Middle School Program
Language and Literature
Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, therefore it permeates the whole curriculum. The power of language is best experienced through quality literature. The study of language and literature enables students to become highly proficient in their understanding and use of their language. Students need to develop an appreciation of language and literature, of the nature of language and literature, of the many influences on language and literature, and of the power and beauty of language and literature. They will be encouraged to recognize that proficiency in language is a valuable life skill, a powerful tool both in societal communication and as a means of personal reflection. Learning that language and literature are creative processes encourages the development of imagination and creativity through self-expression.
MYP Language and Literature is academically rigorous, and equips students with linguistic, analytical and communicative skills that can also be used in an interdisciplinary manner across all other subject groups. There are six skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting, which develop as both independent and interdependent skills. Students develop these skills through the study of both language and literature. The choice of texts also provides opportunities for and influences students in further developing the attributes of the IB learner profile.
The IB acknowledges that learning additional languages greatly contributes to the holistic development of students and to the strengthening of lifelong learning skills. Language is central to learning, as well as to literacy. The purpose of Language Acquisition is to enable students to become competent in a language other than their mother tongue, and is based around proficiency in speaking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to communicate as far as possible in the target language and to learn about the parts of the world in which their language of choice is spoken. This knowledge should in turn develop understanding of and nurture respect for cultures other than their own. (Adapted from MYP Language Acquisition Guide)
At Newman, in Grade 7 and 8 we offer instruction in Spanish.
The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of engaging us in effective, imaginative and productive activity. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and understanding of the world, while providing opportunities to develop self-confidence, resilience and adaptability. (Adapted from MYP Arts Guide)
At Newman, students will be instructed in Visual Art and General Music.
Individuals and Societies/Social Studies
Individuals and Societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with a skills base appropriate for a learner in the 21st century. Individuals and Societies involves inquiring into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural contexts that influence and have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. (Adapted from MYP Individuals and Societies Guide)
Mathematics plays an essential role both within the school and in society. It promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract and critical thinking. Moreover, understanding and being able to use mathematics with confidence is not only an advantage in school but also a skill for problem- solving and decision-making in everyday life. Mathematics is well known as a foundation for the study of sciences, engineering and technology. However, it is also increasingly important in other areas of knowledge such as economics and other social sciences. MYP mathematics aims to equip all students with the knowledge, understanding and intellectual capabilities to address further courses in mathematics, as well as to prepare those students who will use mathematics in their workplace and life in general. (Adapted from MYP Mathematics Guide)
The vision of MYP sciences is to contribute to the development of students as inquirers, scientifically literate, caring and responsible individuals who will think critically and creatively when solving problems and making decisions about aspects affecting them- selves, others and their social and natural environments. Science and its methods of investigation offer a way of learning that contributes to the development of an analytical and critical way of thinking. Inquiry is at the heart of MYP sciences and aims to support students’ understanding of sciences by providing them with opportunities to independently investigate relevant issues through both research and experimentation. Learning science relies on understanding and using the language of science, which involves more than simply learning technical scientific terminology. Science is taught in an investigative approach, providing students with a way of knowing through inquiry that contributes to the development of analytical and critical thinking. Science topics are designed to be relevant to the needs and interests of students, providing them with opportunities to explore the role of science in everyday life and the dynamic interactions between science and society.(Adapted from IB MYP Science Guide)
Technology and technological developments have given rise to profound changes in society, transforming how we access and process information, how we communicate with others and how we work and solve problems. The MYP holistic approach to teaching and learning acknowledges that inquiry and problem solving contribute to students’ development of thinking skills and strategies that will equip them to face the rapidly changing demands of the 21st century. MYP technology aims to provide the means and the context to help students become skillful problem solvers, who can appreciate the role of technology in everyday life and society and who can respond critically and resourcefully to real life challenges. (Adapted from IB MYP Design Guide)
Physical & Health Education
Physical education in the MYP is concerned with more than just participating in sports and games. Its primary aims are to encourage the development of “intelligent performers” and to encourage students to understand the importance of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Throughout the three years of the MYP, students should develop knowledge, critical thinking and reflection skills, and a sense of responsibility, as well as interpersonal and self-motivational skills. This in turn should encourage choices that will contribute to long-term healthy living. (Adapted from MYP Physical and Health Education Guide)
Newman MS students experience: orienteering, kayaking, ice skating, rock climbing and traditional sports as well as studying healthy ways of living.