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Sha Tin College is a fully authorised IB World School for the Middle Years Programme (MYP). IB World Schools share a common philosophy- a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education- that we believe is important for our students.
We are proud to offer a diverse and broad curriculum that includes a wide variety of subjects, allowing students to work with specialist teachers to discover new passions, to develop important skills and nurture personal growth. For more information about the specific subject areas, see the tabs below.
The MYP is an academically rigorous programme, aiming to challenge students, and encourage them to make connections between their learning in different subject areas, and to real-world scenarios. The curriculum is concept-based, which allows students to transfer information from one context to another, and enables a deeper understanding. It is also skills-based, which empowers students by ensuring they are ready to face an ever-changing world. As an international school, Sha Tin College aims to nurture globally engaged students, with a strong sense of intercultural understanding.
Meaningful participation in service is required for all Middle School students, as we aim to develop empathy and kindness. The culmination of the Middle Years Programme is the Community Project which occurs in Year 9. Students work in small groups to take action against an issue they identify within their local community.
The Middle Years Programme is part of the IB Learning Continuum, therefore students coming from schools delivering the Primary Years Programme (all ESF Primaries) will be familiar with the terminology and style of learning. The MYP will be a thorough grounding for students as they progress into the Senior School and continue their studies with their (I)GCSE courses in Years 10 and 11, followed by the IB Diploma Programme or IB Careers Programme in Years 12 and 13.
Janice Lee Harry Barnard Bradley
MYP Coordinator Head of Middle School
*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). For further information about the IB and its programmes visit http://www.ibo.org
As their CAS project, Year 12 students, Rishika, Abigail, Kristy and Kyla will be hosting 3 Zoom sessions for Year 6 students and parents over the next few months. Their goal is to help support the Year 6 students as they transition from their Primary schools and into Year 7 at Sha Tin College. Check back here soon for more information.
As part of the Middle Years Programme, Sha Tin College students study three different Arts subjects in Years 7-9: Visual Art, Music and Drama. Each subject is studied for 1 hour per week, allowing students to develop their expertise over the course of the three year programme.
Art and design aims to promote collective and individual creativity by providing students with a platform to express themselves through a variety of media to learn and succeed at their own level. Involvement in Visual Art will challenge students, enrich personal identity, and build awareness of aesthetics in a real-world context. Concepts and contexts within the curriculum are constantly adapted to cultivate meaningful integration in order that knowledge can be easily transferred across other subject areas.
The Middle Years Programme in Art is designed to prepare students for the challenges of GCSE Art and Design, and the IB Visual Arts courses. In addition, the school regularly invites visiting artists and designers to present to our students and educate them on the practice of Art and Design within a professional context.
Currently, Years 7 and 8 students follow the IB Middle Years Programme, which enables each student to develop and think creatively through varying teaching methodologies and exposing them to a variety of media. The programme’s open-ended themes allow students to convey feelings, experiences and ideas. It also aims to help students build their confidence and lay the foundation for a variety of basic skills that directly impact our Art programme in Years 8, 9 and beyond.
Years 8 and 9 students are expected to extend their practical and critical skills with more sophisticated use of materials and processes. Students are encouraged to respond to the world around them whilst developing their imagination; their problem solving skills and their ability to express themselves with confidence. The students also gain an awareness of artists from a variety of times and cultures, through an integrated approach to the teaching of Art History.
The Drama and Theatre Department offer students numerous opportunities to explore the artiste within themselves. Through creating, performing and presenting their arts, students learn to express and engage with new experiences, ideas and emotions. In the Middle School, students will hone their vocal and movements skills whilst working in a disciplined and collaborative way to create drama.
Year 7 students will study how to use the body and the voice to communicate. These skills are then assessed using easier scenes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. To further develop their understanding of the subjects, students will conduct research into World Mask Traditions and investigate how mask skills are used in various contexts around the world, before presenting their findings. The research aims to help students develop their own mask skills and learn to enhance their performances using masks. The unit culminates in students designing and creating their own masks for their story lines.
Year 8 students will learn about physical theatre techniques in performance as they rehearse and present their own Myth or Legend. The actors are encouraged to rely on voice and body to tell these magical tales, singing and dancing to make their work more spectacular. This unit also introduces the Year 8s to the idea of editing to suit the needs of an audience, which challenges students to make important decisions in their presentation of the arts.
