Fieldwork Education spent five years working and collaborating with many students, teachers and schools to find out the best way to support the unique and specific needs of 11-14 year olds.
During this research period a number of issues were raised, in particular three requests that were common from almost every school. These were:
- Can you help us provide our middle schools students with the kinds of learning children have when their schools use the IPC?
- Can you help us do interesting stuff please – to keep learning engaging for our middle school students?
- Can you do this in a way that doesn’t make us change the entire structure of our school or the way we organise ourselves?
So we responded with three solutions that became the crucial elements of the International Middle Years Curriculum:
- A curriculum for 21st century learning drawing on current media platforms, involving active skills-based learning, and promoting self-reflection and the opportunity for students to make sense of their learning.
- Relevant and engaging subject matter that includes a challenging Big Idea for life and a blend of individual and shared learning experiences.
- A limited amount of structural change that doesn’t disrupt single subject teaching and learning but at the same time involves the sharing of a Big Idea and collaborating during the Exit Point.
The IMYC is much more than a bunch of good ideas in a framework; it provides students with a rope (the Big Idea) to hold on to as they move from subject to subject coupled with a depth of learning that meets the academic and personal needs of 11 to 14 year olds.