Teaching & Learning in the Middle Years
At ISWA we have adopted the IB teaching and learning continuum from K through to Y12. This educational approach is unique because of its academic and personal rigour. It challenges students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth. The IB aspires to produce well-rounded students with character: students who can respond to challenges with optimism and an open-mind; students confident in their own identities; students who make ethical decisions; students who join with others in celebrating our common humanity; students who are prepared to apply what they learn in real world, complex and unpredictable situations. In the Middle Years (Years 7 -10), the curriculum is based on the Australian Curriculum content and assessment approaches, as outlined by Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA) with the philosophy and approach of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP)*. We continually seeking to improve and adapt our approach in line with contemporary, evidence based educational research and theories.
The Middle Years Programme is a concept driven, inquiry based framework that ensures the development of a rigorous curriculum and promotes a shared practice and standard among IB World Schools offering the MYP. It also focuses on connecting classroom pedagogical practices and content to the world outside through the Global Contexts and the Learner Profile. The MYP philosophy emphasises holistic learning which exposes students to as many different subjects, skills and experiences as possible so that students will learn to see knowledge as an interrelated whole. The focus on higher-order thinking skills provides students with opportunities to develop interdisciplinary and intercultural understanding as they explore real-world issues.
Curriculum Years 7-10
ISWA students progressing through Years 7-10 study subjects from each of the eight Learning Areas which cover the requirements of both the Australian curriculum and the MYP.
1. English (Language and Literature) – Language, Literature and Literacy
2. Languages (Language Acquisition) - French: Second Language, Spanish: Second Language, English as a Second Language is available in Years 7 and 8
3. Mathematics - Number & Algebra, Measurement & Geometry, Statistics & Probability
4. Humanities and Social Sciences (Individuals and Societies) – Geography, Economics, History, Civics and Citizenship
5. Sciences – Chemical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Earth & Space Sciences, Physical Science
6. The Arts - Visual Arts, Music, Drama
7. Health and Physical Education - Personal, Social & Community Health, Movement & Physical Activity
8. Technologies (Design) - Digital technologies and Design & Technology including:
• Robotics and Coding (Y7 & 8)
• Engineering Design (Y7 & 8)
• Product Design (Y7 & 8)
• Media Design (Y9)
• Graphic Design (Y9)
• Environmental Design (Y10)
9. Additional Courses:
• In Year 9, students also study two semester long courses: Model United Nations and Public Speaking.
• In Year 10, students get a choice between either the year-long Powering Careers in Energy Program or the US Mathematics Elective Program.
We at ISWA understand that educational theory and practice is continually developing and are constantly seeking to reflect on and improve our approaches. Most recently, Professor John Hattie released his landmark work, Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. This work was the culmination of 15 years of research including 60 000 studies and approximately 300 million students world-wide. Hattie’s work highlighted the most effective practices for supporting student achievement and enabled teachers to become much more targeted in their design of and approach to student learning. One of the top 10 most effective teaching strategies identified was effective, on-going feedback and this is something that we at ISWA have incorporated through our online learning platform, SEQTA. This makes student learning ‘visible’ through on-going communication on achievement and future steps for learning for students and parents in the moment, rather than being delayed by the wait for the end of semester report. Currently, the Secondary School team are also considering ways of incorporating more of Hatties’ findings in our teaching and learning practices.
For more information about the MYP:
Further information on the key findings from research of the impact of the benefits of the IB MYP programme can be found at this link.