Students in the Middle School compose, perform and analyse music from around the world. The subject aims to help students improve their creative and analytical skills, whilst developing an artistic identity. Different music technologies are incorporated into lessons, helping students develop their understanding of the subject.
Year 7 modules include:
• Elements of music
• Rhythm and the music of South America
• Melody! How we use notation from around the world
• Harmony and Chords
Year 8 modules include:
• Texture and Ostinato: Composing using music technology
• Guitar School
• Structure and Form
• Rock School!
Year 9 modules include:
• Blues and Rock and Roll
• Electronic Dance Music
• Music for Film
Students are assessed in a range of skills including practical performing, listening and composing.
Middle School students in Years 7, 8 and 9 study three strands of Design: Product, Food and Digital. Within these strands students follow the design cycle to solve problems through the use of tools, materials and systems.
The study of Product Design enables students to manipulate a variety of materials to create tangible products and solutions which solve a problem and meet a need. Three-dimensional (3D) tangible solutions made by using a variety of making and manufacturing techniques are typically the result of a Product Design course.
The subject explores the problems related to food supply, production and consumption. The study of Food Design equips with skills that allow students to think creatively and critically about authentic food problems and needs such as the provenance of food, the nutritional impact of food, the social and cultural impact of food.
The study of Digital Design allows students to solve problems through the use of a computer system. Students will learn to create computer-generated digital products and offer solutions to solve a problem and meet a perceived need. Digital Design enables students to learn about coding, app-design, programming and develop 2D and 3D outcomes.
The English Language and Literature Middle Years Programme (MYP) is an academically rigorous programme that aims to develop an appreciation of the nature of language as a valuable tool of self-expression, imagination and creativity. Students will also critically evaluate the nature of communication in a diverse range of texts and contexts. English is taught through the six skill areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and presenting. These are interdependent strands which are taught side by side.
Sha Tin College has six mixed ability English classes taught by an English specialist and two smaller growth classes which, in Years 7 and 8 are taught by an English specialist and a Learning Support specialist.
In Years 7-9 students engage with a range of literary works from different genres including poetry, drama, prose: fiction, and prose: non-fiction and a range of different non-literary text types including advertisements, newspaper articles and speeches. All units of study are inquiry based, designed to cultivate students’ international mindedness while providing a framework to support students’ conceptual development.
Summative and formative assessment strategies are used to assess students’ grasp of key skills, concepts, and approaches to learning (ATL’s) which are integral to the success of the MYP as a whole. Above all, we hope to engender in students a life-long love of reading and the printed word to become self-sustained, reflective and confident learners.
For near native speakers of Mandarin, the MYP Chinese Language and Literature course is taught through the exploration of various literary and non-literary texts in Chinese. The course aims to help students to develop not only their skills in the aspects of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts in Chinese, it also helps them to gain an appreciation for both literary and non-literary works and develop critical, creative and personal approaches through studying and analysing literary and non-literary texts from both Chinese and translation works from other countries.
This course requires students to read widely in Chinese both in and outside classrooms. The reading texts for detailed analysis in the classroom are chosen based on themes which students can easily relate to in their own life and study. The texts provide the students opportunities to connect their experience with authors from different backgrounds and to identify and understand the different writing techniques, values and perspectives presented from authors. Students are also encouraged to read widely with their interest outside the classroom to consolidate their skills for self-expression, reflection and analysis in Chinese with confidence.
Students are assessed formatively during lessons and are given individual feedback to consolidate and improve their learning progress. Each year, students also have four summative assessments which are criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria: analyzing, organizing, producing text and using language.
Our Language Acquisition courses align with the expectations of the Middle Years Programme and the Sha Tin College Language Policy with the focus of a continued commitment to student development of language and multiliteracies, ability to communicate in a variety of modes in more than one language, to understanding different cultures through languages and becoming a global citizen.
We feel that it is important to offer the students a choice when it comes to studying a language and encourage them to consider their personal interests, excitement to learn, connections to the language, and their future academic pursuits. We provide students the opportunity to select either a European language (French) or an Asian language (Chinese) which the student will typically study for the entire MYP.
