Middle School Section
The Middle School bridges the primary and high school years, providing a smooth transition between the two. The Middle School years are an important transition period for students, as they find themselves changing in many ways – physically, emotionally and socially. At ACS Doha, we recognise that adolescents have unique needs, and we actively address these throughout the programme by providing a responsive and nurturing atmosphere. We believe that learning should be worthwhile and rewarding. We aim to help students take initiative, and encourage them to seek knowledge and think independently. We help students develop the skills necessary to achieve academic excellence, while also engaging in critical thinking. Through the MYP Approaches to Learning, we guide students to become better organisers, collaborators, communicators and reflectors. We seek to create an environment in which students develop appropriate self-expression. Students learn to accept responsibility for their actions and we strive to help them to understand the link between their behavior and its effect on others. We promote honesty and integrity, develop social and civic responsibility and foster good manners and courtesy. We aim for our students to become well-rounded individuals and encourage them to participate actively in their community. The ACS Doha campus has been granted IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) candidate status* by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). The MYP is a course of study designed to meet the educational requirements of students between the ages of 11 and 16 years/ grades 6-10. The Middle Years Programme aims to educate the whole person and to show the impact of each individual on the world around them. The programme fosters intercultural awareness and the importance of communication. Its goal is to constantly place learning within a context and to make explicit the relationship between various disciplines. We are seeking to have full authorisation by the International Baccalaureate Organization to provide the Middle Years Programme by July 2013. The Middle Years Programme defines fiveAreas of Interaction. These Areas of Interaction are an explicit expression of the common realities shared by all subject areas and an expression of all the varied ways we impact the world through education. They are as follows: Approaches to Learning– The student is at the centre of the learning process and must develop responsibility for the multitude of strategies required to be a successful learner. Human Ingenuity– This Area of Interaction reinforces the concept that every action has creative potential – the ability to create and solve problems. Community and Service– This reinforces our responsibility to our immediate community and the world around us. Health and Social Education– This area is concerned with mental and physical health and the importance of the decisions we make. Environments– This area is concerned with the interdependence of humans and nature, as well as our responsibilities to the environment. The IBO provides a framework for assessment in the MYP. Student work is evaluated according to criteria that clearly reflect the holistic philosophy of the programme. Self-assessment is an integral part of the process. The MYP is carefully structured to promote independence and confidence in students, to enable them to realise the ‘power’ of learning and the full extent of the responsibility it brings. Approaches to Learning The IB Middle Years Programme places the concept of Approaches to Learning at the centre of the curriculum model. This is because it is crucial that students analyse and understand how they learn best and that they discover and master a range of skills and strategies. Every teacher takes an active role in helping students to develop approaches to their learning. TheAdvisory Programmein Middle School also plays a crucial role in this process. Each grade in Middle School has an advisory period each week where much of the focus of these lessons is the idea of learning how to learn. Topics such as goal setting, analysis of learning style, locker organisation, agenda use and time management is addressed during Advisory time. The skills introduced in these Advisory periods are reinforced throughout the curriculum in all subject areas. In addition to providing a crucial forum for teaching students how to learn, the Advisory Programme is also designed to positively influence the ethos of the Middle School. Advisory activities and teaching are structured to create for the students the understanding that they are a valued member of the community. To this end, time in Advisory is also devoted to Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE) issues which are appropriate and relevant to the specific grade levels. Advisory Programme Aims To create a sense of community. To provide a time in the day where the absolute focus is on students. To promote personal involvement between teacher and students. To provide a source of civic education. To engage students in realising how they learn. To provide strategies for learning (which are then reinforced by subject teachers). To offer a source of guidance for the student, different from that which is available from the counselor. To offer opportunity for social and emotional education. To serve as the organisational and informational hub of the middle school. The primary aim of all areas of the curriculum is to help students to acquire knowledge and develop skills within the context of conceptual understanding. It is the goal of the programme that within the teaching of any one-subject area, students make relevant connections with other disciplines and with everyday life. Effective communication and an appreciation of intercultural awareness are a key focus in every subject area. Classroom tasks and activities take into consideration the varying backgrounds, learning styles and abilities of our diverse population and are designed to promote independence and creative thinking.