environment
  • Providing assessment for learning for students, and support for teachers

Delivering rigorous and transformational knowledge, skills and understanding

The IMYC focuses on acquiring essential and transformational subject knowledge and development of subject skills. These are achieved using clear learning goals, differentiating between knowledge, skills and understanding goals for all subject, personal and international learning.

The IMYC also focuses on the slow, steady progress towards deeper understanding. The Big Idea provides a context to the subject learning which helps students to develop deeper understanding of their learning. Journaling and the exit points provide time and place for students to crystallise their learning by developing understanding and expressing it through a creative project linking their learning to the big idea of the unit.

Creating a challenging, student-led learning environment

The IMYC is an enquiry-based curriculum. Individual and collaborative research and recording tasks all linked to the Big Idea, supporting subject teachers in facilitating student-led, subject-based learning. Learning tasks provide opportunities for students to regularly problem solve, to think creatively, and to develop personal skills such as resilience, communication and adaptability.

Each exit point asks students to combine their understanding from the unit of work; showing how all their learning links though the Big Idea and what that means means to them personally and in a real world context.  The work in planning and producing these projects provides opportunities for extensive creative and student-led learning and, as students share in the presentations of their peers, more new learning and creativity is shared.

Learning Goals

The Learning Goals are the foundation on which the International Middle Years Curriculum is built.  Well written learning goals guide teaching and learning and help to focus assessment and evaluation.

Everything in the IMYC is based on these learning goals which outline the knowledge, skills and understanding across all of the subjects and international mindedness, as well as the personal dispositions students need to develop through this period. From the learning goals come the learning targets.


Homework

Homework is given to enable our students to practice skills and consolidate knowledge introduced in class. Daily reading at home is an integral part of a pupil‘s homework. In Year 7 to Year 8 the children are given approximately 45-90 minutes of written/practical homework a day. Whereas, in Year 9 this increases to 1-2 hours a day, we expect the children to complete their homework independently and difficulties should be reported to your child‘s teacher, so that help may be given.

IGCSE ( Years 10 and 11)

IGCSE courses are world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. Not only is it truly international – it gives students more options than any other international qualification. That means more subjects to choose from, more ways to learn and more ways to succeed.

The Cambridge IGCSE curriculum offers a variety of routes for learners with a wide range of abilities, including those whose first language is not English. For learners, Cambridge IGCSE helps improve performance by developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving. It is the perfect springboard to advanced study.

Cambridge IGCSE develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • Subject content
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
  • Intellectual enquiry
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to change
  • Working and communicating in English
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness.

Cambridge IGCSE assessment takes place at the end of the course and can include written, oral, coursework and practical assessment. This broadens opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, particularly when their first language is not English. In many subjects there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities.

Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standard of achievement for each grade.

Cambridge IGCSE examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and November. Results are issued in August and January.

Cambridge qualifications are accepted and valued by many leading universities and employers around the world.

Over 600 universities in the US accept Cambridge International AS & A Levels, including all Ivy League and Ivy Plus universities. These universities include Brown, Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale. In the UK, all universities accept Cambridge qualifications.

AS & A Levels ( Years 12 & 13 )

Thousands of learners worldwide gain places at leading universities every year with Cambridge International AS & A Levels. The syllabuses develop a deep understanding of subjects and independent thinking skills. Cambridge International A Level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year. Some subjects can be started as a Cambridge International AS Level and extended to a Cambridge International A Level.

Cambridge International AS & A Level develops learners’ knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • In-depth subject content
  • Independent thinking
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
  • Handling and evaluating different types of information source
  • Thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments
  • Making judgements, recommendations and decisions
  • Presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly
  • Working and communicating in English.

Learners can choose from a range of assessment options to gain Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications:

  1. Take the Cambridge International AS Level only. The syllabus content is half a Cambridge International A Level.
  2. Take a ‘staged’ assessment route – take the Cambridge International AS Level in one examination series and complete the final Cambridge International A Level at a subsequent series. AS Level marks can be carried forward to a full A Level twice within a 13 month period.*
  3. Take all papers of the Cambridge International A Level course in the same examination session, usually at the end of the course.

Cambridge International AS & A Level examination series are held twice a year, in June and November. Results are issued in August and January.

The International School of Zanzibar is the only registered Cambridge Testing center in Zanzibar.