The chart below demonstrates the typical language pathways a student at Sha Tin College will take:
The MYP Chinese Language Acquisition course provides students with the opportunity to develop insights into the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realise that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world. The course encourages students to gain competence in the language with the long-term goal of multilingualism.
Students will be grouped in phases based on their abilities in Mandarin. In the lower phases of the Language Acquisition course, the content is designed to develop the student’s communication skills necessary for future language learning. Topics learned are mostly related to their daily life, such as ‘Clothing’, ‘Holidays’, ‘Hobbies’, ‘School Life’, ‘Food Culture’, ‘Shopping’, ‘Diet’ and ‘Health’.
In the higher phases of the Language Acquisition course, the following themes will be explored to promote advanced language engagement and output: ‘Famous cities around the world’, ‘Idioms and Fables stories’, ‘Ancient Wisdom’, ‘Wall of Fame’ and ‘Festivals’. All of these topics encourage an awareness and understanding of the perspectives of people from their own and other cultures, leading to involvement and action in their own and other communities.
Students are assessed formatively during lessons and are given individual feedback to consolidate and improve their learning progress. Each year, students also have four summative assessments which are criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria.
“Learning to speak another’s language means taking one’s place in the human community. It means reaching out to others across cultural and linguistic boundaries. Language is far more than a system to be explained. It is our most important link to the world around us. Language is culture in motion. It is people interacting with people.” – Savignon (1983)
Alongside English, French is one of the languages most widely taught in the world and can be used in a large number of countries. It is the principal language of France and its overseas territories in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. It is spoken in Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg and of course Canada. French is also widely used in both North and West Africa.
Data from the Hong Kong Department of Immigration shows that the French community posted an annual growth rate over the last 5 years of about 5%. According to the Hong Kong Government, this is the strongest growth rate among any expatriate population in the city. The number of French citizens registered at the French Consulate has doubled since 2007.
The objectives of MYP language acquisition encompass the factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive dimensions of knowledge. The student’s knowledge and understanding will be developed through:
• Learning language.
• Learning through language.
• Learning about language (Halliday 1985).
This, in turn, helps students learn how to learn. The cognitive, linguistic and sociocultural aspects of communication are intertwined in each of the four objectives. The student is expected to develop the competencies to communicate appropriately, accurately and effectively in an increasing range of social, cultural and academic contexts, and for an increasing variety of purposes.
In Phases 1 and 2 students will study the following topics:
• Myself, family and friends
• My environment
• Food and culture
• What is the role of school
• Celebrations and festivals
• Travel and holidays
• Healthy lifestyle
• My future
Individuals and Societies fosters an appreciation and respect for the diversity of human culture, attitudes, values and beliefs. We encourage our learners to show empathy and self-awareness through the learning experiences.
We take a discrete approach to MYP Individuals and Societies. Learners draw upon the content, concepts and skills from Geography, History and Philosophy & Religious Studies to understand the development of Humanity from multiple perspectives. Learners begin their exploration of Humanity and the Earth from each perspective and different contexts in Year 7. Year 8 & 9 extends student understanding and prepares them for the transition to the (I)GCSE curriculum by continuing to examine the development of the world, using multiple perspectives to understand the causes and consequences of change on a global scale and what this means for our future.
Individuals and Societies includes a strong focus on inquiry and investigation. Learners collect, describe and analyse data, test hypotheses and learn how to interpret information, including original source material. There is a clear focus on real-world examples, research and analysis. Each learning experience is set within a global context to provide relevance, connect to their lives and the wider global community. From which we hope they are informed and can take action beyond the classroom and positively support people and the environment, for the good of humanity.
The MYP Geography curriculum is designed to explore the interrelationships between physical and human concepts whilst embedding key geographical skills.
Year 7 modules include:
• Our Restless Planet
• Mapping a Zombie outbreak
• Water World
Exploration of these concepts is extended beyond the classroom with a trip to Bride’s Pool where students practice their map skills in the field whilst learning about river features and processes along the route.
Year 8 modules include:
• Our Living Planet
• The Coastal Zone
• Weather and Climate
On a field trip to Sai Kung Country Park they get the opportunity to investigate coastal processes and features and well as human impacts on the coastline. They also develop their understanding of processes operating within a woodland ecosystem and the potential threats to this environment.
