I. Course description and aims

With inquiry at the core, the MYP sciences framework aims to guide students to independently and collaboratively investigate issues through research, observation and experimentation. The MYP sciences curriculum explores the connections between science and everyday life. As they investigate real examples of science applications, students discover the tensions and dependencies between science and morality, ethics, culture, economics, politics, and the environment.

Scientific inquiry fosters critical and creative thinking about research and design, as well as the identification of assumptions and alternative explanations. Students learn to appreciate and respect the ideas of others, gain good ethical-reasoning skills and further develop their sense of responsibility as members of local and global communities.

The MYP sciences group aims to encourage and enable students to:

  • understand and appreciate science and its implications
  • consider science as a human endeavour with benefits and limitations
  • cultivate analytical, inquiring and flexible minds that pose questions, solve problems, construct explanations and judge arguments
  • develop skills to design and perform investigations, evaluate evidence and reach conclusions
  • build an awareness of the need to effectively collaborate and communicate
  • apply language skills and knowledge in a variety of real-life contexts
  • develop sensitivity towards the living and non-living environments
  • reflect on learning experiences and make informed choices

II. Curriculum overview

Although schools may vary the structure of the curriculum throughout the five years of the programme, they generally develop discrete, modular or integrated science courses. Discrete sciences courses typically encompass biology, chemistry and physics, but may include other science disciplines, such as environmental sciences, life sciences or physical sciences. Modular sciences courses include two or more discrete sciences taught in rotation.

The MYP promotes inquiry in sciences by developing conceptual understanding within global contexts.

Key concepts such as change, relationshipsand systemsbroadly frame the MYP curriculum.

Related concepts promote deeper learning grounded in specific disciplines. Examples of related concepts in MYP sciences include energy,
movement, transformation and models. Additional concepts may also be identified and developed to meet local circumstances and curriculum requirements.

Students explore key and related concepts through MYP global contexts.

  • Identities and relationships
  • Orientation in space and time
  • Personal and cultural expression
  • Scientific and technical innovation
  • Globalization and sustainability
  • Fairness and development

These same global contexts are discussed across the curriculum, supporting transfer and interdisciplinary learning.

The MYP curriculum framework offers schools flexibility to determine engaging, relevant, challenging and significant content that meets local and national curriculum requirements. This inquiry-based curriculum explores factual, conceptual and debatable questions in the study of sciences.

The MYP requires at least 50 hours of teaching time for each subject area in each year of the programme. For students participating in MYP eAssessment, the IB recommends 70 hours of guided learning each year in MYP years 4 and 5

III. Assessment Criteria

Each sciences objective corresponds to one of four equally weighted assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands with unique descriptors that teachers use to make judgments about students’ work.

Criterion A: Knowing and understanding
Students develop scientifc knowledge (facts, ideas, concepts, processes, laws, principles, models and theories) and apply it to solve problems and express scientifcally supported judgments.

Criterion B: Inquiring and designing
Students develop intellectual and practical skills through designing, analysing and performing scientifc investigations.

Criterion C: Processing and evaluating
Students collect, process and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data, and explain conclusions that have been appropriately reached.

Criterion D: Refecting on the impacts of science
Students evaluate the implications of scientifc developments and their applications to a specifc problem or issue. Varied scientifc language is applied to demonstrate understanding. Students should become aware of the importance of documenting the work of others when communicating in science