Year 9 modules include:
• Conflict and Cooperation
• Pollution in Hong Kong
• How Fair is our World?
Year 9 learning extends into Hong Kong through city wide investigation into air and visual pollution. In groups learners collecting quantitative and qualitative data, present and interpret this to answer their essential question. Learners then showcase their findings to highlight the impact of pollution on our lives and the ways we can mitigate and adapt to reduce local pollution levels and therefore have a global impact.
In order to understand the world we live in, it is necessary to be aware of the events of the past. History lessons at Sha Tin develop:
• Knowledge and understanding of what happened and when.
• Investigation skills: students learn to investigate interesting topics on their own.
• Communication skills: students learn to write a balanced argument.
• Critical thinking skills: students learn to use a variety of sources.
Year 7 modules include:
• Where in Time am I? – Students learn how time, place and space affect our identities.
• How Civilised were the Ancients? – Students learn that systems such as Ancient Civilisations developed so that people could live together in the most productive way possible. We explore the Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Chinese Civilisations.
Year 8 modules include:
• The Age of Discovery – This unit examines how global interaction from the 1500s affected the histories of ideas and disciplines.
• Industry, Trade and Empire – This unit explores how global interaction from the 1700s encouraged modernisation, industrialisation and engineering advances around the world.
• The Black Peoples of the Americas – As they examine the Black Peoples of the Americas, students learn that inequality and difference between peoples has changed in History over time.
Year 9 modules include:
• Warfare – Students learn how Global Interdependence can affect the establishment of justice, peace and conflict resolution.
• The Cold War – An exploration unit concerning how human-made systems and communities can share commonality, diversity and interconnection.
• The History of Sport – This unit explores how personal and cultural expressions can reflect changing attitudes in societies.
As a global citizen, it is vital to understand and evaluate a diverse range of beliefs and perspectives on humanity, life and the universe. Philosophy and Religious Studies (PRS) also contributes to students’ personal development and well-being along with community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. The PRS Department at Sha Tin College offers a dynamic, thought provoking and worthwhile curriculum ensuring that learning is active and enjoyable.
PRS plays an important role in preparing students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It helps young people become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. It gives students the knowledge, skills and understanding to strengthen their capacity for making moral judgements and for evaluating different types of commitment to make positive and healthy choices.
The Middle School PRS curriculum is designed to introduce students to the six major world religions as well as some important philosophical questions and concepts.
Year 7 modules include:
• An introduction to the six major world religions and Philosophical Language through a short inquiry on Belief and Action.
• Sikhism: How religions communicate their beliefs and identity through symbols.
• Judaism: Beliefs, rituals and worship, and the impact of these on personal identity.
• Origins of the Universe: A study of the different perspectives on the origins of the universe and how these affect the way humans treat the planet.
In Year 8 students continue to develop their inquiry skills by concentrating on two group investigations.
Year 8 modules include:
• Where’s the Answer? – A unit focussing on the way in which we use authority to guide aspects of our lives and an investigation into the different sources of authority as well as an examination of truth, facts and proof.
• Searching for God – In this unit, students learn how to use logic and reason to understand how philosophers and theologians attempt to prove the existence of God. There is a focus on the teleological and cosmological arguments.
• Successful Life: meaning and Purpose – In this unit, students investigate concepts such as success, meaning and purpose and look at philosophical approaches to these for example; existentialism, nihilism, hedonism and humanist ideas. Personal contexts are explored as students determine what makes a successful life.
In Year 9, students focus on application of the religious and philosophical knowledge gained in Years 7 and 8. They will apply religious beliefs and values alongside an introduction to and study of Ethics.
Year 9 modules include:
• How to get to Heaven – A study of religious and philosophical ideas about life, death and the afterlife. Students complete an ‘Existence Journal’ focussed on their personal reflections about the topics covered for example; Life after Death, near Death Experiences and Life Maps.
• How to save a life – An introduction to Medical Ethics where students consider ethical rules and their application to issues such as abortion, euthanasia and genetic engineering.
• Crimes against Humanity – A study of the UN Declarations of human rights and how these are broken through crimes against humanity, with an emphasis on the problem of evil and suffering. An examination of Genocides such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide after which students complete a Genocide memorial Project.
The Mathematics faculty aims to motivate students to enjoy and embrace Mathematics through teacher-led activities and enquiry based learning as part of the MYP. This is done both within the classroom and through activities around the school. The subject is celebrated throughout the year in a variety of ways such as Maths Week, a week-long series of events that involves the whole school, the UK Maths Trust (UKMT) Challenge where over 120 students will participate, as well as numerous Maths competitions in Hong Kong and abroad.
Students are taught within teaching groups where each child is put into a group that best suits their current ability. This is regularly monitored to ensure the right balance between challenge and support is given to students.
Units and assessments will always be designed around learning mathematical concepts. Years 7, 8 and 9 modules include Algebra, Numeracy, Graphing, Shape and space and Data handling.
The specific MYP learning themes for Year 7 are:
• Designing a bedroom
• Letters in Maths
• 20,000 litres of water
• Predicting patterns
• Packaging project
The specific MYP learning themes for Year 8 are:
• Planning a CAS trip
• The language of Mathematics
• Designing a game
• Who is faster?
• Logistical planning
• Designing a Mandala
Year 9 IDU:
As part of the Year 9 curriculum in Mathematics we have prepared an IDU (Inter-disciplinary Unit) with the PRS department (Philosophy and Religious Studies) which looks at uses of mathematical symbolism.
To help initiate students into Year 7 who may struggle with Mathematics there are two parallel “Growth” Mathematics classes with a smaller student teacher ratio. These classes benefit from the support of a member of the Learning Support team co-teaching each lesson, allowing individual educational plans to be followed for each child. None-the-less all students follow the same curriculum and are assessed using the same tests.
All students are introduced to learning technologies early on in Mathematics and with the one-to-one laptop program all students have access to the interactive Maths programs such as Desmos, Geogebra and Myimaths.
Physical and Health education aims to inspire students with an understanding and appreciation for being physically active whilst developing a motivation for making healthy life choices. Through the Middle Years Programme (MYP), students will foster the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will contribute to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. The programme will explore a variety of concepts that give students an awareness of physical development and health perspectives, empowering them to make informed decisions and promoting positive social interaction.
In Middle School, students will complete several modules, each with a different focus designed to provide opportunities for exploration and inquiry into the subject area. Each module is led by resolving answers to questions whilst performing and improving sporting and aesthetic skills.
Year 7 modules include:
• Sink or Swim (swimming)
• Body Fit (Health Related Exercise and Athletics)
• Spaced Out (Invasion type games – Netball/Basketball)
• Creative Movers (Dance and Gymnastics)
• Hit & Run (Cricket/Rounders)
Year 8 modules include:
• Caught in the Net (Badminton and Table Tennis)
• Dancing in the Streets
• Space Invaders (Hockey and Football)
• Different strokes (Swimming)
• Fit for Life (Cricket/Frisbee/Vaulting/Bouldering)
Year 9 modules include:
• Table Tennis
• Water Polo
• Netball or Basketball
Students in Years 7 and 8 are introduced to the main themes of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Science faculty believes that the most effective learning takes place when a student is actively engaged in a certain problem and that learning thrives on performance-generated feedback. Learning is simultaneously individual and collaborative. In line with this philosophy, the MYP Sciences curriculum has been meticulously designed to challenge students to find original and creative solutions to various problems.
As many of the skills taught are transferable and lend themselves to being applied in different situations there are several opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration. One of these is a STEAM day in Year 8 where science and design lessons are combined enabling students to use both scientific and design ways of thinking to overcome a technical challenge.
A typical science lesson may include students performing an experiment in order to deduce whether or not there is a relationship between some variables. Investigations are constructed in a way that allows students to situate their knowledge gained within a wider scientific framework. The MYP Sciences curriculum provides the ideal bridge between primary school Science and the demands of later years at Sha Tin College.
Middle School modules include:
• Chemical reactions
• Feeding relationships
Assessment is continuous throughout the course and is both formal and informal.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is for students aged 11-16. Through the Middle Years Programme (MYP) projects, students experience the responsibility of completing a significant piece of work over an extended period of time. All Year 9 students will complete the community project.
The community project provides an important opportunity for Year 9 students to collaborate and pursue service learning. MYP community project is student-centred and age-appropriate, and they enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection.
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